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Lowry's Steps at Wick sells for £890,000 at Bonhams' Modern British and Irish art sale
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. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- '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.”

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