Coeur d'Alene Art Auction's $ 16.4 million sale sets the standard for 2022
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Coeur d'Alene Art Auction's $ 16.4 million sale sets the standard for 2022
William Herbert Dunton (1878-1936), Treed (ca. 1915), oil on canvas, 40 × 30 inches, 49 × 39 × 2 inches (framed), signed lower left. Sold at Auction: $1,200,000 (New World-Record price).

RENO, NEV.- The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction set the 2022 high-water mark for Western Art with its $ 16.4 million sale, which set numerous world records. A capacity crowd of almost 400 collectors at the Grand Sierra Resort was joined by over 400 registered online bidders to create an electric environment throughout the day. The impressive auction was led by William Herbert Dunton, as the Taos Society artist brought over $ 2.2 million in sales, including Treed (ca. 1915), which sold for over $ 1.4 million – a world record for the artist. Other staggering results included: Philip R. Goodwin’s Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea for $ 968,000 – a world record; Charles M. Russell’s Mexican Vaqueros Roping a Steer (1925) for $ 544,500; Alfred Jacob Miller’s The Lost Greenhorn for $ 484,000; Edgar Payne’s Canyon de Chelly for $ 484,000; and Harvey Dunn’s The Homesteaders (1942) for $ 393,250 – another world record. The largest single-auction event in the classic Western and American Art field saw over 30 lots eclipse the $ 100,000 price point, realizing a sales rate of over 94% for the 337-lot sale on July 23.

While the enthusiastic bidding for Dunton’s Treed brought the packed house to wild applause, several other works by the Taos artist elicited their own fireworks, including two 8 × 10 inch oil paintings: Crest of the Ridge, Grizzly, sold for $ 453,750 versus a presale estimate of $ 200,000 – 300,000; and The Hunter’s Return, fetched $ 363,000 against a $ 200,000 – 300,000 estimate.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – one of Goodwin’s most-significant paintings ever to come to market – more than doubled his previous record at auction, commanding an astounding $ 968,000 against a presale estimate of $ 150,000 – 250,000. The painting had been hailed by noted Goodwin scholar and author Larry Len Peterson as “one of the finest sporting art collectibles of the twentieth century.” Coming from a private family collection – where it resided for over 80 years – the work is considered the absolute pinnacle of Goodwin’s storied career. Not to be overlooked, Quenching Two Thirsts – a painting packed with split-second tension – realized $ 363,000, which is the third-highest total for the sporting and wildlife artist. On the Edge (1909), a 35 × 18 inch painting depicting a mountain hunting scene, achieved a $ 217,800 price point. Overall, works by Goodwin brought nearly $ 1.6 million, showcasing a robust market for the American painter and illustrator.

Coeur d’Alene Art Auction mainstay Charles M. Russell continued to achieve strong results at the Western Art market’s biggest and most successful sale. Shooting the Buffalo (ca. 1892), a painting fraught with American West action, sold for $ 847,000 against a presale estimate of $ 400,000 – 600,000. Mexican Vaqueros Roping a Steer (1925), an 18 × 28 inch watercolor, went to an important collection for $ 544,500. Rooten, Tooten Cowboy from the Double S [or] The Ranahan (1899), set a record for a pen and ink work by Russell, selling for $ 229,900. Overall, Russell works exceeded the $ 2.1 million mark during the sale.

Dunn’s The Homesteaders (1942), a magnificent 40 × 60 inch painting sold for $ 393,250 – tripling the previous world record for the artist. Most of the South Dakota artist’s prairie paintings reside in the South Dakota Art Museum, which rendered this masterpiece – fresh to the market after being in the same collection for 70 years – a once-in-a-lifetime collecting opportunity.

Payne, another Coeur d’Alene Art Auction stalwart, saw impressive results throughout the sale. Canyon de Chelly (ca. 1916-19) sold for $ 484,000, the third-highest total ever for the artist. Other highlights included Land of the Navajo for $ 363,000 and Desert Sky for $ 205,700. Payne’s work sold for a combined total of nearly $ 1.4 million.

The Lost Greenhorn, Miller’s 18 × 24 inch painting – depicting a lost explorer – sold for $ 484,000, representing the highest total for Miller in four years. The painting was in a family collection for approximately 50 years.

The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction continues to be the auction house of choice for Peter Hurd’s work. A Ranch on the Plains (1951) sold for $ 121,000, which is the second-highest sum at auction for the painter. The Auction holds the three-highest results for Hurd, including the record-setting The Eve of St. John which realized $ 157,300 at the 2021 sale.

Another world record was set when the Winchester Repeating Arms Company’s Ammunition Display sold for $ 84,700. The Winchester bullet board shot past presale estimates of $ 10,000 – 15,000, almost tripling the previous auction record.

Other notable highlights included: Logan Maxwell Hagege’s Where Land Meets Sky (2017), selling for $ 169,400 – a total that represents the fourth-highest auction mark for the contemporary artist; Kathryn Leighton’s The Firemaker, Two Guns White Calf – a 44 × 36 oil painting from an important collection – established a world record at $ 96,800; and Jennifer Johnson’s Million Dollar Sunset (2022) ignited a bidding war before selling for a world-record price of $ 27,225.

The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction has specialized in the finest classical Western and American Art since 1985. The auction principals have over 100 years of collective experience in the field, and have netted their clients over $ 400 million in the last twenty years alone.

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