Whistler print sets new record for artist, auction house

Whistler portion of the sale set nearly 20 new world auction records for individual prints



Other Old Master highlights included works by Albrecht Dürer, Hans Baldung Grien, Il Canaletto, and Giovanni B. Piranesi.

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James A.M. Whistler's "Nocturne" is likely one of the first etchings Whistler made for the Fine Art Society on his arrival in Venice in September 1879, and is also one of his most celebrated views of the city. Estimated at $80,000 to $120,000, when the final gavel came down, $282,000 changed hands.

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Dated 1859, Whistler's "Seymour, Seated," a diminutive 5 3/8-inch by
3 3/4-inch etching portrait of Whistler's half-sister's nephew, Seymour Haden, on cream laid Japan paper with full margins realized $2,400 against a $1,500 to $2,500 presale estimate. Swann Galleries has found only eight other impressions at auction in the past 20 years.
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James Whistler's "Rotherhithe," an etching and drypoint on paper, shows the balcony of the Angel, a Rotherhithe inn, overlooking the Thames, with foreground figures surrounded by an intricate mass of ropes and masts, 1860, 10 3/4 by 7 7/8 inches, sold for $14,400 in October, at the top end of its $9,000 to $12,000 estimate.
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Thomas R. Way (1861-1913), "Whistler with the White Lock" signed lithograph, circa 1895 (8 inches by 5 1/2 inches). Way printed most of Whistler's drawings and was an accomplished artist himself. Sold for $2,640, above the presale estimate of $1,000 to $1,500.
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Whistler's "The Unsafe Tenement" went unsold in the Oct. 27 auction. It carried a pre-auction estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.
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James Whistler's "Black Lion Wharf," an etching on tissue-thin Japan paper, 1859, 5 7/8 inches by 8 7/8 inches, that shows a location below London Bridge where larger, ocean-going ships loaded and unloaded, sold for $4,080 in October, well within its $3,000 to $5,000 presale estimate.

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