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ID: 2569
Marching in Line [Three Variant Studies]
SMITH, Percy John Delf

Category: Illustrated

No Place, No Place. 1918.


Marching in line [three variant studies], pencil on various papers, two signed, one dated '1918' with borderlines and inscribed measurements, each sheet approx. 190 x 230 mm. Three fine preliminary drawings for a possibly unrealised drypoint etching. Percy John Delf Smith, 1882-1948, was a British artist-soldier, printmaker, calligrapher and book designer "Percy Delf arrived on the Western Front in late 1916 where he was posted to the Somme with the Royal Marines as a gunner. Shortly after his arrival he began sketching without authorisation. This activity was quickly noticed. Nevertheless, Captain High Boffey, who was Smith's superior, allowed him to continue. Smith however, seemingly unsatisfied with only producing rough sketches, changed his tactics in early 1917. [His parents sent him a] parcel [...] made up of the usual, letters and magazines from home. But within the magazine pages, [they] had managed to smuggle copper etching plates to their son. And so Smith began what he referred to as his 'Thiepval etchings'." Incredibly, it is believed that Smith used steel gramophone needles, a common feature in the trenches, to mark his plates. [Imperial War Museum, "Percy Delf Smith: Making Art as a Soldier on the Western Front"]. Drawings mounted a few nicks to one of them.

Price £1200.00

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