Bear Gates drawing earns £35K at auction

Lowry's painting The Bear Gates, Traquair House, expected to fetch �15,000 at auction.
Lowry's painting The Bear Gates, Traquair House, expected to fetch �15,000 at auction.

A rare L.S.Lowry drawing of the famous Bear Gates at Traquair has sold for £35,000 at auction – nearly double the sum expected.

Before the auction, at Christie’s in London. The 10 inches by 14 inches pencil drawing,titled: The Bear Gates,had been expected to sell for between £12,000 and £18,000. But, in the end, it was snapped up by a mystery bidder for £35,000.

Lowry produced the drawing in or around 1961 and held on to it for the rest of his life.It was among at least nineteen Lowry drawings found at the artist’s home at Mottram-in-Longdendale, Cheshire,after his death, at the age of eighty eight, on February 23,1976.

For the past three years, the picture – featuring Lowry’s trademark matchstick men,women and dogs – has been loaned to The Lowry in Salford The Bear Gates are among the most famous gates in Scotland.

They were installed at Traquair – said to be the oldest continuously inhabited house in Scotland – in 1738 by the fifth Earl of Traquair.

After Bonny Prince Charlie passed through the gates,in 1745,,the fifth Earl closed the gates and vowed that they would not re-open until the Stuarts were restored to the throne.

The auction f Lowry’s drawing of The Bear Gates, coincides with the 270th anniversary of the shutting of the gates in 1745.

Scottish Lowrys are comparatively rare. Borders Lowrys are even rarer,as Lowry is much better known for pictures of his native Lancashire.

On November 18, 2005, Glasgow City Council astutely paid £198,400 at Christie’s,in London, for Lowry’s 1947 oil painting ,Cranes and Ships,Glasgow Docks.

Then,at Bonhams in London on November 20,2013,Lowry’s 1936 oil painting,Steps At Wick,sold for £890,500.

The current world auction record for a Lowry work is £5,641,250, the sum paid at Christie’s in London on May 26,2013,for his 1949 oil painting,The Football Match.