A capacity crowd of over 600 buyers of Western Art filled the Grand Ballroom of the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno on July 23, 2011 for the 26th annual Coeur d Alene Art Auction
. In what has long been the single largest event in the field of Classic Western Art, prices soared from the beginning to the very end of the 304-lot sale, reaching a total of approximately $16.7 million with 90% of the lots selling.
Works by Charles M. Russell have always been the specialty of the Coeur d Alene Art Auction and this year was no exception. Two major paintings, A Dangerous Sport & Water for Camp each sold strongly at $1,471,000. Additional works by the artists were soon to follow with Indian Signaling, a 10x14 watercolor selling for $263,250, and Poems to Wallace, a wonderful 7x4 illustrated letter at $117,000, among others.
Albert Bierstadt was also well represented at the sale with four major works going across the block. Mt. Rainier, magnificent 54x83 oil was the highlight of the sale. Multiple bidders competed over it until the winning took it home at $2,143,000. Possibly the surprise of the sale was Landers Peak-Wyoming, a 36x26 oil of the Rocky Mountains. Expected to sell for $600,000-900,000, bidders completely disregarded the estimate and when the dust finally settled it hammered down at $1,863,000. Two others by the artist also posted strong sales with Among the Bernise Alps selling for $321,750 and Mount Baker-Washington, a little gem of an oil, selling for $280,800. Additional strong results were posted for Henry Farnys Evening Camp, a 8x16 gouache at $468,000, Maynard Dixons Sculptured Sandstone at $351,000, and John Clymers Buffalo Crossing at $304,200.
These results show the Western Art market is definitely back on solid footing and the Coeur d Alene Art Auctions continued dominance in the field of Classic Western and American Western Art.