Coeur d'Alene Art Auction's $21 million sale sets the standard for Western art market

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Coeur d'Alene Art Auction's $21 million sale sets the standard for Western art market
John Wilson Carmichael, Kemp Town from the Sea, 1840. Oil on canvas © Brighton & Hove Museums.

RENO, NEV.- The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction set the standard for the Western Art market with its $ 21 million sale, which featured numerous world records. Works by Howard Terpning and Maynard Dixon led the way, as the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction set world records for both artists. Terpning’s Paper That Talks Two Ways – The Treaty Signing (2008) – a painting that had been in the artist’s family collection – sold for $ 2,360,000, becoming the first work by the artist to eclipse two-million dollars. Dixon’s The Pony Boy – perhaps one of the most-significant works by the famed artist – sold for $ 2,130,000. Other exemplary results include Gerard Curtis Delano’s Evening ($ 786,500); William Herbert Dunton’s A Race for the Chuckwagon ($ 786,500) and Two Braves ($ 574,750); Henry Farny’s The Trail Over the Pass ($ 665,650); and Edward Hopper’s Shoshone Cliffs, Wyoming ($ 574,750). The largest single-auction event in the Western and American Art field saw 37 lots eclipse the $ 100,000 price point, realizing a sales rate of over 92% for the 324-lot sale in front of a packed house on July 15.

In addition to the world record established by Paper That Talks Two Ways – The Treaty Signing, three other Terpning paintings sold for six figures: Traveling in Good Company ($ 326,700); Time Stood Still ($ 242,000); and Searching the Mountains ($ 163,350).

The Dixon market showed strength, as bidding for The Pony Boy created a palpable tension in the crowd, thrilling spectators while setting a world record. Migration, No. 2 ($ 229,900), Thunder Over Shiprock ($ 121,000), and Signs of Autumn ($ 114,950) all represent some of the strongest prices achieved by Dixon in recent years.
The Philip R. Goodwin market continues to bring high prices at the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, as Blazing the Trail led the way, establishing the second-highest total ever for the American painter and illustrator – a price that only trails last year’s world record established at the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction (Between the Devil and the Deep

Blue Sea – $ 968,000). Additionally, The Law of the Wilderness, a scene portraying a budding conflict between a trio of bears and two hunters, sold for $ 242,000; and A Dangerous Moment, a 24 × 33 inch oil, brought $ 205,7000. Overall, Goodwin paintings rendered over $ 1.1 million in sales at the Auction.

Gerard Curtis Delano’s Evening, one of the famed Southwestern artist’s best works, sold for $ 786,500, a sum that represents the second-highest mark at auction for master of Western landscapes and Navajo scenes. In total, the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction brought nearly $ 900,000 in Delano sales during Saturday’s auction.

Dunton’s A Race for the Chuckwagon grabbed the presale headlines, but the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction continues its run of success with the Taos Society of Artists founder, as Two Braves – a 39 × 26 inch oil – exceeded its high estimate of $ 500,000, selling for $ 574,750. Overall, Dunton sales totaled over $ 1.4 million.

Paintings by another Taos Society founder, Oscar Berninghaus, showed well at this year’s sale. The Advance Scouts, a painting featuring two riders – a staple in early Berninghaus works – realized $ 217,800. Breaking Camp, a 16 × 20 inch oil that had been in the same family for nearly 100 years, sold for $ 108,900.

Sticking with the Taos Society theme, Eanger Irving Couse’s sales were strong, as four works collectively brought close to $ 350,000 in total sales. Couse often portrayed the peaceful and idyllic side of Native American life, and two paintings capturing that essence soared past the $ 100,000 mark: The Moccasin Maker – $ 169,400; and The Butterfly – $ 108,900.

Two paintings by Earnest Martin Hennings – another famed Taos Society Artist – eclipsed the six-figure threshold. Riders in the Taos Foothills, a dynamic painting that speaks to Hennings’ style, garnered $ 242,000. Two Indian Riders, a striking 20 × 24 inch oil, brought $ 157,300.

The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction mainstay Charles Russell continued to bring strong results at the Western Art market’s pinnacle sale. Pablo Buffalo Hunt, a painting depicting a quintessential experience from the artist’s life, sold for $ 302,500. Nature’s Cattle, a five-inch bronze, sold for $ 278,300. Overall, works by Montana’s favorite son grossed nearly $ 800,000.

Other notable highs include Henry Farny’s The Trail Over the Pass ($ 665,650), which represent the second- highest total in the last 15 years for the artist who captured the raw spirit of the West. Thomas Moran’s The Rock of Acoma, New Mexico – a stunning 14 × 20 inch watercolor – fetched $ 423,500, which represents the highest sum for a Moran watercolor in the last seven years. Two Mark Maggiori paintings raced past their respective high estimates: Morning Above the Canyon sold for $ 332,750 against a $ 40,000 – 60,000 presale estimate; and Night Chase sold for $ 78,650 against a $ 8,000 – 12,000 presale estimate. W. H. D. Koerner’s The Rustlers sold for $ 229,900 – an amount not seen for the German artist in over 25 years, just falling short of his world record. The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction set a world record for popular wildlife artist David Shepherd, as Evening in the Luangwa brought $ 193,600. Another world record was set when Nick Eggenhofer’s Custer’s Last Stand sold for $ 96,800.

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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