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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Lowry painting once owned by Carlisle vicar set to make £1m

An oil painting by acclaimed artist LS Lowry and once owned by a Carlisle vicar is expected to fetch more than £1 million at auction.

Lowry painting photo
Lowry's Punch and Judy

The picture – Punch and Judy – was one of several Lowry paintings owned by the Rev Geoffrey Bennett.

It’s among a collection of several paintings expected to fetch anywhere between £12m and £18m when they’re sold by auctioneers Sotheby’s in London tomorrow.

Punch and Judy was among several Lowry paintings once owned by Mr Bennet and later exhibited at Tullie House in Carlisle.

He and Lowry became friends in 1926, when Mr and Lowry’s cousin, Grace Shephard, worked for the London and County Westminster Bank in Manchester.

Lowry visited the bank every week to take Miss Shephard for lunch. Mr Bennett later moved to Cumbria and became manager of the National Westminster Bank at Cleator Moor, then Maryport.

Manchester-based Lowry kept in touch and used to visit Mr Bennett in west Cumbria and then in Carlisle, following his ordination as an Anglican clergyman in 1962.

Mr Bennett was a curate in Penrith before becoming parish priest for Rockcliffe ,near Carlisle, and then St Mary’s and St Paul’s at Lonsdale Street in Carlisle city centre.

When Lowry died in February 1976, Mr Bennett conducted his funeral service at the Southern Cemetery in Manchester.

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