Heritage Auctions, Dallas, TX, held an American Art sale on July 1, 2020. The sale was diverse and included some works of American Illustration, many of which sold well above their high estimates. Auctions in general have been doing well since the pandemic began, I suppose partially because people are spending more time on the Internet.
Three of the top four lots of the sale were American illustrations. The second highest price of the sale went to Norman Rockwell. His Grandfather and Grandson, commissioned by the Dixon Ticonderoga Company in 1929, sold for a disappointing $447,000, including buyer’s premium, against an estimate of $500,000 – $700,000. Apparently his magazine cover illustrations are more in demand. Saying Grace, the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1951, sold for $46 million at a Sotheby’s auction in 2013.
The first lot of the sale, #67001, a black and white painting by Frederic Remington entitled Water!, was also the third best selling lot of the sale. It realized $300,000, including buyer’s premium, against an estimate of $120,000 – $180,000.
An unpublished cover painting by J.C. Leyendecker for the Saturday Evening Post, entitled New Year’s Baby Hitching to War, New Year’s Day, 1943, Heritage lot #68163, sold for almost triple its high estimate of $80,000, realizing $275,000, including buyer’s premium. Wow! Curtis Publishing never used the image because it was deemed too unsympathetic to the mothers of America whose sons were heading off to war. Apparently being unpublished did not diminish the enthusiasm for this lot.For the complete results of the sale click here. You will have to sign in (free) to see the prices realized.