Christie’s week of Americana sales totaled $9,202,500 and established five auction records. A rare contemporary 1776 broadside edition of the Declaration of Independence from the Collection of Ambassador J. William Middendorf II sold for $990,000, achieving the top price across the series of sales.
“What an extraordinary week during extraordinary times,” said John Hays, Deputy Chairman, Christie’s America. “Record prices were paid in every category sold this week—most notably the portrait of George Washington, by James Sharples and a contemporary broadside of the Declaration of Independence. This auction demonstrates the continued strong interest Americans have in their art and culture—from Native American basketry, silver, furniture and Outsider Art. It was an honor for Christie’s to represent the owners of these remarkable pieces offered in the auction.”
The sale titled In Praise of America: Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, Prints and Broadsides, January 21-22, brought a total $5,936,000 (sold by value: 95%; sold by lot: 85%). The sale was led by the rare contemporary 1776 broadside edition of the Declaration of Independence from the Collection of Ambassador J. William Middendorf II which sold for $990,000, above its estimate of $600,000-800,000. Auction records were established for two works from the Middendorf Collection; a fine copy of Paul Revere’s iconic engraving of the Boston Massacre which totaled $412,500, and a portrait of George Washington by James Sharples, which sold for $325,000, exceeding its estimate of $50,000-70,000.
A Newport card table made by John Townsend totaled $250,000 and the selection of silver was led by a set of twelve American 18-karat gold after dinner coffee cups, saucers, and spoons by Tiffany which sold for $110,000. Srong prices were achieved for Folk Art including a Washoe basket by Dat So La Lee sold for $237,500 above its estimate of $40,000-60,000, and a carved white marble recumbent lion from the Siegmund Collection, which totaled $50,000.
Christie’s Outsider and Vernacular Art totaled $2,137,750 with 99% sold by value and 97% sold by lot, surpassing over twice the total low estimate. The sale was led by Bill Traylor, Two Dogs Fighting; Man Chasing Dog, 1939-1942, which realized $293,750, more than double its low estimate of $100,000. Additional top lots of the sale include Martín Ramírez, Untitled (Tunnels and Train), 1950s, which achieved $187,500, against a low estimate of $40,000 and Thornton Dial, Creation of Life in the Blackberry Patch, 2003, which realized $150,000, against a low estimate of $40,000. The sale also saw three new artist records for Judith Scott, Raymond Materson and Laura Craig McNellis.
The online sale of Chinese Export Art Featuring Property from the Tibor Collection totaled $1,128,750 and sold 99% by value, led by A Rare Pair of Goose Tureens and Covers, which sold for $150,000. Additional top lots of the sale include A Rare Ox-head Tureen and Cover, which achieved $52,500 and A Pair of Famille Rose Roosters, which realized $52,500.
Artist records in the sales went to Judith Scott, Untitled (Heart), 1993, $52,500; Laura Craig McNellis, Untitled (Steak Dinner), 2000, $5,250; Raymond Materson, It’s Over (Iraqi Surrender to Italian Cameraman), 1991, $17,500; and James Sharples, George Washington, 1796-1801, $325,000.