GREAT FALLS, MO. — The 35th annual March in Montana sale enjoyed its highest total ever, selling $2.8 million in Western Art and collectibles. The bidding was fast and furious with a 97 percent sell-through rate featuring 755 lots. Additional seating was added to accommodate the large crowd and auctioneer Troy Black kept the excitement high through the two-day event.
Bronze sculpture was one of the surprises of the sale. Collectors are looking to the secondary market as casting costs are experiencing a fast rise. A large Dave McGary bronze titled “The Crow and the Bear” brought nearly $40,000 on an estimate of $15/25,000. John Coleman, Charles M. Russell, Joe Halko and Lorenzo Ghiglieri all sold well above estimates.
A trio of Henry Balink portraits brought out bidders from all over the country as the phone banks were stretched thin. All sold above the high estimates with “The Dance Roach” bringing $65,000, the third highest price ever for the artist. A pair of historically significant Olaf Wieghorst paintings found a new home after almost 100 years in the same family. An outstanding William Moyers oil brought three times the high estimate, selling for $21,000 and contemporary artists Don Oelze and Jennifer Johnson brought double their high estimates.
Cowboy items were particularly strong, with a “1 of 1000” marked Winchester rifle selling for $90,000 and a pair of Bohlin parade saddles bringing almost $100,000. Four exceptional horsehair bridles from a prominent Jackson Hole collection were a hit with the crowd and sold near or over their high estimates. A group of New West Furniture from the same consignor also sold over their estimate.
Native American items enjoyed a robust market. An engraved pipe tomahawk stole the show, along with notable beadwork. A large selection of weavings also brought buyers in from around the country with several selling above their high estimates.
Consignments are now being taken for the 2023 March in Montana Auction which will take place March 17-18.
Prices realized are listed with buyer’s premium included, as reported by the auction house. For information, 208-772-9009 or www.cdaartauction.com.