A9RBDC

Artworks put on display ahead of public auction.

Paintings worth millions of pounds were secretly put on display in the centre of Glasgow as Sotheby's prepared to sell them at public auction. The private showing of works by English artist LS Lowry – famous for his matchstick figures – took place in the St Vincent Street office of Turcan Connell.

The firm of leading lawyers, tax specialists and wealth managers often uses the famous London auctioneers for valuations on behalf of clients.

Sotheby's is to auction the private collection of 15 Lowry paintings on Monday and chose the Glasgow office for a sneak preview of six of the works.

The half dozen works of arts are valued at £10million while the entire collection could fetch twice as much.

Managers at Turcan Connell invited 100 clients to view the six paintings.

It was the only opportunity to view the pictures in Scotland.

The most expensive was a scene of London's famous Piccadilly Circus worth a cool £3million.

The artist did just two pictures of the capital's West End landmark.

But Emma Ewan, the firm's 23-year-old receptionist and arts enthusiast, was privileged to be given her own private viewing.

Afterwards, she said: "Having attended the Glasgow School of Art, I was obviously delighted to have the opportunity to have my own private viewing of such iconic pieces in our office.

"I'm currently heavily involved in the setting up of the Glasgow Open House Art Festival, which launches next month, so my date with Lowry certainly gave me added inspiration."

The collection belonged to Tony Thompson, who died last year at the age of 68.

He is said to have had two loves in his life –horse racing and buying Lowry paintings.

The businessman, who owned a waste paper recycling centre, bought his first Lowry more than 30 years ago for £16,000.

It was a picture depicting street entertainers and is expected to sell at auction for at least £600,000. Laurence Stephen Lowry was born in Stretford, Lancashire.

Many of his drawings and paintings depict Pendlebury, where he lived and worked for over 40 years, and Salford and its surrounding areas.

Lowry is famous for painting scenes of life in the industrial districts of North West England in the mid-20th century.

This article appeared in the Evening Times