Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers’ Santa Fe Sale
Santa Fe, NM
The thrill of an auction is that any lot, including the first or last, could be a blockbuster. For Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers’ Santa Fe sale on August 10 and 11, the biggest thrill came during Lot 640 of the 658lot auction. It was there, just 18 lots from the end of the sale, that produced fireworks, when William Penhallow Henderson’s Another Spring rocketed past its high estimate of $250,000, finally selling at $465,000 and creating a new auction world record for the respected painter of the Southwest.
The work, which shows a female figure beaming proudly amid a village scene overcome by spring’s rich wave of color and life, saw steady bidding, even as it soared past its estimate, and then nearly doubling it. It broke Henderson’s previous auction record, a landscape that sold for $410,000 in 2011 at Christie’s, by more than $50,000. For even more
context on this momentous sale, Henderson’s third-best auction lot is a floral arrangement that sold for $71,000 in 2007.
Other top lots were Kenneth Riley’s Absaroka, featuring a Native American figure in full regalia in front of a horse, that sold for $72,500, just over its low estimate of $70,000, and Theodore Van Soelen’s landscape Gathering for Vespers, which also just cleared its low estimate of $50,000 when it sold for $52,800.
Olaf Wieghorst’s Apache Trail, showing two Native American riders in front of a huge Arizona rock formation, sold for $42,600, just missing its high estimate of $45,000. John Philip Falter’s 1974 wagon scene Homesteaders (est. $40/60,000) sold for $36,000 while Frank Mccarthy’s Arizona Patrol (est. $25/35,000) achieved $27,600. Another highlight was Ed Mell’s Western Bronc, a popular subject for the Arizona modernist. The highly abstracted work of a rider on a bucking horse sold for $23,400, falling just short of a $24,000 high estimate.
Other top lots included pieces by Fremont Ellis, John Nieto, Elias Rivera, Dan Ostermiller, Walt Gonske, John Moyers, Edouard Cortès, Gerard Curtis Delano and E. Martin Hennings.
Olaf Wieghorst (1899-1988), Apache Trail, oil on canvas, 24 x 30" Estimate: $35/45,000 SOLD: $42,600
Kenneth Riley (1919-2015), Absaroka, acrylic on panel, 36 x 27" Estimate: $70/90,000 SOLD: $72,000
Theodore Van Soelen (1890-1964), Gathering for Vespers, oil on canvas, 28 x 36" Estimate: $50/70,000 SOLD: $52,800
William Penhallow Henderson (1877-1943), Another Spring, oil on canvas, 32¼ x 40¼" Estimate: $150/250,000 SOLD: $465,000