'Steps at Wick' painted by L.S. Lowry in the 1930s during a holiday in Scotland was sold for £890,000 at Bonhams Modern British and Irish art sale in London today (20 November).
The town of Wick is in Caithness in the far north of Scotland and the steps in the painting were part of Thomas Telford's 1809 scheme for the new town plan for the British Fisheries Society. Lowry's work is commemorated on an engraved plaque at the site.
Among other significant paintings by Lowry in the sale were Church Street Clitheroe painted in 1964 which sold for £236,500 and Sudden Illness from 1920 which made £176,500. In all, 18 works by Lowry were sold for a combined total of over £1,760,000
L.S. Lowry, one of the best loved British painters of the 20th Century, had an isolated upbringing in northern England. He spent many solitary early years in the leafy Manchester suburb of Victoria Park, Rusholm, later moving to the town of Pendlebury which was the inspiration for his industrial scenes. He is particularly recognised for his trademark 'matchstick men' represented in desolate industrial and urban landscapes.
Although Steps at Wick was widely exhibited both in Edinburgh and London during the 1960s and 1970s it has been in a private collection for over 20 years.
Penny Day, of the Modern British and Irish Art Department at Bonhams, comments: "We are delighted with the result of today's sale which confirms Lowry's position as one of the most sought after British painters. Steps at Wick, is an important and striking work which fully deserves its high price."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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 www.bonhams.com