Recovered Norman Rockwell painting sells for $912,500

Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978), ‘Lazybones,’ oil on canvas. Price realized: $912,500. Heritage Auctions image

DALLAS – Recently returned to a family after it was stolen more than 40 years ago, a painting by Norman Rockwell titled Lazybones (Boy Asleep With Hoe), also known as Taking a Break, sold for $912,500. It was the top work in Heritage Auctions’ sale of American art, which topped $4.3 million. Absentee and Internet bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Illustration Art swept the sale’s top lots as Rockwell’s Fishes Like Neckties, an interior illustration study for American Magazine, 1934, reached $200,000 and The Rescue of Theophilus Newbegin (below), painted by Joseph Christian Leyendecker in 1907 as a cover for The Saturday Evening Post, sold for $187,500.

Norman Rockwell

Joseph Christian Leyendecker (American, 1874-1951), ‘The Rescue of Theophilus Newbegin,’ ‘Saturday Evening Post’ cover, Sept. 21, 1907, oil on canvas laid on Masonite. Price Realized: $$187,500. Heritage Auctions image

“Bidders responded to the incredible diversity we brought to the block this fall, as evidenced by the by the 90 percent sell-through rate that we achieved,” said Aviva Lehmann, director of American art at Heritage Auctions. “We offered superb material across the board, while setting artist records in the process.”

The sale set multiple auction records in the arena of golden-age illustration, most notably for Albert W. Hampson’s Bump Mobile (below), a Saturday Evening Post cover published June 22, 1940, which sold for $137,500, and Monte Crews’ Amateur Nite – Cowboy Bill’s Ramblers, a 1936 Saturday Evening Post cover illustration that achieved $40,000.

Norman Rockwell

Albert W. Hampson (American, 1911-1990), ‘Bump Mobile,’ ‘Saturday Evening Post’ cover, June 22, 1940, oil on canvas. Price realized: $137,500. Heritage Auctions image

Classic Hudson River School and Impressionism fetched high prices on Nov. 3 as well: A stunning oil painting by George Henry Durrie titled Winter in the Country, A Cold Morning (below), 1863, a masterwork identified as “one of his best contributions to native winter landscape painting in the 19th century,” realized $324,500. Harriet Whitney Frishmuth’s iconic bronze Joy of the Waters, 1917, far exceeded its estimate when it sold for $150,000. Offered for the first time in nearly 30 years, William Merritt Chase’s Untitled (Nude Resting in a Chair), circa 1888, brought $125,000.

Norman Rockwell

George Henry Durrie (American, 1820-1863), ‘Winter in the Country, A Cold Morning,’ circa 1863, oil on canvas. Price realized: $324,500. Heritage Auctions image

Leading a selection of California and Western Art, Howard Terpning’s Absaroke Trail, 1993, (below) sold for $162,500, more than double its estimate. Wild Heliotrope near San Juan Capistrano, by John Marshall Gamble sold for $68,750 and Dave McGary’s bronze Long Soldier (Life-size), 1989, fetched $52,500.

Norman Rockwell

Howard Terpning, ‘Absaroke Trail,’ 1993, oil and acrylic on board. Price realized: $162,500. Heritage Auctions image

Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:

  • Francis Criss, Third Avenue El, circa 1933 realized $62,500;
  • Wolf Kahn, Redwing’s Pond, 1982 realized $47,500;
  • Leyendecker’s, Fitted for a Suit, The Saturday Evening Post cover study realized $47,500.