Published: December 15, 2020
PHILADELPHIA – Freeman’s December 6 American art and Pennsylvania Impressionists auction realized more than $5.2 million, posting the best result for a sale of American art that Freeman’s has ever recorded and the highest selling fine art auction at the house since 2004.
With highly competitive bidding throughout the sale from bidders both online and on the phone, the auction, comprising 114 lots, achieved an impressive 93 percent sell-through rate overall as well as a 96 percent sell-through recorded for the Pennsylvania Impressionists section. With at least three works selling to museums, exceptional prices were established for works by Daniel Garber, Rockwell Kent and Mary Elizabeth Price.
Fresh-to-market material from single-owner collections soared above estimates The undoubted highlight of the sale was the strong result achieved for Norman Rockwell’s “The Melody Stilled by Cold. The work sold for $519,000 to a private collector, exceeding its high estimate. Also of note was the impressive result achieved for Rockwell Kent’s “Wake Up, America!,” which achieved $375,0000, soaring above its high estimate and realizing the highest price paid for a socio-political work of this caliber by the artist.
Said the firm’s chairman Alasdair Nichol, “We are delighted with the success of the auction, which surpassed all our expectations. We thank our consignors for their continued faith in our business and we thank the entire Freeman’s team for their heroic efforts in bringing Freeman’s through one of its most difficult years to date – with tremendous success. We are also grateful for the city of Philadelphia, which has been our home for well over 200 years, and we continue to look forward to a successful future in our state-of-the-art building at 2400 Market Street.”
Works by Pennsylvania Impressionist Daniel Garber performed very well, exemplifying Freeman’s continued success with this artist. Seven paintings by the artist realized a cumulative $1.55 million, led by “The Last of Winter,” which sold for $435,000, exceeding its high estimate and becoming the highest price paid for Daniel Garber at auction since 2013. This record was followed by “Blue and Gold,” which soared past its high estimate of $250,000 to achieve $312,500; “Weatherby’s Oak,” which sold for $300,000, just at the top of its high estimate; as well as “Winter,” which sold for $162,500 and also exceeded its high estimate.
Other notable highlights included the sale of Mary Elizabeth Price’s “Mille Fleurs (A Thousand Flowers),” which realized $162,500, surpassing its high estimate and becoming the second highest price achieved for the artist; “Lake Garda” by John Singer Sargent, which sold for $87,500, surpassing its high estimate; “Rainy Day, Columbus Avenue, Boston” by Childe Hassam, which sold for $75,000, tripling its high estimate; and “Bowery Scene” by Reginald Marsh, which realized $75,000, far exceeding its estimate of $30/50,000.
Of note are three works by artist George William Sotter, which sold for a collective $190,000 and were led by “The Neighbor’s House” at $100,000, within its estimate. “Singing Bells” by Henry McCarter sold for $32,500, nearly doubling its high estimate and achieving the highest price ever paid for an oil by the artist. Notable results were also achieved for works by Edward Willis Redfield.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For more information, www.freemansauction.com or 215-563-9275.
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