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Bonhams to Sell Paintings by Coronation Artist of Ford Cars Made in Dagenham
Terence Cuneo (1907-1996), 'Ford Thames Foundry'. Photo: Bonhams.
LONDON.- Two oil on canvas paintings by the official artist of the Coronation of Elizabeth II, Terence Cuneo (1907-1996), commissioned by the Ford Motor Company in 1947, are to be sold at Bonhams’ sale of Important Motor Cars and Fine Automobilia on 6 December. This year the annual end of year sale will take place at a new venue - Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands in Surrey.

The paintings are part of a series of six, which were commissioned to depict Ford’s car, truck, van and tractor production at the company’s Dagenham plant. Entitled Vehicle Inspection (February 1947) and Ford Thames Foundry (April 1947), they have attracted pre-sale estimates of £7,000 – 9,000 and £4,500 – 5,500 respectively.

During the war, the plant was a major production facility for military vehicles and Rolls-Royce aero engines, and was subsequently damaged by German bombing raids. After the war, it became the major European car production factory of the time, employing around 30,000 staff.

All six of the paintings were kept at the Ford training centre in Boreham, near Chelmsford, and in 1987 were loaned to the Terence Cuneo 80th Birthday Exhibition at the Mall Gallery in London.

Cuneo was an English painter famous for his scenes of railways, aviation, motoring, horses and military action. Brought into the public’s attention when he was appointed the official artist for the Queen’s Coronation in 1952, a bronze memorial statue of Cuneo, by Philip Jackson, today stands in Waterloo Station, London.



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