Published: November 29, 2016
NEW YORK CITY — Christie’s American art auction on November 22 totaled $36,728,000 and was 75 percent sold by lot and 83 percent sold by value.
The top lot of the sale was Newell Convers Wyeth’s “Hands Up!” which set a world auction record for the artist and sold for $4,951,500 against an estimate of $1.5/2.5 million. It was the cover lot of the sale and epitomizes the artist’s compositional skills and unmatched sense of visual narrative that garnered his reputation as one of America’s foremost illustrators.
On offer were 101 lots encompassing a range of styles and artists of Nineteenth Century, Impressionism, Modernism, Regionalism, Western and illustration art. The sale featured a strong selection of American Impressionist paintings, including pioneers of the genre, such as Childe Hassam, Frank Weston Benson, Frederick Carl Frieseke and John Leslie Breck, among others. Other sale highlights included works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Andrew Wyeth and Stuart Davis.
Frieseke’s (1874–1939) “The Garden,” an oil on canvas painted in 1913, nearly met its high estimate, realizing $2,407,500. Fetching $1,327,500 was Edward Moran’s (1829–1901) “Commerce of Nations Rendering Homage to Liberty,” an oil on canvas painted in 1876. The work was executed ten years before the Statue of Liberty was completed, as a means to raise funds and inspire patriotic enthusiasm for sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s undertaking.
By John Leslie Breck (1860–1899), “Garden, Ironbound Island, Maine,” an oil on canvas painted circa 1896, took $1,447,500.
Auction records were also set for Richard Edward Miller (1875–1943), “Tea-Time,” circa 1914, oil on canvas, $1,087,500; Gaston Lachaise (1882–1935), “The Peacocks” [LF 315/LF 198], modeled in 1918, cast circa 1923–29, parcel-gilt bronze, $523,500; and Jewett Campbell (1912–1999), “Reflected Glory,” 1939, oil on canvas, 16-1/8 by 20 inches, $18,750.
Prices reported include the buyers premium.
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