NEW YORK, NY.-
On Thursday, April 28 Swann Galleries
held an auction of Old Master through Modern Prints that saw active bidding from collectors and dealers in the saleroom and via telephone. As a result, 10 new auction record prices were achieved for individual prints and portfolios.
The sales top lot was Marc Chagall's Bible, 1931-39, with 105 etchings, one of 275 numbered copies signed in ink, which sold for $156,000*, a record price for the set without the hand-colored plates. An earlier record was set for the book in Swanns November 2009 Art, Press & Illustrated Books sale, when it achieved $108,000.
Another record-setting set of prints was a copy of Du Cubisme, a portfolio with 11 etchings, engravings and aquatints by Duchamp, Gleizes, Laurencin, Picabia and others, 1947, which sold for $18,000. Also among the featured portfolios in the sale was Das Graphische Werk von Egon Schiele, portfolio with two lithographs, five drypoints, and one etching, 1914-18, $78,000.
Individual prints that brought record prices included several from the 19th century, such as James A.M. Whistlers etching and drypoint The Beggars, 1879-80, $31,200; Charles Meryons La Morgue, etching and drypoint, 1854, and Claude Monet and George W. Thornleys LAbbaye dans la brume, lithograph printed in light blue, circa 1892, $28,800 each; and James Ensors La Vengeance de Hop-Frog, etching, 1898, which brought $22,800a record for an impression without hand coloring.
Record prices were also realized for 20th- century prints, including two by M.C. Escher, Sky and Water I, woodcut on Japan paper, 1938, $22,800, and Three Worlds, lithograph, 1955, $19,200; Benton M. Spruances Riders of the Apocalypse, lithograph, 1943, $38,400; and Pablo Picassos LArtiste et lenfant, lithograph, 1949, $18,000.
Old Master prints of note included Rembrandt Van Rijns The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds, etching, engraving and drypoint, 1634, $24,000, and Three Heads of Women, One Asleep, etching, 1637, $18,000; and a fifth state impression of Giovanni B. Piranesis An Immense Interior, etching and engraving, 1749, $15,600.
Among the significant 19th century works were Whistlers Nocturne, lithograph on cream laid appliqué, 1878, $21,600; and Pierre-Auguste Renoirs La Danse à la Campagne, 2e planche, soft-ground etching, circa 1890, $19,200.
American highlights included Bror J.O. Nordfeldts The Village Green, Twilight, color woodcut on Japan paper, 1906, $15,600; Gustave Baumanns color woodcut The Bishops Apricot, circa 1930, $9,600; Diego Riveras Desnudo sentado con brazos levantados (Frida Kahlo), lithograph, 1930, $12,000; Martin Lewiss Corner Shadows, drypoint, 1930, $10,800; and Samuel Margiliess Men of Steel, drypoint, circa 1940, $9,600.
Rounding out the modern European prints were Georges Braques important Cubist etching Composition (Nature morte au verres), 1912, $31,200; Henri Matisses Danseuse au Miroir, lithograph on Japan paper, 1927, $15,600; Picassos Homme dévoilant une Femme, drypoint, 1931, $24,000; Alberto Giacomettis Annette dans lAtelier, lithograph, 1954, $10,800; and Joan Mirós Tir à lArc, color etching, aquatint and carborundum, 1972, $11,400.
*All prices include buyers premium.