L.S. Lowry’s Punch and Judy. Estimate £1,000,000-1,500,000.

LONDON – Of the fifteen wonderful works included in Lowry: The A.J. Thompson Collection, all bustle with the energy and excitement that one comes to expect from Britain’s favourite artist. Loved by adults and children alike, Lowry was a master of capturing his subjects at work and at play, whether in his beach scenes of Lytham St Annes, or in the busy urban environment of Punch and Judy.  Remembered fondly by most adults today from their childhood, Punch & Judy shows were especially popular at busy seaside holiday destinations throughout Britain during the first half of the 20th Century – it is highly likely that Lowry saw his first Punch & Judy show whilst holidaying with his parents at Lytham St Anne’s, on the Fylde coast.

L.S. Lowry’s Children. Estimate £50,000-80,000.

Lowry felt that art held an important role in a child’s education, and it was with this in mind that he agreed to take part in Brenda Rawnsley’s School Prints project after the Second World War. Lowry selected Punch and Judy to be made into 6,000 prints, each available at a price of around £3 each – affordable enough for schools to purchase the works and display them in classrooms and communal spaces.

Lowry was particularly supportive of budding artists and continued to support them in their artistic endeavours throughout his life. Whether in the annual galas and fetes at his local Sunday School, St Paul’s Bennett Street, or in purchasing works by emerging artists, such as Sheila Fell, Lowry continued to foster and nurture talent where he saw it, encouraging those who visited him through the gift of his drawings on often shabby scraps of paper.

L.S. Lowry’s St Paul’s Bennett Street. Estimate £600,000-800,000.

On Sunday 23 March Sotheby’s will welcome Punch and his wife Judy, with two free shows starting at 3pm and 4pm, and puppet-making workshops at 3.30 and 4.30 between (suitable for ages 4-8). To reserve a place and receive a free activity booklet please email lowry@sothebys.com.