NEW YORK—Swann Auction Galleries realized $2.2 million in auctions of prints, drawings and works on paper on Sept. 18. Of 667 lots on offer, 480, or 72 percent, were sold.
The highest price was the $84,000 given for an 1889–90 lithograph on paper by James A. M. Whistler (1834–1903), The Little Nude Model, Reading, a rare example of one of the artist’s most commercially successful lithographs. The final price far exceeded the $20,000/30,000 estimate.
The price for the Whistler print was followed by the $43,200 given by a dealer for a Fernand Léger gouache over pencil on paper, Les Plongeurs, 1942, which also rose high above its estimate ($20,000/30,000).
Some buyers, however, were able to secure top works at the low end of their presale estimates. William Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job, 1826, a bound volume with 22 engravings, just cleared the low end of its $40,000/60,000 estimate, earning $40,800 with premium.
Pablo Picasso’s 1934 etching En La Taberna, Pêcheurs Catalans en bordée (Au Cabaret), 1934, also just cleared its $40,000 low estimate to earn the same price of $40,800 with premium. According to the Swann catalogue, the etching is one of only a few examples of an “extremely scarce, early print.”