"London Pride"

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BASIL STAPLETON
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SIZE : MAIN 32" x 19.5" STAPLETON 24" X 14.75"

LIMITED EDITION PRINT by Nicolas Trudgian

A TRULY ICONIC IMAGE TO CELEBRATE 100 YEARS OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE, 1918 – 2018

For one hundred years the Royal Air Force has provided outstanding service in the defence of the United Kingdom. Never was this more so than towards the end of the Battle of Britain when London became the focus of aggression from the German Luftwaffe.

Daily, from the streets of the city, onlookers witnessed the deadly conflict. In one of those battles, between a German Me109E and the 603 Squadron Spitfire of Pilot Officer Basil ‘Stapme’ Stapleton, the aircraft were engaged in a particularly frenzied dogfight over Tower Bridge. This specially commissioned painting, 'London Pride', by Nicolas Trudgian, depicts that real event with the artist's characteristic remarkable detail.

On one of the many occasions that ’Stapme’ and Nicolas met, they thought up the idea of depicting Basil’s memorable dogfight over the Thames. The sheets of paper that now form the Basil Stapleton Editions were signed by Stapme so that they would one day be published on a special anniversary such as this.

What better image to depict the defence of the realm, than combat over the very heart of the nation's capital? Tumbling through the sky, rapidly losing altitude, suddenly, with the river perilously close, the pair separate, the fight unresolved.

The fate of the German aircraft is unknown. Stapme, low on fuel and ammunition, stayed at chimney pot height in order to follow roads he recognized all the way back to his airfield at Hornchurch.

We are delighted to include NICOLAS TRUDGIAN'S WORLD-RENOWNED REMARQUE and CANVAS GICLEE EDITIONS of this superb picture.

Squadron Leader Basil ‘Stapme’ Stapleton DFC, DFC (Dutch) 1920 – 2010.

Thrown into the thick of the Battle of Britain from August 1940, flying in No. 603 Spitfire Squadron based at RAF Hornchurch in Essex, Basil ‘Stapme’ Stapleton became one of the outstanding fighter pilots of that period, accounting for nearly twenty enemy aircraft destroyed or damaged. He was consequently awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on 15 November 1940.

One of the German aircraft that he downed was the Bf109E of Franz von Weera, the only German pilot to subsequently escape from captivity and return to Germany. In another combat, Stapme was lucky to make it home, his aircraft having been badly damaged in a dogfight over the Channel.

From April 1941 Stapme served in various units including those operating ‘Hurricats’; Hurricane fighters converted to be launched by catapults from convoy-escort ships. In February 1942, he was made Flight Commander of No. 257 Squadron, before becoming gunnery instructor at Kenley and then the Central Gunnery School. Stapme returned to operations in August 1944 to command No. 247 Squadron’s Typhoons and for his part in the Battle of Arnhem he received the Dutch Flying Cross.

Whilst attacking a train in Germany his aircraft sustained damage from flying debris and he had to force land, becoming a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft 1 until the war’s end. Always known to his many friends and admirers as ‘Stapme’, from a phrase in his favourite cartoon ‘Just Jake’, he was a very likeable character and looked every bit the classic image of an RAF fighter pilot; tall, blonde and with his characteristic handlebar moustache.

  • PAINTING IN DETAIL
    Click here to navigate an enlarged image of the original painting by Nicolas Trudgian.

Each print is numbered and signed in pencil by Nicolas Trudgian and the signatories and is issued with an original certificate of authenticity from the publisher. 

Main Edition limited to 600 worldwide

Signed by the Artist.

Image size 32” x 19½” (812mm x 500mm).
Overall print size 37¾” x 26½” (960mm x 670mm).

£50.00

$63.00

Quantity

Basil Stapleton Edition limited to 200 worldwide

Signed by the Artist and Squadron Leader Basil ‘Stapme’ Stapleton DFC, DFC (Dutch).

Image size 24” x 14¾” (612mm x 373mm).
Overall print size 28½” x 20” (725mm x 508mm).

£95.00

$119.70

Quantity

Basil Stapleton Remarque Edition limited to 40 worldwide

Each print has a unique original pencil drawing inscribed on it by the Artist and is signed by the Artist and Squadron Leader Basil ‘Stapme’ Stapleton DFC, DFC (Dutch).

Image size 24” x 14¾” (612mm x 373mm).
Overall print size 28½” x 20” (725mm x 508mm).

Drawing size approx. 6" x 2" and can be drawn to your own specifications. When placing your order please specify your drawing requirements or whether you would like Nicolas to design it for you.

As this is a bespoke order please allow up to 4 weeks before shipping.

£275.00

$346.50

Quantity

Canvas Giclee Edition : Rolled limited to 15 worldwide

The only opportunity to obtain the full-size canvas reproduction of this painting, individually signed and numbered in paint by the artist.
Size when stretched: 36" x 22".

ROLLED
Particularly popular for shipping overseas, these canvas giclee prints are supplied rolled and will require stretching onto wooden formers by your picture framer before framing.  

£325.00

$409.50

Quantity

Canvas Giclee Edition : Stretched limited to 15 worldwide

The only opportunity to obtain the full-size canvas reproductions of this painting, individually signed and numbered in paint by the artist.
Size when stretched: 36" x 22".

STRETCHED
Neatly mounted on wooden stretchers and with picture-hanging cord already fitted so that the giclee print may be hung on the wall straight away, even without a traditional frame. 

£375.00

$472.50

Quantity