Art work

Words by:
William Gregory MRICS, Golding Young & Mawer Auctioneers & Valuers
Featured in:
September 2015

The work of North Lincolnshire artist Herbert Rollett (1872–1932) is becoming increasingly sought after by local collectors.
Regularly featured at auction, his paintings are being contested by buyers in the room, on the phone and over the Internet with prices from £500 to £1,500 being achieved.

Rollett himself was a late starter when it came to his art. Born in Huckerby, near Gainsborough, on 3rd June 1872, he was the son of a Lincolnshire farmer and one of twelve children.

He started painting aged nearly thirty and developed a passion for Lincolnshire landscapes. Several of his works were exhibited in the Sketching Club room at the Grimsby School of Art in 1902 as part of its annual show.

After the First World War, local businessmen began to take an interest in his work and he held a series of one-man shows in small provincial galleries. In 1921, his work was exhibited at the Victoria Galleries in Hull. After being encouraged and criticised by painter John Alfred Arnesby Brown, Rollett continued to explore further afield, especially around the Humber Bank and the north-east of the county.

By the early ’20s, he was exhibiting in Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds and at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and Liverpool’s Walker Gallery. He later gained acclaim in the Paris Salon and at the Royal Academy in London, where a work entitled ‘Little Coates Church’ was hung in the famous ‘gem’ room.

Following this success, he exhibited extensively, locally with the Lincolnshire Artists’ Society, at the Usher Gallery in Lincoln as well as in Grimsby and Hull, and further afield including with the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists and at Birmingham’s Ruskin Galleries.

Rollett died on 8th Decemmber 1932 and and was buried in St Nicolas’ churchyard, Great Coates.

At auction rooms and galleries, Rollett’s work is increasing in popularity with local collectors, as it is fashionably impressionistic, typically focusing on Lincolnshire landscapes and scenes which have an obvious appeal, and it is easily identifiable and consistent. Rollett was also prolific, despite being a later starter. All these points combine to create an excellent collectors’ market for his works.

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