Coeur d’alene Art Auction
On July 28, the Coeur d’alene Art Auction returned to Reno, Nevada, to offer top-quality works in one of the biggest Western art sales in the country. The sale didn’t disappoint, realizing more than $13.3 million and creating a handful of new artist world records.
Turnout in the room, as well as on the phones and online, was high and bids were consistent as 311 lots, made up of both historic and contemporary works, were offered to bidders. In the end more than 91 percent of the works sold.
“The crowd was great, and we even had to add chairs as the auction was about to begin. And the phone bidding was up, as was the internet bidding,” auction partner Mike Overby says. “But the thing we really liked to see were the new faces in the crowd bidding. When you get new eyeballs in the room that’s always positive.”
The top lot was Alfred Jacob Miller’s 1850 oil The Thirsty Trapper, which sold for $1,715,000, within estimates of $1.5 million and $2.5 million. “This painting is such an important historic work from this artist. Good oils like this from Miller are very hard to find,”
Overby says. “It’s just a very aesthetically pleasing painting, one of the best to come to market. The figures are so well done and the scene itself is very uplifting with the landscape and the teepees in the background. It shows the best of his abilities.”
Other tops lots were two strong landscape works: Henry Farny’s
1901 Native American piece Pastures New (est. $400/600,000) that sold for $535,500, and
Edgar Payne’s 1921 Solitude’s Enchantment, that just missed its high estimate of $500,000 when it sold for $476,000. “The Farny is a
tremendous painting,” Overby says. “His oils are very rare because he did a lot of gouache and watercolors, so oils are rare to the market. When they do pop up they sure cause a scene.”
William R. Leigh’s pastoral West Virginia Woodchopper sold for $297,500, just missing its $300,000 low estimate. Earlier in the sale Laverne Nelson Black’s Along the Old Trail sold for $238,000, barely missing its high estimate of $250,000. Two works by Taos artist Eanger Irving Couse also performed strongly: the nocturne Night Birds (est. $150/250,000) sold for $238,000 and Quail Hunters (est. $150/250,000) sold for $202,300.
Three Howard Terpning paintings, all within the top six auction lots, created fireworks:
Dust of Many Pony Soldiers (est. $800/1,200,000) sold for $819,000, Chased by the Devil (est. $400/600,000) sold for $651,000 and Beaver n’ Blackfeet (est. $300/500,000) sold for $386,750. “Howard’s market is as strong as can be. He’s slowed down his output, so what’s out there is all that’s really available, so when a major oil comes up like these there’s definitely going to be a lot of competition,” Overby says. “He’s still considered to be, by far, the best contemporary Western painter working today.”
Two works from younger, more contemporary painters also performed strongly: Logan Maxwell Hagege’s Before the Cold Winds Come sold well over its high estimate of $75,000 when it closed at $95,200, creating a new world auction record for the artist; and Mark Maggiori’s
Father & Son, estimated at $25,000 to $35,000, sold over estimates at $44,630, coming within striking distance of a $51,000 world record for the artist set this past March.
One lot that generated considerable attention was Peter Hurd’s 1947 egg tempera
The Horse Wrangler. The 20-inch-tall piece was expected to fetch $20,000 to $30,000, but soared more than three times its high estimate before selling at $107,100, crushing a previous auction record for a Hurd work by more than $35,000.
art collectors. left, with several WesternAuthor Donna Poulton,
The Bozeman crew: CurtisSteve Zabel Tierney, left, and ThomasNygard.
Logan Maxwell Hagege, Before the Cold Winds Come, 2016, oil on canvas, 40 x 60". Artist World Auction Record. Estimate: $50/75,000 SOLD: $95,200
Alfred Jacob Miller (1810-1874), The Thirsty Trapper, 1850, oil on canvas, 24 x 20"Estimate: $1.5/2.5 million SOLD $1,715,000
SOLD: $107,1001903, oil on canvas, 37 x 49" Estimate: $300/500,000 SOLD: $297,500
Peter Hurd (1904-1984), The Horse Wrangler, 1947, egg tempera on board, 20 x 18". Artist World Auction Record. Estimate: $20/30,000William R. Leigh (1866-1955), West Virginia Woodchopper [or] West Virginia Farm Boy,