PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Freeman's auctioneers
sold the third part of the multi-million dollar art collection of the former global financial services firm Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LBHI) in Philadelphia for US$600,000. Bringing the total value of the collection to date, including parts one and two, sold at Freeman's in 2009, to over US$2.2 million.
The sale, delayed by one week due to heavy snow, was unlike the previous two Lehman sales held at Freeman's. This auction, with no reserves, included over 60 lithographs and engravings, depicting nautical, sporting, and landscape themes, in conjunction with a select group of Audubon ornithological prints.
Alasdair Nichol, Vice Chairman and Head of Fine Art at Freeman's said "The historic prints and lithographs in the sale did particularly well, with a hand-colored lithograph by Currier of the City of New York making US$12,500, more than 5 times the estimate, and a hand-colored etching by John Hill of New York from Governor's Island, valued at US$1,200, making US$10,800. I can safely say that the high prices achieved today have been partly the result of the Lehman provenance and it just goes to show that you don't have to go to New York to achieve top prices."
Other examples of 19th-Century American prints included Currier & Ives's 1877 hand-colored lithograph of the Brooklyn Bridge, "The Great East River Suspension Bridge," which sold for US$7,500, just outdoing the US$6,875 for John Bachmann's futurist 1877 view of New York, which featured the yet to be erected Statue of Liberty. US$8,750 was achieved for William J. Bennett's "Baltimore from Federal Hill," issued in 1831 by the publisher of The Hudson River Portfolio, H.I. Megarey.
Other highlights in today's 100 % sold sale, which was made up of works from Lehman offices in New York, Boston and Delaware, included the last lot in the sale, the appropriately named 'Stock Market', a print of the stock exchange on Wall Street by Davis, which sold for US$8,750. Also on a financial theme was a color screenprint of a five hundred dollar bill by Tony King which sold for US$5,625.
All the paintings in the sale sold above estimate, including an oil by Beranard Chaet entitled Sunspots which made US$8,750. Prints after important 19th-Century American artists were also well represented, George C. Bingham's "The County Election," published in 1854 & his "Canvassing for a Vote," published in 1853 realized US$8,125 each and Sidney Mount's hand-colored lithograph of 1848, "The Power of Music" brought US$6,875.
Mr Kelly Wright, an advisor to LBHI who is overseeing the evaluation and sale, said "Once again we have been pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the auction. Because of the conservative estimates many items selling are at record prices. I am sure the fact they were once in the Lehman Art Collection has had an effect, but it is also a testament to Freeman's ability to market the collection to a very wide audience."