'Exceptional' George Turner Paintings Collection celebrating Derbyshire’s rural charm for sale in December

Posted on 09/12/2020 in Press Coverage

This year many people have rediscovered the magnificence of the great British countryside - something Hansons will celebrate at a special auction.

On Wednesday, December 16, The George Turner Collection, nearly 50 paintings by this hugely talented and important Derbyshire-born artist, will go under the hammer.

His atmospheric art captures the very essence of rural English life at its best, from rolling hills, rivers and streams to lush valleys, woodland, cattle and wildlife. And most of the scenes he captured showcase his home county. He’s regarded as Derbyshire’s John Constable.

Many of his paintings will look familiar to those who know Derbyshire and the Peak District. Most of us have been lucky enough to witness rural England at its best – more so than ever this year. Covid-19 has limited travel for everyone, leading many to rediscover rural beauty close at hand.

The beauty of the landscape in this green and pleasant land is the envy of the world and something we should never take for granted. It’s been admired by our ancestors through the centuries and inspired artists for hundreds of years – Turner being one of them.

He was born more than 170 years ago in Cromford, near Matlock, in 1841. Inspired by the landscape around him, he went on to build an impressive collection of work that is loved and admired today.

He moved to Derby with his family and showed an early talent for music and art - encouraged by his father Thomas Turner who, although a tailor by profession, was an art enthusiast. Turner was largely self-taught and went on to become a professional painter and art teacher.

He lived in Derbyshire all his life. In 1865 he married Eliza Lakin (1837 - 1900) and became a part-time farmer. They raised four children at Walnut Farm in Barrow upon Trent. But he was multi-skilled. While attending to his farm, he continued to paint and teach. He had a number of successful students including David Payne and Louis Bosworth Hurt.

After Eliza’s death in 1900, he moved to Kirk Ireton and later married fellow artist Kate Stevens Smith (1871-1964). They set up home in Idridgehay where he died in 1910 at the age of 68. His son William Lakin Turner (1867-1936) also became a landscape oil painter of repute.

Turner worked in oils and painted bucolic scenes mainly of his native Derbyshire, leaving an important legacy of hundreds of pictures depicting the English countryside before the coming of mechanisation, the motor car and urban expansion.

His work was exhibited in Nottingham and Birmingham. He served on the Art Committee of Derby Art Gallery and both his and his son's paintings are included in the city's collection. Turner has 22 paintings in national collections in the UK.

The exceptional private single-owner collection coming to auction offers a wonderful mixture of intoxicating rural scenes showcasing a bygone age. Though mainly purely landscapes, some feature farm workers providing us with a fascinating glimpse of rural life more than 100 years ago.

Here is an opportunity to have a Derbyshire treasure by a Derbyshire artist featuring the glorious rural beauty of Derbyshire on your wall. Major collections such as this rarely come to auction and I am delighted to complete our 2020 sales calendar with something so special.

The December 16 sale will also include a selection of fine jewellery and, on the same day, we will host a Textiles, Embroidery and Clothing Auction.

How to view the George Turner Collection

Private appointments to view The George Turner Collection at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, DE65 6LS, are available on Monday, December 14, from 5-7pm. To book an appointment or arrange a time slot on a different day, please call 01283 733988 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, view the catalogue online at

Entries invited for January Sales

Hansons is inviting entries for its January Antiques and Collectors, Fine Art and Toy sales. Free valuations and consignments can be arranged by appointment by emailing [email protected] or [email protected]