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The 21 x 19in (54 x 40cm) oil on canvas was being sold at the auction on June 2 by the Royal Scottish Academy, which is undertaking a two-year "rationalisation programme" and will use the money raised from selling the work to purchase Scottish art.

The painting dated from 1929 and was made not long after the artist finished attending the Salford School of Art. While typical of the many urban landscapes Lowry produced, it had the key commercial ingredients of numerous figures and gritty buildings.

Estimated at £300,000-500,000, the price surpassed that seen for the artist's later work, Glasgow Docks from 1947, which sold at L&T for £530,000 in November 2006 and was the previous high for a Lowry outside London.

The buyer's premium was 25/20%

By Alex Capon