Magnificent Elizabeth Frink Bronzes at Bonhams sale of 20th Century British and Irish art

Bonhams will offer no fewer than seven magnificent Elizabeth Frink bronzes in the next 20th Century British and Irish Art Sale on November 14th in New Bond St, London. In total they are expected to sell in excess of £400,000.

Dame Elizabeth Frink's subject matter included men, birds, dogs, horses and religious motifs, but very seldom any female forms. This is reflected in the collection in this sale. Among the works are three animal images 'Leonardo's Dog II', 'Dead Rabbit' and 'Boar'. Dame Elisabeth Frink CH, DBE, RA was an English sculptor and printmaker. Her obituary in The Times noted: "The three essential themes in her work as the nature of Man; the "horseness" of horses; and the divine in human form."

Frink, one of the greatest British 20th Century sculptors, died from cancer on 18 April 1993, aged 62. Critics have pointed out that the rugged, brutal and often contorted surfaces in her work could be evidence of a post war mood that reflected the destruction, terror and brutalisation of nearly six years of conflict.

Dame Elizabeth spent the early part of the war in Suffolk and witnessed the air war, she saw damaged aircraft returning on fire, and the tangled remains of fighter and bomber planes crashed into the peaceful countryside. Such shocking images may provide the clue for the broken surfaces and violently contorted forms in her work which seem to reflect the harrowing and immediate experience of the war.

The works in this sale include:

  • Leonardo's Dog II signed and numbered 'Frink 5/6' and marked with the foundry stamp (left hind leg) bronze with brown patina 100.5 cm. (39.5 in.) high. Conceived in 1992. Estimated to sell for £250,000-350,000.
  • Midas Head signed and numbered 'Frink 2/10' bronze with a green patina

28 cm. (11 in) high. Conceived in 1989. Estimated to sell for £40,000-60,000. This work is seemingly influenced by Henry Moore's Helmet Heads (1950), Frink's Midas Head (also referred to as Midas Mask or simply Mask) was made in dialogue with a television programme The Midas Touch which was produced by Frink's stepson Mark Csáky. The work represents a pivotal moment in Frink's approach to her later sculptures and the continued exploration of her beloved medium of bronze.

  • Dead Rabbit bronze on a steel base103 cm. (40 1/2 in.) high. Unique. Estimated to sell for £40,000-60,000.
  • Running Man I signed and numbered '1/8 FRINK' (on the base) bronze 36.2 cm. (14 1/4 in.) high. Conceived in 1976. Estimated to sell for £25,000-35,000.
  • Boar

signed and numbered 'Frink 1/7' (on the base) bronze with a brown patina 21.5 cm. (8 1/2 in.) long Conceived in 1968. Estimate £25,000-35,000.

  • Harbinger Bird III

signed and numbered 'FRINK 2/9' (on the base) bronze with a brown patina 43.8 cm. (17 1/4 in.) high (including base). Estimate £20,000-30,000.

  • Study for Standard II signed and numbered 'Frink 0/0' (on the base)

bronze with a brown patina 49.8 cm. (19 2/3 in.) high (including Base). Conceived in 1965. Estimate £6,000-8,000.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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