Three previously unknown sketches by LS Lowry have recently been discovered after being hidden away in a cupboard for 20 years. The works had been owned by former Liverpool School of Art teacher Mary Morgan Lloyd, who was a friend of the artist.
One shows a tramp, another a picturesque visit to a country house and the third immortalizes the English landscape.
Completed between 1959 and 1961, the designs originate from Lowry’s era of industrial “match man” scenes. Now authenticated, they will be sold on October 23 at Unique Auctions and are expected to fetch over $20,000 each.
“They’ve never been seen before,” said auction house marketing manager Darryl Kirk. Telegraphadding: “It is unusual for three original undiscovered Lowry drawings to be auctioned at the same time.”
It is believed that Lowry personally gave these drawings to Lloyd, but they recently arrived at Unique Auctions through an anonymous local enthusiast, who purchased a collection of paintings, prints and ephemera from Lloyd’s estate. 20 years ago – and has stored them in a cupboard ever since. .
“She didn’t realize what she had,” Kirk said. Telegraph. “She wanted to reuse the frame that a print was in.” Hidden behind were two of Lowry’s drawings, signed and dated. Further exploration uncovered a third.
“The salesman thought there was no point in keeping them,” Kirk continued, “after all, she’s had them for 20 years without realizing it.” The designs will hit the market for the first time later this month in Unique’s “Antiques and exciting collectorssale, alongside various coins, of trains and heavy machinery.
Lowry is a regular auction house in the UK, appearing earlier this year in Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee exhibition at Sotheby’s, and commanding millions on sale.
As with any surprise find, however, questions may remain about the authenticity of these works. The sketches do not resemble Lowry’s painting style at the time they were made, according to the Timeand Artnet News did not commission an expert to review the works.
Meanwhile, Salford Mayor Paul Dennett arranges to keep a painting by Lowry titled go to game (1953) since the city’s Professional Footballers’ Association said in September they could not afford to keep him.
According to BBC, the association recovered Lowry’s painting – which shows crowds gathering at Burnden Park, the former home ground of Bolton Wanderers football club – at auction in 1999 for more than $2.2 million. It was then loaned to the city for public viewing for two decades.
Now valued at over $9 million, go to game is due to be sold at Christie’s London on October 19. Dennett asked the government to issue a temporary export ban while it asks local leaders to help purchase the painting on behalf of the city.
Artnet News awaits feedback on the status of its efforts.
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