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L.S. Lowry RA 1887-1976

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L.S. Lowry - The Sale Room (The Auction )

The Sale Room (The Auction ), 1957

Pencil drawing
10½ x 14½ ins (26.67 x 36.83 cms)
Signed & Dated

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The Rev Geoffrey Bennet
Private Collection
Forrest McKay Art Dealers, Edinburgh
Private Collection
Graham Aspinall
Grove Fine Art
Private Collection

Exhibition History

London, Royal Academy of Arts, L.S. Lowry, 4th September - 14th November 1976. No 241. (Bears label) Lent by the Reverend Geoffrey Bennet. Titled as "The Auction" in the auction catalogue.


The Drawings of L.S. Lowry, Public and Private by Mervyn Levy. Jupiter Books, 1976. Illustrated page 167. (incorrectly dated 1956)

General Notes

This drawing is one of a number of studies Lowry did for the 1958 oil The Auction which sold at Sotheby's is London for £2.6 million in November 2023. This is Lowry's only known painting of an auction and it captures the buzz of a saleroom in a manner that only Lowry, with his distinctive iconography, could. According to the author Mervyn Levy, Lowry drew this sketch after attending an auction in Manchester.

This drawing was originally owned by The Reverend Geoffrey Bennett (1902-1991) and he loaned it to the Royal Academy for Lowry Retrospective exhibition in 1976 where it was exhibited and catalogued under the title The Auction. The drawing is illustrated in Mervyn Levy's 1976 book on Lowry drawings where it is titled The Saleroom and incorrectly dated 1956.

The Reverend Geoffrey Bennet was a lifelong friend of L.S. Lowry who assembled one of the most impressive collections of the artist's works. There was an old-fashioned formality about their relationship, they always referred to each other as 'Mr Lowry' and 'The Reverend Gentleman' (after his ordination as an Anglican clergyman in 1962) and when Lowry died in February 1976, Reverend Bennett conducted the funeral service. The sale of the majority of the Reverend Bennett's collection was held at Christie's, London, on 23 March 1995. The 13 lots totalled £528,440: a record-breaking auction which changed the Lowry market. The proceeds from the sale were divided equally to go to the impoverished clergy and the restoration of Carlisle Cathedral


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