Henry Moore O.M., C.H. (British, 1898-1986) Drawing (1949) 29 x 23.5 cm. (11 3/8 x 9 1/4 in.)
Lot 65AR
Henry Moore O.M., C.H. (British, 1898-1986) Three Female Figures 29 x 23.5 cm. (11 3/8 x 9 1/4 in.)
Sold for £157,250 (US$ 252,367) inc. premium

Lot Details
Henry Moore O.M., C.H. (British, 1898-1986)
Three Female Figures
signed and dated 'Moore 49' (lower right) and inscribed 'Lithograph' (upper centre)
pencil, crayon, ink and gouache
29 x 23.5 cm. (11 3/8 x 9 1/4 in.)

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    With The Leicester Galleries, London, where purchased by
    Sir Eric Maclagan, May 1951
    Thence by family descent

    EXHIBITED:
    London, The Leicester Galleries, New Bronzes and Drawings by Henry Moore , 1951, cat.no.41

    With the ending of the Second World War and his highly successful contributions to The War Artists Advisory Committee (WAAC), Henry Moore continued his passion for draughtsmanship, focusing much of his attention on the theme of the Family Group and groups of figures. Highly worked with a variety of media, Three Female Figures (1949) bears all the attributes of Moore's accomplished style that had been honed during the early 1940s and specifically through the Shelter Drawings. As with several of the Family Group works on paper, the present example is carried out in what Moore referred to as 'sectional line drawing', which divides the surface of the body into panels that accentuate sculptural three dimensionality and give an overall feeling of solidity. The background of the present work is executed in even strokes of crayon with the overall result meaning there can be no determination of scale or size of the figures. This lack of detail is reminiscent of the hugely influential Picasso and his figures and families of around 1920.

    It would appear from the original Leicester Galleries label on the backboard that this previously unrecorded work was exhibited in 1951 with the simple title of 'Drawing'. However, the 'Lithograph' inscription to the upper centre of the sheet indicates that it was worked into a print titled Three Female Figures (Cramer 16) for which only one trial proof is listed as having been printed by W S Cowell Ltd of Ipswich. Three Female Figures is presented with excellent provenance having been in the collection of Sir Eric Maclagan K.C.V.O. He was appointed Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum on the retirement of Sir Cecil Harcourt Smith in 1924 and greatly improved its reputation as a centre for research and learning during his 21 year tenure. A dedicated collector, Maclagan formed an important collection of Modern British Art and unveiled Graham Sutherland's now famous Crucifixion at the Church of St Matthew's, Northampton.

    Bonhams achieved the world auction record for a work on paper by Henry Moore with Shelter Drawing: Seated Mother and Child (1941) fetching £634,850 on 16 November 2011.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note this work has been assigned Henry Moore Foundation number HMF2436a
Auction information

The 29 May sale was the departments most successful auction to date making almost £5m.

Furthermore, it was 90% sold by value with some staggering results achieved for fresh, competitively priced material sourced from private collections. Over half of sold lots soared above their high estimates, indicating that Bonhams is best positioned to secure the best price for your Modern British & Irish Art.

The variety on offer within this genre continues to delight buyers, proven by exceptional results for post-war masters such as Auerbach, Scully, Hockney and Freud whilst the early-mid century examples by Spencer, Lavery, Burra and Moore also exceeded expectation. We were proud to break our own world auction record twice over in the same sale for a pencil drawing by L.S. Lowry. Agecroft Regatta sold for £211,250, pipping The Organ Grinder (£151,250) to the title. The sculpture and Irish content were similarly contended for by the packed saleroom and busy telephones.

The cover lot Garden Path, Cookham Rise by Sir Stanley Spencer fetched an impressive £769,250 while the much admired Oil-bound Puffin by Lucian Freud commanded £385,250 on the day, with both returning to private collections.

We are delighted to now invite consignments for the forthcoming auction on 20 November 2013.

Please contact a member of the department or visit the sale webpage for further information.

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AR Artists Resale Right

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Contacts
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