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Heritage Auction Hits Estimates Despite Uneven Results

Frederic Remington’s ca.1891 Apache Signal Fire and Birger Sandzen’s undated Late Moon Rising brought $262,900 each, including buyer’s premium, at Heritage Auction’s American and European art sale May 17, the highest prices in the auction.

NEW YORK—Frederic Remington’s ca.1891 Apache Signal Fire and Birger Sandzen’s undated Late Moon Rising brought $262,900 each, including buyer’s premium, at Heritage Auction’s American and European art sale May 17, the highest prices in the auction. For the Remington, the figure fell in the middle of the estimate of $200,000/300,000, but it overwhelmed the $80,000/120,000 estimate for the Sandzen.

The auction comprised European, American and western art: Most of the European lots sold to phone or online bidders; the American and western lots went to a mix of phone and saleroom bidders, said Ariana Hartsock, consignment director for fine art.

Overall, the sale was a mixed bag for consignors, as only 245 (or 62 percent) of the 392 lots found buyers, but the auction earned a total of $2.5 million, meeting the estimate of $2 million/3 million. The value of the 147 buy-ins was an average of $1 million. Much of that value, however, was accounted for by German painter Severin Roesen’s Still Life with Fruit and Flowers, 1850, which bore a $600,000/800,000 estimate.

The $2.5 million total proceeds exceeded revenues from other fine-art sales at Heritage “over the past two years,” Hartsock said. “The totals have been growing exponentially with each sale, but we were especially pleased with this sale.”

Other lots that did well included John Koch’s Father and Son, 1955, which sold for $155,350 (estimate: $80,000/120,000); Norwegian American painter Jonas Lie’s maritime painting Off on the Breeze, which realized $80,662, compared with an estimate of $20,000/30,000; French artist Suzanne Valadon’s Still Life with Fruit and Glass, 1910, which sold for $65,725 against an estimate of $20,000/30,000; and Frank McCarthy’s western oil Stolen Ponies, which sold for $50,787, compared with an estimate of $40,000/60,000.

The Empire State Building, Winter, by Guy Carleton Wiggins, sold for $44,812, against an estimate of $25,000/35,000. Some lots did exceptionally well, such as German painter Paul Hermann Wagner’s Forest Nymph, which was estimated at $5,000/7,000 but brought a far higher price of $38,837. Lorser Feitelson’s Bathers, 1923, sold for $38,837 against an estimate of $10,000/15,000.

Lots that sold for below-estimate prices included British painter John Constable’s Suffolk Landscape, which realized $29,875, missing the estimate of $50,000/70,000, and Martin Grelle’s Autumn Morning, 1991, which sold for $17,925, compared with an estimate of $25,000/35,000.

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