William Standing painting sets record at March in Montana

William Standing (1904-1951), ‘The Last Chase,’ 38in x 69in, oil on canvas, signed and dated, 1925, Price realized: $118,000. March in Montana image

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho – The March in Montana sale went from a packed house of hundreds in 2019 to a small group of staff conducting the sale exclusively via remote bidding in 2020. Sales were not tempered in the least, though, with 90% of all lots selling for a total over $1.8 million, the second-highest in the auction’s history. Absentee and Internet live bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.

With safety for their employees as the primary concern, the company was able to conduct the sale entirely through online and telephone bidding. Many bidders were completely new to the sale, which was a welcome sight.

Highlights of the sale included a large oil painting by Montana artist William Standing (1904-1951). Considered to be his masterpiece, The Last Chase (above) shattered the old world-record price, selling for $118,000 against a $25,000-$35,000 estimate.

Andy Thomas (b. 1957-), ‘Moonlight Ambush,’ oil on canvas, 26in x 38in, signed lower right verso, titled and dated 2-2012. Price realized: $41,300. March in Montana image

Two chairs by legendary furniture maker Thomas Molesworth sold for more than double the estimate at $64,900.

Thomas Molesworth (1890-1977) club chairs, circa 1945. Price realized: $64,900. March in Montana image

Works by great Western artists such as Philip Goodwin, Edgar Paxson, Edward Borein, and Bob Scriver also met or surpassed their estimates.

Philip Goodwin (1881-1935), ‘The Race,’ oil on canvas, 30in x 20in. Signed and dated 1904. Price realized: $38,350. March in Montana image

March in Montana has long been known for exceptional weavings. This year’s sale showed continued strength with more than 60 rugs and blankets offered. Many exceeded their high estimates.

Navajo rug most likely from the Red Mesa/Teec Nos Pos weaving area, 12ft 9in x 6ft 6in, circa 1920. Price realized: $11,800. March in Montana image

Native beadwork was also a major part of the auction, along with cowboy items such as a rare Edward Bohlin parade saddle that sold for $38,350.

Edward Bohlin silver parade saddle, includes matching martingale, headstall with Bohlin-marked bit and tapaderos, circa 1945. Price realized: $38,350. March in Montana image

“While we were very happy with the outcome, we’re looking forward to seeing all of our friends again at March in Montana 2021,” says a statement released by the auctioneers.