c1920 Garstin Cox Oil Painting of Troon Mine in Cornwall


A wonderful oil on canvas by the Newlyn School artist Garstin Cox of a Cornish mine in Troon, near Camborne, Cornwall and which hung in the offices of Holman Brothers, the world leading engineers in Mining Equipment.

The painting is a large oil on canvas showing Holman’s mining test quarry, with a cliff wall quarry and workers using one of the company’s Holman Rock Drill. There is also other mining paraphenlia in the painting, making it one of Garstin Cox’s most interesting paintings. We tend to be more familiar with his maritime paintings, such as Kynance and Mullion Coves. The painting has an impressive gilded wooden frame.

Garstin Cox (1892-1933) lived in Camborne. His father William Cox was an amateur artist. Garstin studied at Camborne School of Art and at St. Ives and Newlyn principally under John Noble Barlow (1861–1917) of the Newlyn School. He was also a friend of Samuel Lamorna Birch. He and his father took two studios in St. Ives and he later used a studio called the Atlantic Studio at The Lizard. He exhibited four paintings at the Royal Academy from the very early age of 19. He also exhibited in Liverpool and at the Royal West of England Academy. He was elected an Associate Member of the Royal West of England Academy in 1924 and a Member of the Newlyn Society of Artists in 1925. He died of influenza, whilst helping to nurse his ailing father during the epidemic of 1933 at the age of 41.

Holman Brothers Ltd. was a mining equipment manufacturer, founded in 1801 and based in Camborne. Holman was Camborne's, and indeed Cornwall's largest manufacturer of industrial equipment. At its height, Holman’s employed some three and half thousand people. Cornish mining was renowned worldwide. Alongside the mining industry there evolved an industry manufacturing specialised mining equipment. Holman’s founder, Nicholas Holman started a boiler works in 1801. In 1881, the brothers John Henry and James Miners Holman, had taken over the running of the business from their father John. They began to manufacture the new drill specifically for mining. It became known as the "Cornish Rock Drill" and achieved great commercial success.

Size painting: 90 x 70.5 cm (35 ½ x 27 ¾ inches)
Size frame: 111 x 90.5 x 5.5 cm (43 ¼ x 35 5/8 x 2 ¼ inches)
Weight: 10.1kg