PHILADELPHIA — The tremendous results for Freeman’s fall 2021 season of sales confirms overall market strength, deep specialist expertise in Freeman’s team, and the house’s ability to maximize returns on single-owner sales and significant artistic and cultural material. “With such an abundance of strong results, it’s difficult to present the season’s highlights without missing some important pieces,” says Fraser Niven, Freeman’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our specialist team and support staff have worked tirelessly throughout this challenging year on behalf of our consignors to present auctions to our bidders worldwide. I am looking forward to our 2022 sale season, with exciting consignments already in-house and more to come.”
A season highlight was the white-glove sale of the Peltz Collection, a fresh-to-market selection of paintings by Pennsylvania Impressionists that realized $1.4 million. Works such as River Road at Centre Bridge by Kenneth Nunamaker, which sold for $252,000, and Butcher Wagon by Morgan Colt, which achieved $100,800, set world auction records for the respective artists.
The auction of the Alexander Hamilton Collection of John E. Herzog, held on October 25, was likewise a white-glove single-owner sale, which totaled nearly $600,000 in 44 lots, 185% of the overall high estimate. Freeman’s also secured strong results for Simply American: Fine Art from a Private Texas Collection, the American National Flag Collection of Jeffrey Kenneth Kohn, MD, and selections from the estate of Gabriele Lee.
Freeman’s American Art department ended the season with a $5.15 million result for American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists, a triumph that confirms Freeman’s strength in the field. In addition to the success of the Peltz Collection, the December 5 auction featured the $390,600 sale of Daniel Garber’s Sycamores and a strong showing for Illustration Art, including Stevan Dohanos’s Tying Flies (Saturday Evening Post Cover), which sold for $252,000 — a world auction record for work by Dohanos. Jamie Wyeth’s Saltwater Ice achieved $226,800, and the $81,900 sale of Donald de Lue’s The Rocket Thrower set a new record for the artist.
Freeman’s November 17 Modern and Contemporary Art sale achieved nearly $5 million in only 80 lots, led by a suite of playful sheep sculptures by the celebrated French artist and designer Francois-Xavier Lalanne. The Moutons de Pierre soared past their pre-sale estimates to achieve an overall result of $2,305,800. The auction also featured eight sculptures by Harry Bertoia, led by Untitled (Study for Fiery Circle), which achieved $107,100. Le Viaduc Rouge Pres de Vence by Chaim Soutine, the leading painting lot, achieved $302,400 against a pre-sale high estimate of $150,000.
Also, in a November 10 American Furniture, Folk and Decorative Arts sale, a Chippendale carved mahogany side chair exceeded its pre-sale estimate by more than 12 times to achieve $63,000; a Federal inlaid and figured mahogany pier table sold for $50,400. The top lots in Freeman’s December 8 Art and Design auction were all furniture works by George Nakashima that well exceeded estimates; and the season-opening Art and Design sale on September 15 featured the $113,400 sale of a four-door Chan cabinet by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne.
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