The bids were fast and furious during Heritage Auctions
sold-out, thrill-a-minute Prints & Multiples Signature® Auction on Tuesday, when three record-breaking prices helped push the auction total to $2,377,188 well over double the pre-sale estimate.
The first lot to shatter an auction record was Jean-Michel Basquiats Wolf Sausage, King Brand, Dog Leg Study and Undiscovered Genius, a group of four screenprints that sold for $137,500 double the previous record. Still in their original box, the quartet of works by the art-world favorite hit the auction block in pristine condition.
Soon enough, another record was shattered when a bidding war broke out over Pablo Picassos Tête de Femme. The final price for the striking Cubist linocut: $250,000. Like its sister work Grand Tête de Femme which sold for $100,000 in the Tuesday event, tying that prints previous auction record the piece depicts an abstracted womans face seen from multiple perspectives, allowing the viewer various experiences in one image.
The final record-breaker arrived when Andy Warhols Teddy Roosevelt, from his iconic 1986 Cowboys and Indians portfolio, lassoed $131,250. Geronimo, from the same series, sold for $71,875, surpassing its high estimate. Also soaring past its high estimate was Warhols $, 1982, which had bidders seeing dollar signs when it sold for $87,500.
Our top three lots all broke records, and 100 percent of our lots sold, which proves prints are just as desirable as originals and only growing in popularity, says Rebecca Van Norman, Heritage Auctions Consignment Director of Prints & Multiples. Those numbers also show that Heritage has become the new auction leader in this category of collecting, and were excited to see what new records we will break in our fall auction.
As the top lots also show, pop art performed particularly well in the Tuesday event, with three colorful, eye-catching lots by the influential pop artist Keith Haring joining in the fun. All three Haring lots surpassed their high estimates: Untitled 4, from Fertility, 1983 sold for $71,875; Pop Shop Quad V (A-D), 1989 realized $70,000; and Lucky Strike, 1987 sold for $31,250.
The pop art market is strong, Van Norman says. And its thrilling to see that category experiencing such a robust comeback.
Other top-selling lots include:
$62,500: Jasper Johns Flag (Moratorium), 1969
$52,500: Andy Warhol Untitled, from Love, 1983
$46,250: Andy Warhol Cow, 1976
$45,000: Various Artists The Leo Castelli 90th Birthday Portfolio, 1997
$42,500: Jasper Johns Voice 2 (triptych), 1982
$37,500: David Hockney Green Bora Bora, 1979
$37,500: Kehinde Wiley After Sir Anthony Van Dycks Triple Portrait of Charles I, 2009