My treasured heirloom
Nicky Philipps, artist
My grandfather (Richard) Hanning Philipps left me his French easel, a wooden paintbox that’s basically a box with a drawer and folding tripod legs. It’s in perfect working order and is so much better engineered than the ones produced today. He was a keen amateur landscape artist who went on to establish the Graham Sutherland gallery for the artist, at his home at Picton Castle in South Wales.
When he was serving in North Africa as ADC to Gen Alexander, he and the General would have regular lessons from a young officer called Edward Seago, who later became a world-famous artist.
These sessions, held after lunch in the General’s hut, were disguised as essential briefings that were not to be disturbed. It always comes with me these days on landscaping excursions.