A picture of yachts in Lytham, which L.S.Lowry drew when he was a teenager and which is thought to be Lowry’s oldest surviving drawing, is set to fetch around £40,000 at an auction next week.
The two and a half inches by four and a half inches pencil drawing, simply titled ‘Yachts’ was done by Lowry in 1902, when he was only 15 years old – and long before he became famous.
Now it is expected to sell for between £30,000 and £50,000 at Bonhams in London next Wednesday.
Auctioneers Bonhams confirm: “Yachts is thought to be the earliest surviving drawing by the artist executed at 15 years of age and listed as No.1 in Mervyn Levy’s The Drawings of L.S.Lowry.
“It was completed in Lytham, where the Lowry family often spent their summer holidays and is a poignant introduction to the artist’s long and celebrated career.”
The drawing was later owned by Lowry’s friend, Leo Solomon, who was principal of Rochdale Art College.
It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1976,the year L S Lowry died.
The exhibition catalogue says: “Yachting scenes have always figured prominently in Lowry’s work.
They have both literal and symbolic significance. Whether drawn as early as 1902 or as late as 1975 in his 88th year they relate, both in fact and imagination to family holidays spent at St Annes.”
In 1930, when she was in her 70s, Lowry’s mother, Elizabeth, asked her son to paint a picture, titled ‘Sailing Boats’ and perhaps for that reason Lowry never parted with the picture, which always hung in the artist’s front room.