The sketch, of multiple reclining nudes, was the only piece by a British artist in the notorious Nazi hoard of around 1500 works discovered in Germany in 2012 that had belonged to Hildebrand Gurlitt.
The ‘Gurlitt hoard’ is now housed in the Museum of Fine Art in Bern in Switzerland, which sought help from the Fake or Fortune? team – including art dealer Philip Mould – to determine if it was a genuine Moore.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, among the works on paper on offer at Maryland auction house Weschlers on September 14 are three framed pictorial, figural works by Moore (1898-1986), but prints rather than drawings. Moore had a life-long interest in printmaking – one of his earliest works was a linocut c.1914.
Five Sculptural Ideas is an etching and aquatint of 1983, with a visible size of 2ft 5in (73cm) square, that is signed Moore and dated and numbered V/VI in pencil.
It has been consigned from a Maryland estate and has an estimate of $6000-8000.
The other two works, from another source, are both lithographs.
A reclining mother and child of 1982, visible size 21½in x 2ft 5½in (55 x 75cm), signed Moore in pencil and numbered 36/50 in pencil, is guided at $1000-1500. An earlier, smaller 7 x 10in (18 x 25cm) study of four silhouette figures, signed Moore and numbered 22/50 in pencil, is estimated at $800-1200.
The Moore works feature in a large, mixed-discipline Capital Collections sale taking place at the Rockford, Maryland, rooms.
On offer will be art by American and European artists, American and European furniture and works of art, ceramics, modern design and a selection of jewellery.