Her­itage Auc­tion’s Amer­i­can Art Auc­tion

Dal­las, TX

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

Over the past few years, Her­itage Auc­tions has no­ticed an uptick in il­lus­tra­tions en­ter­ing the mar­ket and finding new homes with buy­ers. Their May 4 Amer­i­can Art Sig­na­ture Auc­tion shows no signs of this trend slow­ing with five ma­jor Nor­man Rock­wells, works by J.C. Leyen­decker and other Golden Age il­lus­tra­tors be­ing among the most sig­nif­i­cant lots. That trend has con­tin­ued into the Western seg­ment of the sale, with works com­ing from cal­en­dars and The Satur­day Evening Post de­pict­ing the Western way of life. Alissa Ford, di­rec­tor of Cal­i­for­nia and Western art at the auc­tion house, elab­o­rates, “We’re finding there’s an in­crease in il­lus­tra­tion over­all, and we’re hop­ing this bleeds into the Western mar­ket with sig­nif­i­cant pieces [by] Frank B. Hoff­man and W.H.D. Ko­erner [in this sale.]”

Hoff­man is rep­re­sented in the auc­tion by a Brown & Bigelow cal­en­dar il­lus­tra­tion ti­tled Daniel Boone Goes Bear Hunt­ing. Dur­ing the 1940s, the artist worked ex­clu­sively for the com­pany pro­duc­ing Western im­ages. This piece, which has a pre­sale es­ti­mate of $15,000 to $25,000, ar­rives fresh to the mar­ket from a col­lec­tion where it’s resided for more than 50 years. “It is fab­u­lous, and there is not a piece of restora­tion on it,” says Ford, who also notes a smaller study of the work sold at an­other auc­tion house pre­vi­ously, with this be­ing the mas­ter­work.

Dude Wran­gler, by Ko­erner, was done as an in­te­rior il­lus­tra­tion for the March 10, 1934, edi­tion of The Satur­day Evening Post. The work, de­pict­ing two cow­boys on horse­back taking a break from their daily du­ties, is a clas­sic scene of ev­ery­day life on a ranch. Along with The Satur­day Evening Post, Ko­erner’s il­lus­tra­tions of­ten ap­peared in the Chicago Tri­bune. The oil on can­vas is ex­pected to fetch be­tween $10,000 and $15,000.

Out­side the il­lus­tra­tion realm is a strong Glacier Na­tional Park land­scape by John Fery ti­tled Lake St. Mary, Go­ing to the Sun Moun­tain (est. $20/30,000) that has an in­ter­est­ing his­tory. “This paint­ing had been in a crate from 1948 un­til 2005,” says Ford. “It has been passed down in the fam­ily, and was given to my client who con­signed the work. He was watch­ing An­tiques Road­show and saw that there was a Fery, and said, ‘I think that’s the artist that I have.’”

Ford ex­plains the collector then made con­tact with the Hockaday Mu­seum of Art, and they asked if they could bor­row the work. The piece ar­rived on loan to the mu­seum in 2006 and re­mained there for the next 12 years. “It’s a won­der­ful paint­ing,” says Ford. “And while we can­not con­firm with 100 per­cent ac­cu­racy, the story goes that it was be­lieved to have been in the Van­der­bilt col­lec­tion be­cause [the con­signor’s] grand­fa­ther knew the Van­der­bilts.”

Also among the Western lots is the oil paint­ing Por­trait of Chief John Wil­liams, by Henry Farny, from the col­lec­tion of Ken­neth S. “Bud” Adams. The work, es­ti­mated at $12,000 to $18,000, was painted on a war drum and also

includes the drum­stick. Con­rad Sch­wier­ing’s Moun­tain Rhap­sody (est. $10/15,000); Al­lan Houser’s 1983 bronze Night Drum (est. $8/12,000), a sculp­ture that mim­ics one of his mar­ble pieces; and Eanger Irv­ing Couse’s In­dian Brave Kneel­ing Be­fore the Fire­light (est. $20/30,000), are other no­table high­lights.

W.H.D. Ko­erner (1878-1938), Dude Wran­gler, The Satur­day Evening Post in­te­rior il­lus­tra­tion, March 10, 1934, oil on can­vas, 36 x 27” Es­ti­mate: $10/15,000

Frank B. Hoff­man (1888-1958), Daniel Boone Goes Bear Hunt­ing, Brown & Bigelow cal­en­dar il­lus­tra­tion, oil on can­vas, 20 x 26” Es­ti­mate: $15/25,000

John Fery (1859-1934), Lake St. Mary, Go­ing to the Sun Moun­tain, oil on can­vas, 48¼ x 70¾” Es­ti­mate: $20/30,000

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