NEW YORK—The top lot at Swann Galleries’ Sept. 24 auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings was Pablo Picasso’s first major print, Le Repas Frugal, etching and drypoint, 1904, which brought $108,000. All prices quoted include 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Femme au Chapeau à Fleurs, 1962, a masterful color linoleum cut made toward the end of Picasso’s career, sold for $31,200. Prints after the artist’s paintings continue to be in demand. Dame assise, color lithograph, 1955, reached $27,600, and L’Arlequin et sa Compagne, color collotype, circa 1960, $20,400.
The selection of color lithographs by the ever-popular Marc Chagall included Then the Old Woman Mounted on the Ifrit’s Back, from the Arabian Nights, 1948, and Lumière d’Atelier, 1976, $16,800 each. A large color lithograph after his Sirène au Poète, 1967, fetched $15,600.
Featured works by Le Corbusier included Buste de Femme et Nature Morte, a silverpoint drawing, 1930, $16,800; and Le Poème de l’Angle Droit, portfolio with complete text and 19 color lithographs, 1955, $19,200.
An auction record was set for James A.M. Whistler’s etching Temple, 1881, which realized $24,000. It was one of only five impressions to appear at auction in the last 20 years. Another scarce etching, his San Biagio, 1879-80, printed in sepia, brought $11,400.
Also achieving a record price was Gustave Baumann’s color woodcut Cottonwood in Tassel, 1946, $18,000.
Classic American city scenes included Edward Hopper’s Night Shadows, etching, 1921, $36,000; Howard Cook’s New York Night, lithograph, 1931, $8,160; Martin Lewis’s Night in New York, etching, 1932, $7,200; and Muirhead Bone’s scarce drypoint, Manhattan Excavation, 1928, $8,400.
Photos courtesy Swann Auction Galleries.
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