Painting of Scots town to fetch £800k

The Steps at Wick could fetch up to �800,000
The Steps at Wick could fetch up to �800,000
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LS Lowry Wick steps painting set for £800K sale

Laurence Stephen Lowry, famous for his “matchstick” figures, painted Steps at Wick in 1937.

The large oil on canvas, was exhibited around Britain, including in Edinburgh, but was later bought for a private London collection and has only re-emerged after more than 20 years.

It will be sold at Bonhams’ sale of Modern British and Irish art in London’s New Bond Street on 20 November, when experts predict it could exceed its £500,000 to £800,000 pre-sale estimate.

Bonhams believes the painting could “strike a light” with many of matchstick man Lowry’s massive following.

Penny Day, of Bonhams’ modern British and Irish art department, said: “We are privileged and delighted to be offering such an important, striking Lowry which has not been available for over 20 years.

“With the market for the artist stronger than ever and alongside the interest in the current Tate exhibition, we expect collectors will seize the opportunity to acquire this early tour de force.”

The image and occasion of the artwork is commemorated with an engraved plaque of the painting at the site of the steps in Wick.

It bears the legend: “This is the original site where LS Lowry painted Black Steps, Wick in 1936.”

English artist Lowry, who lived from 1887-1976, used to holiday in Scotland during the 1930s.

The steps pictured in Lowry’s image were part of Thomas Telford’s 1809 scheme for the new town plan of Pulteneytown for the British Fisheries Society.

The Black Stairs were part of Telford’s original plan for Pulteneytown, linking the residential area above the bank, via Lower Dunbar Street, to the harbour below.