Three Norman Rockwell masterpieces coming to auction at Sotheby’s New York on December 4, 2013

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Norman Rockwell painting, Saying Grace

Norman Rockwell painting, Saying Grace

Sotheby’s New York will hold their American Art auction on December 4, 2013, including seven works by famed American illustrator, Norman Rockwell. Saying Grace, his cover for the November 24, 1951 issue of Saturday Evening Post, is expected to be the star of the group, with a pre-sale estimate of $15 million – $20 million. It depicts a Mennonite family saying prayers in a restaurant. It was voted a fan favorite in a poll of Saturday Evening Post readers.

Norman Rockwell painting, Breaking Home Ties

Norman Rockwell painting, Breaking Home Ties

All of the works were the property of Kenneth J. Stuart Sr., who was the longtime art director of the Saturday Evening Post. Mr. Rockwell gifted him many paintings. For the last 20 years, they’ve been on loan to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Unfortunately for the museum, the new owner’s gains will be the museum’s losses. Some famous and fabulously wealthy clients collect Norman Rockwell’s works, including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ross Perot and Alice Walton (of Walmart fame). They (and others) could easily break the Rockwell world record of $15.4 million, set at Sotheby’s in 2006, with the sale of Breaking Home Ties.

Norman Rockwell painting, The Gossips

Norman Rockwell painting, The Gossips

The Gossips is expected to realize the second best price of the group. It depicts 15 pairs of people animatedly talking to each other. The inspiration for the painting came from a rumor that was circulating in his hometown of Arlington, Vermont, about the artist himself. Notice the first lady (upper left) is the same as the last lady (lower right). That’s Rockwell himself (bottom row, in the grey hat) chewing her out. Each person appears twice — first hearing the rumor and then turning around and spreading it. The moral of the story is “Don’t piss off a famous artist”.

Norman Rockwell painting, Walking to Church

Norman Rockwell painting, Walking to Church

The third Rockwell masterpiece is Walking to Church. It will carry a pre-sale estimate of $3 million – $5 million.

If you follow my blog, you know that Lia and I will be leaving shortly for Italy to attend the antiques fair in Parma, courtesy of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Southeast and the Fiere di Parma. As a result, there won’t be a Thursday post this week. I’ll do my best to post from Italy next Monday, with a few local photos.

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Wonderful 12" Daum rain scenic vase, just in

Wonderful 12″ Daum rain scenic vase, just in

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