Paintings by Biggles author sell for a staggering £15,000 at Stansted auction house

PUBLISHED: 13:10 30 July 2017

Close Work! by WE Johns, which was one of the six paintings sold at Stansted. Picture: LUCAS FIELD MEDIA

Close Work! by WE Johns, which was one of the six paintings sold at Stansted. Picture: LUCAS FIELD MEDIA

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A Stansted auction house is celebrating after selling six watercolour paintings at more than treble their original estimate.

Sworders – a fine art auctioneers – presented the pictures to bidders earlier this summer, all painted by Biggles author, WE Johns.

The paintings sold for a total of £15,000, and are among the earliest depictions of aerial warfare.

The pictures, including Good Shooting Sir! and Close Work!, show biplanes soaring in the sky, and it is thought that they might not have been on the market for more than 30 years.

WE Johns was part of the Royal Flying Corps, and survived being shot down in 1918.

He then went on to publish more than 160 books, including almost 100 on fictional adventurer, Biggles.

Guy Schooling, managing director at Sworders, said: “These paintings display remarkable draughtsmanship and all the energy and thrills any Biggles fan would associate with Johns.

“His ability to depict speed and the air rushing past as planes leapt and dived show just how accomplished they are. It’s no surprise that fans rushed to bid on them.”

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