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A pair of Second World War oils consigned from a local private source to Bellmans (20% buyer’s premium) sold for multi-estimate sums on January 10.

Pictured above and offered first in the sale was a dynamic scene of a Dutch bomber setting fire to a German oil tanker.

The signed and inscribed 13 x 22in (34 x 56cm) oil on canvas sold to the London trade for £3400 against a £200-300 guide.

Against an identical estimate, the same buyer also successfully pursued a similar sized oil on paper on board of a Nazi seaplane dropping a mine on a fairway (below). It also sold for £3400.

“As an official war artist for both world wars, these wartime subjects, though perhaps not as outwardly appealing as Pears’ prolific poster art, obviously had a military and historical significance that stimulated competitive bidding,” said James Gadd, paintings specialist at Bellmans.

The top picture lot in the sale was a small 1946 canvas of Kilve beach in Somerset by Surrealist and Unit One painter Tristram Hillier (1905-83).

Hillier served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve with the Free French during the Second World War, after which he went to live near Castle Cary.

The canvas sold for more than four times the top estimate at £11,000.