Making for the highest ticket price that any sculpture by a British artist has ever sold, The Reclining Figure Festival that was originally commissioned by the Arts Council for the Festival of Britain in 1951 has sold for a stunning 19.1 million pounds. The previous record was held by Damien Hirst , not for his legendary Love of God or even Heaven’s Sake . Rather it was a much plainer The Golden Calf that sold for £10.3 million in 2008.
Unfortunately Moore is no longer around (having expired in 1986) to see his art being so highly acclaimed. The original estimate by Christie’s was £3.5 million.
The top 5 British Sculptures are as follows :
1 Henry Moore, Reclining Figure: Festival, 1951. Bronze. £19.1 million last night.
2 Damien Hirst, The Golden Calf, 2008. Calf with 18-carat gold horns and hooves in formaldehyde in a case. £10.3 million, September 2008
3 Damien Hirst, Lullaby Spring, 2002. Stainless steel and glass cabinet with painted cast pills. Sold £9.65 million, June 2007
4 Damien Hirst, The Kingdom, 2008. Tiger shark in formaldehyde in a case. £9.56 million, September 2008
5 Henry Moore, Draped Reclining Woman. Bronze.
Sold £4.3 million, June 2008
Public money ought to be touched with the most scrupulous conscientiousness of honour. It is not the produce of riches only, but of the hard earnings of labor and povertyy. It is drawn even from the bitterness of want and misery. Not a beggar passes, or perishes in the streets, whose mite is not in that mass. —