The “Lost Lowry” painting has sold for over twice its original estimate.
The Mill, Pendlebury, a 1943 painting by L S Lowry that, until last year the world didn’t know existed, has fetched £2.65million (£2.2million excluding fees) – it’s original estimated had been between £700,00-£1million.
The Mill was sold to a private collector at Christie’s auction house in London on Tuesday night. The work depicts a particularly happy scene for Lowry. Adults and children are captured milling about, playing cricket and walking dogs on the snow covered streets, rather than trudging to work. In the background is Lowry’s familiar industrial backdrop.
The painting had a connection to the Nobel Prize as it had been owned by Leonard D Hamilton. Hamilton was a Manchester born researcher and had supplied the extracted DNA that was used in the discovery of the double helix structure in the 1950s. A photograph had recently emerged of the painting hanging in his room in Oxford while he was studying there.
The Mill had been a gift to Hamilton from his parents, who had bought the work directly from the artist while living in Manchester. When Hamilton emigrated to the US, he took the Lowry with him. He died last year.
Although the painting fetched over double its estimation, it is still some way off breaking records for Lowry paintings at auction. His later works Football Match (1946) and Piccadilly Circus (1959) fetched £5.6million respectively.
However, The Mill was the highest seller at the Modern British art sale, which included works from the likes of Henry Moore.