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    Montague Dawson (British, 1895-1973)
    Night suspect, 1958
    Oil on canvas
    40 x 50 inches (101.6 x 127 cm)
    Signed lower left: Montague Dawson

    Property from the Estate of Kenneth Alan Hill, Sr., Fort Worth, Texas

    Frost & Reed, Ltd. London, 1958 (stock no. 24760);
    W. Russell Button Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, 1959;
    Private American collection;
    Christie's, New York, January 29, 2008, lot 358 (as Night Surprise);
    Vallejo Gallery, Newport Beach, California (as Night Suspect);
    Acquired by the present owner from the above, 2009.

    Royal Society of Marine Painters, Guildhall Art Gallery, London, 1958, no. 67.

    Montague Dawson was born into a life on the ocean. The son of a sea captain, Dawson served in the Royal Navy in World War I, and was an official war artist for a British newspaper during World War II. The present work depicts a dramatic chase by the British Coast Guard, firing a canon at suspected smugglers in the English Channel. Moonbeams peek through a cloudy night sky, illuminating the deck as the crew feverishly readies the ship for attack. Through this captivating choice of perspective, Dawson draws attention not only to the harsh realities of life on the water, but also to the power and often dangerous beauty of the open ocean. Compositions featuring a shipboard perspective are rare and there are less than six known Dawson works that display such a precise view of action on deck. Additionally, none of these other deck scenes are of a ship engaged in such a pursuit, cannons firing.

    This seminal work by Dawson was an obvious choice by the artist for display at the 1958 Royal Society of Marine Painters' London Guildhall. A precisionist in every way, Dawson would interview officers and crew, some of whom provided their own sketches and notes from which he would recreate an accurate visual account. The artist would pore over a work, from sketches, models and preliminary paintings to finally achieve his masterpiece.

    Condition Report*: Lined canvas. Frame abrasion at upper, left, and right edges, with some visible retouching. Finely patterned craquelure throughout, with some more pronounced cracking in areas of thick impasto. Vertical hairline scratches present in lower left quadrant, visible under raking light. Some pigment separation in center of lower edge. Not examined out of frame.
    Under UV: varnish fluoresces green unevenly. Aforementioned retouching to frame abrasion at edges. Finely applied dots and dashes of retouching, primarily to address areas of cracking and pigment separation. An approximately 2-inch vertical lined of retouching applied to what appears to be a repaired tear on the starboard stern of leftmost ship.
    Framed Dimensions 53 X 63 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    View all of [Property from the Estate of Kenneth Alan Hill, Sr., Fort Worth, Texas ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2021
    4th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,073

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