Hepworth's Figure in a Landscape hammers for $125,500

Dame Barbara Hepworth's Figure in a Landscape hammered for £80,000 ($125,622) at Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers yesterday (September 9), comfortably within its estimate of £70,000-90,000 ($141,201-109,823).

The 1966 piece is cast from bronze and stands on a small wooden plinth. It was described in the Saffron Walden Reporter, a local newspaper, by auction house director John Black as "a very significant piece and one of only seven ever cast."

"Her iconic work made a significant contribution to post-war modernism and is becoming increasingly sought after," he added.

Barbara Hepworth Zennor
Figure in a Landscape (Zennor) was cast in 1966


The tactility of her work is perhaps the secret of her enduring popularity among collectors and the public alike.

Hepworth wrote in her autobiography: "Moving through and over the West Riding landscape with my father in his car, the hills were sculptures; the roads defined the form. Above all, there was the sensation of moving physically over the contours of fulnesses and concavities, through hollows and over peaks - feeling, touching, through mind and hand and eye."

As one of the UK's best-known artists, Hepworth's works regularly achieve sums in the six figure bracket. In July of this year a large scale outdoor piece titled Curved Form sold for $3.6m, equating to a 60.9% increase on its $1.5m valuation.

In 2008, Sculpture with Colour (Oval Form) brought £892,450 ($1.7m) at Christie's in London, an increase of over 150%.

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