Born in 1872 in Shrewsbury, Herbert St John Jones moved to Nantwich, Cheshire as a young child and lived there until his death in 1939. He was best known as an animal painter, and was inspired by the local huntsmen, learning the details of the horses and hounds with such precision that many of his later portraits were executed from memory at his studio in Hospital Street. He was commissioned by many aristocratic clients to paint portraits of horses and dogs and his client list included the Duke and Duchess of Westminster. The artist was a familiar sight on the streets of Nantwich and often painted pictures for local shopkeepers in lieu of unpaid bills. Several such pictures decorated the walls of Herbert’s neighbour, the wine and spirit merchants G.F. & A. Brown, and after the business closed the paintings were moved to a pub in Runcorn.
Herbert’s most common subjects were hunters, but he also painted other types and breeds of horses as well as hounds, meets, dogs and cattle. Later in life he also painted signs for local inns. His work is in many public and private collections, including the Nantwich museum.
As a painter of animal portraits, Herbert St John Jones worked for a number of famous and distinguished clients and the subjects of his paintings have an effect on the overall value. King Edward VII owned one of Herbert’s paintings of an Ayrshire bull and several other animals belonged to similarly illustrious owners. Herbert himself kept a list of commissions and copies of letters of thanks and a painting with good provenance connected with an important client is much sought after by collectors. The local market is also buoyant, with many Nantwich collectors interested in owning a piece by a renowned local artist.
As with all artwork, the value of Herbert St John Jones’ work varies a little according to the media, size and subject matter. At Peter Wilson’s, our in-house expert Stephen Sparrow has years of experience in assessing and valuing Herbert St John Jones’ paintings, so do get in touch if you’d like to learn more about a piece you own, or discuss a potential sale or valuation.
We handle examples of Herbert St John Jones’ work regularly. If you are interested in adding to an existing collection or making a one-off investment in a specific painting, please contact Stephen directly and ask to be added to our e-mail list so that we can let you know when we have items of interest coming up in future sales.
If you're interested in traditional art, be sure to check out our Paintings, Drawings & Pictures collecting guide for more artists and information. If you enjoyed reading this article please feel free to share it.
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