Elva Blacker, Tea with the Red Cross (Blood Donors), £9500 at Sim Fine Art.

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Tis (nearly) the season and as the days grow shorter, dealers are setting out some of their best new stock in exhibitions and catalogues.

Always a busy time for the trade, winter brings a host of London Art Week events and plenty more besides. Here we look at some upcoming highlights from individual firms.

The 14th edition of Holding the Line, a war art show hosted by Sim Fine Art, runs from November 20-25 at The Gallery in London’s Shepherd Market.

Rediscoveries and art historical mysteries are typically at the heart of each show. This year there is a series of unpublished works from a re-discovered folio of works by Official War Artist Muirhead Bone (1876-1953).


Muirhead Bone, On the Minelayer HMS Southern Prince off Iceland, 1942, mixed media, £3750 at Sim Fine Art.

The pictures range across the world wars and vary in media. Among them is a pastel completed while he was on the minelayer HMS Southern Prince off Iceland in 1942, when he created a number of studies for his most important Second World War picture Winter Mine Laying.


Muirhead Bone, On the Minelayer HMS Southern Prince off Iceland, 1942, mixed media, £3750 at Sim Fine Art.

Another highlight is Tea with the Red Cross (Blood Donors), 1940, by Elva Blacker (1908-84) (pictured top). The artist had planned to be a teacher but when war was declared she volunteered with the British Red Cross until her conscription into the WAAF.

This picture shows blood donors being served cups of tea and comes from her initial involvement in the war effort.

Also on offer are pictures by Kenneth Green (1905-86), Huguette Arthur-Bertrand (1920-2005) and Leonard Richmond (1889-1965).


Rudolf Sauter, Industrial Camouflage, watercolour, £4950 at Sim Fine Art.

This year the exhibition showcases a number of international pictures as well as those from the home front. They include an oil of French POWs being flown home by the US Army in 1945.

The show regularly attracts institutional buyers. Last year, six pictures sold to museums including a portrait of a Wren officer by Joseph McCulloch which went to the National Maritime Museum. Other works have gone to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Imperial War Museum.

Seasonal choices


It wouldn’t be Christmas without a good mystery. Frost at Christmas (1989) introduces the titular inspector, and this copy, a first edition, first impression signed by author RD Wingfield, is offered for £400 at Shapero Rare Books.

Bond Street firm Shapero Rare Books has launched a Christmas book list.

It includes seasonally appropriate titles such as A Christmas Carol, and more gift-oriented items, such as a poster of Sean Connery in Thunderball.

Prices range from £250-250,000.

Dickens to Darwin and Shelley to Rowling

As the festive season approaches, Peter Harrington Rare Books releases two catalogues: Christmas and The Chelsea Bindery. The first features around 200 works in various genres and subjects representing authors such as Dickens, Darwin, Shelley and Rowling. The Chelsea Bindery, a business under Harrington’s umbrella, specialises in bookbinding, preservation boxes and book restoration. Its catalogue features a range of first editions, limited, and special illustrated editions.