Painting collection from 'Likely Lads' actor Rodney Bewes for sale at Bonhams

The Chester Sale
4 - 6 Dec 2012

Bonhams Chester will sell 18 paintings by Peter Brook from the collection of Rodney Bewes on 5th December.

Yorkshire born actor Rodney Bewes is best known for his television, film and stage appearances, particularly his role as Bob Ferris in 'The Likely Lads' and 'Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads' but he is also a keen collector of paintings.

The paintings carry estimates between £1500-7000, and are expected to sell for over £50,000 in total. Bonhams Picture Specialist Richard Hopkinson comments: "The collection is a tribute to a mutual friendship and an admiration of the best of Yorkshire. The towns and countryside changed enormously during Peter Brook's life, but his paintings have a timeless quality. It is a privilege to include these beautifully expressive paintings in a Bonhams sale."

During the 1960s Bewes met the Brighouse artist Peter Brook. Fellow actor Tom Courtenay had purchased several works by the artist which Rodney Bewes admired and Courtenay arranged a meeting. Bewes realised that they shared an affection and admiration for the Pennine hills, the mill towns of the West Riding and the Yorkshire people. Peter Brook had recently left his job as art teacher at Sowerby Bridge Grammar School to become a professional artist, and a friendship was born.

Rodney Bewes visited Brook whenever he was in working locally and purchased some very fine paintings by the artist over the next few years. He also introduced the Huddersfield born film actor James Mason to Brook, and Mason became an admirer and collector of the painter's work, purchasing about 30 paintings which decorated the actor's homes in Hollywood and Switzerland. Other actors who have collected the painter's work include Alan Ladd (junior) and Hannah Gordon.
The major interest of Brook's work was the townscape of industrial West Yorkshire, and the Pennine hills which dominate the towns, particularly in wintertime. He was a very modest and shy man, but his works combine great technical skill with acute observation of sky, landscape, figures and buildings. They possess a strong sense of humour and sense of place, evoking the atmosphere the Calder Valley and surrounding regions. Peter Brook died in December 2009.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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