A new auction record has been set for Bradford-born artist Frederick Cecil Jones (1891-1966) in Tennants Auctioneers’ Yorkshire View Sale on 6th March. His view of Scarborough, painted in 1950, was secured by a private collector in North Yorkshire for £6,500 (plus buyer’s premium), smashing the previous record of £2,300 set at Tennants in 2014.
Jones’ wonderfully detailed topographic views were certainly in demand, with competing bidders pushing prices well above the previous record. Further top lots included ‘Bridlington’, which sold for £4,000, ‘Morecambe, Lancashire’, which sold for £3,000, and ‘Huddersfield’, which sold for £3,000.
The paintings in the sale were just a part of the collection built up over nearly fifty 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.
The sale also saw further strong prices for Yorkshire artists, including a new auction record for Sonia Naviasky, when her ‘Still Life with blue glazed jug and flowers’ sold for £480. Significant prices were seen for several other female artists, such as Sonia Lawson’s ‘Tending the Rabbits’ (sold for £1,600), and Valerie Sozonov’s ‘Eastbourne’ (sold for £700).
Good prices were also seen for paintings by Wensleydale artist Fred Lawson; highlights included his ‘Leyburn Market Place’ that sold for £2,200, ‘Leyburn Fair’ that sold for £1,500, ‘Lee Gap Fair’ that sold for £1,600 and a leather-bound sketchbook that sold for £1,200.
The sale achieved a total hammer price of £53,730 for 70 lots, with an impressive 96% sold rate.