Henry Moore sculpture heads fresh from the market, from the chimney to the auction house

Mother and child sculpture by Henry Moore – estimated between £50,000 and £80,000 at Dreweatts auction on March 16 (Picture: Dreweatts).

Berkshire Auction House says: “After two years of working with the Henry Moore Foundation and the family of the owner, former publisher and editor of The architectural review magazine, Hubert de Cronin Hastings (1902-86), the sculpture is now authenticated.

The foundation was able to link the work to a 1939 sketch of Moore’s sculpture already held in its archives, titled Eighteen Sculpture Ideas.

The sculpture is believed to have been gifted to Hastings directly by Moore, as they met by The architectural review, via Moore’s friend Jim Richards, the magazine’s associate editor at the time. He had befriended the artist after writing an article about his work in 1934.

mother and child was passed down from Hastings to his son John in the 1970s, remaining on his mantel among an eclectic mix of objects until his death in 2019.

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Hubert de Cronin Hastings (photo courtesy of the Hubert de Cronin Hastings family).

Experimentation time

The work is cast in lead, a material Moore only used for a short time in the 1930s, when he was experimenting with other materials such as string and wire for his series of sculptures in strings. mother and child is supposed to be a preliminary design for one of them.

Donnington Priory’s auction estimate is £30,000-50,000.

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