Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2013 Coeur d'Alene Art Auction Results

2013 CdA Art Auction Crowd, Peppermill Casino
The 2013 Coeur d'Alene Art Auction was a wild success, as they cruised to a grand total of $30,500,000! It's their second highest total ever, and only 12 lots passed at the auction and half of those have already sold post-auction.  While the expectations were high, the energy of the sale kept up with people's expectations.  There was a full house in attendance and they actually had to bring out a lot more chairs.  There was no denying the quality of works in the sale from the top all the way to the bottom.  If you were looking to find a bargain at the sale, you might have had better luck on the craps table of the newly renovated Peppermill Casino.  Bidding was fierce, and the phone lines were booked the entire auction.  Troy Black and his staff did another terrific job, as they "hawed" their way to a sum of $30, 500,000.  Click HERE to view all the results.

All the major paintings sold, and sold well.  Frederic Remington's Cutting Out Pony Herds sold for $5,600,000, and Norman Rockwell's A Scout is Loyal sold for $4,280,000.  Howard Terpning's Telling of Legends sold for $1,705,000 and Shield of Her Husband sold for $1,033,000.  The Charles Russell market continues to be very strong, as works by the Cowboy Artist achieved 5 out of the top 10 prices in the sale.  Here's a list of the top 10 selling lots:

Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, July 27, 2013 (with buyer’s premium)
Artist                    Title                                             Low/High Est.     SOLD 
Frederic Remington    Cutting Out Pony Herds(A Stampede)    $5/7,000,000      $5,625,000
Norman Rockwell        A Scout is Loyal                                          $4/6,000,000       $4,281,000
Howard Terpning         Telling of Legends                                        $600/900,000      $1,705,000
Howard Terpning         Shield of Her Husband                                 $300/500,000      $1,033,000
Charles M. Russell       Buffalo Hunt #27                                         $600/900,000      $1,005,000
Charles M. Russell       Cowboys on the Plains                                $400/600,000      $697,000
Charles M. Russell       Indian Party                                                $500/700,000      $641,000
Thomas Moran            The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone      $250/350,000      $555,750
Charles M. Russell       The Bucker and the Buckaroo                     $200/300,000      $438,750
Charles M. Russell       A Pitcher                                                    $150/250,000      $438,750

Western Art Publications
A few other highlights of the sale included Henry Balink's Chief Trout, Pueblo Indian which sold for $93,600 with a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$60,000.  It was a gorgeous painting.  Z.S. Liang's The Charge of Crazy Horse on Fort Laramie 1864 shined with a $187,200 sales price and a $60,000-$90,000 estimate.  Belmore Browne's Fair Holme Range, Bow River sold for $14,040 with a pre-sale estimate of $4,000-$6,000.  I'm glad to see that because I've mentioned in the past, that Belmore and especially George Browne's work are under valued.  I've always thought Philip Goodwin's market was extremely under valued, but that may be changing as there's been a sharp rise in his action records and that continued with The Call of the Wild selling for $140,400 with an original estimate of $80,000-$120,000.  Even with all the Maynard Dixon works in the sale, they all performed very well and the demand for Dixon's work continues to go up.  John Fery's Jackson Lake Majesty, Wyoming sold for $17,550 with an original estimate of $6,000-$9,000.  Congratulations to William Acheff for winning the Collector's Choice Award for his painting: Big Bear Stories.

Here are just a few things I took away from the weekend:
  • The market for quality Taos Founder works is really beginning to rebound, and collectors are really developing an eye for quality works rather than just acquiring anything with a Taos founder name on it.
  • The Montana artists like O.C. Seltzer, Edgar Paxson and John Fery all performed very well, and the demand for C.M. Russell's work speaks for itself.
  • There's a strong market for quality works by contemporary artists who are conscious of their overall output.  Artists like Andy Thomas, Robert Griffing, Z.S. Liang, Martin Grelle, and Ken Carlson have consistently performed well and I attribute that to the limited supply of their works.
  • I noticed a lot of "new" buyers.  I love seeing the familiar faces, because the people you meet and friendships you develop are what makes collecting art so much fun, but it's also great for the genre to see interest from new collectors.
  • As hard as it can be, you have to walk away from the craps table while you're up because eventually the dice are going to turn on you.
And just like that, it's on to 2014.  If you haven't looked yet, check out the online catalog of the Jackson Hole Art Auction coming up in September.  I'll be attending the auction in Jackson, so I hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Coeur d'Alene Art Auction 2013

Norman Rockwell's A Scout is Loyal
Expectations are running high for the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction (CDAA) this year, and with good reason.  The gentlemen at the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction have assembled what looks like a very strong sale with the potential to post their highest total in half a decade.  Total sales for CDAA have steadily climbed year after year since their drop due to the 2008 credit crisis.  The auction house didn't reinvent itself, they stuck with what made them so successful to begin with.  They focused on quality, historical works by coveted American Western artists like Charles Russell, Frederic Remington, Taos Founders, and landscape artists Albert Bierstadt and Maynard Dixon.  They always include premium works by wildlife artists Carl Rungius and Bob Kuhn.  CDAA has always had a focus on quality sporting art, which in my opinion is extremely under-valued, but rare works by Philip Goodwin, Ogden Pleissner, Frank Stick and Frank Hoffman are readily available.  Another under-valued area of the Western market are the Montana favorites of O.C. Seltzer, John Fery, and Edgar Paxson.  It wouldn't be the same if I didn't mention the Alaskan aritsts like Sydney Laurence, Eustace Ziegler, Ted Lambert, Fred Machetanz, and Belmore and George Browne.  Finally, there are the contemporary giants like Howard Terpning, Martin Grelle, and Z.S. Liang.  I personally enjoy the select few living artists that get invited to participate like Andy Thomas, Luke Frazier, Bonnie Marris, Scott Tallman Powers, and one of my personal favorites, Brent Cotton.  I don't know why any living artist would turn down an opportunity to participate in this auction, because all they do is achieve record prices.  Most importantly, the Coeur d'Alene's formula of promoting attendance, setting conservative estimates, and offering premium works are what have helped them rebound in the past five years.  The sale is on Saturday, July 27 and begins at noon pacific time.  This will be the first year the auction is held at the Peppermill Casino in Reno, after the Peppermill just completed a $400 million renovation.

Frederic Remington's Cutting Out Pony Herds (A Stampede)
Now that I've probably put you to sleep naming artists in the sale, let's get down to the good stuff: the artwork.  I guess I have to begin with the cover piece: Norman Rockwell's "A Scout is Loyal".  39 x 27 inches, oil on canvas, the estimate is $4,000,000-$6,000,000.  The significance of this painting can not be understated.  When this image was used by Brown & Bigelow for its scout calendars, it became the best-selling calendars in the nation and introduced Norman Rockwell and Boy Scouting to millions of Americans.  It's just one of a handful of Rockwell Scout paintings in private hands.  Another major piece in the sale is Frederic Remington's Cutting Out Pony Herds (A Stampede) painted in 1908.  Considered to be one of Remington's most important works still in private hands, the estimate is $5,000,000-$7,000,000.  I can't forget to mention the 16 works by Charles M. Russell and the 10 works by Olaf C. Seltzer.  If you ever wanted to add a Russell or Seltzer to your collection, this may be your year.  There are a couple significant Russell watercolors available, which I'm going to guess will do well with Rick Stewart's upcoming book Charles M. Russell:  Watercolors, 1887-1926 set to be released in the Fall of 2014 by the Amon Carter Museum.  Keep an eye on Buffalo Hunt #27 one of Russell's favorite subject matters and Indian Party a splendid watercolor/gouache.  The Scouting Party a 24 x 36 inch, oil, with a pre-sale estimate of $2,000,000-$3,000,000 is a significant work that dates back to a turning point in Russell's life when he made the decision to take up art full time.

Charles Russel's A Scouting Party
It's no surprise with the success CDAA has had with Maynard Dixon's work that consignors would be attracted to the annual July sale.  With 11 works available, it's another opportunity to add a quality Dixon to your collection.  As the 3 of you who read my blog know, I really love sporting art, and there are two terrific paintings by Philip Goodwin in this year's sale.  The first, The Call of the Wild is a complimentary piece to Unexpected Guests sold in 2012, and measuring 24 x 33 inches, I would guess it will sell for close to or above the high estimate as Goodwin's works have been trending sharply upward.  As they should.  The second is an ode to Goodwin's good friend C.M. Russell titled Blackfeet Indians on the War Path.  Congrats to Brent Cotton in his first year participating in the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction. His painting The Refuge at Dawn is 36 x 60 inches and typifies Cotton's tonalist style.  Andy Thomas' action packed, historical figure pieces continue to grow in popularity and his painting Billy the Kid and the Regulators is sure to catch the eye of a few notable collectors.  Finally, one of the gems of the sale is Henry Balink's Chief Trout, Pueblo Indian measuring 30x25 inches.  I just can't get over how much I love the blanket, and how it directs your eye to the expression on Chief Trout's face.

With the energy over the weekend promising to be high, make your way to Reno and enjoy a few lamb chops, shoot some craps, and pick up a few premium Western, Wildife and Sporting works.  Some people I've spoke to compare the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction to going to a museum because of the quality works on display, but you can enjoy a few cocktails AND if you like something you can actually purchase it.
Henry Balink

Brent Cotton

Maynard Dixon

Charles Russell

Charles Russell

Andy Thomas