‘Coming from the Match’ by LS Lowry
‘Coming from the Match’ by LS Lowry – £1.7m (£2.05m including premium) at Christie’s.

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Coming from the Match dated from 1959 and shows the crowd exiting the Rochdale Hornets stadium following a game of rugby league. It was estimated at £500,000-800,000 but the combination of the attractive subject, identifiable location and large numbers of the artist’s trademark ‘matchstick’ figures ensured it generated strong competition.

It eventually sold for a hammer price of £1.7m (£2.05m including premium) – a remarkable price given the relatively small size of the work and the fact that the vendor had acquired it at Christie’s in November 2004 for £251,650 including premium.

The signed oil on canvas measured 12 x 16in (31 x 41cm), making it significantly smaller than many of Lowry’s industrial scenes and paintings of other sporting events. The sum fetched represented an eight-fold return over the 15-year period between sales.

Iron works

The auction, which was titled ‘People Watching: The Art of LS Lowry’, ran online with bidding open from June 15 to July 2. Overall it raised a total of £4.6m with 15 of the 19 lots selling.

‘Iron works’ by LS Lowry

‘Iron works’ by LS Lowry – £750,000 (£911,250 including premium) at Christie’s.

From the same consignment as Coming from the Match and offered with the same estimate was 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.

The 17.75in x 2ft (45 x 61cm) signed oil on board from 1941 also drew good interest and sold at £750,000 (£911,250 with premium) – again a rise on the £321,600 that the vendor had paid for it at Christie’s in June 2005.

‘The Elite Fish and Chip Shop’ by LS Lowry

‘The Elite Fish and Chip Shop’ by LS Lowry, another work at the online-only auction dedicated to the artist at Christie’s. It sold at £480,000 (£587,250 including premium).