Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Prints & Drawings at Swann - Records for Hopper, Cassatt & Whistler

On Thursday, March 2, Swann Galleries’ sale of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings exceeded $3M and broke ten auction records. The house, which is celebrating it diamond anniversary this year, has enjoyed several record-breaking sales already in their spring 2017 season.

Marc Chagall, Four Tales from the Arabian Nights,  (Pre-sale estimate: $250,000 to $350,000)

The rare deluxe edition of Marc Chagall’s 1948 portfolio Four Tales from the Arabian Nights, of which only 11 were printed, topped the sale. The set belonged to the publisher of Pantheon Books, Kurt Wolff. The vibrant color lithographs include the 13th plate denoting the deluxe edition; still in the original case, the set sold to a collector for $269,000*.

Edward Hopper, Evening Wind, etching, 1921. Sold March 2, 2017 for $149,000, a record for the print. (Pre-sale estimate: $50,000 to $80,000)
Early twentieth-century American prints saw competitive bidding and high prices. Edward Hopper’s rare 1921 etching Evening Wind sold for $149,000, nearly doubling its high estimate of $80,000.

The American master was also represented in the sale by the 1921 etching Night Shadows, which went for $33,800.

A premiere selection of prints by Hopper’s mentor Martin Lewis was led by the extremely rare aquatint Which Way?, 1932, which was purchased for $42,500, a record for the work.

Further highlights by Lewis included the 1929 drypoint Bay Windows

and 1916’s etching The Orator, Madison Square, each of which went for $27,500.

Another highlight of the sale was Männlicher Akt (Selbstbildnis I), 1912, Egon Schiele’s first attempt at a printed self-portrait; the work brought $30,000.

Orologi Molli, a watercolor by Salvador Dalí featuring one of his famous melting clocks, surpassed its high estimate to sell for $112,500. Another original, a pen and ink drawing by Paul Klee of prancing bulls, titled Drama in der Kuhwelt, 1915, reached $25,000.

All four offered works by Mary Cassatt found buyers, including the rare circa-1902 drypoint Crocheting Lessons, which sold for $27,500.

Another Cassatt, the color drypoint and soft-ground etching The Coiffure, circa 1891, broke its previous auction record to sell for $81,250.

Etchings made by James A.M. Whistler during a 1879-80 trip to Venice performed well, including the luminous Upright Venice, at $70,000.

 Two further prints from the same period each broke their previous auction records:

The Garden reached $70,000,

while San Biagio sold for $62,500.

The complete set of 14 lithographs in Henri Toulouse-Lautrec’s Mélodies de Désiré Dihau, 1895, was sold for $30,000, a record for the work.

    The next sale of Prints & Drawings at Swann Galleries will be Old Master Through Modern Prints on May 2, 2017. For more information, contact Todd Weyman at tweyman@swanngalleries.com.

                        More Sales Prices with buyer’s premium

370    Pablo Picasso, Femme au fauteuil, No. 1, lithograph, 1948.                         $55,000 D

502    Joan Miró, La Permissionaire, color aquatint and etching, 1974.                        $45,000 D

411*    Henri Matisse, Études pour la Vierge, Visage, lithograph, 1950-51.                    $32,500 D

575    Chagall, Roses et Mimosa, color lithograph, 1975.                             $25,000 D

MARC CHAGALL Quai de la Tournelle.

Estimate $25,000 - $35,000
Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $25,000


Estimate $20,000 - $30,000
Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $23,750


Estimate $20,000 - $30,000
Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $18,750

MARTIN LEWIS Rain on Murray Hill.

Estimate $15,000 - $20,000
Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $18,750


Estimate $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $15,000

KEY:    * = Auction Record for the Work; C = Collector; D = Dealer