Lowry Prints – an introduction

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laurence Stephen Lowry, the artist synonymous for his matchstick men, is now becoming better known for his record prices at auction.  Interest in the Northern artist has gathered momentum over the last five years, helped along by the ‘Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life’ exhibition at the Tate in 2013. 

With his oil paintings now regularly making several million pounds (the record is £5,600,000 for ‘Piccadilly Circus, London’) it is no surprise that the prints that Lowry produced are also making very substantial figures at auction.  A print of ‘Going to the Match’ was sold for £22,000 in 2015 and many of his other prints often make £1,000-5,000 at auction.

In many cases his prints are now making more than original pencil drawings, a fact which possibly indicates that the market is due for a ‘correction’.  As such we would advise anyone with a Lowry print to consign it for sale now, at the very top of the market, rather than on the other side of the curve when prices are falling.

We can advise the value of your Lowry print and help you find the best place to sell it, taking care of all the administration and logistics too.  So if you have a Lowry print and you would like a valuation please contact us for more information.

Lowry Prints Auction Value
L S Lowry, ‘Going to the Match’, from an edition of 300, published 1972 by The Medici Society Ltd. Top price currently achieved for this print is £22,000 (November 2015).
Lowry Prints

The Fine Art Trade Guild              

Most Lowry prints feature what is called a ‘blind stamp’ which is an image, design or lettering on an art print or book formed by creating a depression in the paper or other material. 

The blind stamps that are found on Lowry Prints are often by the Fine Art Trade Guild which consists of a rectangular box with an image of a gentleman, followed by three letters.

The Fine Art Trade Guild blind stamp will be on the left of the image if it has a signature by the artist and will be in the centre of the image on unsigned editions.  The Fine Art Trade Guild are a trade association founded in 1847 and its major objective was ensuring the highest standards in print publishing, framing and trading in fine art.

Publishers and Printers

Lowry prints were published by a large number of galleries and institutions including Venture Prints Ltd, Adam Collection Ltd and even the Sunday Observer.  The publishers were those who promoted the sale of the prints and did not actually print them.  This was taken care of by printers such as The Curwen Press and Max Jaffe.  You are not likely to find information about who printed or published the print on the actual print itself.

Editions

Lowry prints were released in editions from as little as 75 up to 850.  Quite often the print will have a pencil number indicating what number of the edition the print is from, such as 115/850, implying this was print 115 from a total edition of 850.  However, not all of the editions are numbered, so this can be a good way to spot a fake. 

A lower or higher number does not necessarily imply a higher or lower selling price, except in the case of the prints which were only issued in editions of 75 such as the series of Lithographs that were released in the 1960’s.  These are very commercial.

Signatures

Contrary to popular belief not all Lowry prints should be signed, however the majority are.  The signature on a Lowry print should be in the lower margin of the image beneath the print itself.  This signature will be in pencil.  There will also be a signature on the print itself but this the signature from the original painting and is merely a reproduction like the rest of the image.  The signature in the margin is by Lowry.

The combination of the inclusion or exclusion of the signature, Fine Art Trade Guild Stamp and edition number are all indicators of whether the print is genuine or not. 

A genuine Lowry pencil signature in the margin beneath the reproduction signature on the print
A genuine Lowry pencil signature in the margin beneath the reproduction signature on the print
An edition number from a Lowry print indicating this is print 50 from an edition of 75.  The first number has no impact on the value.  The lower the second value the greater the value typically.
An edition number from a Lowry print indicating this is print 50 from an edition of 75. The first number has no impact on the value. The lower the second value the greater the value typically.
L S Lowry, 'Huddersfield', from an edition of 850, published by Henry Donn Galleries.  Current auction value up to £2,500
L S Lowry, ‘Huddersfield’, from an edition of 850, published by Henry Donn Galleries. Current auction value up to £2,500

Frames

Lowry prints are often found in narrow metallic coloured frames and these are often the original frames.  A print will often make less if it is not in its original frame so we recommend keeping the print in the original frame even if it is in poor condition.

Condition

Lowry prints have a tendency to fade and this has a big impact on their value.  This is primarily as a result of poor quality inks used in the printing process but can also be caused by over exposure to the sun. 

It is the degree of fading which often explains the relative paradox of seeing two ‘identical’ prints make differing sums of money at auction.  They may look similar on a computer screen but when seen in the saleroom they may appear very different.

Free Lowry Print Valuations

If you are looking for a valuation of your L S Lowry print or are looking to sell your L S Lowry print then we can help.  We can provide you with a valuation of your L S Lowry print and we can also help you sell your print at auction or privately.

selling at auction 

Lowry Prints
  • Firstly we provide you with a valuation of your Lowry either based on images sent via email or following a home visit.
  • We then advise which specialist auction house is best suited to handle your Lowry print.  Not all salerooms are equal and picking the right one is paramount to ensuring a good selling price. 
  • Next we arrange to consign the item/s from you, we issue you with our receipts and contracts, and then arrange delivery to the specified saleroom.  We can also set a minimum reserve for your Lowry print.
  • As we handle all of the administration at the auction house all you have to do is sit back and wait for your catalogue.
  • Finally, following a successful sale you will receive a cheque for the proceeds in the post direct from the auction house.
COST

There is no charge for this service as we receive a commission from the auction house for sending them new business.  This does not affect what you pay the auction house in commission nor does it affect the amount you receive.

Selling Privately

Lowry Prints
  • Firstly we provide you with a valuation of your Lowry either based on images sent via email or following a home visit.
  • Bids are then received from our private and trade contacts and we submit the highest bid to you for your approval. 
  • Next, we arrange to consign the item/s from you, we issue you with our receipts and contracts. 
  • Finally, we deliver the print to the buyer and complete the transaction. 
  • Payment is sent either via BACS or cheque once the funds have cleared.
COST

We charge between 5% and 20% depending on the value of the items and their location.  Our typical fee is 10% including VAT.  

L S Lowry Limited Edition Prints

We have developed somewhat of a niche helping clients sell their L S Lowry Limited edition prints and have sold over 20 in the last year.  Where possible we sell privately achieving on average 35% more than had they been sold at auction.  We have a waiting list of clients looking for L S Lowry limited edition prints and we launched an online brokering service in January 2017.  Where no private sale can be sought we enter the prints into auction, ensuring they are placed into an auction house with the right knowledge and expertise to ensure they make the most possible.

L S Lowry Berwick Upon Tweed
L S Lowry Berwick Upon Tweed
L S Lowry Britain at Play
L S Lowry Britain at Play
L S Lowry Landscape With Farm Buildings
L S Lowry Landscape With Farm Buildings
L S Lowry Level Crossing With Train
L S Lowry Level Crossing With Train
L S Lowry Man Lying on a Wall
L S Lowry Man Lying on a Wall
L S Lowry Meeting Point
L S Lowry Meeting Point
L S Lowry Mill Scene
L S Lowry Mill Scene
L S Lowry Our Town
L S Lowry Our Town
L S Lowry Peel Park
L S Lowry Peel Park
L S Lowry People Standing About
L S Lowry People Standing About
L S Lowry Sailing Boats
L S Lowry Sailing Boats
L S Lowry Station Approach
L S Lowry Station Approach
L S Lowry The Family
L S Lowry The Family
L S Lowry The Hillside
L S Lowry The Hillside
L S Lowry The Level Crossing Burton on Trent
L S Lowry The Level Crossing Burton on Trent
L S Lowry Two Brothers
L S Lowry Two Brothers
L S Lowry View of a Town
L S Lowry View of a Town
Free Antique Valuations in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, North West, Auction

Step 1

Take a good clear image of your Lowry print that you would like valuing.  Try and take images on a neutral background and well lit.

Free Antique Valuations, antiques, auction, auctioneer, cheshire

Step 2

Provide all the information you can about the print especially in regards to its colour and how much it has faded.

Free Antique Valuations, email, cheshire, auction, crewe, sandbach

Step 3

Send the photographs and information to mark@marklittler.com All you have to do now is sit back and wait.  We will research your item and then send you a valuation by return.

No catches, no hidden charges, just friendly, professional advice. 

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