THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK
Rare Henry Moore Masterpiece At Bonhams


Modern British and Irish Art
14 Nov 2018
London, New Bond Street

Mask, an extremely rare sculpture by Henry Moore, leads Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art sale in London on Wednesday 14 November. Estimated at £1,000,000-1,500,000, it is being offered for sale for the first time for more than 80 years, and has never before been put up for auction.

The work is one of 12 known, small carvings by Moore titled Mask, and, uniquely, is the only one carved from alabaster. It was created in 1929 and acquired in the early 1930s by Felix Salmon, whose family were founding members of the catering and hospitality company J. Lyons. By the time Felix was born in 1908, the company owned a chain of 250 teashops known as Lyons Corner Houses, and exclusive hotels and restaurants in central London. Felix was a director of the company.

Bonhams Director of Modern British and Irish Art, Matthew Bradbury said, "This is arguably the most visually appealing and beautiful from the Mask series that Moore executed between 1924 and 1930.

"It shows the deep impact of the 9th Century Toltec-Maya sculpture, Chac Mool from Yucatan in Mexico, which Moore first saw at the Trocadero Museum in Paris in 1925. Moore was also influenced by the great Romanian-born modernist sculptor Constantin Brancusi with his tenet of 'truth to materials', and by Amadeo Modigliani, whom Brancusi had encouraged to take up sculpture. Only four Masks remain in private collections, with others located in Tate, The Henry Moore Foundation and Leeds City Art Gallery."

Mask was shown at Henry Moore's first solo exhibition at Leicester Galleries in London in 1931 and has recently has been on loan to Leeds City Art Gallery, not far from Moore's home town of Castleford.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com.

Contacts
  1. Matthew Bradbury
    Specialist
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8295
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7434

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