Lot 6
  • 6

HENRY MOORE | Rocking Chair No. 4: Miniature

250,000 - 350,000 GBP
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  • Henry Moore
  • Rocking Chair No. 4: Miniature
  • bronze
  • height: 15cm.
  • 5 7/8 in.
  • Conceived in 1950 and cast in bronze in an edition of 9 plus 1 artist’s proof.


Private Collection, Canada Osborne Samuel, London

Acquired from the above by the present owner in March 2015


London, Osborne Samuel, Henry Moore, 2015, illustrated in colour in the catalogue


Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture, London, 1955, vol. II, no. 277, another cast illustrated p. 28 & pl. 17 David Mitchinson (ed.), Henry Moore Sculpture, London, 1981, no. 200, another cast illustrated p. 105

William S. Lieberman, Henry Moore, 60 Years of His Art, New York & London, 1983, another cast illustrated p. 80

John Hedgecoe, Henry Moore: A Monumental Vision, Cologne, 2005, no. 263, another cast illustrated p. 213

Catalogue Note

'The rocking chair sculptures were done for my daughter Mary, as toys which actually rock. I discovered while doing them that the speed of the rocking depended on the curvature of the base and the disposition of the weights and balances of the sculpture, so each of them rocks at a different speed' (Henry Moore, quoted in J. Hedgecoe & H. Moore, Henry Moore, London 1968, p. 178). The small group of bronzes on the theme of the rocking chair that Moore executed in 1950-52 are the artist's only kinetic sculptures. Whilst they have their immediate beginning in the idea of making a sculpture with movement for his young daughter, their origin goes further back, to the 'family group' sculptures of the immediate post-war period and the earliest mother and child subjects which Moore had produced around 1930. Each bronze from this group offers a slightly different rendering of the theme, however they all share the sense of intimacy between the mother and her child.

In Rocking Chair No. 4, the combination of the formal sculptural concerns of weight and balance are held in perfect counterpoint to the joy of the subject, the mother lifting her child up high. Whilst the child is rendered in a relatively naturalistic, if simplified, style, the mother figure and the chair are much more schematised in a manner reminiscent of Moore's work produced in the 1930s. Although the mother and child theme was one that was an absolute bedrock of Moore's work, the intimacy of the two figures is very much an echo of that found in the drawings of the early to mid-1940s that see him exploring this relationship in the light of the commission for a large carved Madonna and Child for St. Matthew's Church in Northampton.