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Results: The T.B. & R. Jordan Sale

17th July 2023.

The T.B. & R. Jordan Collection exceeded presale expectations when it sold at Tennants Auctioneers in a single owner sale on 15th July. Comprising nearly 120 lots of predominantly Staithes School artists, the collection achieved a total hammer price of £108,560, more than doubling the low estimate.

For over 40 years Tom and Rosamund Jordan were leading specialists in the Staithes Group of painters, a pioneering group of artists drawn to the tiny, picturesque fishing village of Staithes on the North Yorkshire Coast in the late 19th and early 20th century, attracted to the area by the towering cliffs, stormy seas, the clarity of light and eminently paintable cottages and harbours. The Jordans, who were equally passionate about Staithes, were champions of this pioneering group of artists who, for a short spell, put Staithes at the forefront of the British Impressionist movement.

After strong levels of both local and national interest in the sale, the saleroom on the day was packed helping pictures depicting local North Yorkshire scenes by the likes of Rowland Henry Hill and R.L. Howey achieve higher than normal prices. Works by the ever-popular Arthur Friedenson (1872-1955) secured very healthy prices across the board, with the top price for a Staithes artist in the sale going to his jewel-like ‘Loaded Hay Wagon and Haymaking before a Sun-Drenched Coast’, which sold for £6,200 (all figures exclude buyer’s premium).  A fine group of works by Ralph Hedley (1848-1913) sold particularly well, too, with his “Mending the Nets” selling for £2,800, and “The Cider Press” selling for £2,000.

Works by the much-loved Yorkshire artist Owen Bowen (1873-1967) performed consistently well, with his ‘Bringing the Cows Home’ selling for £2,800. Further highlights included “Landscape” by Mark Senior (1862-1927) (sold for £3,800), and “A Picardy Farm” by Henry Silkstone Hopwood (1860-1914) (sold for £3,000).

Other North Yorkshire artists represented in the sale, who achieved notable results included the likes of Len Tabner (b. 1946), who’s elemental “Barra Seascape II” sold for £6,500. Two works by Olwyn Bowey (b.1936) proved particularly in demand too, with her ‘Cyclamen and Honesty’ selling for £6,000, and “Nursery Bedding Plants” (which had been exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1990) selling for £4,000. Also of note was “Snow scene Steels Road” by Lesley Marr (1922-2021), a pupil of David Bomberg, which sold for £1,700. A further group of works from the artist’s estate are to be included in Tennants’ Modern & Contemporary Art Sale in October.

The sale achieved a total hammer price of £108,560 with a 96% sold rate for 117 lots.


Part II of the T.B. & R. Jordan Collection will be sold in the Country House Sale on 16th September. 

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