• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7555

    Scottish Art The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh

    23 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 62

    John Cyril Harrison (1898-1985)

    Blackgame over the glen

    Price Realised  


    John Cyril Harrison (1898-1985)
    Blackgame over the glen
    signed 'J. C. Harrison.' (lower right)
    pencil and watercolour
    13½ x 18¾ in. (34.3 x 47.6 cm.)

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    Pre-Lot Text

    JOHN CYRIL HARRISON (1898-1985)
    (Lots 62 - 67)

    Although he was born in Wiltshire and spent some of his childhood (1912-15) in British Columbia, Harrison lived most of his adult life in Norfolk. He was very involved with bird life and conservation of the Broads and every year donated one of his watercolours to the Norfolk Naturalist's Trust for their Christmas cards.

    Harrison's talent as an artist was precocious; it was recognised at the age of six but it was not until some years later and after having served in the First World War, that he went on to study at the Slade School of Art in London. Harrison was a regular visitor to Scotland, often with his friend the naturalist, Seton Gordon. In Scotland, Gordon and Harrison studied the Golden Eagles and as a result of their holidays together, Harrison later illustrated Gordon's book, Days with the Golden Eagle, published in 1927.

    In addition to working in England and Scotland, Harrison travelled and painted in Iceland, in order to study the Wildfowl and in later life he also became a regular visitor to Africa, where he recorded both the animal and bird life but with particular interest in the larger birds of prey.

    The group of watercolours by Harrison included in this sale illustrate the period before and after the 1930's when he developed the way he drew his signature from bold, distinct lettering (see lot 65), to a more fluid style of painting (see lot 66).