“The Roup” 1983, Aultonrea


actual roup

Howard was at ‘The Roup’ in 1983 at Aultonrea, Glenmuick. Miss Esson who had owned the lease on the property, was part of a local family who had lived and worked on Deeside for many generations and after she passed away her estate was broken up and sold. Howard believed it to be one of the last sales of it’s kind in the area and as he was part of the community wanted to mark the occasion. On the day,he stood and viewed the sale and made several sketches of the event to use for reference;  later finishing the painting in his studio in 1986.

(A Roup is a displenish sale in Scotland; where farms and small holdings, machinery and contents are sold at auction, on site.)


Howard recalls that “it was a fabulous day and there was such a crowd of people of all shapes, sizes”…  and “a complete mix of Lairds, locals” and also those who had travelled some distance to get there!

“The items that were for sale where just amazing, the house was quite large and it was absolutely full of furniture” there were lots of Georgian and Edwardian pieces and “a tudor wash stand”…also…”all the machinery and farming implements” too. Howard recalls that he bought “one of the most useful purchases that I’ve ever made in my life. For ten pence I got a tramp-pick!  A tramp-pick is specifically designed for getting rocks out of fields..(and)…is so much better than a pick axe and has been so useful over the years!”

In Howard’s painting some of the items for sale are featured; Miss Esson’s candle lantern and also a signed photograph of Queen Victoria, “believed genuine” as the auctioneer stated at the time. He also painted the cheeky Robin watching the event  from the fence post, the circling buzzard overhead and a dog in the foreground, who seemed very happy to be there. The Roup was a truly social event and the painting depicts many people gathering, swapping stories and bidding on the items offered for sale. Interestingly Howard remembers that the furniture made more money at the sale than the farm machinery, probably because “the farmers are too busy farming than going to sales!”

The lithograph of “The Roup” Aultonrea, was printed in the late 1980’s and was sold from ‘Rosie’ the caravan (the first ‘Butterworth Gallery’) at the family home in Glenmuick for £70; it was a signed limited edition of 250 copies on high quality paper and was printed by a Scottish company called Nevis Print who were based in Fort William. “The Roup” sold out in the early 1990’s some of the last copies to have exchanged hands recently have sold in the region of £600; auctioneers, art enthusiasts and community locals have made this painting of Howard’s a truly iconic collectors piece.

The original oil painting  hung on the wall in the managers office at the Clydesdale bank, Ballater for safe keeping for many years and many Aberdeenshire locals have fond memories of seeing “The Roup” on visits to the village. In recent years it has featured in exhibitions at The Butterworth Gallery and Howard’s ‘Recollection’ exhibition at The Tivoli,  Aberdeen in 2013.

Howard turned seventy on the 29th June this year and to mark this special birthday after much consideration and public interest Howard and the family took the decision to print “The Roup” Aultonrea as a limited canvas giclee print;  a relatively new printing technique which was unavailable to Howard in the 1980’s.

The giclee printing technique on canvas, gives the finished print an appearance closer to an original. The giclee canvas print of “The Roup” is limited to seventy prints; it is signed, numbered and then varnished and is approximately the same size as the original, 20″ x 30″ (excluding frame size). The Butterworth Studios Ltd, will be printing “The Roup” to order, in house and  the family take great pride in their final product.

'The Roup

“The Roup” £500 unframed

The limited edition giclee canvas print is now available to view at the Butterworth Gallery and orders are being taken.

The Butterworth Gallery,

Ballogie , Aboyne.

AB34 5DP

Tel: 013398 86104


Written by H.J.K with Howard Butterworth and The Butterworth Gallery

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