Sale: 550 / Evening Sale, June 07. 2024 in Munich Lot 4

Henry Moore
Working Model for Sheep Piece, 1971.
Bronze with a greenish-brown patina
€ 600,000 - 800,000

$ 642,000 - 856,000

Working Model for Sheep Piece. 1971.
Bronze with a greenish-brown patina.
With the signatue and the embossed number on the base. One of nine copies (plus one artist copy). 103.5 x 152 x 108 cm (40.7 x 59.8 x 42.5 in).
Cast by Fiorini Ltd., London.

Please note that the work "Maquette for Sheep Piece" (1969), also from the Dr. Theo Maier-Mohr Collection, is be called up in our auction 553 on June 7, 2024.

More works from the Dr. Maier-Mohr Collection are offered in our Contemporary Art Day Sale on Friday, June 7, 2024 and in our Modern Art Day Sale on Saturday, June 8, 2024 – see collection catalog "A Private Collection - Dr. Theo Maier-Mohr".

• Henry Moore's grand outdoor sculptures are extremely rare on the auction market.
• "Sheep Piece" is considered one of the most important sculptures in his oeuvre.
• It is the perfect combination of figuration and abstraction - a key aspect of his art.
• Other casts of this work are in museums in California, Michigan, and Japan.
• No other copies have been offered on the international auction market in the past 20 years.
• Part of the same German private collection since it's making

The work is documented at the Henry Moore Foundation, Hertfordshire, with the number LH 626.

PROVENANCE: Fischer Fine Art Ltd., London.
Dr. Theo Maier-Mohr Collection (acquired from the above in 1977).
Ever since family-owned.

LITERATURE: Alan Bowness, Henry Moore. Sculpture and Drawings, vol. 4 (1964-1973), London 1977, no. 626 (full-page black-and-white illu. of a different copy on pp. 174f.).

Called up: June 7, 2024 - ca. 17.06 h +/- 20 min.

"I've always liked sheep"
After the destruction of his London studio in the early 1940s, Henry Moore and his wife Irina left the city and moved to rural Perry Green, near Much Hadham in Hertfordshire, where he would live and work until the end of his life (today the seat of the Henry Moore Foundation). The studio was right next to a large meadow where a farmer had dozens of sheep graze. In 1969, Moore made a first draft for a monumental sculptural work, which he titled "Sheep Piece" and which was placed on this very meadow in 1972. "I have always liked sheep, and there is a large sculpture of mine that I called 'Sheep Piece', because I had placed it in a field of sheep and I noticed that the sheep liked it and that the lambs were playing around it. Sheep are just the right size for the kind of landscape scenery I prefer for my sculptures [..]. Perhaps the sheep are also part of the landscape of my youth in Yorkshire. If the local farmer didn't keep sheep, I would get some myself, purely for the sake of the pleasure I get from them." (Henry Moore, in: Henry Moore and Kenneth MacKenzie Clark, Sheep Sketchbook, London 1980, quoted from: David Mitchinson (ed.), Henry Moore. Plastiken, Stuttgart 1981, p. 242) After "Sheep Piece" was set up in 1972, Moore began to capture the sheep grazing and seeking shade under the sculpture in front of his studio window in numerous drawings and several prints: The result is an extensive body of graphic works.

The present work is the "working model" for the monumental, roughly 5.7 meter-wide later version of the same motif. Moore always started with smaller models (the so-called "maquettes"), which he then enlarged as "working models" and in some cases even cast with monumental dimensions. A total of four copies of the monumental "Sheep Piece" from 1971/72 are in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the city of Zurich, as well as in the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens at the PepsiCo World Headquarters in Purchase, New York (artist's copy in the Henry Moore Foundation in Perry Green, Hertfordshire).
From the edition of nine copies of our "Working Model for Sheep Piece", three casts are in museum collections: the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco, the Hakone Open-Air Museum (Japan), and the Flint Institute of Arts in Flint (Michigan).

"Sheep Piece" and the Mother-With-Child Motif
The human figure is at the heart of Henry Moore's oeuvre. Only very few works draw on animal motifs, including "Bird" (1959, LH 445), "Rearing Horse" (1959/72, LH 447), "Fledgling" (1960, LH 446), and "Owl" (1966, LH 546). However, unlike it is the case with those few sculptural explorations of the animal world, "Sheep Piece" is just slightly reminiscent of actual sheep. The artist abstracts the two touching forms to such an extent that no direct association would come up if it were not for the title. Instead, Moore once more explored the relationship between large and small forms, an idea that is rooted in his lifelong occupation with mother-and-child figures and which is also reflected in his aforementioned drawings of sheep.: "I went on drawing, because the lambing season had begun, and there in front of me was the mother-and-child theme." (Henry Moore, in ibid., quoted from:
"Sheep Piece" merges stability with lightness. The larger of the two rounded, yet indistinct shapes protrudes above the smaller one, appearing more active and powerful, while the other shape touches the ground twice and therefore appears much more passive and stable: "One is solid and passive, resting firmly on the ground and strongly resistant – the other form, slightly larger and more active and powerful, but yet it leans on the lower form, needing it for support." (Henry Moore, quoted from: Henry Moore Foundation,
Facing one another to interact, the close forms of the "Sheep Piece" evoke the same sense of intimacy and closeness as Henry Moore's "Mother and Child" depictions, as well as his "Family Groups", of which the work "Mother and Child" from 1959/1967 (LH 453, e.g. Henry Moore Foundation) is a prime example. The artist uses abstract forms as a metaphor to illustrate an intimate relationship without actually depicting the human figure: "We express one thing in the image of another", explains the artist. "It seems to me that I can say more about the world as a whole employing such poetic interpenetrations than I could with the human figure alone." (Henry Moore, quoted from: ex. cat. Henry Moore, Royal Academy, London 1988, p. 259).

"Sheep Piece" and "Two Piece"
The form of the work "Sheep Piece" is akin to Henry Moore's works from the 1960s, in which he explores the motif of divided yet interconnected forms. The artist made his first small sculptures consisting of several individual parts as early as the 1930s. However, with the creation of "Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 1" (1959, LH 457), this division appeared more frequent in his oeuvre and would later evolve into three- and four-part works. The combination of two different, essentially single forms led to a greater complexity of the three-dimensional composition and thus to a view that varies with the perspective. "By adding two pieces together, the differences are not simply doubled. As in mathematics, they are geometrically multiplied, producing an infinite variety of viewpoints." (Henry Moore, quoted from: John Hedgecoe, Henry Moore, New York 1968, p. 504)
Contrary to the "Two Piece" works, the forms of the "Sheep Piece" are closely connected. Hence the work may formally refer to Henry Moore's multi-part works to some extent, however, owing to the proximity and contact of the forms, "Sheep Piece" is reminiscent of the intimacy that the "Mother and Child" figures embody and thus one of the most all-encompassing themes in the artist's oeuvre. [CH]

Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation for Henry Moore "Working Model for Sheep Piece"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation, artist‘s resale right compensation is due.

Differential taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 32 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 27 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 22 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 27 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 21% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The statutory VAT of currently 19 % is levied to the sum of hammer price and premium. As an exception, the reduced VAT of 7 % is added for printed books.

We kindly ask you to notify us before invoicing if you wish to be subject to regular taxation.

Calculation of artist‘s resale right compensation:
For works by living artists, or by artists who died less than 70 years ago, a artist‘s resale right compensation is levied in accordance with Section 26 UrhG:
4 % of hammer price from 400.00 euros up to 50,000 euros,
another 3 % of the hammer price from 50,000.01 to 200,000 euros,
another 1 % for the part of the sales proceeds from 200,000.01 to 350,000 euros,
another 0.5 % for the part of the sale proceeds from 350,000.01 to 500,000 euros and
another 0.25 % of the hammer price over 500,000 euros.
The maximum total of the resale right fee is EUR 12,500.

The artist‘s resale right compensation is VAT-exempt.