A cast of Fragment of a Figure was exhibited in the 1984-85 National Portrait Gallery exhibition devoted to Glyn Philpot, Edwardian Aesthete and Thirties Modernist. In the catalogue, Robin Gibson comments on the sculpture: 'The origins of this magnificently period sculpture are somewhat obscure. Like Saint in Ecstasy, it undoubtedly dates from the early '20s, and relates both to Philpot's work at Port Lympne and the example of dancers of the Russian ballet such as Nijinsky'. It was in 1920 that Philpot had been commissioned by Sir Philip Sassoon to paint a decorative frieze for the dining room of his new house at Port Lympne, Hythe. His style here owed something both to ancient Egyptian art and to Russian ballet; an original yet highly successful combination, and which anticipated some of his work over a decade later.
Fragment of a Figure was originally cast in lead and patinated in silver. It was owned by Sir Edmund Davis, who lent it to exhibitions at the Grosvenor Galleries in 1923 and the Tate Gallery in 1938. The sculpture was purchased by Daisy Philpot at Davis's sale at Christie's, 7 July 1939. The present work is one of an edition of eight bronzes cast from the original sculpture (see D. Hickman, Glyn Philpot The bronzes, Leighton House exhibition catalogue, London, 1986, no. 7).