White-glove sale of Pennsylvania Impressionists confirms Freeman's expertise in single-owner collections

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White-glove sale of Pennsylvania Impressionists confirms Freeman's expertise in single-owner collections
Morgan Colt, Butcher Wagon. Estimate: $40,000-60,000. Sold for: $100,800.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Freeman’s announced the results of its exceptional December 5 American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists auction, which set multiple world records across categories and included the white-glove sale of the distinguished Collection of Virginia and Stuart Peltz. The 119-lot auction realized $5.15M total, with an overall sell-through rate of 89%, and delighted international collectors, with 48% of winning bidders using online bidding platforms.

“Sunday’s sale nearly equaled last December’s—the highest-grossing sale of American Art in Freeman’s history,” says Alasdair Nichol, Freeman’s Chairman. “We are delighted to build on such successes, and I am particularly pleased that the sale of the Peltz Collection exceeded all of our—and their—expectations. We already have promising leads and are looking forward to our next American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists auction.”

“We’re very pleased with Sunday’s result, which confirms the strength of the market,” adds Head of Sale Raphaël Chatroux. “The Peltz Collection brought incredibly fresh works to market, and its success demonstrates two areas in which Freeman’s excels: the market for Pennsylvania Impressionism and single-owner auctions.”


The sale of the Collection of Virginia and Stuart Peltz achieved $1.4M and a 100% sell-through rate, a resounding single-owner success. The collection was led by Morgan Colt’s Butcher Wagon (Lot 52; estimate: $40,000-60,000), which achieved $100,800 and set a new world auction record for a work by Colt.

All works had never before appeared at auction, and generated considerable buyer interest, leading to excellent results like Daniel Garber’s Up the River, Winter (Lot 55; estimate: $150,000-250,000), which sold for $252,000. Kenneth Nunamaker’s large, impressive canvas River Road at Centre Bridge achieved $201,600, likewise setting a world auction record for a work by the artist (Lot 63; estimate: $60,000-100,000), and Fern Coppedge’s December Afternoon (Carversville) achieved $226,800 (Lot 58; estimate: $80,000-120,000).

“We are thrilled with the results of Sunday’s auction,” say Virginia and Stuart Peltz, “and we realize that even more than our substantial financial gains, we are so pleased to have worked with the Freeman’s team in bringing our art collection to auction. From our first conversations years ago until the gavel came down, we have had total confidence in Freeman’s power to maximize the outcome of the sale, and in the professionalism and kindness of the team.”

In addition to the success of the Peltz Collection, Sunday’s auction featured marquee sales of Pennsylvania Impressionists, led by the auction highlight of Daniel Garber’s Sycamores (Lot 94; estimate: $300,000-500,000), an impressive work that is one of the last large-scale canvases completed by the artist, which sold for $390,600. Several works by Edward Redfield confirmed market strength for works by the artist, including Abandoned Road, which nearly doubled its pre-sale high estimate to achieve $352,800 (Lot 89; estimate: $120,000-180,000), and Sleighing by the River near Centre Bridge, which sold for $138,600 (Lot 79; estimate: $120,000-180,000).

American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists was a triumph for women artists: the six paintings offered by Fern Coppedge achieved $718,200 overall, and several works by Mary Elizabeth Price commanded impressive results, including Mallow and Lily (Lot 101; estimate: $60,000-100,000), which sold for $107,100, and Cheerful Barge 269 (Lot 102; estimate: $50,000-80,000), which achieved $56,700.

Sunday’s sale presented works by masters of Illustration Art, which elicited competitive bidding wars and drove prices well above their pre-sale estimates. Joseph F. Kernan’s Tying on a Fly (Saturday Evening Post Cover) (Lot 33; estimate: $25,000-40,000) achieved $126,000, the second-highest price for a work by Kernan at auction. This success was followed by Stevan Dohanos’s Tying Flies (Saturday Evening Post Cover) (Lot 34; estimate: $25,000-40,000), which sold for an impressive $252,000—an auction record for work by Dohanos.

The auction featured several works by the iconic, celebrated Wyeth family, including Jamie Wyeth’s Saltwater Ice, which achieved an impressive $226,800 (Lot 43; estimate: $200,000-300,000) and Apple Basket, which sold for $88,200 (Lot 50; estimate: $40,000-60,000). Donald de Lue’s bronze The Rocket Thrower set a new record for the artist, selling for $81,900 (Lot 47; estimate: $30,000-50,000).

Finally, Arthur Beecher Carles’s portrait Angèle sold for $25,200 and was purchased by Philadelphia’s Woodmere Art Museum (Lot 37; estimate: $20,000-30,000). “Woodmere is thrilled to acquire Angèle” says William R. Valerio, the Patricia Van Burch Allison Director and CEO of Woodmere Art Museum. “It is an especially meaningful acquisition because Fredrica Wagman, who owned the painting for an extended period, was a friend and donor to Woodmere, and her parents were early, enthusiastic collectors of Carles; we’re happy to more fully celebrate the Wagman family’s impressive, multi-generational legacy as collectors and supporters of Philadelphia’s artists.”

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