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2019 Coeur d'Alene Art Auction: World records set at $16.8 million sale
Joseph Henry Sharp (1859–1953), Crow Encampment, Montana, oil on canvas, 30 × 36 inches. Sold at Auction: $ 892,500.

RENO, NEV.- The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction stampeded to a strong total of over $16.8 million during this year’s annual sale. Multiple lots sold for over $500,000, including world records for Victor Higgins (Taos in Winter – $833,000) and Rosa Bonheur (Emigration de Bisons [Amérique] – $773,500). Overall, 38 items – which represents over 10 percent of the sale – eclipsed the $100,000 price point. The single-largest event in the classic Western and American Art field set multiple world records and saw over 90% of all works selling at the 359-lot sale on July 27.

The strength of the sale may have been foreshadowed when the third lot of the auction, Carl Rungius’ etching Over the Pass, shattered it’s presale estimate of $4,000-6,000, selling for a whopping $95,200!

The top price of the sale was achieved for Frederic Remington’s painting Casuals on the Range (1909) fetching $981,750. Painted the year of his death, Casuals on the Range hadn’t been on the market in over 70 years and came from the esteemed Jack Mitchell collection. The Rattlesnake, a renowned sculpture by Remington, sold for $267,750, well over it’s $100,000-150,000 presale estimate.

Joseph Henry Sharp’s Crow Encampment, Montana brought $892,500, flying past its presale estimate of $300,000-$500,000. The total marks the fourth-highest for a Sharp at auction, all-time. Autumnal Tepees an oil on canvas, also exceeded the $200,000 mark, bringing in $214,200 against its estimate of $100,000-$150,000.

Victor Higgins’ Taos in Winter established a record for the influential Taos Society artist, selling for $833,000 against its $400,000-$600,000 estimate. The painting marks the first time a Higgins work has eclipsed the $800,000 threshold.

Another work from the Mitchell collection caused a bidding war that enthralled the crowd, Rosa Bonheur’s Emigration de Bisons (Amérique) (1897) estimated at $300,000-$500,000, shattered the French artist’s previous high, selling for $773,500.

Charles M. Russell’s Creased (1911) – which adorned this year’s catalog cover – sold for $714,000, achieving a price not seen for a watercolor from the seminal Western artist in over three years. Additionally, Friend Bob – Illustrated Letter brought $202,300. Estimated at $80,000-$120,000, the small watercolor was an endearing message from Russell to his good friend Robert (Bob) Thoroughman written in 1920.

Works by Coeur d’Alene Art Auction mainstay and popular contemporary artist Howard Terpning sold for over $910,000, collectively. Terpning’s painting Mixed Company (1978) realized $297,500. Soldier Chief (1978) sold for $154,700, establishing a record for a Terpning charcoal.

Numerous other world records were set at this year’s sale, including those by Don Oelze ($166,600 for Strangers in the Valley [2019]) and Theodore Van Soelen ($101,150 for Adobe, Snow and Sunshine [1926]).

A standing-room-only crowd of approximately 650 enthusiastic Western Art buyers filled the Grand Ballroom at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction has specialized in the finest classical Western and American Art since 1985. The auction principals have over 100 years of collective experience in the field, and have netted their clients over $250 million in the last decade.

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