History of American Art, Design, and Artistry Shines as Opening Auction for Wolf Family Collection Achieves $39 Million
“White Glove” Sale Total Sale Represents 160% of High Estimate
Sale Highlighted By:
A New Auction Record for Frank Lloyd Wright Ceiling Light from the Francis W. Little House, Peoria, Illinois, Which Achieved $2.9 Million, 6x its High Estimate
Fitz Henry Lane Bar Island and Mount Desert Mountains
from Somes Settlement, Which Achieved $6.1 Million
Winslow Homer On the Beach at Marshfield, Selling for $4.3 Million
Further Six Live Auctions From the Collection to Come This Week (Full Schedule Below)
NEW YORK, 20 APRIL 2023 – Last night, Sotheby’s commenced a series of sales from The Wolf Family Collection with a dedicated evening sale, The Spirit of America, achieving an astounding $39 million, besting the pre-sale high estimate by over 50%, with 100% of lots sold and more than 62% of lots soaring over their high estimates. The sale set numerous new benchmarks and auction records, including for Frank Lloyd Wright, whose Ceiling Light from the Francis W. Little House, Peoria, Illinois sold for $2.9 million, shattering Wright’s previous auction record. Fitz Henry Lane’s Bar Island and Mount Desert Mountains from Somes Settlement led the sale, achieving nearly four times its pre-sale high estimate for a total of $6.1 million, marking a new auction record for the artist, another accolade for the collection.
The sale showcased a selection of the Collection’s top masterworks in fine art, sculpture, furniture, Chinese Export porcelain, silver and 20th century design from the Wolfs’ impeccably curated Fifth Avenue residence.
Strong results were also achieved for American paintings by Winslow Homer, Marsden Hartley and William Merritt Chase, as well as American Bronze, which was led by Paul Howard Manship’s life-size Indian Hunter and His Dog, which soared above its high estimate, selling for $1.1 million.
Following the tremendous success of The Spirit of America, the Wolf Family Collection will continue with a series of cross-category live and online sales curated to reflect the narratives and dialogues across the collection through 25 April (see full schedule below).
Jodi Pollack, Sotheby’s Chairman and Co-Worldwide Head of 20th Century Design, commented: “Last night’s inaugural Evening Sale of the Wolf Family Collection, which encompassed American art, sculpture, furniture and decorative arts, affirmed Joy and Erving Wolf’s unparalleled vision and style, and was a testament to the quality of works in every category throughout the collection. Underpinned by their exquisite taste and art that exemplified the essence of the American dream, the collection soared past its high estimate, with deep bidding across the sale, including prolonged bidding battles for several pieces. The auction was notably highlighted by major sales of Fitz Henry Lane’s Bar Island and Mount Desert Mountains from Somes Settlement, which led the sale and shattered Lane’s previous auction record, Frank Lloyd Wright, including the Ceiling Light from the Francis W. Little House that achieved a new auction record for the American architect, and Tiffany Studios, with each piece exceeding their high estimates. As one of the finest collections and last of its kind to celebrate American artistry in all its forms, the Wolf Collection was a momentous occasion for the American art and design markets and beyond.”
Day Sales, 20 April 2023
The Wolf Family Collection: Forging America
The Wolf Family Collection: Exceptional Jewels
The Wolf Family Collection: Glorious America
The Wolf Family Collection: Modern America
Day Sales, 21 April 2023
The Wolf Family Collection: Cross-Currents in America
The Wolf Family Collection: Building America
4-24 April 2023
America Without Reserve: The Wolf Family Collection
4-25 April 2023
Luxury Handbags: Vintage Icons
Ex Libris, The Wolf Family Collection Art Reference Library