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Consigned by a local private vendor who bought it in the mid-1970s, the lone figure of a bowler hatted bearded man with a protruding belly may be dated to the ‘30s or ‘40s when Lowry began to use larger figures in his compositions, allowing him to characterise his subjects to a greater degree. In good condition with no foxing and minimal fading to the colour, the drawing, which had been reglazed, attracted interest from around the UK and further afield with bids in the room, on the phone and on the book.

It went to a local businessman in the room who perhaps identified with the image, and saw off dealers on the phone with a bid of £11,250.