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23rd Jun 2020
LS Lowry St Lukes Church Old Street London 1973 sold for 2100

An artist’s coloured proof by L.S.Lowry was the star lot in a busy online-only 20th Century Design and Modern Art Sale at Keys Auctioneers and Valuers in Norfolk, selling for £2,100, well above its pre-sale estimate of £1,000-£1,500.

The picture, ‘St Luke’s Church, Old Street, London, 1973’, an artist's coloured proof with publisher's blind stamp, published by G R Mellor, 1973, signed and numbered 176/850, was one of a number of 20th Century artworks which sold above their estimates, at the auction house’s second 20th Century Sale of the year.

Also selling well were ‘Landscape with Fence and Cottage’ by George Chapman, which sold for £580, more than double its estimate of £200-£250; a pen, ink and watercolour ‘Launch of the Sopwith’ by Sir Frank Brangwyn which sold for £900 (estimate £200-£250); and ‘Portrait of a Man Seated, Reading a Book’ by Albert Daniel Rothenstein, which sold for £300, five times its upper estimate of £60.

Mid-century furniture also performed well at the sale, with a Heals style limed oak tallboy selling for £600 (estimate £100-£150) and a mid-century teak cabinet selling for £330 (estimate £80-£120).

“These 20th century sales bring a completely new set of buyers to the auction, and these tend to be younger bidders who are quite comfortable with an online-only sale,” said Tim Blyth, director at Keys.  “From an original one-off sale just two years ago, our 20th Century Design and Modern Art Sales are now a regular and important part of our auction calendar, and a key plank in widening the appeal of the auction room to a wider audience.”

Keys’ next 20th Century Design and Modern Art Sale takes place in September.