CHICAGO – In mid-December, Hindman Auctions achieved more than $4.2 million during three days of Fine Art auctions. Across the December 13 American and European Art, the December 14 Post War & Contemporary Art and the December 15 Prints & Multiples auctions, bidders from 32 countries and 42 states participated. Works by artists such as N.C. Wyeth, Orville Bulman, Gladys Nilsson, Larry Poons, Friedel Dzubas, Lois Dodd, Albrecht Durer and Julie Mehretu saw extraordinary engagement. Eager competition was demonstrated for the thoughtfully composed selection of more than 300 works.
The December 13 American and European Art auction achieved $1,642,625 and saw outstanding engagement throughout. The auction offered paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the 19th and 20th centuries with a selection of works by Ashcan, Modernist, Impressionist and Illustration artists. Works by N.C. Wyeth, Gustave Loiseau, Orville Bulman and Le Pho all saw excellent interest.
N.C. Wyeth’s When Drake Saw for the First Time the Waters of the South Sea was the top lot of the auction, selling for a strong price of $275,000. A renowned artist of the Golden Age of Illustration, N.C. Wyeth became successful following his studies at Howard Pyle’s school and selling his first drawing to the Saturday Evening Post in 1903, at the age of 21. Outing, an American magazine covering a variety of sporting activities, commissioned Wyeth in 1906 to create a frontispiece illustration for John R. Spears’ article The Buccaneers, Drake and the Golden Hind, and this painting resulted. In a letter from Wyeth to his father, he writes that “[t]he subject is Sir Francis Drake at the top of a tropical tree gazing for the first time on the South Seas.” This painting is exemplary of Wyeth’s illustration work, while also one that clearly shows Pyle’s influence.
Wyeth’s Leaping from Rock to Rock in Sheer Delight was another top performer, realizing $162,500. This work was painted by Wyeth in 1913 to be used as an illustration for Henry Van Dyke’s story, The Lost Boy, published in the December issue of Harper’s Monthly Magazine, which would go on to be published by Harper & Bros. as a stand-alone book in 1914.
Other significant sales were Gustave Loiseau’s Gelee blanche au Vaudreuil (La Route de Louviers), which doubled its presale estimate to realize $118,750, and Le Quai de L’Oise a Pontoise, which sold for $100,000. Also, Le Pho’s Les Lys et les Chrysanthemes doubled its presale estimate to realize $68,750.
The December 14 Post War and Contemporary Art auction saw tremendous bidding activity, with 87 of the 88 lots offered selling for a total of $1,998,938 and achieving a nearly perfect 99% sell-through rate at 194% of the collective estimated value.
Hindman is always excited to present dynamic works by the Hairy Who and Chicago Imagists, and this auction was no exception. Leading the auction was Gladys Nilsson’s See Far: Son Good from 1971, which skyrocketed past its presale estimate of $30,000-$50,000 to sell for $212,500.
Another iconic Chicago artist whose work was well received was Ed Paschke – his painting Star Eye sold for $62,500 against a presale estimate of $8,000-$12,000.
Following Nilsson as the second top performer was Larry Poons’ Untitled (#5), which sold for $162,500 against a presale estimate of $40,000-$60,000. Additional highlights included Friedel Dzubas’ Further Land, which achieved $137,500, more than triple its presale estimate. Dzubas’s Lago also nearly tripled its estimate, realizing $59,375.
The December 15 Prints & Multiples auction totaled $589,438 and achieved a brilliant 97% sell-through rate.
Emerging as the top lot was Albrecht Durer’s The Four Horsemen (from The Apocalypse), which sold for $62,500 against a presale estimate of $20,000-$40,000. Durer was a prominent German painter, printmaker and theorist and became known for his woodcut prints.
Highlights of the sale also included Julie Mehretu’s Entropia: Construction from 2005, which achieved $31,250 against a presale estimate of $15,000-$25,000. A renowned contemporary visual artist known for her multilayered, uniquely dynamic paintings, Mehretu’s works have seen increasing demand in the art world.
Impressive results were also achieved by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen’s Clinique Cheron, which sold for $22,500, doubling its presale estimate. Ed Ruscha’s Let’s Keep in Touch (lot 19) realized $18,750 against a presale estimate of $5,000-$7,000.
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