Caerphilly LS Lowry handball court up for auction

AN ORIGINAL drawing of a listed building in Caerphilly by one of the most important British artists of the 20th century is on sale.

LS Lowry created the art – a pencil drawing – of Nelson’s handball court on November 6, 1961, while he was sitting in a nearby cafe with his friend Monty Bloom. The drawing is signed and dated on this date.

It was created when the famous artist was around 77 years old. The 6-inch napkin design was donated to artist Percy Warburton who then passed it on to his family. It was bought at auction six years ago by Glenn Davies.

The sketch

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The avid collector of paintings said: “I was interested because in the mid-1970s I worked at Deep Navigation Colliery, which is in the nearby village. I sometimes played handball on the field after work.

“The cafe he was drawn in was still there and we used to have coffee there. It has a personal interest in me but it has never been hung on the wall. I have always kept it under lock and key. It’s time for someone, hopefully local, to have some fun.

In the 1960s, Lowry began a new era of his work, drawing inspiration from recreating the Welsh landscape, creating more experimental pieces in his new way of writing.

South Wales Argus: LS Lowry's sketch of the Caerphilly handball court

The sketch

He was introduced to the valleys by Mr Bloom, who was a businessman from Ebbw Vale, and they both visited the area every six months. It is said that Mr. Bloom “recognized the attraction that the grim contrast of spoiled hills side by side with real mountains would have on the artist.”

After creating his initial sketch, he then added the figures to the foreground and even decided to remove part of the drawing – with a scribbled area still visible on the left.

The piece will be sold through the Rogers Jones auction house in Cardiff in April. Visit https://www.rogersjones.co.uk/ for more information when the part is listed.