NEW YORK, N.Y.-
American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture brought $24,557,750 at Sothebys
New York, above a low estimate of $22.3 million* and with 71.2% percent of the lots sold. The auction was highlighted by a group of four paintings of Native Americans by 19th century artist George Catlin, on offer from The Field Museum in Chicago and originally in the collection of Benjamin OFallon nephew of William Clark and the United States Indian Agent for the Missouri River Tribes. Together the works brought $4,576,000, led by Interior of a Mandan Lodge that sold for $1,538,500 above a high estimate of $1.2 million.
Five determined bidders drove Marsden Hartleys Untitled (Still Life) to a remarkable $3,218,500, more than three times the high estimate of $900,000 and the single highest price in todays auction. The work was on offer from the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, Kansas, and depicts a blooming cactus in a Pueblo Indian blackware olla, set on a red and white striped table cloth with a view of the New Mexico landscape behind.
Property from the estate of New York literary figure Helen Marx performed exceptionally well, with all but two of the 18 lots on offer finding buyers and two works selling over $1 million: Martin Johnson Heades Orchids and Hummingbirds, which nearly tripled its high estimate of $700,000 in achieving $1,986,500 (pictured right), and Orange Trees and Gate by Winslow Homer that brought $1,314,500 (est. $500/700,000). Works from the estate brought $3,930,500 in total, well in excess of their $2.4 million cumulative high estimate.
Additional highlights from the sale included John la Farges Red Hollyhocks, which sold for $1,874,500 above a high estimate of $700,000, while works by Norman Rockwell were led by his Saturday Evening Post cover Couple with Milkman that brought $1,426,500 (est. 1.2/1.8 million).