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Top dollar for American art at Bonhams New York; Rockwell illustrations triple estimates
Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978), Study for "The Facts of Life". Oil on canvas, 44 x 33 3/4in. Sold $ 941,000. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.
NEW YORK, NY.- Bonhams American Art sale on December 4 saw excellent prices realized for some of the field's most influential artists. The auction was 81% sold by lot and an exceptional 95% sold by value, bringing the final sale total to over $5.2 million.

Hundreds of bidders vied for the celebrated art on offer, and the saleroom buzzed with activity. Interest in the sale was international, with participants from as far as Hong Kong taking part online and via the telephone. Bidding war after bidding war ensued, with attendees taking home the lion's share of the top lots.

"We are very pleased with the results of the December 4 auction," said Kayla Carlsen, Bonhams American Art Specialist and Head of Sale. "The prices reflect renewed interest in the field, especially from collectors abroad. We are seeing the market respond to quality pieces with desirable estimates and pristine provenance."

Of particular note were two Norman Rockwell illustrations, both of which tripled pre-sale estimates after lengthy bidding wars. Girl Choosing Hat, which was the cover for the January 31, 1931 edition of the Saturday Evening Post realized $1,205,000, while another Post cover, The Facts of Life from 1951 brought $941,000.

Works by Abbott Fuller Graves proved popular. The tender Rowing to Picnic Rock more than doubled its estimate to achieve $197,000. A large and colorful canvas from the artist, In Bloom, also performed well, bringing $185,000.

Sculpture on offer was also very well received. Hiram Powers serene marble bust The Ideal Christ reached $137,000, while another marble, Undine Receiving Her Soul by Chauncey Bradley Ives, brought $87,500. Bronze sculpture also saw success, especially Alexander Phimister Proctor's Stalking Panther which sold for $60,000 -five times its pre-sale estimate.

Complete results for the December 4 American Art auction are available at

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