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AJ Thompson LS Lowry collection sells for £15 million

A selection of paintings by artist LS Lowry has sold at auction in London for over £15 million.

The former tax collector has become famous worldwide for his depictions of industrial scenes of Salford and Manchester.

Collector A.J Thompson became the first person to spend more than half a million pounds on a Lowry in 1998 when he bought the smaller of two pictures of Piccadilly Circus.

13 artworks belonging to the Cambridge businessman went under the hammer at Sotheby’s auction house in London on Tuesday 25 March 2014.

They included one of Lowry’s most famous – Piccadilly Circus in London – which sold for £5.1 million to an anonymous collector.

A Town Square hit the top of its estimate to go for £2,490,500. A River Bank was sold to another anonymous collector for £1,986,500.

Ten other works including The Hawker’s Cart, After The Fire and The Orator sold for over £350,000 each.

Mr Thompson had collected Lowry’s work since 1982.

Frances Christie, Sotheby’s Head of Modern & Post-War British Art said: “We are delighted with the results of tonight’s sale, which reflect the superb quality of the works that Tony Thompson collected so carefully over the course of three decades.

“His instinct to hone in on the very best examples of the artist’s work generated the enthusiastic response in the sale room.”

Four works were sold to private clients in Europe and the US, say Sotheby’s, “demonstrating the widespread demand for this remarkable artist”.

“These were collectors who were buying in this collecting category for the first time, as well as clients who were familiar to us but buying their first L.S. Lowry work,” Christie added.

Main image: Piccadilly Circus in London, by LS Lowry

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.