Pictures of matchstick men and you


Pictures of matchstick men and you


Going to the Match, in 1999 the original painting was bought by the Professional Footballers’ Association for £1.9 million, a record price at the time for a Lowry painting.

This print, published by the Medici Society in 1972 is currently for sale at £36,000 in 2015 a similar one sold for 22,000 illustrating the surge in value and interest.

The words of the Status Quo song from 1968 sum up eloquently what for many is the epitome of Lowry’s work which has been seen by most people as pictures, prints, or emblazoned on merchandise.

Laurence Stephen Lowry RBA RA (1 November 1887 – 23 February 1976), the artist known for his matchstick men, is now a source of great competition at auction.  Interest in the Manchester artist has grown at a pace following the ‘Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life’ exhibition at the Tate in 2013.

But it is not the original works and sketches we are talking about but the prints which were popular artworks  in many homes particularly in the North west of England.

Most Lowry prints feature what is called a ‘blind stamp’ which is an image, design or lettering on an art print or book formed by creating a depression in the paper or other material.


The blind stamps are often by the Fine Art Trade Guild and consists of a rectangular box with an image of a gentleman, followed by three letters.

The Fine Art Trade Guild blind stamp will be on the left of the image if it has a signature by the artist and will be in the centre of the image on unsigned editions.  Lowry prints were published by a large number of galleries and institutions including Venture Prints Ltd, Adam Collection Ltd and even the Sunday Observer.  The publishers were those who promoted the sale of the prints and did not actually print them.  This was taken care of by printers such as The Curwen Press and Max Jaffe.  It is unusual to find information about who printed or published the print on the actual print itself.

The popularity of Lowry continues unabated and the sale results for these iconic works continues to head ever skyward.

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