A pencil drawing by LS Lowry (1887-1976) set an auction record for a work on paper by the artist this week, selling for £175,000.
Bonhams sale of Modern British and Irish Art in London on May
29, Agecroft Regatta depicted a boat race in Salford - a
more unusual subject for the artist whose favoured topic was gritty
Exceeding its £70,000-100,000 estimate, it sold a UK private
The 10 x 14.5in (27 x 37cm) pencil sketch was signed and dated
1942, and showed the annual race between Agecroft Rowing Club and
the Manchester University Boat Club which attracted large crowds of
people to the banks.
The Agecroft boat club, which was built in 1935, can be seen in
the upper left hand part of the drawing with its flag flying in the
While Lowry's oil painting of the scene is now privately owned,
having sold at Sotheby's in November 1997 for £350,000, this
drawing was one of only two known pencil sketches made by the
artist of the event. The other, which was a highly similar
composition and identically-sized, had also sold at Sotheby's as
part of the Evill-Frost collection in June 2011 for £68,000.
The example at Bonhams, however, was more fully realised
(especially the figures in the foreground) and came from a UK
vendor who had purchased it from London dealer Richard Green in
The estimate was set at £70,000-100,000, possibly a reflection
of the £100,000 fetched by Swinbury Station in the same
rooms in November 2011 which was the previous auction high for a
On the day, Agecroft Regatta drew a number of interest
parties but it was two determined bidders who took it well over the
top estimate before it was finally knocked down at £175,000.
The buyer's premium was 25/20/12%.
A report of the sale will appear in a future issue of ATG's
printed newspaper. Subscribe here.
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