Published: December 4, 2012
Christie’s sale of American art on November 28 totaled $38,469,650, selling 72 percent by lot and 84 percent by value. The top lot of the sale was Edward Hopper’s “October on Cape Cod,” which achieved $9,602,500, setting a new record for the most expensive item sold to an online bidder at any international auction house.
Elizabeth Sterling, head of American art at Christie’s in New York, said that the online sale of Hopper’s ‘October on Cape Cod’ underscores “collectors’ commitment to securing works of exceptional quality by American masters.”
Christie’s previous house record of $3.3 million was established in 2010 with the sale of a rare Shang dynasty bronze wine vessel.
Since 2007, every category of fine art, antiques and collectibles sold in Christie’s salerooms worldwide have been enabled for online bidding via Christie’s Live, the company’s real-time multimedia platform. Since that time, participation in online bidding in Christie’s auctions worldwide has increased steadily; for the year 2011, 29 percent of Christie’s bidders transacted online, and the Live platform drew 25 percent more bids than the previous year.
In addition to Christie’s Live, buyers in the saleroom and on the phone also contributed to strong prices for Twentieth Century works, including Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Sun Water Maine,” which achieved $2,210,500, Charles Ephraim Burchfield’s “Golden Dream,” which sold for $1,202,500, and Stuart Davis’ “City Snow Scene,” which doubled its presale estimate, selling for $1,202,500.
Another Hopper work, “Barn at Essex,” a watercolor and pencil on paper executed in 1929 brought $1,762,500.
Additional sale highlights included Thomas Sully’s “General George Washington,” oil on canvas, painted in 1841, $1,082,500; Martin Johnson Heade’s “Hummingbird Perches on the Orchid Plant,” oil on canvas, painted in 1901, $1,082,500; and Maxfield Parrish’s “Manager’s Prologue,” oil on panel, painted circa 1923′5, $1,010,500.
Rounding out the sale’s top ten lots were Childe Hassam, “Rainy Day on the Avenue,” oil on canvas, painted in 1893, $890,500, and George Catlin, “Commanding General, a boy (Wa-Ta-We-Buck-A-Na),” oil on canvas, painted circa 1844, $842,500.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, 212-636-2000 or www.Christies.com .
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