Dame Barbara Hepworth sculpture sold for more than £2m setting a new world record

Barbara Hepworth
Barbara Hepworth

A sculpture by Dame Barbara Hepworth set a new world auction record when it sold for more than £2m.

The 1961 Curved Form, Bryher 11, sculpture fetched £2,413,875 – more than £1m more than expected – when it was snapped up by a mystery bidder at Christie’s auction house in London on Wednesday.

Curved Form

Curved Form

The previous auction record for work by the Wakefield born artist was set in 1970 when her bronze sculpture,The Family of Man, sold for £1,394,260 in New York.

This year is the 110th anniversary of Hepworth’s birth on January 10, 1903.

She was educated at Wakefield Girls’ High School and trained at the London School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London.

She died during a fire at her studio in St Ives, Cornwall, in 1975.

Curved Form, Bryher 11, was bought in 1967 by the millionaire banker Leopold de Rothschild.

It was put up for auction following his death last year.

A spokesperson for Christie’s said: “The soaring bronze of Curved Form, Bryher 11, with its subtly modulated thickness and tapered base, Hepworth strung with copper wire.

“Using strings allowed Hepworth to introduce dynamic shapes into her work and to explore the relationship of the space between the forms.

“Curved Form, Bryher 11, is pierced with a large hole,an essential element in Hepworth’s sculpture from 1932 onwards.

“Hepworth used holes as a device for creating abstract form and space and to unite the front and the back of the work.”

The £35m Hepworth Wakefield gallery, which is named after the sculptor, opened in 2011 and houses many of her sculptures.

In April this year a new exhibition opened showcasing her graphic prints which were produced in 1969 and 1971 which she used to develop her ideas for sculptures.

For more information visit www.hepworthwakefield.org