Published: November 6, 2017
DALLAS — Recently returned to a family after it was stolen more than 40 years ago, Norman Rockwell’s “Lazybones (Boy Asleep With Hoe),” also known as “Taking a Break,” sold for $912,500 during a public auction of American fine art held Friday, November 3, by Heritage Auctions.
Two phone bidders competed for the iconic painting; the buyer has requested to remain anonymous.
The painting was made famous in 1919 when it was first published as the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell completed the painting when he was just 25 years old.
Originally purchased for less than $100 in 1954, the painting was stolen from the New Jersey home of the Robert and Teresa Grant family in June of 1976. FBI art crimes agents in Philadelphia returned the painting to the family earlier this year.
In addition to being a unique work of art, the family immediately identified the painting as the one stolen from the home because of a telltale damage when it was struck with a pool cue. Heritage Auctions worked with a fine art conservator to repair the hole and restore the painting.
“The provenance of this masterwork is as remarkable as the painting itself,” said Aviva Lehmann, director of American art at Heritage Auctions. “We are thrilled to bring this classic Rockwell to auction, and find its new home.”
The auction realized a total $4,265,500. Two additional paintings produced for covers of The Saturday Evening Post set auction records when artist Monte Crews’ “Amateur Nite – Cowboy Bill’s Ramblers,” a cover published January 11, 1936, sold for $40,000, and Albert W. Hampson’s “Bump Mobile,” published June 22, 1940, set a record at $137,500.
Look for a complete review in a future issue. For more information, www.ha.com or 877-437-4824.
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