SLIDESHOW: Legend Bacall said Moore was her ‘idol’

Two bronze sculptures by Castleford- born Henry Moore – which were owned by Hollywood star Lauren Bacall – are expected to sell for more nearly $1m at auction next week.

Miss Bacall, who died in August at the age of 89, treasured the sculptures having met Moore in England in 1978.

Henry Moore and Lauren Bacall

Henry Moore and Lauren Bacall

Working Model for Reclining Figure: Bone Skirt, which Miss Bacall acquired from the sculptor in October 1979, is expected to fetch $600,000–$800,000 (£400,000 to £500,000) at Bonhams auctioneers in New York on Tuesday.

Maquette For Mother And Child: Arms, acquired in March 1978, is expected to sell for between $150,000 and $200,000 (£93,000–£125,000) at the same auction.

After visiting Moore at his home in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, the Hollywood star sent an appreciative letter, which said: “Dear Mr Moore, there is no way possible to articulate my feelings after my visit to Much Haddam. Since then and my return to New York I have thought and thought of that day.

“It was and will be a high point in my life – the realisation of my dream to actually meet you and spend time with you.

“Some say it is dangerous to meet your idols but in your case – and this is true – you were so beyond expectation.”

Auctioneers Bonhams said: “Lauren Bacall became interested in Moore in the 1950s in California.

“Many years later Bacall was encouraged to contact the artist. Moore was delighted to show Bacall his work and the studios. From that point on, any time Bacall was in London she would call on Moore, most often with one of her sons.

“Bacall recalled after buying many maquettes and the large reclining figure: ‘I am surrounded by Henry Moore in my daily life and feel his strength and vitality always’.”

Miss Bacall rose to fame at the age 0f 19 when she starred in the 1944 film To Have and Have Not opposite future husband Humphrey Bogart.

She was 20 when she married Bogart – who was 45 at the time – in 1945. She went on to star alongside him in other 1940s classics including The Big Sleep, Dark Passage and Key Largo.

She later became an award-winning Broadway actress.

Henry Moore, who died in August 1986 at the age of 88, was born in Castleford, the son of a miner. He went to Castleford Grammar School and Leeds College of Art.

Moore’s parents had been against him training as a sculptor, a vocation they considered manual labour with few career prospects.

In 1921, though, Moore won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in London.

Over the years, his sculptures have sold for a total of more than £100m.