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Bonhams achieves outstanding results in two-day series of Western & California Art sales
Ernest Martin Hennings (1886-1956), Indian Horsemen. Price realized: $918,313. Photo: Bonhams.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Bonhams saw spirited and lively bidding from enthusiastic buyers in a successful series of three Western and California Art auctions over the two-day period of Tuesday, August 3rd through Wednesday, August 4th. The first sale was the California Art auction on Tuesday, which achieved a total of $2,985,748. Wednesday began with an outstanding single-owner auction, Portrait of the West: The Diane and Sam Stewart Collection, which achieved $5,035,768. This sale included the crown jewel and top lot of the week, Indian Horsemen by Ernest Martin Hennings (1886-1956), which sold for $918,313. The third and final sale comprised of fine Western Art, which realized $1,037,227 in total.

The three auctions achieved a combined total of $9,058,743 across 320 lots.

Bonhams Western Art Specialist Katherine Halligan said, “The excitement has been palpable at Bonhams over the course of the past 48 hours. We were very pleased to see such a successful outcome from our California and Western art sales. We were especially thrilled by the strong results of the wonderful Diane and Sam Stewart Collection. The market is phenomenally vibrant at this moment in time, with buyers eager to acquire paintings and sculpture of the finest provenance in these collecting fields.”

Tuesday, August 3, 2021
California Art

Tuesday’s California Art sale saw strong bids from excited buyers throughout the entirety of the auction. The sale’s top lot was a painting by leading plein air artist, Guy Rose (1867-1925), Foggy Morning, Veules (Normandy Coast). The work sold for $250,313. Another exciting price realized was Portrait of a Japanese Woman in an Iris Garden by Maurice Logan (1886-1977). Estimated at $40,000 – 60,000, the painting achieved $181,563—over triple its high estimate—and established a new auction world record for the artist.

In total, the 138-lot auction achieved $2,985,748, was 88% sold by lot, 88% sold by value, and established five world auction records.

World Auction Records Established

• John Garth (1889-1971), Study for Swing Shift, Price realized: $22,813
• Brents Carlton (1903-1962), Untitled (Figure on Girder), Price realized: $17,813
• Maurice Logan (1886-1977), Portrait of a Japanese Woman in an Iris Garden, Price realized: $181,563
• David Howard Hitchcock (1861-1943), Untitled (Burning Lake, Hawaii), Price realized: $115,313
• Hajime Okuda (1906-1992), Old Time Lahaina, Price realized: $7,650

Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Portrait of the West: The Diane and Sam Stewart Collection

Bonhams’ saleroom was brimming with energy on Wednesday as single-owner sale Portrait of the West: The Diane and Sam Stewart Collection opened for bidding. Among the many highlights throughout the sale, the most noteworthy result came from top lot Ernest Martin Hennings’ Indian Horsemen, which sold for $918,313 against an estimate of $600,000 – 800,000. A second strong result was achieved by William Herbert ‘Buck’ Dunton’s Delivering the Mail. Depicting a female on horseback as its subject, this rare painting by the Western master more than doubled its high estimate of $250,000 to sell for $525,313.

The 102-lot sale achieved $5,035,768 in total; it was 94% sold by lot, 89% sold by value and set seven new world auction records.

World Auction Records Established

• Gene Kloss (1903-1996), Indian Dance Procession in an Adobe Plaza, Price realized: $27,813
• After Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959), Nakoma and Nakomis (Two Works), Price realized: $4,462
• Mary Mendenhall Gray (1888-1969), Indian Mother & Child, Price realized: $10,200
• Harold Buck Weaver (1889-1961), Cloud Pattern, Price realized: $21,562
• Frederick John Behre (1863 1942), Indian Basket, Price realized: $4,845
• Harold Waldrum (1934-2003), La Iglesia En Corrales, Price realized: $19,062
• John Nieto (b. 1936), George Armstrong Custer, Price realized: $14,025

Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Western Art

The final auction in the series was the Western Art sale on Wednesday afternoon. This sale was led by Riverbank with Cedars, Rocheport, MO by famed landscape painter Birger Sandzén (1871-1954). Estimated at $50,000 – 70,000, this work sold for $137,813, nearly doubling its high estimate. Strong performances were also seen by sculptures within this category, with Chief Black Bird, Ogalalla Sioux (estimate: $80,000 – 100,000) by Adolph Alexander Weinman (1870-1952) notably surpassing its estimate to realize $112,813.

The 80-lot sale achieved a total of $1,034,227; it was 81% sold by lot and 86% sold by value and set four world auction records.

World Auction Records Established

• John Howard Martin (1853-1919), Return from the Hunt, Price realized: $10,838
• Mark King (1931-2014), Skiers, Price realized: $2,550
• Peter Woytuk (b. 1958), Raven benches, Price realized: $20,313
• George W. Lundeen (b. 1948), Old Friends, Price realized: $31,563

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