Freeman’s Modern & Contemporary Art Auction earns $2.7M

Modern & Contemporary Art

Clyfford Still (1904-1980) ‘PH-491.’ Sold for $411,000, the second-highest price ever for a Clyfford Still. Freeman’s image

PHILADELPHIA – Freeman’s Modern & Contemporary Art auction on Nov. 17 realized over $2.7 million. With highly competitive bidding throughout the sale from bidders both online and on the phone, the auction achieved an impressive 95% sell-through rate and established record prices for works by Alexander Calder and Clyfford Still. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

The undoubted highlight of the sale was the record price achieved for Clyfford Still’s PH-491 (above). The work sold for $411,000, five times its presale high estimate, resulting in the second-highest price ever achieved for a Clyfford Still work on paper.

The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gates Lloyd Sr. and Eleanor “Lallie” Biddle Lloyd achieved a 100% sell-through rate and realized a cumulative total of $580,00, soaring past its high estimate of $452,000. The collection featured two works on paper by Alexander Calder, Spinnaker (Lot 48) which sold for $181,250 and Untitled (Lot 47) which sold for $162,500, both realizing more-than-double their high estimates, and with Spinnaker also achieving the third-highest price for a work on paper by Alexander Calder in 2020.

Modern & Contemporary Art

Alexander Calder (1898-1976) ‘Spinnaker.’ Sold for $181,250, the third-highest price achieved this year for an Alexander Calder work on paper. Freeman’s image

Another work from the Lloyds’ collection, Lynn Chadwick’s Duet, surpassed its low estimate to sell for $162,500.

Modern & Contemporary Art

Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003) ‘Duet.’ Sold for $162,500. Freeman’s image

Other notable highlights included the sale of Physichromie no. 494 by Carlos Cruz-Diez (Lot 35), which realized $250,000, just at the top of its high estimate; Constellation of the Archer by Romare Bearden which sold for $112,500; Untitled (Double Bush Form) (Lot 62) and Untitled (Tonal Sound Sculpture) (Lot 61) by Harry Bertoia which sold for $125,000 and $50,000, respectively.

Modern & Contemporary Art

Carlos Cruz-Diez (1923-2019) ‘Physichromie no. 494.’ Sold for $250,000. Freeman’s image

Also of note are works from The Estate of Dorothy Levitt Beskind, which saw a 100% sell-through rate and realized $233,625, well surpassing its high estimate of $177,000. Highlights included Portrait of Ruth by Willem de Kooning (Lot 13) which achieved $58,500, almost double its high estimate, and Untitled by Bob Thompson (Lot 9) which sold for $35,000, nearly triple its low estimate and the fifth highest price ever achieved for a work on paper by the artist.

“We are delighted with the results of Tuesday’s sale, especially the results realized for the fresh-to-market works by highly sought after artists such as Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning and Carlos Cruz-Diez from three private collections which anchored the sale,” said Anne Henry, vice president and senior specialist. “With 100% sell-through rates for two of the three collections, and the majority of works in the sale selling above their presale high estimates, Freeman’s Modern & Contemporary Department once again proves its ability to achieve stellar successes for its consignors.”

Modern & Contemporary Art

Alexander Calder (1898-1976) ‘Untitled.’ Sold for $162,500. Freeman’s image

For details contact David Weiss, head of sale, at


View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: