Tony’s matchstick men on the market

Tony Thompson
Tony Thompson

A collection of paintings which belonged to a self-made Newmarket businessman and racehorse owner, are expected to fetch around £15 million when they are sold at Sotheby’s later this month.

Tony Thompson, came from a humble working class background but in 1967 he founded the waste paper business, A J Thompson, based in Newmarket’s Victoria Way, which was to make him a millionaire .

And in 1982 he was able to buy his first painting by his favourite artist L S Lowry for just £16,000.

Street Musicians is one of 15 paintings which will go under the hammer in London on March 25 when it is expected to realise up to £800,000.

Mr Thompson only bought work by Lowry and getting information and advice from auctioneers, museum curators and dealers he selected some of the artist’s best works to come on to the market, which he then hung on the walls of his semi-detached house in Six Mile Bottom, loaning his precious acquisitions to The Lowry in Salford from time to time.

And his love of Lowry was also apparent in his involvement with racing. The first horse he bought he named Mr Lowry and others were named after Lowry’s home town, Salford including Salford Express which won the Dante Stakes at York in 1999. He died in July last year, aged 68, leaving no will so the ownership of the collection reverted to his sister, Dawn Sadler, who has entrusted Sotheby’s with the sale.