Helen Bradley (British, 1900-1979) R101 Airship 45.8 x 61 cm. (18 x 24 in.)
Lot 6AR
Helen Bradley (British, 1900-1979) R101 Airship 45.8 x 61 cm. (18 x 24 in.)
Sold for £37,250 (US$ 62,610) inc. premium
Lot Details
Helen Bradley (British, 1900-1979)
R101 Airship
signed with fly insignia (lower right); further signed, inscribed and dated '"Look Peter at the Beautiful Airship, it/is the famous R101 and will soon be on/ its way to India", Peter and I watched/it sail away towards Manchester, then/we went to the shops in Hollins Road/ and coming back Peter ran to tell/Joe Brienley (our milkman) about the/R101, "Joe Plum", he said, "did you see the/airship", and as Peter ran back to me/I said, "Peter why call Joe, Joe Plum/its not very nice", but Peter laughed and the/year was July 1930'/Helen Layfield Bradley 1972./R101 destroyed by fire over France 6 Oct 1930 and/all 48 lives were lost.' (on a label attached to the backboard)
oil on canvasboard
45.8 x 61 cm. (18 x 24 in.)


    The artist
    Thence by family descent

    Announced in 1925 but not completed until 1929 the R101 was to be the jewel in the crown of the Airship Development Committee's accomplishments. Measuring 777 ft in length, and weighing 257,395 lbs the vessel was built in order to transport 100 passengers and 42 Crew at a cruising speed 63 mph to the farthest reaches of the British Empire including India, Australia and Canada.

    On its maiden foreign voyage on October 4th, 1930 complications rose after enduring issues with the ship's oil pressure system and severe weather conditions. The ship came down near Beauvais, France and 48 souls where tragically lost. The inquiry into the events cited a sudden and catastrophic failure as the only explanation marking an end of British attempts to create lighter-than-air aircraft.
Lot symbols
  1. Penny Day
    Specialist - Modern British and Irish Art
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8366
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7434
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