South Tyneside art gallery treasures go up for auction

Boldon Auction Gallery auctioneer Giles Hodges with the collection of artwork from the Bede Gallery and owner Vince Rea.
Boldon Auction Gallery auctioneer Giles Hodges with the collection of artwork from the Bede Gallery and owner Vince Rea.

A treasure trove of items depicting South Tyneside’s history is to go under the hammer.

Vince Rae ran the Bede Gallery in Jarrow for 28 years before it closed its doors for the final time in 1996.

An original artwork by Vince Rea.

An original artwork by Vince Rea.

The gallery, which was a former air raid shelter, showed a range of exhibitions and art works from the likes of likes of Picasso, Hundertwasser, Henri Matisse, Sir Sidney Nolan, Hockney, Degas and Don McKinley.

Now 40 lots belonging to the curator will be sold at Boldon Auction House in Front Street on Wednesday, expecting to fetch an estimated £2,000 to £3,500.

Some items are a more usual than others – such as a life size model of William Jobling, the last man to be hanged and gibbeted in England at Jarrow Slakes.

Giles Hodges, who runs the auction house said: “Vince built up relationships with artists over a long period of time and they in turn trusted him for his understanding of their art and where possible his willingness to accommodate their needs.

One of the paintings which will go under the hammjer.

One of the paintings which will go under the hammjer.

“He not only mounted exhibitions of contemporary art at The Bede Gallery, they also devoted a lot of painstaking research into projects based on Jarrow’s history; collecting photographs and printed ephemera culminating in the publication of ‘Jarrow 1860-1960 From Old Photographs’ by Vince Rea.”

A maquette of ‘The Spirit of Jarrow ’, 2001, by Graham Ibbeson , along with a working sketch is one of the many lots to be sold.

The finished piece is a bronze sculpture erected in Jarrow’s town centre to commemorate the 1936 Jarrow March where 200 men marched the 300 miles to highlight their plight to Parliament .

Also up for sale is a portrait of Ellen Wilkinson, the MP for the town at the time.

The Spirit of Jarrow, unfired working maquette and sketch, which are being put up for auction.

The Spirit of Jarrow, unfired working maquette and sketch, which are being put up for auction.

However, the buyer of the Jobling peice, which is estimated between £50 to £80 will have to have plenty of space to store the 204cm replica.

Mr Jobling was convicted at Durham Assizes of killing 71–year–old magistrate Nocholas Fairles at the height of the 1832 miners’ strike.

In 1972 Mr Rea staged an exhibition about the case which featured a reconstruction of Jobling’s gibbeted body, saying at the time: “Wlliam Jobling was the victim of tragic circumstances at a time when efforts were being made to stamp out the unions

Mr Hodges said: “Of a macabre note but nonetheless an important item of local history to come under the hammer is a life size model of the last man to be hanged and gibbeted in England.

The life-size model of William Jobling, the last man to be gibbeted in England.

The life-size model of William Jobling, the last man to be gibbeted in England.

“Miner William Jobling, 30, was executed over 180 years ago and his body was tarred and encased in a metal cage, which was displayed on a gibbet at Jarrow Slake in South Tyneside for six weeks.

“The gibbet was erected near the spot where the murder was committed and then his body then mysteriously disappeared.”

The auction starts at 10am and viewing can take place from tomorrow between 10am and 1pm and Tuesdat 2pm until 6pm