They include examples formerly in the collections of two of the artist’s friends and patrons, Monty Bloom and The Reverend Geoffrey Bennett.
Bidding opens on June 15 and the estimates for individual lots range from £4000 to £800,000. The combined estimate for the sale as a whole is £2.8m-4.3m.
Most prominent among the works at the auction are 11 trademark figurative pictures from a private collection which include two of the sale’s main highlights. Coming from the Match dates from 1959 and is believed to be the artist’s only painting relating to a rugby match. It shows the crowd exiting a stadium in Rochdale following a game of rugby league.
It is estimated at £500,000-800,000.
From the same consignment and offered with the same estimate is Iron Works from 1941, a view of a sprawling industrial scene with the flooded River Irwell in Salford having left deep pools of water across the landscape.
Both of these works are relatively small by Lowry’s standards and it will be interesting to see how they perform against fairly punchy estimates, especially at an online sale.
Another relatively small work but also with a good subject is The Elite Fish and Chip Shop from 1949 which has come from a separate source. It depicts a long orderly queue having formed outside the shop with strolling figures passing the scene including a bowler-hatted man with a dog and a woman with a pram, as well as terraced houses to the background. Again, it is offered with a £500,000-800,000 estimate.
Among the works at the Christie’s sale depicting lone figures is A Woman Standing from 1965, estimated at £120,000-180,000, and Man Searching in a Dustbin from 1960, estimated £80,000-120,000.
The latter purchased by Monty Bloom upon his first visit to Lowry’s studio where he bought four figure studies on the spot. The businessman from Southport is often described as the artist’s most enthusiastic patron.