Unseen in public since 1952 and once owned by the artist Ben Nicholson, Head is an exceptional example of Moore’s earlier figurative work. Hand-carved from a block of pure white alabaster, the present work is an exquisite example of both the artist’s early talent and philosophy at this seminal moment in his career, and critical in shaping the foundations and essence of his work to follow. Today many art historians and collectors consider the stone and wood carvings - all of which are unique pieces - of the 1920s and 30s, to be among Moore's greatest achievements. Of the 12 masks carved by Henry Moore in the period 1924–1930, only four remain in private hands, with one lost, making them extremely rare and desirable.
This early work by Henry Moore headlines the Modern British & Irish Art Evening Auction taking place at Sotheby's London on 21 November.