United Kingdom

Antiques Roadshow viewers stunned as painting by 'most faked artist' L.S. Lowry is valued at £80K

Antiques Roadshow viewers were left stunned last night when a genuine painting by one of Britain's 'most faked' artists Laurence Stephen Lowry was valued at £80,000.

The portrait was brought onto Sunday evening's programme - filmed at Stonor Park in Oxfordshire - by a gentleman who picked it up at Christie's, after he'd just purchased a vintage bike he'd had his eye on.

Explaining he was left with some 'surplus cash' having bagged a bargain on his bicycle, he paid £1,300 for the painting, entitled Figure Standing One, which came with a label from the Lefevre Gallery, which represented Lowry and sold much of his art.

Presenting it to expert Lawrence Hendra, the owner explained: 'I was a teddy boy and it looks like a teddy boy,' he said, adding that his son joked 'a fool and his money are soon parted' when he brought the artwork home.

Antiques Roadshow viewers were left stunned last night when a painting by one of Britain's 'most faked' artists Laurence Stephen Lowry was valued at £80,000

The portrait was brought onto Sunday evening's programme - filmed at Stonor Park in Oxfordshire - by a gentleman who picked it up at Christie's, after he'd just purchased a vintage bike he'd had his eye on. Viewers couldn't believe its value (pictured)

Lawrence admitted that whenever he sees a painting purported to be by Laurence Stephen Lowry on the Antique's Roadshow he 'should get very excited... but to tell you the truth I get a bit nervous'.

'Not only was Lowry one of the most distinctive, popular and valuable artists of the British 20th century, he was also one of the most faked,' he explained.

Lawrence told how many people were drawn to Lowry's work because he was 'totally unpretentious'.

'He painted pictures of people, but they weren’t portraits, they were more studies of his surroundings and where the country was at at the time in the specific area where he lived,' he said.

At auction, Lawrence said he would expect to see the painting sell for between £60,000 and £80,000. Giving a wry smile in reply, the owner replied: 'I like the sound of that'

Who was L.S. Lowry? 

Laurence Stephen Lowry was an English artist whose drawings and painting depicted life in the industrial districts of North West England in the mid-20th century, where he lived and worked for more than 40 years.

The artist holds the record for rejecting five British honours, including a knighthood in 1968. A collection of his work is on display in The Lowry, a purpose-built art gallery on Salford Quays. 

Critics have previously noted that Lowry was 'probably the most faked British artist', with his 'deceptively simple style of painting making him a soft target for forgers'. 

Explaining how he knew this painting was the real deal, he cited the Lefevre Gallery label and an accompanying letter from the gallery director, dated 1998.

It read: 'The painting by Lowry was sold by us in 1965 for £175.' 

At auction, Lawrence said he would expect to see the painting sell for between £60,000 and £80,000.

Giving a wry smile in reply, the owner replied: 'I like the sound of that.' 

One viewer tweeted in response: 'Fair play to that chap. Went to buy an antique bicycle and ended up with an £80k Lowry. Fez doffed.' 

Another wrote: 'Blimey, I was pitching that Lowry at maybe around 30k!' 

And one remarked: 'How much was he willing to pay for a bike if he had that much spare change after buying it...' 

Antiques Roadshow airs on Sundays at 8pm on BBC One. 

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