Deco DH


I posted this image, on Facebook in February 2018, a year ago. It was taken by my friend and colleague the artist Ian Bott.

It’s a magnificent Art Deco artwork featuring de Havilland DH.86 motif as used on an inter-war ocean liner. It’s between three and five foot long and was on show at the ‘Ocean Liners: Speed and Style’ exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. (Unfortunately it’s no longer on.)

The uncredited artwork is, however a beautiful bas-relief, with a representation of Pegasus, the famous winged horse, or ‘pterippus’ in the foreground, and the DH.86 slightly ‘bent’ for speed accenting, with swooshes of cloud to tie the design together.

I’m no fan of the DH86. It was a very poor design even by de Havilland’s variable standards, including a number of early accidents due to design shortcomings and caused a major rupture between the Australian and British civil airworthiness authorities. The American Douglas DC-2 was a far greater type, though to be fair the early model DC-2 also had serious control issues with an undersized fin.

DH86-UUA-UK- DH via DFreeman-KOM

Here’s an image of the real DH.86 for comparison from another good friend and colleague’s website, that of Geoff Goodall, aviation researcher extraordinaire.

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

One Comment Add yours

  1. bevlaing says:

    Wow, that’s pretty a serious show-off Art Deco decoration. I looked at the photo and thought it would be small – but 3-5 feet long? Cool.

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