Lowry's Steps at Wick could see $1.2m in Bonhams auction

LS Lowry's Steps at Wick is expected to see high bids as it appears at auction for the first time in years. It will cross the block at Bonhams on November 20 in London.

LS Lowry Steps at Wick Bonhams
Lowry was known to take his holidays in Scotland throughout the 1930s

The 1937 piece has not been offered for more than 20 years, with Bonhams stating that "the market for the artist is stronger than ever". As such, it has been given a £500,000-800,000 ($775,640-1.2m) estimate.

The sale coincides with a major exhibition of Lowry's work at London's Tate Britain.

Steps at Wick, an oil on canvas, is characteristic of Lowry's work, depicting a busy street scene in front of the "Black Steps" in the small Scottish fishing town. Lowry is known to have taken many holidays in Scotland in the 1930s.

The famous steps were part of Thomas Telford's 1809 scheme for the new town plan of Pulteneytown for the British Fisheries Society. Today, an engraved plaque at the site reads: "This is the original site when LS Lowry painted Black Steps, Wick in 1936".

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).

The record for any Lowry work was set by the 1949 masterpiece The Football Match, which brought £5.6m ($8.6m) at Christie's in 2011.

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