People in a Park was a classic depiction of figures strolling through an open area with industrial buildings and church spires appearing in the background.
The 6 x 14in (15 x 35cm) signed oil on board was a small work by Lowry’s standards but was a vibrant and bustling composition with men, women, children and dogs all depicted.
Its original owner, John Fletcher of Oldham, had given the painting to his housekeeper and it came to the North Yorkshire saleroom from a private vendor in the north-west. After a decent bidding competition at the March 6 auction, it was knocked down at £165,000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) to a London dealer.
A further painting by Lowry, Yachts at Lytham St Annes, will be offered at Tennants on March 20 with an estimate of £250,000-350,000.
Signed and dated 1951, the 8½ x 13½in (22 x 34cm) oil on panel has provenance to the Lefevre Gallery, London.
Showing the nostalgia the artist had for childhood holidays on the north-west coast, the work was one of a number of boat scenes he produced of Lytham St Annes over a 30-year period.
These were the only kind of pictures for which his mother, who never liked his industrial works, ever voiced approval.
It has come to auction from a UK vendor having previously sold for £110,000 at Bonhams in May 2012.