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  • BATTLE OF THE SOMME LINK TO WATERCOLOUR AT AUCTION

    Flying Pheasant by Archibald Thorburn. (Click on image to enlarge).

    A watercolour at auction next month links fairly directly to the carnage of the Battle of the Somme.  It was once owned by the Irish politician who was the first person to suggest holding a period of silence to commemorate dead soldiers from the First World War.  Flying Pheasant by the Scottish ornithological artist Archibald Thorburn comes up at Bonhams in Edinburgh on June 21.

    The painting was owned by Sir Crawford McCullagh, the prominent Ulster politician.  As Lord Mayor of Belfast from 1914-17 he called for a five minute silence for the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division who had died in their thousands at the Battle of Somme on July 1, 1916.  The more familiar Two Minute Silence was first held at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1919 so that, in the worlds of George V “in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead”.

    Flying Pheasant is estimated at £20,000-30,000

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