First Light

Mark Postlethwaite

 

 

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First Light Mark Postlethwaite

An Avro Lancaster of RAF Bomber Command returns at dawn.

When RAF Bomber Command was given the difficult missions of destroying German dams in the Ruhr valley and sinking the pocket battleship Tirpitz in a Norwegian fjord, their aircraft of choice was the Avro Lancaster heavy bomber. With four Rolls-Royce Merlin engines giving a top speed of 287 mph and a range of 1,660 miles, the Lancaster’s’ seven-man crew could provide a knockout punch with a typical load of 18,000 pounds of high explosive over the target. Along with the Handley Page Halifax, the Avro Lancaster gave the RAF the offensive striking power needed to penetrate German air defences during World War Two. As Winston Churchill instructed the Air Ministry in 1942, "We must make sure that the maximum weight of the best type of bombs is dropped on Germany by the aircraft placed at their disposal."

Entering service at the beginning of 1942, the Lancaster’s design grew out of a failed predecessor, the Avro Manchester. While it's airframe offered a stable platform for heavy bombing assignments, the Manchester’s twin engine design was inadequate to the task. By upgrading to four Merlins, the resulting aircraft met the nation’s needs and 7,366 Avro Lancasters were built during the war, the most of any British bomber. Armament included eight to ten Browning machine guns for fighter defence (depending on model variant) mounted in the nose, upper dorsal turret and the tail. Experience with a variety of bomb loads eventually led to adoption of the ‘Grand Slam’ 22,000-pound bomb, the largest carried by any aircraft in the war. For the Dambusters strike in May 1943, 617 Squadron Avro Lancasters, dropped Barnes Wallis’s ‘bouncing bombs’ which skipped on the surface before impact. Wartime Lancaster sorties totaled about 156,000 during which roughly 608,000 tons of ordnance were dropped on the enemy.

As the war in Europe drew to a close, the Avro Lancaster was readied for service against Japan as part of Bomber Command’s ‘Tiger Force’, but the war’s end put a halt to this plan. Apart from its primary bombing tasks, the versatile Lancaster was also used for maritime surveillance, photo reconnaissance missions and, later, as an engine test bed platform. The final airframe was delivered in February, 1946 but the plane flew for many years in civilian guise and as a warplane when sold to other nations. A number of Lancasters are preserved and still can be viewed at museums, but only two still fly under their own power to airshows, one in Canada and other in Great Britain flying with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

 

PRINT DETAILS

Signed and Numbered Edition

The edition is signed by the Artist Mark Postlethwaite and countersigned by Four Avro Lancaster veteran aircrew.

The Artist Proof Edition

The edition is signed by the Artist Mark Postlethwaite and countersigned by Seven Avro Lancaster veteran aircrew.

 

Matching numbered certificate of authenticity included.

Overall Print Size 27" x 13" (inches) Printed in lightfast inks on acid free archival paper.

 
To complement the purchase of your fine art print, we are now able to offer a professional Picture Framing service. For further details please click Here

 

PRINT PRICES

Signed and Numbered Print
UK £75.00 Edition Size - 200

Artist Proof Edition
UK £95.00 Edition Size - 30

 

 

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Tel: (01423) 867986 Overseas (44) 1423 867986

 

Prices listed are per individual aircraft print (unframed). All prices are in U.K. Pounds Sterling.
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Helpful information regarding our Limited Edition Prints

Limited edition print:

An edition of identical prints, numbered sequentially and individually signed by the artist, having a stated limit to the quantity in the edition. Following publication the printing plates are destroyed. Almost all the aviation art and aircraft prints featured on this website are authenticated with the original signatures of distinguished military personnel.

Artists Proof:

An old tradition of reserving a quantity of prints for the artist's use, usually equal to about 10 % of the edition. In the early days of printing, these prints were the only remuneration the poor artist received. Proofs are signed by the artist and numbered showing the quantity of Artist's Proofs issued in the edition. Because of their highly restricted number, Artist's Proofs are sold at a higher value than the regular prints in the edition.

Publishers Proof:

A quantity of prints, not always announced or issued at the time of publication, usually equal to no more than 10% of the edition. These are reserved for the publisher's use, mostly for donation to Museums, Service establishments, Service Associations, and the like. Quantities of Publishers Proofs, sometimes issued with a supplementary print, may be made available to collectors either at the time of publication, or at a later date, depending upon availability.

Remarqued print:

A print issued with an original pencil drawing by the artist in the margin, each numbered out of the quantity of individually remarqued prints in the edition. The quantity of remarqued prints in any one edition generally is between 25 and 50. Each remarque drawing made by the artist is slightly different, thus making each print totally unique. Remarqued prints may be available at the time of publication, or announced at a later date, depending upon the artist's work load at the time .Please be aware that Remarque prints can take up to six weeks for delivery. An artist remarqued print is the ultimate collector item in terms of reproduced work.

Companion print:

An additional print, usually issued with smaller dimensions, published to compliment a limited edition, and usually issued at the same time.

Matted (or mounted) print:

A print fitted into an acid-free or conservation matt (or mount), ready for framing.

Original drawing:

An original work individually drawn by the artist, completed in pencil, ink, or other medium, and personally signed by the artist. Being an original work each drawing is unique and different.

Certificate of Authenticity:

A certificate issued by the publisher stating the total quantity of prints issued in the edition, confirming authenticity of the signatures, and in the case of a limited edition, inscribed with the matching unique number inscribed on the individual print. Collectors are advised to keep certificates safely as a future means of provenance. All our aviation art and aircraft prints are issued with a certificate of authenticity.

 

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