LS Lowry paintings sell for £5m at auction

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A private collection of work by the artist LS Lowry reached more than £5m at auction yesterday.

The paintings and drawings by the Lancashire-born artist were described as "the most extensive overview of Lowry's work ever to come to auction" by Christie's in London. They were owned by bookmaking tycoon Selwyn Demmy, who put the 21 works up for auction to raise money for destitute animals.

The collection, spanning work from the 1920s to the 1960s, included landscapes and seascapes, and the industrial scenes for which Lowry was best known. All but one of them was sold, raising a total of £5,182,050.

An oil painting, The Steps, Irk Place, 1928, went for the highest sum – £713,250. It shows an area behind Victoria Station in Manchester where Lowry worked as a rent collector.