Since 2017, L. S. Lowry's mature market has demonstrated stellar performances. Lowry's market success is testament to the Modern British Artist's prolific oeuvre, and the timeless nature of his work. With a 134.24% increase in market size over the past five years, Lowry's print market proves a solid investment as we progress through 2023.
Download our complete Modern British Prints Report here, to explore expert opinions on this prints and multiples market over the last five years.
Our value index blends public auction data and private sales data from our collectors network. Our market value index uses artwork & artist data and a Repeat-Sales Regression (RSR) approach. Using the sale price of individual prints to estimate the fluctuations in the value of an average representative print over a unique period of time.
Our algorithm tracks over 48,500 auction histories & our own private sales data across 3,500 artworks spanning 30 years, including signed, unsigned, APs, PPs, TPs and sets of prints & editions.
We use several metrics when comparing artists:
L. S. Lowry’s (English, 1887-1976) poignantly enduring subjects of post-industrial town dwellers of Northern England continue to drive sales. Lowry’s overall market demonstrated positive performances year-on-year (YoY) of the last five-year period. High increases in market performance and transaction volume produced a positive average selling price (ASP) and compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) indicating that over the given period, Lowry’s market is beginning to gain recognition.
Between 2017 and 2022, Transaction Volume in Lowry's market increased by 131.82%, and the ASP of his works grew by 2.77%. Despite experiencing a slight dip in sales in 2019 - likely due to implications of the Covid-19 pandemic - Lowry's market rebounded strongly in 2020 and 2022. Though these years were burdened by the repercussions of the pandemic and rising inflation, the performance of Lowry's prints and multiples is demonstrative of positive growth in investment potential within the Modern British market.
When considering YoY print performance, 2020 decreased in sales value but then rebounded tremendously in 2021. This type of performance resembles a typical pattern of growth as reputation grows and works become more sought after and desirable. The slight, yet continued growth in 2022 was likely driven by Christie’s (London) prolific sale of Going To The Match (1953), which brought in £7.85 million (fees included).
Thanks to the enduring popularity of Lowry's market inside the United Kingdom, every single one of Lowry's top ten print results 2017-2022 were achieved at UK auctions. Among them were Lowry's quintessential football scenes and seascapes.
Here are Lowry's top 5 most investable prints according to our Modern British Print Report:
An ardent admirer and player of sports himself - particularly football and cricket - sporting events form a major theme in Lowry's oeuvre. Lowry was a frequent visitor to The Bolton Wanderers football club in Burnden Park just outside of Pendlebury, which he directly referenced in Going To The Match. Sold at Bonhams (London) in April 2022, this print realised £39,060. This impressive sale is testament to the timelessness of the work and the significance of Lowry in the history of British art.
Delineated in a larger landscape format than any of Lowry's other lithographs, Street Full Of People depicts a simple scene of figures in front of terraced houses. Like many of Lowry's street scenes, this work was produced quickly from life - evident in the loose lines and simplistic lines that give a sense of movement in the bustling residential street. The lithograph sold at Christie's (London) in March 2020, fetching an impressive £21,250 and becoming Lowry's second highest sale since 2017.
Printed in 1969, The Pavilion portrays a scene of people on their day off at the English seaside. In his typically graphic style, Lowry depicts children building sandcastles, dogs on their daily walk, and people swimming in the sea while a man and woman sit under the pavilion. The lithograph is a key instance of Lowry's quaint depictions of British culture, which is likely part of the reason it found particular success at Wilson 55 in April 2019: when it sold for £15,331.
Another of Lowry's simple town scenes, Tree In A Square is rendered exclusively in monochrome - typical of the artist's direct and distinct drawing style. Perfectly in line with Lowry’s stylised realism that he is so famed for, the figures here appear almost like silhouettes, dotted across the scene. Sold at Bonhams (London) in July 2017, the lithograph realised £13,547.
Village On A Hill is quite distinct from the majority of Lowry's oeuvre due to its heavy focus on green pastures, rather than the industrial scenes his is famed for. The 1966 lithograph shows a long, wide street leading up a hill to a small town and a bridge crossing a river that cuts through the centre of the composition, populated by his iconic matchstick men. The print sold at Christie's (London) in April 2021, where it fetched a noble £11,250.
Discover Lowry's other top print results in the Modern British Prints Report.
Lowry’s depictions of the middle working class and the architectural landscape of Northern England are characterised by simplicity and imbue a distilled sense of timelessness that profoundly speaks to the history of England. Going To The Match, (1972) sold by Bonhams for 39,060 (£GBP) in 2022, and Street Full Of People (1966) sold by Christie’s (London) in 2020 for 21,250 (£GBP) and are Lowry’s current two top performing prints. Almost 100% of Lowry’s total market sales are driven by U.K. buyers and his Q1 2023 performance demonstrates an ongoing favourability.
Q1 2023 is already showing strong performances in sales value at auction with +101,000 (£GBP) turnover which is a positive increase compared to all previous Q1 performances over the five-year period, with the exception of 2017, demonstrating only a -4% difference.
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