LS Lowry drawings sell for thousands

A small family collection of three drawings by L.S. Lowry (1887-1976) sold for a total hammer price of £67,000 in the recent Modern and Contemporary Art Sale at Tennants Auctioneers, North Yorkshire.

The works were given by Lowry to Ruth and Neville Blakey of Pendle, Lancashire, longstanding friends of the artist. Mr Blakey first met L.S. Lowry in the late 1950s, when the artist took a clock for repair in the Blakey’s business premises and the pair struck up a lasting friendship.

Figures Young and old by LS Lowry

The collection comprised Figures Young and Old, a pencil sketch made in 1969, which sold for a hammer of £40,000; Group of Children, a further pencil sketch from 1966 and inscribed verso “To Mr and Mrs Neville Blakey”, sold for £19,000, and Street Scene with Dogs, a biro sketch from 1963 executed on a page in Mr Blakey’s autograph book sold for £8,000.

The autograph book was accompanied by a ledger in which Mr Blakey recounts the pair’s first meetings and notes that “This delightful sketch was drawn in the drawing room… He visited us here … and we made return visits on many occasions to his house at Mottram in Longdendale. He was a most kind person…”.

There were strong prices achieved across the rest of the sale, boosted by the numerous bidders that packed the saleroom. Four works by County Durham mining artist Norman Cornish (1919-2014) stood out, achieving prices well above estimate. On offer were Miners Trudging to Work in the Pit Road, selling for £3,800; Street with Horse and Cart, which fetched £1,500; Troubled Man, which sold for £1,600, and Pit Road at £850.

Norman Cornish, ‘Miners Trudging to Work on the Pit Road’

A further group of six abstract works by Huddersfield-born David Blackburn (1939-2016) sold well too, with notable lots including Summer Walk Marsden, which sold for £1,300, and Across the Viaduct, which fetched £1,400.

Among other highlights were the likes of Wensleydale Near Spennithorne by Anne Isabella Brooke (1916-2002), which sold for £6,500, and two works by Billie Waters (1896-1979), The Pink Boat, St Ives, which sold for £2,500, and Back Gardens, Lelant, which fetched £1,700).

Billie Waters, “The Pink Boat St Ives”

A Vivienne Westwood handwoven tapestry of a Union Jack, “VW Flag Mini”, sold for £2,000. This famous Union Jack motif was first provocatively modelled as a bridal stole in the Vivienne Westwood Autumn/Winter 02/03 ‘Anglophilia’ collection.