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Recovered Rockwell 'Lazybones' coming to auction Nov. 3

Bidders participating in Heritage Auctions' Nov. 3 American Art auction will have the opportunity to own an early work by Norman Rockwell, which possesses a unique history.

DALLAS – A painting recently returned to a family after more than 40 years ago, is coming to auction. The endearing painting by Norman Rockwell is titled 'Lazybones' (Boy Asleep With Hoe). The painting, once the subject of a theft, is carrying an estimate of at least $1 million into Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 3 American Art Auction in Dallas. The 1919 Saturday Evening Post cover makes its auction debut, highlighting an exceptional array of Golden Age illustration.

1919 Rockwell Artwork

The painting's original purchase price is less than $100 back in 1954. Rockwell’s painting stands as one of the artist's first Saturday Evening Post covers. It's one of the artist's earliest works, from 1919, when he was only 25. Lazybones illustrates not simply the classic Rockwell subject of childhood, but the quintessential American prankster-adventurer, Huck Finn. The boy dons a straw hat and bandanna, as well as a work shirt, and tattered pants with suspenders. Rockwell’s character comes straight out of the pages of Mark Twain's celebrated novel.

Not least, the painting has its own wild back-story. In June of 1976 the painting became a stolen item following a burglary. The theft took place in the home of Robert and Teresa Grant of New Jersey. The source of an investigation, four decades later the painting came back into the family's possession. The recovery took place in March of 2017.

Watch a video about the painting...

“The provenance of this masterwork is as remarkable as the painting itself,” said Aviva Lehmann, Director of American Art at Heritage Auctions. “We are thrilled to bring this classic Rockwell to auction, and find its new home.”

Epic Illustrations on Offer

Heritage will also present The Golden Age: Property from a Distinguished New York Collection. The

Oil on canvas " Bump Mobile"

Oil on canvas, "Bump Mobile," by Albert W. Hampson, appears on The Saturday Evening Post as the cover image of the June 22, 1940 issue ($30,000-$50,000).

collection features 43 works spanning the Golden Age of Illustration. It embodies an era of unprecedented excellence in magazine and book illustration. The artists of this period capture the nostalgia of simple, innocent times and everyday life through. As such, their content is ideal for the imaginative tales appearing in periodicals of the time. This includes the Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, and Life, among others.

A large portion of the collection consists of original illustrations initially appearing as covers of these magazines. Impeccably curated, it features works by the best storytellers of the Golden Age, including works by the iconic Joseph Christian Leyendecker ($100,000-$150,000) and Maxfield Parrish ($8.000-$12.000).

Additional iconic works from masters of American Illustration Art includes Bump Mobile, The Saturday Evening Post cover, June 22, 1940, by Albert W. Hampson ($30,000-$50,000) and Amateur Nite—Cowboy Bill’s Ramblers, The Saturday Evening Post cover, January 11, 1936, by Monte Crews ($20,000-$30,000).

New Views of Old Artwork

The Nov. 3 auction will also feature a spectacular oil by George Henry Durrie titled Winter in the Country, A Cold Morning ($300,000-$500,000). Painted circa 1863, this masterwork romanticizes the seasonal pleasures of bucolic life with great composition and attention to detail, prompting one notable Durrie scholar to proclaim the work “one of his best contributions to native winter landscape painting in the nineteenth century."

Offered for the first time in nearly 30 years, William Merritt Chase’s Untitled (Nude Resting in a Chair), circa 1888. Chase also executed the pastel as a classroom demonstration while teaching at the Art Students League in New York. Furthermore, the swivel chair upon which the model sits can be seen in a photograph of Chase, standing in his famous Tenth Street Studio in New York that was reproduced in a 1947 article about the famed studio building in The Villager.

Interior ($80,000-$120,000) by Louis Ritman is emblematic of the artist’s unique brand of American Impressionism, painted while the artist lived and worked in Giverny, France. Interior has descended in the same family for more than 100 years and was last seen publically in 1912 at the Cincinnati Museum’s "19th Annual Exhibition of American Art.

Other highlights of the auction include:

Absaroke Trail painting

Absaroke Trail, oil and acrylic on board, 1993, Howard Terpning, may command $60,000 to $80,000.

· Absaroke Trail, 1993, by Howard Terpning ($60,000-$80,000)

- Wild Heliotrope near San Juan Capistrano by John Marshall Gamble ($40,000-$60,000)

· Third Avenue El, circa 1933 by Francis Criss ($30,000-$50,000)

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