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Lot 0449
An important historical significance event in the Royal Navy is a elegant yet capturing painting by Montague J. Dawson (British 1895-1973) oil on canvas 42" w x 28" (106.68cm x 71.12cm) actual image size. The work captures and tell a battle between the Mary Mitchell and the firing attacks and sinking of a German submarine during the first World War. Dawson, serving himself in the Royal Navy, truly emphasizes the details of the event within this painting. Montague Dawson was the son of a keen yachtsman and the grandson of the marine painter Henry Dawson (1811–1878), born in Chiswick, London. Much of his childhood was spent on Southampton Water where he was able to indulge his interest in the study of ships. For a brief period around 1910 Dawson worked for a commercial art studio in Bedford Row, London, but with the outbreak of the First World War he joined the Royal Navy. Whilst serving with the Navy in Falmouth he met Charles Napier Hemy (1841–1917), who considerably influenced his work. Towards the end of the War Dawson was serving as a Lieutenant RNVR in the Dazzle Painting Section at Leith [1]. In 1924 Dawson was the official artist for an Expedition to the South Seas by the steam yacht St.George. During the expedition he provided illustrated reports to the Graphic magazine.During these years his artwork was also published in the newspaper The Sphere. His works are featured in the Royal Naval Museum and the National Maritime Museum. Dawson was present at the final surrender of the German High Seas Fleet and many of his illustrations depicting the event were published in theSphere.After the War, Dawson established himself as a professional marine artist, concentrating on historical subjects and portraits of deep-water sailing ships often in stiff breeze or on high seas. During the Second World War, he was employed as a war artist and again worked for The Sphere. Dawson exhibited regularly at the Royal Society of Marine Artists, of which he became a member, from 1946 to 1964, and occasionally at the Royal Academy between 1917 and 1936. By the 1930s he was considered one of the greatest living marine artists, whose patrons included two American Presidents, Dwight D Eisenhower and Lyndon B Johnson, as well as the British Royal Family. Also in the 1930s, he moved to Milford-Upon-Sea in Hampshire, living there for many years. Dawson is noted for the strict accuracy in the nautical detail of his paintings which often sell for six figures.The work of Montague Dawson is represented in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth and The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia. "The Q- Ship " signed titled by Dawson on stretcher and "The Q-Ship Mary Mitchell sinking a German submarine in 1917" also written by Dawson. Signed in lower left corner as shown. Montague Dawson RMSA, FRSA was a British painter who was renowned as a maritime artist. His most famous paintings depict sailing ships, usually clippers or warships of the 18th and 19th centuries. This painting was purchased by the Ohio family in the mid 20th century from Frost and Reed. Painting depicts the engagement between H.M.S Mary B. Mitchell the Q-Ship sinking in battle WWI German Submarine. Showing the deck men firing the cannons. Dawson really captured the moment in all its drama. Dawson himself served in the NAVY during the 1st World War. On 20 June 1917, under the command of Lt J Lawrie and in the guise of the French schooner Eider, she encountered a U-boat sailing west of Brittany, which approached and opened fire. Mitchell carried out her role as a decoy, being hove to and abandoned until he U-boat was within 600 yards, when she returned fire scoring several hits. At this the U-boat dived and was not seen again. That evening, Mitchell had a further encounter, which unfolded in the same way, though on this occasion the U-boat was more wary, and Mitchell's crew had a more difficult time before scoring hits on their assailant. Montague Dawson was one of the foremost nautical painters of the 20th century. Though often depicting clipper ships from the 19th century, he sometimes depicted ships from the late 17th-century, as in one of his most famous works The Crescent Moon, which shows a three-decker pirate ship on a calm night in the Southern seas. Born on September 19, 1890 in London, United Kingdom, Dawson had no formal art training, but began to draw as a child and developed his illustration skills at a commercial art studio in 1910. Even after joining the Royal Navy, the British artist continued to submit his work to publications such as Sphere and The Graphic. He died on May 21, 1973 in Midhurst, United Kingdom at the age of 83. Dawson's highly realistic style of maritime painting and dedication to technical accuracy has made him into a particularly popular seascape artist, and his works can be found in the collections of the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, United Kingdom. Montague Dawson, one of the leading 20th century artist sales have soared to prices fetching over a half a million and continues to climb in value."The Mary B Mitchell was the most famous of the Port Penrhyn slate ships and a local legend.She was a three-masted topsail schooner built by Paul Rodgers at Carrickfergus in 1892.Length overall was 129 feet and beam 24 feet.With her local crew she delivered slate to Hamburg and London until the First World War when, in 1916 she became one of the first "Q" ships or decoy vessels.With her twelve pounder and two six pounders she was responsible while under sail for sinking at least two submarines in the western approaches in 1917.After the war she had engines fitted and returned to trade.She almost survived the Second World War but was driven ashore in a gale in the Solway in December 1944.All the crew were saved."


Overall is well preserved having very minimal craquelure (see photos, faint stretcher press near top.

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Montague Dawson (British 1895-1973)

Estimate $60,000 - $80,000Oct 28, 2018