After reinventing the process of holding an art auction during these unexpected times, the recent Scottsdale Art Auction proved to be a success. Organizers offered bidding both online and in person, with safety measures in place.
With 10 manned phone lines, 480 online bidders and 150 collectors in the room, collector Naoma Tate said after bidding through iCollector and phone calls with Scottsdale Art Auction staff, “Brad and Jinger (Richardson) had to reinvent the process and made it seamless. The online catalogue was easy to browse and they responded quickly and in person to questions about condition reports and the bidding process. They made it exciting yet simple to bid. I prefer to be in the room and feel the excitement generated by the auction. By broadcasting the auction and being able to be on the telephone to bid, I felt connected…. That’s important to me. Thank you Scottsdale Art Auction!”
From the organizers:
Scottsdale Art Auction in Scottsdale, AZ was presented to an eager gathering of collectors from throughout the United States on Saturday, June 13, 2020 with over $10,000,000 in sales. Paintings and sculpture by Frederic Remington, Maynard Dixon, W. R. Leigh, and Charles M. Russell led the field of deceased masters, with thirteen paintings by Dixon that brought $1,425,545.
An iconic bronze by Frederic Remington, “The Cheyenne” (estimated at $400,000 – $600,000) fetched $438,750 and Cowboy Artists of America sculptors Fred Fellows, “Riding out a Bad Investment” (estimated at $25,000 – $35,000) brought $87,500 (a World Auction Record for the artist) and John Coleman, “War & Peace” (estimated at $25,000 – $35,000) sold for $46,800.
A 28 inches by 22 inches oil by William R. Leigh, titled “Pony Express” brought applause from the crowd when it sold for $680,200 and Allan Houser’s “Lament,” a 65 inches high bronze set a World Record at auction for Houser when it hammered at $105,300.
Other highlights included six oils by G. Harvey that hammered down at $631,800 and a fine selection of six small works by Kenneth Riley with a high estimate of $80,000 that achieved $144,495 when bidding ended.
Contemporary masters Mark Maggiori sold “Arizona Wonders” (estimated at $25,000 – $35,000) for $70,200 and Logan Maxwell Hagege’s “Wherever the Wind Might Go” (estimated at $60,000 – $90,000) sold for $122,850. The crowd gasped when a small, 12 inches by 16 inches oil by Ed Mell (estimated at $5,000 – $7,000) hammered down at $35,100.
The sale was originally scheduled for April 4 but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic until June 13. The Scottsdale Art Auction team provided masks, required socially distanced seating, and distributed box lunches between Session I in the morning and Session II in the afternoon. “We were certainly challenged this year,” said auction partner Brad Richardson, “but we were determined to bring this collection of art to market for our consignors and collectors and we were pleased with 90% of the lots sold for over $10,000,000.”