A sketch by one of the most significant British artists of the 20th century with accompanying correspondence which details a visit to his hometown is sure to draw plenty of attention when offered in Cheffins’ Art & Design Sale.
The sketch of eight goats by Henry Moore, with a further sketch of five goats on the reverse, will come to market for the first time on Thursday 10th October with a postcard and letter to his old school friend, Gladys Atkinson Waring. The lot has been given an estimate of £3,000 - £5,000.
Both addressed to Mrs Waring from Moore’s home at the time, 11A Parkhill Road, London, the postcard details his planned journey: “I’m coming early because I should like to have a look round Castleford, it’s so many years since I was last there.”
The letter thanks Mrs Waring for letting him stay and details the gift of the sketch. It opens: “I’ve just come across this little sketch of goats, in a very old note-book of 1923. You said you’d like something.”
Moore, who was already an artist of some renown when he visited, had gone to school with Waring, née Lawson, at Castleford Grammar School, where he was accepted on a scholarship.
The school helped shape the artist Moore was to become. He was encouraged by the art teacher to broaden his knowledge of art, whilst the headmaster of the school noticed his interest in medieval sculpture. He became best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures.
Moore’s gratitude to the school was shown the following year in 1939 when he returned to Castleford for the retirement of Miss I Woodward, senior mistress at the school. A photograph of the occasion appeared in the The Express and shows Moore standing next to Waring. The picture was reproduced in the paper in 1959 and a copy is included with the lot.
Brett Tryner, associate at Cheffins Fine Art, said: “It is quite rare to have such a rich and detailed provenance and the correspondence give an insight into Moore as man and his fondness of his hometown and Yorkshire.
“Because this is the first time the sketch and the correspondence has come to market, we are expecting it to attract plenty of interest.”