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Hepworth and Nicholson from legendary Read Collection star at Bonhams Modern British Art ale
1936 (gouache) by Ben Nicholson sold for £224,750. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- 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 Hepworth’s poignant reflection on maternal tenderness, Mother and Child, sold for £260,750 against an estimate of £150,000-200,000, while Ben Nicholson’s 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.

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