Sketch by Henry Moore sent to Castleford schoolfriend as a 'thank you' set to raise thousands at auction

The sketch by Henry Moore, which is expecting to attract a lot of interest for its Yorkshire connections
The sketch by Henry Moore, which is expecting to attract a lot of interest for its Yorkshire connections
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A sketch sent by the sculptor Henry Moore to a schoolfriend in Castleford as a "thank you" is expected to attract a lot of interest when it goes under the hammer next week.

The world-famous artist, best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures, which can be seen at museums and galleries around the globe, was born in the town in 1898.

The letter from Henry Moore to his old school friend

The letter from Henry Moore to his old school friend

He went to Castleford Grammar School, where teachers realised his potential and encouraged his development as an artist.

Years later aged 39, and already an established artist, he stayed at the home of a schoolfriend, Gladys Atkinson Waring, when he visited Castleford for a reunion.

Later he sent her the sketch of eight goats, with a further five on the reverse as a gift.

In a postcard, which is also up for auction, he writes from London to tell when he will be arriving, adding: “I’m coming early because I should like to have a look round Castleford, it’s so many years since I was last there.”

The sketch of goats which could now fetch thousands

The sketch of goats which could now fetch thousands

A letter sent later, thanks Mrs Waring for letting him stay and details the gift of the sketch.

It opens: “I’ve just come across this little sketch of goats, in a very old note-book of 1923. You said you’d like something.”

The correspondence and sketch, which is coming up for sale for the first time, has an estimate of £3,000 to £5,000. at the auction on Thursday October 10 at Cheffins’ Cambridge.

Moore, the seventh in a family of eight, had gone to the grammar school on a scholarship.

He was encouraged by the art teacher to broaden his knowledge of art, whilst the headmaster of the school noticed his interest in medieval sculpture.

Moore’s gratitude to the school was shown the following year in 1939 when he returned to Castleford for the retirement of Miss I Woodward, senior mistress at the school.

A photograph of the occasion appeared in the The Express and shows Moore standing next to Waring.

The picture was reproduced in the paper in 1959 and a copy is included with the lot.

Brett Tryner, associate at Cheffins Fine Art, said: “It is quite rare to have such a rich and detailed provenance and the correspondence give an insight into Moore as man and his fondness of his hometown and Yorkshire.

“Because this is the first time the sketch and the correspondence has come to market, we are expecting it to attract plenty of interest.”