NEW YORK—An untitled 1945 landscape by Marvin Cone (1891–1964) drew the highest bids in the sale of American and European art and Postwar and contemporary art at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Chicago, on Sept. 13. The work sold for $156,400, well above the $100,000/125,000 estimate.
Seventy-eight percent of the 218 lots, which included a number of Old Master prints, found buyers, bringing in a total of $1.4million and surpassing the $1.2million estimate. “We felt really good about the sale,” auctioneer Leslie Hindman told ARTnewsletter. “There was a huge amount of interest in everything.” Hindman was particularly pleased at the price for the painting by Cone, who was a contemporary—as well as a fellow resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa—of Grant Wood. “I thought the estimate was aggressive, but then we went over it,” she said. The buyer, a Midwestern collector, has a particular interest in Cone and beat out 13 other telephone bidders for the work, according to Hindman.
Among the other strong performers in the sale were the crayon-on-paper Un Masque a la tenture mauve, by Belgian artist Fernand Khnopff (1858–1921), which sold for $84,400 on an estimate of $50,000/70,000, and Jean Metzinger’s oil Three Sisters, 1923, which sold for $58,000 on an estimate of $30,000/50,000. Red Sleigh, a pastel on paper by Canadian artist Maurice Cullen (1866–1934), brought $50,800, far surpassing the $6,000/8,000 estimate, and a 34-inch-high bronze sculpture of a headless Honoré de Balzac by Auguste Rodin fetched $41,200, well above the $15,000/25,000 estimate.
As with the Cullen painting, a few lots powered past modest estimates, including Pablo Picasso’s editioned ceramic plaque Femme au chapeau fleuri, which sold for $29,200 against an estimate of $4,500/5,000, and Rembrandt’s etching The Circumcision in the Stable, which sold for $15,860 against an estimate of $5,000/7,000.
Two other lots that sold well above their estimates were Canadian Alexander Young Jackson’s oil Ship Island, 1913, which sold for $24,400 against an estimate of $10,000/15,000, and French artist Bernard Cathelin’s Grand Marche Mexican, 1965, which sold for $19,520 against an estimate of $8,000/10,000.
Despite the high percentage of sold lots and strong individual prices, there were still some significant buy-ins, the most notable being Frederick William MacMonnies’s bronze tabletop statue of Nathan Hale, which had been given an estimate of $100,000/150,000, the highest in the auction. The Prow, an oil by Gifford Beal (1879–1956) estimated at $30,000/50,000, and Heart of Kansas, an oil by Birger Sandzen (1871–1954) estimated at $60,000/80,000, also went unsold.
Hindman told ARTnewsletter that just over 28 percent of the lots sold went to buyers from Illinois, and more than 38 percent went to collectors outside the United States. “It shows how very global the market is,” she said. —Daniel Grant