Robert Taylor Catalogue

DESERT SHARKS

THE GRAPHITE PORTFOLIO
A new series of Limited Edition pencil drawings

by Robert Taylor

DESERT SHARKS ROBERT-TAYLOR-Aviation Art- Curtis P40 Kittyhawk
A new Limited Edition from Robert Taylor, whose evocative pencil drawing commemorates the Curtis P40 and the pilots of the Allied Air Forces who flew it with such heroic distinction throughout World War II


One of the stalwarts of the long hot Desert Air War, the Curtis P40 Kittyhawk was flown with extraordinary verve and courage not only by the pilots of the RAF, but also those of the Royal Australian, Canadian, and South African Air Forces.

The renowned Curtis P40 Warhawk was, by the time of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, numerically the most important American fighter aircraft and had already been supplied to the RAF in mid 1940, where it was designated first the Tomahawk, and later versions the Kittyhawk. This classic aircraft remained in continuous front line service and flew in most theatres of operation throughout World War II.

Robert Taylor’s brand new limited edition has been issued specially to pay tribute to this fine robust warbird, and to all the courageous fighter pilots who flew it. The wonderfully evocative drawing depicts a P40 Kittyhawk of 112 Squadron RAF,
flown by their CO Squadron Leader Clive Caldwell, the top scoring Australian fighter pilot of the war, seen over the coast of Libya in late 1941. 112 Squadron had already been in the thick of the action throughout Wavell’s early encounters in the Western Desert, then in the fighting and eventual withdrawal from Greece, before returning to the Western Desert in 1941. At this time they also adopted the famous shark’s teeth marking by which it was known thereafter.

With his outstanding and world-renowned talent for pencil drawing, Robert captures precisely the arid heat, dust and smoke of desert warfare, conveying an air of impending conflict. With each print signed by Squadron Leader Neville Duke, 112 fighter Ace and the Allies top-scoring pilot in the Mediterranean theatre, this is an outstanding aviation print in every sense, and with only 90 prints this new highly restricted edition is a must for all aviation art collectors.

Overall print size: 21¼"x 15½"


THE SIGNATURES
Signed by Squadron Leader NEVILLE DUKE DSO DFC, who flew P40s with 112 Squadron and who was the Allies top -scoring fighter pilot in the Mediterranean theatre. All prints are also signed and hand numbered by the artist Robert Taylor

Edition Size: 90 signed and numbered prints -

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Squadron Leader NEVILLE DUKE DSO DFC* Neville Duke joined the RAF in June 1940. Posted to92 Squadron at Biggin Hill in April 1941, he flew wingman to ‘Sailor’ Malan. In November he was posted to 112 Squadron in the Middle East, and survived being shot down twice by pilots of JG27. His own tally however was rising fast and by early February 1942 his victories had risen to 8 confirmed and 3 probables. Afler a second tour in the desert with 92 Squadron, flying Spitfire Vs, he went on to fly a third tour on Spitire VIIIs with 145 Squadron in Italy - scoring his final victory in September to become the Allied top-scorer in the Mediterranean theatre. He had flown over 486 sorties, and achieved 28 victories. After the war had ended Neville joined Hawkers as a test pilot, becoming chief Test Pilot in 1951. On 7 September 1953 he captured the World Air Speed record flying his famous all-red Hunter at 727.63 mph.

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