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Ronald Searle (British, 1920-2011) Nanook Airways Bush Pilot

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American & European Works of Art - 3203B
Date / Time :
January 25, 2019 10:00AM


Ronald Searle (British, 1920-2011)

Nanook Airways Bush Pilot
Signed and inscribed "Ronald Searle/Hudson Bay" l.r., identified on labels from Bianchini Gallery, New York, on the reverse.
Ink and wash on illustration board, sight size 18 3/4 x 14 in. (47.5 x 35.5 cm), framed.
Condition: Not examined out of frame.

Literature: Ronald Searle and Matt Jones, Ronald Searle's America (Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 2015), p. 199.

N.B. The lot is accompanied by a vintage copy of Holiday magazine, April 1964, an issue devoted to Canada, where the drawing is reproduced with several others by Searle in a humorous article entitled "Nice People to the North, A disrespectful look at life under the maple leaves." The caption beside the drawing describes the Canadian climate as "trying" to bush pilots, who must rely on long underwear with little bits of fur strapped to the kneecaps.

It is not known if Searle created this drawing specifically for Holiday or if it was commissioned by the Hudson's Bay Company, for whom Searle did a great deal of work. It is known that the illustration was in the HBC collection by 1970, because the drawing is pictured in an archive photo of an exhibition of Searle's originals at the time of the company's 300th anniversary. A photocopy of that image accompanies the lot.
Estimate $2,500-3,500

Although the frame was not opened during cataloging, the condition appears good. The labels from Bianchini Gallery cited above were reproduced via photocopy and attached to the new frame backing paper. The work has been archivally framed, and there was no reason to disturb it, so the exact location of these labels was not confirmed.

Framed dimensions are 26 1/4 x 21 1/2 in.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


The Hudson's Bay Company, Matt Jones, Hudson's Bay Company, Seattle, Artists, Cartoonists, G.D. Searle, LLC, Ronald Searle, Searle