Two works from the prestigious collection of art critic Herbert Read led Bonhams
Modern British and Irish Art sale in London today [Wednesday 22 November].
Barbara Hepworths poignant reflection on maternal tenderness, Mother and Child, sold for £260,750 against an estimate of £150,000-200,000, while Ben Nicholsons 1936 (gouache) achieved £224,750 against an estimate of £150,000-200,000. The work was a Christmas gift from Nicholson to Read and his wife, Margaret when he and Hepworth moved to the Mall Studios in Hampstead.
Bonhams Director of Modern British and Irish Art, Matthew Bradbury said: Herbert Read single-handedly championed Modern Art in Britain at a time when it was ignored or even ridiculed. His collection - built largely with gifts from grateful artists was legendary, and I am not surprised these two pieces sold so well.
Additional highlights from the sale were:
William Roberts, Billingsgate, (1913) achieved an impressive £162,500 more than three times its estimate high of £50,000.
David Jagger, The Jade Necklace, (1923) achieved £162,500 against an estimate of £70,000-100,000.
Paul Feiler, Enclosed Verticals achieved £125,000 against an estimate of £100,000-150,000.
In total the sale made £2,224,875.