Altermann's Results - Scottsdale

Adolph Weinmann's Chief Black Bird, Ogalalla Sioux
The Scottsdale Art Auction was not the only auction that took place over the first weekend of April.  Altermann's Auctioneers also had a sale on Friday, March 30th.  Originally, from Santa Fe, Altermanns moved to Scottsdale in 2011 to try and break into the Scottsdale art market.  While Altermanns has been around since 1978, they host about 4 auctions a year rather than one big sale like Coeur d'Alene Art Auction, Scottsdale Art Auction, or Jackson Hole Art Auction.  Because of their four sales, it's impossible to compare their auctions to the others, but when you combine them, you have to mention Altermanns when you talk about the competitive Western auction scene.  With all the auction houses, it becomes more and more competitive to acquire quality works for each sale if you're one of the major auction houses.  It's great for the collectors who have lots of options and can use that competition for a better seller's premium, but certain sales are more suited to sell certain artists or types of artwork.  While there wasn't anything that was mind blowing in the Altermann sale, there were a couple of highlights.  The biggest being the Adolph Weinmann bronze Chief Black Bird, Ogalalla Sioux estimated $125,000 to $175,000.  This particular Weinmann bronze had a special bronze base that made it more coveted because it sold for a whopping $273,000!  Scottsdale Art Auction also had the same bronze, but it was only estimated $70,000 - $100,000 and passed.  There were numerous quality bronzes by Frederic Remington and a very rare James Earle Fraser bronze of The End of the Trail.  Unfortunately, the majority of them passed which seemed to be the running theme for the sale.  The catalog cover piece was a nice Garard Curtis Delano titled The Hunter, measuring 22 by 40 inches estimated $200,000 to $300,000 and sold for $306,000.  The sales price isn't bad, but it sold in 2008 at the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction for $345,000.  A good example of pre-recession and post-recession buy.  Oscar Berninghaus' Sangre de Cristos, 25 by 30 inches, oil sold well with an estimate of $70,000-$90,000 and sales price of $102,000.  There were a lot of early Cowboy Artists of America works available and one that stood out in my mind was Ray Swanson's Movin' Through Dry Country.  Measuring 36 by 48 inches and estimated $50,000 to $60,000, it sold for a strong $108,000.  Altermann's next sale is August 11, 2012 in Santa Fe.

Gerard Curtis Delano's The Hunter

While there were some good opportunities to add to your collection, the overall results felt like there was too much artwork available for one weekend.  The ones who suffer the most are the fantastic galleries that are in Scottsdale, because for one weekend, there's an influx of about 638 pieces of art that directly competes with what the galleries are offering.  Yes, the events do bring buyers in to town, so it's a double edge sword.  I guess the moral of the story is to provide the best quality painting you can and it will always sell if it's priced fair.


  1. I had fun choosing this particular painting online that now hangs in my downtown office,
    from, who sells canvas prints of art masterpieces. While the original is treasured in some
    art museum in England, my print, of this painting by Edward
    Burne-Jones is very much appreciated by my staff and clients. The print quality is really excellent.


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