An L S Lowry oil painting which the late Huddersfield tycoon Lord Hanson gave to his friend, former prime minister Harold Wilson, is now set to fetch around a quarter of a million pounds at an auction.

The 12ins by 20ins picture called The Adelphi was painted by Lowry in 1933 and was presented to Harold Wilson by James Hanson.

 

The Golcar-born tycoon received a knighthood in 1976 in the Prime Minister’s controversial Resignations Honours list which became satrirically known as the “Lavender List”.

The list also included a life peerage for industrialist Joseph Kagan, founder of Kagan Textiles, of Elland, who was convicted of fraud in 1980.

The Lowry painting will be auctioned at Christie’s in London next Wednesday, expected to sell for between £200,000 and £300,000.

Lowry was a regular visitor to Huddersfield and gave drawings to Angelo Salvini, long-serving former head waiter at the George, which the artist visited in the late 1960s and early 1970s when in his 80s.

A Lowry image given to a George Hotel waiter
A Lowry image given to a George Hotel waiter
 

One of the pictures — titled People And Animals — was dashed off with a felt tip pin by Lowry on the back of a George Hotel menu card in 1971. Lowry also did paintings of Huddersfield.

Harold Wilson was born on March 11,1916, and attended New Street Elementary school, Milnsbridge, and Royds Hall School. He went on to become prime minister on two occasions, between 1964 and 1970 and 1974 to 1976.

He enjoyed Lowry’s work, twice using his art on his Christmas cards. He twice offered the artist a CBE. They were rejected by the artist, who was reported to have said: “They are ten a penny. They are fifty a penny.”

Scene of Huddersfield by L S Lowry
Scene of Huddersfield by L S Lowry
 

James Edward Hanson was born at Wood Bank, Scar Lane, Golcar, on January 20, 1922, and went on to become a multi-millionaire businessman. When he died on November 1, 2004 he left more £10m.

The companies his Hanson Trust acquired included Ever Ready batteries, United Drapery Stores and the London Brick Company.

Hanson Trust’s takeover in 1986 of the Imperial Tobacco Group — including the Courage brewery business — cost almost £2bn.

At different times, Lord Hanson dated actresses Joan Collins and Jean Simmons and was also engaged for a year to iconic Breakfast at
Tiffany’s star, Audrey Hepburn.