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Last portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Bernard Hailstone to go up for auction

The last known portrait painting of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by official war-time painter Bernard Hailstone will be auctioned off in a studio sale this month.

The painting is part of a collection of pieces discovered at Hadlow Castle near Tonbridge, where the English painter lived for the last 36 years of his life before his death in 1987. In addition to the portrait of The Queen, pieces available for purchase include a Laurence Olivier portrait which was originally commissioned for the Garrick Club and a pastel sketch of Her Royal Highness The Queen Mother.

Also available to collectors and royal fans are props and photographs which Hailstone used during the sittings and process of painting. For instance, a preparatory sketch in pastels of HRH The Prince of Wales will be sold alongside the jumper he wore during the sitting.

Special Auction Services in Newbury, Berkshire will be auctioning the pieces as part of sixty lots which will go ‘under the hammer’ this month and the first section was sold today, Tuesday 20 September.

Special Auction Services Director Neil Shuttleworth, said of the auction, ‘We are delighted to bring this studio collection to market. There is a fascinating array of portraits that range from royalty and nobility to actors and everyday people, thus highlighting the extent of his commissions. The auction offers an affordable means of purchasing the work of a renowned early 20th century British war and royal portrait artist.’

Bernard Hailstone was best known for his paintings and portraits of transport and civil defence workers, members of the Armed Forces completed during the Second World War. He combined his artistic endeavours with a role in the Auxiliary Fire Service in order to fulfil his desire to marry his artistic contribution with a more physical role in the war effort. Following the war, he painted portraits of the royal family and notable personalities including the last officially commissioned portrait of Sir Winston Churchill.

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