The End of the Age of Steam | Captured by Cuneo

Our March 10-11 Fine Interiors sale includes a well-known oil by artist Terence Cuneo (1907-1996). Evening Star at Full Steam, signed and dated October 1963, it carries an estimate of £40,000-60,000. 

Terrence Cuneo Evening Star

The painting’s ‘end of an era’ subject is the last steam locomotive ever built for British Railways – the BR standard class 9F engine completed at Swindon Works in 1960. Built with the intention that it would be preserved as a heritage object, it was withdrawn from service in 1965 and is now in the National Railway Museum collection.

The 76cm x 1.02m scene of the engine hauling passenger carriages at her top speed of over 90 mph was commissioned from Cuneo by the printers James Haworth & Company for use in the company’s 1964 calendar and later became one the most successful fine art prints ever published by the company. 

Evening Star - Terence Cuneo

One copy of the print, Cuneo himself was later amused to relate, came close to causing an international incident. The story goes that British officers on board the Union Castle liner in Cape Town had decided to cable the printers after failing to find the tiny mouse that appears in practically every one of Cuneo's paintings. 

The return message from James Haworth had been intercepted by South African security forces who deemed it highly suspicious. Only after they boarded the ship demanding to see the captain did they find out the true meaning of the phrase ‘Up telegraph pole first right’. It is exactly where the trademark rodent can be spotted.

Terence Cuneo Mouse

The original painting was one of 12 Cuneo paintings exhibited at a 50th anniversary dinner of railway track manufacturer Pandrol in 1987 and also formed part of the Terence Cuneo exhibition held at the Mall Galleries in 1988. It will be offered for sale with a photograph of the artist with the vendor's father. 

 

View Lot

 

For more information contact Jane Oakely

janeoakley@sworder.co.uk | 01279 817778

 

 


 

More Recent News

 

Items From The Guardian’s Design Correspondent Come To Auction

Our Design sale on 4-5 May includes a group of Arts & Crafts items from the estate of the design writer and biographer Fiona MacCarthy OBE (1940-2020). Married to the Sheffield-based silversmith and designer David Mellor (1930-2009), who she first met when conducting an interview in 1967, MacCarthy’s background as a journalist for House and Garden and the Guardian helped to lay the foundations for seminal works on C R Ashbee, the Omega Workshops, William Morris, Eric Gill, and Stanley Spencer. 

 

Gabbertas Studio’s Most Iconic Designs Come to Auction

Sworders Design department is delighted to be offering a selection of some of the Gabbertas Studio’s most iconic designs, some of which are extremely rare versions of designs or prototypes made by the hand of Mark Gabbertas himself | DESIGN WEDNESDAY 5 MAY 2021

Holt Festival Returns

Following Covid's cancellation of the Festival in 2020, the charming Georgian market town of Holt in Norfolk is delighted to be resuming its role as host of East Anglia’s celebration of creativity, Holt Festival, this summer, and Sworders couldn't be prouder to be sponsoring not one, but two art prizes this year. 

 


 

Get Sworders News