Published: August 24, 2010
Caution and selectivity dominated the atmosphere at the annual Coeur d’Alene art auction on July 24. The economy did not dampen the enthusiasm of over 650 bidders as they packed the Grand Ballroom of the Silver Legacy Resort to bid on 312 lots consisting of classic and contemporary Western, wildlife, and sporting art.
Strong results and several world auction records were realized from bidding seemingly spread evenly between the audience, the telephone, and absentee and online bidders, resulting in a sale totaling just under $9 million.
The auction’s cover lot, a lyrical 36-by-46-inch oil painting by E.I. Couse (1866‱936) titled “The Kachina Painter,” performed strongly at $753,000. A small, 13-by-10-inch highly desirable portrait of Chief Joseph by Edgar Paxon (1852‱919) soared to a new world auction record of $163,800.
G.C. Delano’s 30-by-40-inch oil painting “In Bonnet and Paint” brought the second highest price ever for the artist at $438,750 while a fresh-to-the-market 24-by-20-inch winter scene of Twinning Canyon by Russian expatriate artist Nicolai Fechin brought $245,700, and a bronze of a bull moose by Henry Merwin Schrady soared past its $15/25,000 estimate to bring $87,750.
Alaskan artists fared better than in years past as a 40 by 36-inch oil by Sydney Laurence of Mt. McKinley brought $70,200 while three smaller oils exceeded their high estimates, with “Fishing Vessel at Sea” selling for $15,210, “Cache” for $35,100, and “Early Morning, Juneau Alaska” for $26,330 †the latter going to the Juneau Museum of Art.
The Nevada Museum of Art purchased a stylized 1950 painting by Dale Nichols (1904‱995) entitled “Trail Drive” just over estimate at $40,950.
A number of contemporary artists set new or near records as well, including John Banovich for $87,750 (new record), Richard Schmid at $58,500 (second-highest price ever), Fritz Scholder at $29,250, Kenneth Riley for $111,150, and a cigar-store Indian, circa 1880, of “Pocahontas” by noted carver Samuel Anderson Robb (1851‱928), which sold nearly double its high estimate at $64,350.
One of the final lots in the sale surprised the crowd when a tiny Gunnar Widforss watercolor at a mere 4 by 7 inches that previously went unsold at a Swedish sale soared over its $400/600 estimate to fetch $11,115.
New to the auction this year was a “Collectors’ Choice Award” that carried a $10,000 prize. The award was given to Bonnie Marris for her 30-by-40-inch painting of a wolf, “Light Sleeper,” which later sold for $29,250.
All prices reported included a 17 percent buyer’s premium.
For more information, www.cdaartauction.com or 208-772-9009.
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