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Sotheby’s Midseason American Art Sale Paints a Bright Picture

Sotheby’s midseason sale of American paintings on April 8 realized a total of $2.6 million, for 177 lots offered.

NEW YORK—Sotheby’s midseason sale of American paintings on April 8 realized a total of $2.6 million, for 177 lots offered. Of these, 138, or 78 percent, were sold. By value, the auction was 86 percent sold, with several lots far exceeding estimates.

The highest price, achieved for two separate works, was $110,500 for Harry Mills Walcott’s The Cotillion, ca. 1910 (estimate: $40,000/60,000), and for Fairfield Porter’s idyllic landscape Farmhouse, Southampton, 1966, which was estimated at $35,000/45,000. Both works were sold to U.S. dealers.

William de la Montagne Cary’s painting Warring Tribes, n.d., sold for $80,500 to a private collector, surpassing the $30,000/50,000 estimate. Norman Rockwell’s Vinegar Bill, n.d., doubled the high $30,000 estimate to sell for $74,500, while Milton Avery’s double-sided 1940 landscape painting, titled Autumn and Summer, sold for $56,250, against an estimate of $20,000/30,000. Steven Dohanos’s painting The Yale Freshman, which appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in June 1948, sold for $59,375; it was estimated at $15,000/20,000.

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