2012 Coeur d'Alene Art Auction Results

Frank Tenney Johnson
Cruising to a $17.9 million finish and a 92% sell-through rate, the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction continues to be the country's largest and most successful American Western Art auction.  While you wouldn't have felt it if you attended the sale, the gentlemen at the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction have to be pleased with their final number.  As usual, the house was packed, and they even had to bring in more chairs for people in attendance, and there was plenty of action from floor bidding to the phones.  I felt like the energy in the room was decent, but didn't have the electricity or giddiness the sale had a year ago.  It seemed like people were anxious to see what some of the higher end works were going to bring, and everyone expected those pieces to exceed the high estimates.  Of course, the Chief Joseph war shirt being one of those staple lots in the sale sold for $855,000.  While many people thought it would go for more, and many others thought it should go to the Nez Perce tribe or into a museum, $855,000 is still impressive and the person who bought it has to be pleased.  As usual, quality historical works sold well with many lots exceeding their high estimates.  The incredible Borein collection from the Dalzell Collection did very well even with so many Boreins.  It just goes to show that regardless of how many works from a particular artist there are, if they're 8-10s, they're going to sell well.  With a number of Maynard Dixons in the sale, all but 2 sold, and the rest sold pretty well.  Speaking of high expectations, with the Terpnings doing so well at the Scottsdale Art Auction, I think people thought the two beauties in the CDAA sale were going to follow suit.  Scout's Report measuring 32" x 48" sold for $977,000 and Treasure in the Desert a 32" x 42" oil sold for $736,200.  I thought at least one of these would top the million dollar mark, and Scout's Report came very close, I don't think you're going to hear any complaints from the consignors.  While some may say that the energy was down at the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction, I would disagree.  I thought the expectations were just high.  CDAA still put up a higher number than they did last year.  It's like saying Tiger Woods is struggling because he's not winning majors, even though he's won more times on Tour than anyone else, is leading the Tour in scoring average and total winnings.  The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction is held to a higher standard than most Western art auction houses.

Scott Tallman Powers
One of the biggest surprises in my eyes, was how soft the contemporary market was in Reno.  Typically, it's the cream of the crop when it comes to contemporary artists who get invited to the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction, with the exception of the few artists who have been participating so long, it just wouldn't feel the same without them even though their work doesn't warrant an invitation.  A huge congratulations to Scott Tallman Powers for winning the People's Choice Award!! His painting A Life of Cultivation was incredible and would catch your eye no matter where you were standing in the Grand Ballroom.  It sold for $22,300, and for the record, I voted for it for People's Choice Award.  Now, if I could just get him to participate in my annual Miniatures by the Lake Show in September.  If you haven't heard of Scott Tallman Powers, you can check out his work by clicking here.  Overall, I think the soft prices of the contemporary market is a reflection of the recovering economy.  The good news is that most of them still sold!

Charles Russell, An Enemy That Warns
Edward Borein, Roping a Steer

Maynard Dixon, Lone Bull

Phillip Goodwin, Unexpected Guests

Andy Thomas, Shot of Vengeance

Feel free to contact me if you'd like to know more about the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction.  Now it's time for our favorite segment:  Goin' to the Craps Table/Goin' to the ATM.  When a painting sells well, what's better than going to the craps table?  When your painting bombs, it's off to the ATM.  While I didn't sell anything in the CDAA this year, I still went to the craps table, and didn't fare as well as I would have liked.  I still had a great time, but I think I'll stick to the Western Art world in trying to make a living.

Goin' to the Craps Table
  • Frank Tenney Johnson, Cowboys Roping the Bear, estimated:  $500,000-$700,000
    • Sold for $921,000
  • Charles M. Russell, An Enemy That Warns, estimated:  $80,000 - $120,000
    • Sold for $292,500
  • Joseph H. Sharp, Lone Teepee, estimated:  $30,000 - $50,000
    • Sold for $93,600
  • Frank McCarthy, Friends of Enemies, estimated:  $40,000 - $60,000
    • Sold for $87,750
  • Bob Kuhn, A Near Miss, estimated:  $100,000 - $150,000
    • Sold for $245,700
  • Edward Borein, Swappin' Ends, estimated:  $50,000 - $75,000
    • Sold for $93,600
  • Edward Borein, Point Rider, estimated:  $25,000 - $35,000
    • Sold for $52,650
  • Edgar Samuel Paxson, Captain Lewis at Black Eagle Falls (group of 4 works), estimated: $15,000 - $25,000
    • Sold for $43,875
  • Albert Bierstadt, Mt. Baker from the Fraser River, estimated:  $200,000 - $300,000
    • Sold for $409,500
Goin' to the ATM
  • William Gollings, The Passing of Time, estimated:  $30,000 - $50,000
    • Bought in
  • Mian Situ, Morning on Market Street, San Francisco, 1905, estimated:  $80,000 - $120,000
    • Bought in
  • Henry Farny, Apache Warrior, estimated:  $60,000 - $90,000
    • Bought in
  • Sydney Laurence, Knowles Head, Prince William Sound, estimated:  $80,000 - $120,000
    • Bought in
  • Maynard Dixon, Navajos In A Canyon, estimated:  $500,000 - $700,000
    • Bought in
  • Charles M. Russell, Mexicans Leaving an Inn, 1906, estimated:  $350,000 - $550,000
    • Bought in
  • Carl Rungius, Mt. Assiniboine, estimated:  $40,000 - $60,000
    • Bought in
  • E. I. Couse, Night Birds (circa 1923), estimated:  $300,000 - $500,000
    • Bought in


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