Henry Moore O.M., C.H. (British, 1898-1986) Seated Woman on Bench 21.8 cm. (8 1/2 in.) high (Conceived and cast in 1953 as an edition of 9)
Lot 93AR
Henry Moore O.M., C.H.
(British, 1898-1986)
Seated Woman on Bench 21.8 cm. (8 1/2 in.) high
Sold for £422,500 (US$ 564,737) inc. premium

Lot Details
Henry Moore O.M., C.H. (British, 1898-1986)
Seated Woman on Bench
bronze with a brown patina
21.8 cm. (8 1/2 in.) high
Conceived and cast in 1953 as an edition of 9

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Gifted by the Artist to the grandfather of the present owner (a close family friend) on the occasion of his 80th birthday, 1953
    Thence by descent
    Private Collection, U.K.

    Literature
    Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture, Volume 2, Lund Humphries, London, 1965, cat.no.346, pl.118 (ill.b&w, another cast)
    Herbert Read, Henry Moore, A Study of his Life and Work, Thames & Hudson, London, 1965, pl.173 (ill.b&w, another cast)
    Robert Melville, Henry Moore; Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1969, Thames & Hudson, London, 1970, pl.467 (ill.b&w, another cast)
    John Hedgecoe, A Monumental Vision, The Sculpture of Henry Moore, Collins & Brown, London, 1998, pp.216-217, cat.no.320 (ill.b&w, another cast)


    This small lively figure dates to the year Moore was awarded the International Prize for Sculpture at the second Sao Paolo Bienal. After winning the International Prize for Sculpture at the 1948 Venice Biennale, he was, by 1953, regarded as the most significant sculptor in Europe.

    Throughout 1952-53 he was creating his large and imposing King and Queen sculpture, in which two partly clothed hieratic figures are seated together on a simple bench, with their feet set firmly on the ground. The king rests one hand in his lap and the queen places both hands softly together in her lap.

    While working through his ideas for King and Queen Moore made a handful of small figures on benches that exploit the same formal idea, of which Seated Woman on a Bench is a fine example. However, Moore has experimented here by enlivening the figure's pose. He has introduced a sense of movement which begins with her feet, which are not placed directly on the ground but are set instead on a small tilted support. He also lets her arms hover above her lap and sets her clasped hands over her right knee.

    She appears to wear a long sleeveless dress, which is most evident where the folds cover her lower legs. Moore added drapery to his imaginary figure drawings in the 1930s, and then in 1940-41 drew the heavy blankets that covered the sleeping figures sheltering in the London Underground during the Second World War. But it was not until the late 1940s that he began to add drapery to three-dimensional forms. A trip to Greece in 1951 to study classical Greek sculpture strengthened his intention to use drapery to emphasise certain parts of the body. He described how 'Drapery can emphasise the tension in a figure, for where the form pushes outwards ... it can be pulled tight across the form (almost like a bandage), and by contrast with the crumpled slackness of the drapery which lies between the salient points, the pressure from inside is intensified.'

    The formal lessons Moore learnt when making Seated Woman on a Bench were used again in his striking Draped Seated Woman of 1957-58, an impressive bronze figure, 185.5 cm. tall, seated on a low set of steps. Moore donated a cast of this figure to the Stifford Estate in the east End of London, now in the borough of Tower Hamlets, where she was affectionately christened 'Old Flo' by the local inhabitants. 'Old Flo' takes further the angled legs and active arms of Seated Woman on a Bench and offers them to the viewer on a monumental scale.

    We are grateful to Dr. Judith Collins for compiling this catalogue entry.

    Another cast from the edition is in the collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £175,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £175,001 to £3,000,000 the Hammer Price
12.5% from £3,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, cheque with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveller's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
AR Artists Resale Right

Goods subject to Artists Resale Right Additional Premium.

Contacts
  1. Penny Day
    Specialist - Modern British and Irish Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8366
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7434
  2. Matthew Bradbury
    Specialist - Modern British and Irish Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8295
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7434
  3. Christopher Dawson
    Specialist - Modern British and Irish Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8296
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7434
  4. Ingram Reid
    Specialist - Modern British and Irish Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8297
    FaxFax: +44 (0) 20 7447 7434
Similar Items