March 4, 2005
I’ve been meaning to start this thread for a while.
The objective is to showcase prints you have added signatures to. I’m not looking for shots of the “Field Marshall’s Edition” where the print came multi-signed from the publisher. I’m looking for prints that you have taken to events and collected unique signatures on. Even better would be to get the stories associated with collecting the signatures.
I know signatures are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve got some one-of-a-kind signed prints, and I’ve seen others do the same thing, so I thought it would be interesting to highlight them here.
I’ll start with one of my favorites. It’s an old Harley Copic print of Pappy Boyington’s Corsair. At least what everyone thought was his Corsair back in the old days, but we now know the markings on this aircraft were staged for a publicity photo shoot. Pappy never flew this plane. And by the way, the name on the plane was “Lucybelle”, not “Lulubelle”.
The print had already been signed by Boyington back in 1984. He had signed quite a few of these. Not the whole edition, but Boyington signed copies can be found.
I added these signatures at the “Gathering of Corsairs and Legends” back in 2002. It was attended by 10 or 11 of the Black Sheep. The signatures I added to the print are: Heier, McCartney, Harper, Hill, Matheson, Emrich, Losch, Bowers, Corman, and McClurg.
As far as I know, there were no prints signed by Pappy and any of his Black Sheep. There are a number signed by Pappy alone, and a number signed by the Black Sheep. The only way to get both was to do it yourself!
Harley Copic “Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing” + Boyington + 10 Black Sheep
March 4, 2005
Another interesting one. WW1 fans should be familiar with Raymond Collishaw’s “Black Flight”. There were only 5 pilots in Collishaw’s Black Flight. One of them was Marcus Alexander who flew “Black Prince”.
The Canadian National Museum of Science and Technology published an open edition print of Alexander’s aircraft called “Sopwith Triplane N-5487 ‘Black Prince'”. It’s actually a fine image. I have seen one of the unsigned open editions pop up for sale once or twice.
This particular print, however, was signed by Marcus Alexander. I purchased it from a dealer already signed, and they believed it was part of a tiny batch signed at the museum. In any event, any pilot signed WW1 print is a rare thing, and I think it’s particularly amazing that a print signed by one of Collishaw’s Black Flight exists!
Here is a bit of Wikipedia info in case you are unfamiliar with the exploits of Collishaw’s Black Flight:
By the end of May, the Royal Flying Corps was badly in need of reinforcements, much due to the after-effects of Bloody April. As a result, Collishaw was posted to his previous No. 10 Naval Squadron as a flight commander. Collishaw’s “B” Flight would be composed entirely of Canadians. Although British commanders had strongly discouraged pilots painting their aircraft, Collishaw’s flight painted their Sopwith Triplanes black** (though appearing dark brown), and called themselves the All-Black Flight, later known more simply as the Black Flight.
The aircraft of the All-Black Flight were christened with suitable names. Ellis Reid, of Toronto, flew Black Roger; J. E. Sharman, of Winnipeg, flew Black Death; Gerry Nash, of Hamilton, called his machine Black Sheep; and Marcus Alexander, of Toronto, christened his plane the Black Prince. The flight commander, Collishaw, flew a machine which gloried in the name Black Maria.
During their first two months they claimed a record 87 German aircraft destroyed or driven down – which, strangely enough, brought Collishaw and the unit no wide publicity, though garnered a great deal of renown among their German opponents in the area. Their opponents included Richthofen’s Jagdstaffel 11. Collishaw later claimed that this was because officials in the regular Royal Flying Corps were loath to give credit to naval pilots.
** I don’t believe this is accurate – I have always seen the aircraft depicted with the cowls painted black.
R. W. Bradford “Sopwith Triplane N-5487 ‘Black Prince'” + W. M. Alexander
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