Luxury Design, Past & Present
This ‘en grisaille’ watercolour on paper is Charles Dixon’s preparatory sketch for a proposed but apparently uncompleted painting of the royal racing yacht Britannia to be presented to King George V by the King’s Sailing Master, Sir Philip Hunloke. Britannia is depicted racing in The Royal Yacht Squadron regatta, rigged like a J class, with the sail number K1 and flying the royal signal flag at the masthead. The Squadron castle and signal mast are visible in the background. Adjacent to Britannia is Shamrock V with the sail number K3. There are two other J class yachts behind Britannia with the royal yacht Victoria and Albert observing at the rear, flying the royal standard indicating that the king is on board. Signed by Charles Dixon and dated 1933.
Accompanied by a letter from J A Gilbert OBE, founder of The Island Sailing Club, stating: ‘At the close of the 1933 season, Sir Philip Hunloke, the King’s Sailing Master, desired to present H M King George V with a large picture of Britannia sailing through Cowes Roads and commissioned Charles Dixon R.A. in the matter. The arrangement made was that Dixon should in the first instance, paint a black and white sketch of the proposed picture for approval by His Majesty. This is the sketch in question and the interesting part is that it has been handled by H M King George V, Sir Philip Hunloke and Charles Dixon, all of whom are now dead. purchased the sketch from Dixon who was a great friend of mine in 1934.’