Hidden treasure: Rare works worth thousands by Manchester artist William Turner discovered in cardboard box

By Tom Paterson

Dumped in a cardboard box, previously unseen watercolour paintings worth thousands of pounds by the late Manchester artist William Turner have been discovered during a clear-out of his studio.

The treasure trove of 23 original works which date from 1949-1961 were found by his daughter Kay at his studio in Congleton, Cheshire.

Turner passes away in the summer at the age of 93 and the newly found works are now on display at the Clark Art gallery in Hale.

They include a mix of northern industrial scenes, rural landscapes, nudes and even an original sketch given to him by the great L.S. Lowry in 1970.

WHAT A FIND: Gallery owner Bill Clark with the discovered works of the late artist William Turner

Owner Bill Clark said: “I think it’s a really important find of works done by one of the most important northern artists of his generation.

“The fact that some of them were right at the start of his commercial career and that they haven’t been seen in more than 60 years makes this find all the more significant.”

They are set to make big news in the art world with prices ranging from £1,300 to £3,300 depending on the size of the painting and its subject.

DISCOVERY: One of the paintings found in the cardboard box is of a scene from Worsley

“They will be very popular with William Turner collectors because of the rarity of them and the variety of the subject matter,” said Mr Clark.

“So I think those prices represent really good value for work done by a major artist and bearing in mind that a Lowry pencil drawing has sold for over £200,000 recently makes him very good value for an artist of his importance.”

As well as the 23 originals that were found, the gallery also showcases the rest of the Turner estate including several oil paintings and even a pencil sketch of Lowry drawn by Turner himself.

FIND: A painting of Harlech Castle was one of the images discovered

You can view the collection at the Clark Art gallery Tuesdays-Saturdays between 10.00-5.30pm. For more information visit the gallery’s website by clicking here.

Image courtesy of Clark Art, with thanks

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