The Under the Hammer column with Tennants Auctioneers: Private collection of Yorkshire and north scenes up for grabs at March auction
A Private Collection of paintings principally of Yorkshire and the north are coming up for auction in Tennants Auctioneers’ single owner sale ‘A Yorkshire View’ on Saturday, March 6.
The paintings in this sale are just a part of the collection built up over nearly 50 years from the 1920s to the 1960s by Mr George G Hopkinson, a proud Yorkshireman and textile businessman who was a director of a West Riding textile company, Hopkinson and Shore and of Novello’s, a Bradford fashion house.
George Hopkinson was no ordinary businessmen.
He had strong liberal beliefs and was very passionate about art and culture in Bradford and the West Riding of Yorkshire, and publicly called for the establishment of a university in Bradford.
He loved paintings and spending time with local artists in Yorkshire and was a de facto patron as well as a friend to many of the Yorkshire-based artists whose paintings he collected such as Fred Lawson, Philip Naviasky, Fred Cecil Jones and Jacob Kramer.
Involved in many aspects of the cultural scene in Bradford, from 1929 to 1934 Hopkinson edited a magazine in the parish of Heaton called The Heaton Review, a “Northern Miscellany of Art and Literature”.
George Hopkinson also was president between 1945 and 1947 of The Bradford Textile Society and was for many years also the editor of its annual publication, The Journal.
In June 1963, as President of the Bradford Arts Club, he hosted an exhibition entitled “The Collection of a Wanderlust in Art” which included 140 paintings and drawings from his private collection, which at that time contained three works by a little known but up-and-coming Bradford artist called David Hockney.
Highlights of the collection include a selection of works by Bradford-born Frederick Cecil Jones (1891-1966), who is known for his closely observed and detailed paintings of Northern towns, such as his view of Scarborough, painted in 1950 (estimate: £2,000-3,000 plus buyer’s premium).
On offer, too, are works by Fred Lawson – the much-loved Wensleydale artist – which include two depictions of Leyburn, the home of Tennants Auctioneers. Lawson’s ‘Leyburn Market Place’ is on offer with an estimate of £500-800.
The collection also includes works by Lawson’s wife Muriel Metcalfe and his daughter Sonia Lawson, and his friends and contemporaries Philip Naviasky and Jacob Kramer.
Also represented are the likes of Sir Leslie Matthew Ward, Edward Hill Lacy, Cuthbert Crossley, Cecil Arthur Hunt and Joseph Appleyard.
An illustrated catalogue will be available at www.tennants.co.uk leading up to the sale, and remote bidding is available.