San Francisco—Highlighting the $2.1 million Fine Prints and Multiples auction at Bonhams, October 22 in San Francisco, and simulcast in Los Angeles, was Andy Warhol's Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1482, from Details of Renaissance Paintings, 1984; a screenprint in colours that sold for $68,750. It was one of many successful selling lots from the Contemporary Prints and Multiples portion of the fall sale.
Contemporary highlights also included examples of Edward Ruscha's Made In California, 1971, a screenprint in colours that brought $31,250 (est. $8,000-12,000) - setting a record for the highest amount ever for the work at auction - and David Hockney's Walking Past Two Chairs, from Moving Focus, 1984-86, a lithograph in colours on paper and screenprint on Plexiglas that sold for $50,000. Also notable was Francis Bacon's Three Studies for a Self-Portrait, 1981, featuring three lithographs in colours on one sheet of Arches paper, that took in $31,250 (est. $15,000-20,000) and Robert Rauschenberg's mixed-media work Sling-Shots Lit #6, from the Sling-Shots Lit Series, 1985, that achieved $31,250.
Nineteenth century and modern prints also sold well in the sale, as exampled by Pablo Picasso's Après la Pique, 1959, a linocut in colours on Arches paper, that brought $50,000, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler's lithograph on paper of Study: Standing Figure, 1878, that took in $47,500 (est. $5,000-7,000), achieving the highest sale price ever for the work at auction.
Works by Marc Chagall also topped the category, with Le Grand Bouquet, 1963, a lithograph in colours selling for $47,500, and The Story of Exodus, 1966, a complete portfolio, comprising 24 lithographs in colours, achieving $31,250 (est. $20,000-30,000). Strong examples continued with Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita's 14 Plates, from A Book of Cats, 1929, comprising 14 of 20 collotypes, that sold for $31,250 (est. $8,000-12,000) and Henri Matisse's Figure devant tapa Africain, 1929, a lithograph that achieved $18,750 – the highest ever achieved for the work at auction.
Rounding out the sale were Old Master examples, including a David Lucas, after John Constable, of Various Subjects of Landscape, Characteristic of English Scenery, 1829-38, comprising 80 mezzotints with etching, roulette and drypoint, on various papers that sold for $16,250 (est. $8,000-10,000) and Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn's Sheet of Studies: Head of the Artist, a Beggar Couple, Heads of an Old Man and Old Woman, c. 1632, that realised $11,250 (est. $6,000-8,000).
The Fine Prints Department Director at Bonhams, Judith Eurich, said of the sale, "This auction was a resounding success with many major works exceeding expectations by achieving prices above their estimates."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com