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Diebenkorn's "Green" tops Bonhams $1.7 million prints auction in San Francisco
Joan Miró (1893-1983), André Breton, Constellations (M. 261; C. bk. 58), 1959. The incomplete set, comprising one lithograph in colors signed in pencil and numbered 240/350 and 21 (of 22) pochoir reproductions in colors on wove paper, signed by the artist in blue ink and the author in red ink, copy numbered 240 on the justification, from the total edition of 384, with text by André Breton, additional text in French, title page, list of plates and colophon, published/printed by Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York/Mourlot Frères, Paris, the full sheets, loose as issued, contained in the original paper cover printed in colors and the original beige canvas-covered box.Album 18 3/4 x 15 x 2in. Sold for $60,000; Est. $50,000-70,000.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The fall Fine Prints auction at Bonhams, October 23 in San Francisco, brought an impressive $1.7 million, led by the $338,500 sale of Richard Diebenkorn’s “Green.” The largely-green etching surpassed its pre-sale estimate of $200,000-300,000 to top the auction’s highlights, and its sale marks the second-highest amount ever paid for the work at auction. Another work by Diebenkorn “Blue,” woodcut in colors, sold well, bringing $37,500 (est. $40,000-60,000).

The auction also celebrated top lots by Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Childe Hassam and Salvador Dali. Of impressive note, falling perfectly within their pre-sale estimate ranges were Miró’s “André Breton, Constellations,” a lithograph and 21 pochoir reproductions, with text by André Breton, which brought $60,000 (est. $50,000-70,000) and a portrait by Picasso “La Dame à la Collerette (Portrait de Jacqueline à la Fraise)” linocut in brown, black and shades of grey, which brought $50,000 (est. $40,000-60,000).

The Fine Prints Department Director at Bonhams, Judith Eurich, said of the sale: “We were extremely thrilled with the sale results. The contemporary art market, in particular, is very robust as their results were strong, and often exceeded the estimates.”

Various Warhol works performed very well in the auction. Among them were “Black Rhinoceros, from Endangered Species,” a colored screenprint which brought $43,750 (est. $25,000-35,000); “25 Cats Name(d) Sam and One Blue Pussy,” comprising 18 offset lithographs, with lettering by Warhol's mother, Julia Warhola, which sold for $40,000 (est. $25,000-35,000); “One Plate, from Mick Jagger,” a colored screenprint, signed by the artist and Mick Jagger, which took in $30,000 (est. $25,000-35,000); and Kiku, comprising three colored screenprints, which claimed $27,500 (est. $15,000-20,000).

Notable lots, which soared above their estimates, continued with Hassam’s “The White Kimono,” etching featuring a woman before a fireplace in her kimono, which brought $26,250 (est. $8,000-12,000) and Dali’s “Imaginations and Objects of the Future,” comprising 10 drypoint etchings, which took in $25,000 (est. $10,000-15,000).

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