LS Lowry's Steps at Wick provided the highlight of Bonhams' Modern British and Irish Art auction on November 20 in London, selling among a collection of his works.
The piece, painted by Lowry in the 1930s during a holiday in Scotland, sold for £890,000 ($1.4m) against a £800,000 high estimate - an 11.3% increase in value. Having been widely exhibited in the 1960s and 1970s, the work has spent more than 20 years in a private collection before it was brought to auction.
Prior to the sale, Bonhams stated that "the market for the artist is stronger than ever". This certainly rang true, with 18 works by Lowry achieving £1.7m ($2.8m).
Following Steps at Wick was Church Street Clitheroe, a 1964 piece that sold for £236,500 ($381,463), and Sudden Illness, an early work dated 1920 that made £176,500 ($284,686).
The record for any Lowry work is held by the 1949 masterpiece The Football Match, which brought £5.6m ($8.6m) at Christie's in 2011, sharing the record with Piccadilly Circus (1960). The auction record for a pencil drawing by the northern English artist was set at Bonhams in May, with his Agecroft Regatta selling for £211,250 ($320,538).
See Wikicollecting's top 10 LS Lowry paintings sold at auction.
Also starring in the sale was Walter Richard Sickert's Le Corsage Violet, which is described as "the most complete and perfect example of his Camden Town coster girl interiors". It sold for £290,500 ($468,562).
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