Record Price for Hibbard at Skinner's $2.7 Million Fine Painting & Prints Auction

  • BOSTON, Massachusetts
  • /
  • February 14, 2012

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Aldro Thompson Hibbard (American, 1886-1972), Winter in New England, Probably a West River, Vermont View, Est. $25,000-35,000


Skinner's recent American & European Works of Art auctions featuring Fine Paintings & Prints held Friday, February 3 in Boston, saw exceptional results. With the auction room filled to capacity, and a tremendous amount of activity on the phones and online, the auction attracted the largest number of bidders for a single sale in Skinner history. The record-setting sale grossed $2,708,694.46 including buyer's premium.

Fine Paintings

Aldro Thompson Hibbard's painting Winter in New England set the world record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a work by the artist. The painting sold for $88,875, exceeding its estimated high of $35,000. "The painting was completed in 1924," said department director Robin Starr, "and was executed when Hibbard was just rising to the height of his powers. At this point in his career he was still striving to be included in the likes of the Pennsylvania Academy and National Academy exhibitions. It's by far the strongest work I've ever seen by Hibbard." The previous record for Hibbard was held by Christie's for his Carmel Coast, California, which sold in 2005 for $60,000 against an estimate set between $20,000 and $30,000.


In addition to the record-breaking painting, many other lots sold well over the high estimates including the auction's top seller, Canal Venice by Jane Peterson. The work has been described by Peterson expert, Jonathan Joseph, as a fine example of her early work, and the subject matter was one of the artist's favorites - Venice. Estimated between $60,000 and $80,000, the painting sold for $130,350 and received an ovation from the audience on the final hammer.

Henri-Joseph Harpignies also found inspiration in Italy, specifically, Rome, of which he said ". . . it is to Rome that I owe not only my most noble emotions but my finest inspirations." His painting, An Extensive View of Rome, exceeded the high estimate of $30,000 to sell for $59,250. Paul Henry's The Bog Pool sold for $94,800, coming in nearly $30,000 above its presale estimate high. Lawrence Charles Weiner's Wheelright sold for $50,362.50, exceeding the presale estimate of $15,000 to $30,000.

Estimated between $60,000 and $80,000, Jane Peterson's "Canal Venice" sold for $130,350 at Skinner.

Fine Prints, Multiples, and Photography

Skinner has recently expanded emphasis on prints, multiples, and photography, and these works also saw some noteworthy successes. Several works by Jacques Villon sold well, including one of his most well known prints, L'Espagnole, which sold for $11,850, well over the high estimate of $8,000. This work, which copies the eponymous portrait by Henri Matisse, shows Villon's skill at capturing the styles of his contemporaries in intaglio print. Villon's interpretation of Marcel Duchamp's La Mariée sold for $14,220 exceeding its presale estimate set between $1,500 and $2,000.

Prints and multiples by famed Spanish artist Pablo Picasso also performed well, most notably the color linocut Petit buste de femme that brought $24,885, more than doubling its high estimate. Laughing-eyed Face, a glazed ceramic pitcher that was a gift from George Ramie to the artist Jack Amoroso exceeded its presale high estimate of $15,000 to sell for $33,180.

Throughout his career, Jasper Johns often reexamined the same subject matter in different media at various points in time. The print Target with Plaster Casts, a 1980 reinterpretation of a 1955 painting, is a fine example this practice, and sold for $18,960.

Other notable results in the prints sale include Hendrick Goltzius' Pietà, which sold for $5,036.25; Blanche Lazzell's Amaryllis, sold for $7,702.50; and Il y eut peut-être une vision première essayée dans la fleur, by Odilon Redon brought $7,702.50. Untitled by Zao Wou-ki sold for $3,199.50, and The Reefer by Andrew Wyeth sold for $3,523.50, exceeding the presale estimate set between $1,000 and $1,500.

A collection of Polaroid photographs taken by Charles and Ray Eames in 1972 for a commercial film to promote the Polaroid SX-70 Camera was hotly contested. The bidding quickly exceeded the high estimate of $1,800 with the group of photographs ultimately selling for $4,860. Bullet Through Plexiglas by Harold Eugene Edgerton sold for $2,572.50.

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