Enthustiastic online bidding spurs Hindman's Arts of the American West auction to $1.7M
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Enthustiastic online bidding spurs Hindman's Arts of the American West auction to $1.7M
A landscape of buffalo grazing by Bill Anton (American, b. 1957) entitled Montana Monarchs sold for $47,500 against a presale estimate of $10,000.

DENVER, CO.- Spurred by enthusiastic online bidding, Hindman’s two-day Arts of the American West auction surpassed the presale estimate achieving a combined sale total of $1.7M. Online bidders participating on four separate platforms drove the action both days accounting for over half of the sale’s two-day total.

The auction started strong with Session I: Western Paintings & Sculpture realizing a price of $1.3M, surpassing the presale high estimate by more than $100,000. Online bidders won nearly three-quarters of lots in the auction and accounted for over 60% of the sale’s dollar total.

“Our Western Art session garnered immense presale interest regardless of the current global circumstances. It was immensely gratifying to share the results with all our consignors. Collectors continue to enjoy our auctions which incorporate a mix of historic and contemporary Western art. This auction showed the continued demand for quality Western works leading to outstanding prices realized. We are looking forward to our fall auction and inviting our valued clients to our new space in the RiNo arts district,” said Kate Hlavin, Hindman’s Director, Specialist of Western Art.

The first session was highlighted by property from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. The items, which were being sold to benefit the center’s acquisition fund, spanned multiple categories including paintings, bronzes, charcoal drawings, and figures.

The top lot of the collection was a 2001 oil on canvas by Martin Grelle (American, b. 1954) entitled A Warrior’s Pride. The painting depicted a Native American warrior on horseback leading a horse in front of a majestic mountain landscape. A member of the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America, the Grelle painting easily surpassed its presale estimate of $20,000-$40,000 before selling for $52,500.

In addition to Grelle, pieces from other members of The Cowboy Artists of America performed very well during the auction. A landscape of buffalo grazing by Bill Anton (American, b. 1957) entitled Montana Monarchs sold for $47,500 against a presale estimate of $10,000, while a John Coleman (American, b. 1949) bronze entitled Pitatapin Bowlance Warrior sold for $22,500, more than doubling its presale estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

The top lot of the auction came in the sculpture category. A bronze by Henry Shrady (American, 1871-1922) of a buffalo sold for $68,750, nearly four times its presale estimate of $18,000-$24,000. Shrady’s meticulously crafted animal bronzes are highly coveted by collectors, but he is best known for creating the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial at the base of the United States Capitol in Washington DC.

Other notable lots from Session I included a Gerald Jones Harvey (American, 1933-2017) harbor scene entitled Sounds of Morning Silence that sold for $25,000; a John Nieto (American, 1936-2018) acrylic on canvas portrait entitled Good Voice Eagle for $23,750; an Allan Houser (Chiricahua Apache, 1914-1994) bronze entitled Abstract Crown Dancer I that sold for $25,000; an Ed Mell (American, b. 1942) landscape entitled Canyon Cottonwoods for $22,500; a Louisa McElwain (American, 1953-2013) landscape entitled Last Snow, Chimayo Badlands for $21,250; and a pair of Vic Payne (American, b. 1960) bronzes entitled Restless in Santa Fe and The Long Trail Home that sold for $22,500 and $21,250 respectively.

The enthusiastic bidding continued into Session II as it also topped the overall presale estimate coming in at nearly $400,000. The session exclusively featured American Indian Art & Jewelry with a focus on modern and contemporary Native American artists.

“I love that we continue to see the market embrace modern and contemporary Native artists,” said Danica Farnand, Hindman Director of American Indian Art. “It’s remarkable how quickly this has gone from a niche subcategory to some of the most in-demand pieces in the marketplace.”

Jewelry was the strongest category of Session II, achieving the three highest sales prices of the day. Two cuff bracelets tied for the highest sales price of Session II at $20,480. The first was a Charles Loloma (Hopi, 1921-1991) gold, coral, turquoise, and lapis inlay cuff bracelet that soared past its presale estimate of $10,000. The other, a gold and cobblestone inlay cuff bracelet by Jesse Monongya (Hopi / Dine, b. 1952) that beat its presale estimate of $15,000.

Other jewelry highlights included a Carl and Irene Clark (Dine, b. 1952 and b. 1950) 18 karat gold cuff bracelet with micro-mosaic inlay Yei that sold for $12,500; a Navajo silver and Lander turquoise cuff bracelet for $5,888; a Victor Beck (Dine, b. 1941) 14 karat gold, turquoise, and lapis inlay cuff bracelet for $5,250; and a Charles Loloma 14 karate gold and turquoise ring for $5,000.

Pottery was also in high demand during Session II accounting for four of the ten highest sales prices of the day. The top pottery lot of the day was a redware jar, dated January 1997, by Tammy Garcia (Santa Clara, b. 1969) that sold for $10,880. The 10-inch jar was heavily carved with meandering elements, parrots, and corn stalks.

Other notable pottery lots included a redware pottery bear by Tony Da (San Ildefonso, 1940-2008) that sold for $10,625; a wedding vase by Jacob Koopee (Hopi-Tewa, 1970-2011) for $6,250; and a Nathan Youngblood (Santa Clara, b. 1954) carved red and sienna vase for $5,120.

The June 4 and 5 auctions were held virtually with team members from Chicago, Cincinnati, and Palm Beach assisting the Denver office. Material for the auction was assembled from across Hindman’s network of 12 regional offices. Session II marked the second collaboration of the year between the Hindman Western Art department and our Cincinnati-based American Indian Art department.

Hindman is now accepting Western Art and American Indian Art consignments for its fall auctions. Historic American Indian Art will be offered in Cincinnati in September while Modern and Contemporary Native American Art will be offered in Denver in October. The next Western Art auction will be in October in Denver.

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