Montague Dawson Painting for Bonhams Marine Art Sale

A selection of the best maritime-inspired art will be offered for sale this autumn by Bonhams on 15th September at 101 New Bond Street, with a particularly fine Montague Dawson sure to be one of the most keenly contested lots.

Montague DawsonThe stunning image by Montague Dawson ((British, 1890-1973) `The lofty trader The Scottish Moors’ an oil on canvas is estimated to sell for £30,000-50,000.

By the 1930s Dawson 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. The work of Montague Dawson is represented in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth.

Alistair Laird, Head of Marine Pictures at Bonhams says: “Bonhams is the only international auction house in the world to hold specific sales of Marine paintings and works of art in the same sale. In the 27 years that Bonhams has held Marine Sales we have handled the sale of thousands of marine pictures and works of art and among our strongest performers has been the work of Dawson.”

Dawson’s lifelong fascination with the beauty of the legendary sailing ships and tea clippers is evident in this image.

Montague Dawson was the son of a keen yachtsman and the grandson of the marine painter Henry Dawson (1811-1878). He was born in Chiswick, London in 1895 and much of his childhood was spent on Southampton Water where he was able to indulge his interest in the study of ships.

With the outbreak of the First World War he joined the Royal Navy. 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 The Sphere.

After the War, Dawson established himself as a professional marine artist, concentrating on historical subjects and portraits of deep-water sailing ships often in a stiff breeze or on the 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, and occasionally at the Royal Academy.