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Illustrated by Sir David Low, the series of watercolours were an update on Hogarth’s original for audiences of the 1930s.

The story follows a young man who becomes a wealthy peer overnight. In the early image pictured here, he is throwing a cocktail party, showing off the Jacob Epstein sculpture and Ben Nicholson picture that art dealers have compelled him to buy but which, according to the caption, he does not understand.

The series is offered for £35,000 in the exhibition which runs at Shepherd Market in Mayfair, London, until June 4.

Inspired by and named for the Britain in Pictures series of books, the show takes a look at various aspects of British life in the late 19th and 20th centuries through pictures produced in the same spirit as the books.

Commissioned during the Second World War, Britain in Pictures was gentle cultural propaganda – reminding citizens what Britain stood for and why it was worth defending. The series covered art, music, history, botany and even has a volume on English women.

Among the authors were John Betjeman (English Cities & Small Towns), Vita Sackville-West (English Country Houses), Graham Greene (British Dramatists) and Thomas Hennell (British Craftsmen). Low wrote British Cartoonists.

Social standing

“My idea was to produce a catalogue inspired by the spirit of the books but also to feature as many of the participants and subject areas as possible”, says Sim.

“I felt that the series’ discursive interest in Britain’s social and cultural history mirrored my own unusual take on art dealing, which has always been more about social history and subject matter than art for art’s sake or decoration.”


David Jagger’s oil on canvas self-portrait The Huntsman, 1919, is offered for a price in the region of £50,000 at Sim Fine Art.

Each picture included is assigned a category based on the titles of the books.

For example, a self-portrait of David Jagger dressed as a huntsman, which has not been seen since it was exhibited in 1920, goes under Sporting Pictures. A newly discovered portrait of Ellen Terry comes under the British Theatre theme, and a depiction of a Radio Ham’s ‘shack’ from the 1930s is under British Scientists.