Henry Moore's Figure on a Pedestal will cross the block at Bonhams London on November 17-18 with a £1m-2m ($1.6m-3.3m) estimate.
The piece is one of a small number of Moore casts produced in the late 1950s, other examples of which have been exhibited widely across Europe and the US.
Moore (1898-1986) returned to the theme of the recumbent form throughout his career. "The vital thing for an artist is to have a subject that allows [him] to try out all kinds of formal ideas, things that he doesn't yet know about for certain but wants to experiment with, as Cézanne did in his 'Bathers' series," he explained.
"In my case the reclining figure provides chances of that sort.
"The subject-matter is given. It's settled for you, and you know it and like it, so that within it, within the subject that you've done a dozen times before, you are free to invent a completely new form-idea."
Matthew Bradbury, director of modern British and Irish art at Bonhams, commented: "Reclining Figure on a Pedestal belongs to a major U.K. Corporation and was acquired directly from the artist in the early 1960s…
"Bonhams are presenting this important sculpture for sale at auction for the very first time."
Moore holds the record for the most valuable British sculpture sold at auction after Reclining Figure made $30m at Christie's New York in 2012.
We have this signed photograph from Henry Moore available.
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