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(Fine Interiors - Two Day Sale - Live Online, 31st March 2021)

George Percy Jacomb-Hood MVO RBA (1857-1929)

George Percy Jacomb-Hood MVO RBA (1857-1929)
'A very gallant gentleman', Captain Lawrence Titus Oates walking out into the night, 12 March 1912
signed 'G P Jacomb-Hood' l.r. and further signed and inscribed 'Artists' War Fund / an incident in the S. Pole Expedition / 'a very gallant gentleman' / sketch for a proposed picture / G P Jacomb-Hood / 26 Tite Street / Chelsea SW' on the artist's label verso, oil on board
45 x 59cm

The selfless heroism of Captain Oates is the stuff of legend. Captain Oates of the 6th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards was a cavalryman and flew the flag for the Army in Captain Scott's Polar expedition. Oates had paid the equivalent of £95,000 in today's money to join the team. The team left Cardiff in the ship 'The Terra Nova' in summer 1910. Months later they arrived in New Zealand to prepare for the trip. Captain Scott, who did not want to use huskies, had obtained 19 Siberian ponies from a horse dealer; Scott had sent a man with no knowledge of horses to acquire them, and he had been fobbed off with elderly ponies. Oates wrote home 'I am not impressed with them - they are very old for a job of this sort - a wretched load of old crocks'. However, Scott was impressed with Oates' devotion to his charges, nursing them on board ship through a storm when two of them died. When the storms abated, the team set off, Oates taking the oldest pony to pull his own sledge. They reached the Pole only to find Amundsen had beaten them there. Oates now had frostbite in his toes which turned to gangrene. In huge pain, Captain Oates left the tent and set out into the blizzard on 17 March 1912 - it was his 32nd birthday. His body was never found, but his gallant heroism will always live on on.

George Percy Jacomb-Hood was a painter and illustrator and a founding member of the New English Art Club and the Society of Portrait Painters.

The Artists' War Fund was a charity founded by HM Queen Victoria to raise funds for injured soldiers and Jacomb-Hood painted the present painting to raise funds for this in 1912.

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£10,000 - £15,000

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The auction details are as follows:

Auction: Fine Interiors - Two Day Sale - Live Online, 31st March 2021

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