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Provenance: Page Croft, Fanhams Hall, Hertfordshire.


Although it is neither dated nor inscribed, this hitherto unknown watercolour shows the converted bomb vessel HMS Terror stranded in the ice of the ‘Frozen Strait’. during the long Arctic winter of September 1836 to July 1837.

Painted by the ship’s captain, the famous early polar explorer Admiral Sir George Back (1796-1878), the small vessel is depicted with her topmasts down and her sails tightly furled, as she perches precariously upon the frozen sea. The unframed 5in x 7in (13 x 17cm) watercolour is signed G. Back and is guided at £10,000-15,000 in Bonhams’ Travel & Exploration sale in Knightsbridge, London, on February 1.


Leading Nicholas Mellors’ January 20 sale in Newark, Nottinghamshire, is this watercolour and pencil drawing by the caricaturist Max Beerbohm (1872-1956).

Civilisation and The Industrial System dates to 1924 and appears in Observations, a book of caricatures that Beerbohm dedicated to his friend, the English poet, author and critic Edmund Gosse.

The framed 15 x 12in (38 x 30cm) work was purchased from the Leicester Galleries in 1925 by Mr Cadbury of chocolate fame and formed part of a collection of Beerbohm drawings owned by the Cadbury family. It remained in this collection until it was bought by the vendor in 1988.

It is estimated at £8000-12,000.