They were just a part of the collection amassed in the 1920s-60s by George G Hopkinson, a proud Yorkshireman and textile businessman who was a director of a West Riding textile company.
Involved in many aspects of the cultural scene in Bradford, and getting to know many local artists, he hosted an exhibition in 1963 titled The Collection of a Wanderlust in Art which featured 140 of his paintings and drawings – and included three works by a little-known but up-and-coming Bradford artist called David Hockney.
One of the artists he collected was Fred Cecil Jones (1891-1966), a Bradford-born painter, etcher and teacher who was given the nickname ‘Detail Jones’ due to the precision of his work as a reconnaissance artist during the First World War.
Indeed, detailed topographic scenes of Yorkshire towns became his speciality. By repute he cut a familiar figure in his hometown as he made his daily trips out with his ‘battered trilby and long overcoat… his old suitcase in which he carried his basic equipment, watercolours, brushes, a bottle of Guinness, half a loaf of bread and cold sausages’, according to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus.
Uppermost among the works at the sale on March 6 was a view of Scarborough from 1950, a 18¼in x 2ft 1in (47 x 63cm) signed mixed-media painting. Estimated at £2000-3000, the bright and busy scene may have reminded some bidders of earlier holidays and it attracted good interest, selling at £6500 to a private buyer from the north-east and making a record price for Jones at auction.
Among the other 12 works by the artist at the sale, all of which sold, it seems other coastal views were favoured, with a view of Bridlington taking £4000 (est: £600- 900) and one of Morecambe in Lancashire fetching £3000 (£800-1200).
Leyburn by Lawson
A number of works by Fred Lawson (1888-1968) also drew demand including two that depicted locations barely minutes from the Tennants saleroom.
Leyburn Market Place, a signed 10¾ x 15in (27.5 x 38cm) signed watercolour from 1934 which was illustrated in John Duncalfe’s 2017 biography of the artist, overshot a £500-800 estimate and sold at £2200 to a private north-east buyer; while Leyburn Fair, a slightly larger signed ink and watercolour, made £1500 against the same estimate and sold to a south-east buyer.
Overall, the sale posted a total hammer price of £53,730 with 67 of the 70 lots getting away.