LS Lowry paintings of late Newmarket-based businessman expected to reach £15 million at Sotheby’s auction

Piccadily Circus
Piccadily Circus

A collection of paintings by one of Britain’s best-loved artists, which belonged to a businessman from Six Mile Bottom, is expected to reach £15 million at auction next month.

Sotheby’s will hold a stand-alone evening sale of 15 LS Lowry paintings at 6pm on March 25.

River bank

River bank

The A.J. Thompson Collection, which includes well-known masterpieces that were previously exhibited in the Tate’s highly acclaimed Lowry retrospective in 2013, belonged to Tony Thompson, who owned AJ Thompson Waste Paper Recycling, based in Victoria Way, Newmarket.

Mr Thompson, who only collected artworks by Lowry, bought his first painting by the artist at Sotheby’s in 1982.

Over the course of three decades, he put together one of the greatest collections of the artist’s work in recent history.

It includes some of the artist’s most iconic works - including the only two paintings of Piccadilly Circus he produced, one of which stands as the highest priced work by the artist at auction.

Frances Christie, Sotheby’s Head of Modern & Post-War British Art Department comments, “It is a great honour to offer such a supreme group of paintings by LS Lowry.

“Thompson was a collector who truly understood Lowry’s vision and he had a real instinct to hone in on the very best examples of the artist’s work.

“As such there is a remarkable consistency of quality throughout the collection, which encompasses the very broad range of themes and subjects that Lowry explored so deftly.”

She added: “The recent major exhibition at the Tate curated by T.J. Clark and Anne Wagner, Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life, helped to reposition the artist within a much wider artistic context, dispelling popular assumptions that he only depicted a very simplified view of England.

“In fact, he was a fantastically accomplished artist who turned his remarkable skills of observation and representation to creating some of the most complex and visually compelling images of modern life painted in the 20th Century. His work captured a fast-disappearing way of life in Britain, one that is more familiar in some of the world’s emerging economies today.”

A pre-sale exhibition will be held from March 20 to 21 and March 23 to 25. To view the full catalogue of work to be offered at auction, visit