With 379 lots in two sessions, an 89% sell-through rate and a large energetic crowd, the 2013 Scottsdale Art Auction posted sales of over $11,000,000. Scottsdale Art Auction continued to show its strength in works by Frank McCarthy, G. Harvey, Ken Riley, Tom Lovell, Jim Reynolds, Joe Beeler and other early Cowboy Artists of America members. Early on, the crowd was very energetic and chatty as Troy Black had to ask the crowd to keep their conversations down for the sake of bidders. While the cover lot by John Clymer didn't sell, there were rumblings that the reserve was set pretty high. Overall, I thought there were quite a few highlights including the Philip Goodwin paintings that sold for $138,000 and $126,500, both above the high estimates. Bob Kuhn continues to be very strong as his painting "High Stakes Race" sold for $218,500 after a $80,000-$120,000 estimate. G. Harvey's "New York, New York" measuring 40x30 inches sold for a whopping $281,750 after a $120,000-$180,000 estimate. The big sale of the afternoon was Frederic Remington's "The Pack-Horse Men Repelling an Attack by Indians" which sold for $1,035,000 with an estimate of $500,000-$700,000.
Just when you thought the Martin Grelle market had leveled out, he sets a record at the Scottsdale Art Auction with "Prayers of the Pipe Carrier" measuring 58 x 66 inches and selling for $488,750 after a $200,000-$300,000 estimate. All of Grelle's works that come to auction continue to sell within or above the estimates. Even his earlier works have been strong. Martin's 25th anniversary one-man show was also the same weekend as the Scottsdale Art Auction at Overland Gallery and of course sold out. It doesn't appear the Taos market is rebounding as fast as we'd all like, but there were a few strong prices. Overall, I think the partners at Scottsdale Art Auction have to be satisfied with their total, and collectors have to be pleased with the continued growth of the Western art market. If anything, the warm chocolate chip cookies were once again a huge hit!