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A Prospect of Plymouth Sound [Panorama]

A Prospect of Plymouth Sound [Panorama]  by AYRTON, Maxwell (1942)

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Author: AYRTON, Maxwell
Title: A Prospect of Plymouth Sound [Panorama]
Year: 1942
Publisher: Unpublished
Place: Plymouth
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: Yes
Price: £300
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Added under Manuscripts  

180x23cm. Superb folding wartime panorama executed in watercolour by the architect of the original Wembley Stadium. Ayrton's manuscript title which appears to the left of the first panel explains the genesis of the work: 'A Prospect of Plymouth Sound from a drawing made in the Year 1918 by Maxwell Ayrton Lieut. RNAS. and now re-drawn for Commander & Mrs Beaver Christmas 1942.' Viewed from a position above the city, Ayrton's panorama describes the landscape and seascape from Smeaton Tower via the now demolished pier and moored warships, over the rooftops of the city itself, via Drake's Island round to the Victualling Yard and Devonport Church, being signed 'Maxwell Ayrton 1918-1942'. Ayrton's panorama is executed in pen and watercolour wash with annotations picking out the landmarks, some foxing to the art paper which has been laid down on six thick sheets of card, professionally hinged externally with thick paper and with a Royal Navy emblem on the cover. Scottish by birth Maxwell Ayrton (1876-1960) moved to London as a young man where he briefly worked for Lutyens before going into partnership with John Simpson with whom he designed Wembley Stadium for the British Empire Exhibition in 1924-25. The maritime artist Duncan Cameron has advised me that several of the battleships seen at anchor appear to have camouflage paint on their hulls which was probably not the case in Ayrton's original 1918 drawing however it should be noted that at the time of this panorama Ayrton's son Tony was overseeing World War II camouflage schemes used in Operation Bertram.
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