Rembrandt Peale’s iconic portrait of U.S. President George Washington – created in the artist’s lifelong quest to paint the most recognizable image of the “Father of the United States” – realized a new world record for a porthole portrait by the artist when it sold for $662,500 to lead Heritage Auctions’ two-day, $4.5+ million American art events in Dallas.
The May 10-11 events spanned American Indian art, Texas, Western and California Art and masterpieces of Fine American art. The auction sold 88 percent by lot and 93 percent by value and pushed three artists’ records past $500,000.
Peale’s portrait of Washington was presented with his equally iconic portrait of Martha Washington, which reached $158,500. It followed other important offerings including John McCrady’s Steamboat ‘Round the Bend, a mammoth tribute – both figuratively and literally – to Southern regional art. At 14-feet wide, the 1946 commission for Delmonico’s Restaurant in New Orleans is recognized as McCrady’s most famous mural, helping it realize $542,500 – a new world record for the artist. Jerome Thompson’s 1865 oil on canvas titled Riverbank in Bloom sold for $512,500 to shatter its $8,000+ pre-auction estimate and set the new record for this artist.
“These results confirm Heritage Auctions looms large in the American art auction arena,” said Ed Beardsley, Vice President of Fine Art at Heritage. “An increasing number of important collectors trust us with their paintings and sculpture because we consistently deliver knowledgeable buyers across the complete spectrum of American fine art.”
The auction also features works by acclaimed living artists such as Stephen Scott Young, whose Hibiscus Dress (Little Cindy), 2009, realized $68,500 and Final Study for Mr. Buck’s Funeral, 2010, sold for $62,500. An oil on canvas by Shen-Huan Lu, titled House by the Pond, 1996, reached $21,250.
Among the offerings of Western and California Art were a number of iconic works, such as Indian Tales, Taos, 1922 by Blanche Grant, which realized $62,500 and Girl with Calabash, Moorea, 1977, by Millard Sheets, a notable example of California modernism, which fetched $40,625. Additional highlights include four butterfly paintings by Albert Bierstadt, offered individually, which realized a combined $64,375, Thomas Hill’s Trout Fishing, 1891, brought $42,500 and End of Day by Gordon Snidow, achieved $30,000.
Works by Texas’ plein air impressionist masters remain popular with collectors as Julian Onderdonk’s Coreopsis, Near San Antonio, Texas, 1919, reached $50,000 and Texas Cacti by Dawson Dawson-Watson, a classic example of his signature style, realized $32,500. Porfirio Salinas’ Texas Summer, fetched $25,000, and his Bluebonnets on the River Bank, realized $15,625. Jose Vives-Atsara’s Mission San Jose, San Antonio, Texas, realized $17,500 to round out the selection’s top lots.
A fresh-to-market selection of American Indian art was led by a rare and substantial Apache pictorial coiled storage jar, which reached $32,500 to more than double its pre-auction estimate. A monumental Santa Clara redware jar by Richard Eberlacker, sold for $18,750, and a Santa Clara carved blackware jar by Margaret Tafoya, fetched $15,625.
The auction also features a collection of Pre-Columbian gold ornaments, pendants and talismans, led by a large Quimbaya gold pendant, circa 1200-1400 AD, representing a composite human/animal creature, which sold for $15,625.
Additional highlights include but are not limited to:
Fine American Art:
- The Artist’s Wife by Guy Pène Du Bois. Realized: $95,500.
- Views of Northern Head at Sunrise in the Bay of Fundy by William Bradford. Realized: $53,125.
- Dusk, Woodstock, New York, 1910 by Brige Harrison. Realized: $30,000.
Western & California Art:
- Breaking the Ice by Earl Biss. Realized: $27,500.
- Sisters by Mian Situ. Realized: $20,000.
- Rocky Road Nocturne by Robert Pummill. Realized: $20,000.
- Guadeloupe River Scene by Robert William Wood. Realized: $13,750.
- Bluebonnets, 1960 by Porfirio Salinas. Realized: $13,750.
- Early Morning on the San Antonio River at Mill Bridge by Julian Onderdonk. Realized: $12,500.
American Indian Art:
- A Navajo Sandpainting weaving, depicting Mother Earth/Father Sky, circa 1940. Realized: $14,375.
- A photo album from South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation. Realized: $12,500.
- A Sioux beaded hide baby carrier, circa 1890. Realized: $11,250.
Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and 750,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com