Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Arts of the American West
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers hosted its first Arts of the American West sale of 2018 on April 20 and 21 to strong, competitive bidding in house, on the phone and online. This led to a sales total of $744,700, with Western art being among the top performing categories of the sale. While a number of the major performers were by historic artists, there was a noticeable interest in contemporary work throughout the auction.
“There were strong prices for the more contemporary pieces, for example the Kevin Red Star brought $8,125,” says Maron Hindman, the auction house’s managing director of the West/southwest region. “In some cases, living, producing artists don’t perform quite as well at auction, but some of these contemporary artists are starting to have strong showings at auction. With that, we see young people moving into the collecting category of Western art.”
The top lot of the auction was Charles M. Russell’s wildlife painting Black Tail, Buffalo Days (est. $80/120,000), which sold for $68,750. The second highest earner was a
small-scale work by Oscar E. Berninghaus titled Wandering Home Seeker (est. $20/40,000) that came in within estimate at $23,750. Mescalero Mother, by Allan Houser, which was from a consignor overseas, rounded out the top three when it sold for $21,250 against a presale estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.
Also notable was a work by Burt Proctor titled Visiting Day (est. $4/6,000) that more than doubled its high estimate at $12,500. “The buyer was extremely enthusiastic about it and actually purchased two by Proctor,” says Hindman. “Because of the size and the amount of figures and detail in the painting, he said it was one of the best by Proctor he’s seen.”
Two pieces by Porfirio Salinas were also notable, including an untitled landscape with prickly pear cactus and a farm in the distance, as they sold for $10,000 each. A work by Dan Mieduch titled Romping Through the Hassayampa and William Sanderson’s Ten Bare Trees were also standouts, with each selling for $11,250 against presale estimates of $5,000 to $7,000.
Charles M. Russell (1864-1926), Black Tail, Buffalo Days, 1916, oil on canvas, 15 x 21”. Estimate: $80/120,000 SOLD: $68,750
Allan Houser (1914-1994), Mescalero Mother, 1979, carved Tennessee marble, 24 x 10 x 12”. Estimate: $10/15,000 SOLD: $21,250
Oscar E. Berninghaus (1874-1952), Wandering Home Seeker, 1951, oil on canvas board, 12 x 15½”. Estimate: $20/40,000 SOLD: $23,750
Burt Proctor (1901-1980), Visiting Day, oil on panel, 29¼ x 47½”. Estimate: $4/6,000 SOLD: $12,500