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.
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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