Auctions | April 18, 2013

Top Prints & Drawings at Swann Galleries’ March Auction


New York—Museum-quality works of art on paper found a receptive audience of bidders at Swann Galleries March 7 auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings.

Todd Weyman, Swann Vice President and Director of Prints & Drawings, said, “The best known artists were the best selling in this sale—including Picasso, Matisse, Whistler, Hopper and Bellows. The majority of those top lots went to private collectors in the U.S. and Europe, and there was robust bidding throughout the auction, indicating a market well into recovery.”

The sale’s highest selling lot was Pablo Picasso’s Tête de Femme (Portrait Stylisé de Jacqueline), color linoleum cut, 1962, which brought $48,000*.

Other prints by the artist included Nature Morte à la Pastèque, color linoleum cut, 1962, $26,400; L’Homme à la Guitare, etching, engraving and drypoint, 1915, $24,000; and Marie-Thérèse en Femme Torero,II, etching, 1934, $21,600. A fine example of his faïence ware was Women’s Face, a partially glazed oval dish, 1953, also brought $21,600.


The top American Art piece in the sale was Benton Spruance’s Riders of the Apocalypse, lithograph, 1943, at $45,600, an auction record.

Also among the strong prices for American works were Sonia Delaunay’s Rayonist Composition, watercolor, gouache and pencil on paper, $43,200; Edward Hopper’s Night Shadows, etching, 1921, $38,400; Martin Lewis, Snow on the “El”, drypoint, 1931, $38,400; and George Bellows’s Preliminaries, lithograph, 1916, $36,000.

The auction established a record price for Salvador Dalí’s The Hippies, set of 11 drypoints with hand coloring, 1969-70, at $31,200.

Selling for that price as well was James A.M. Whistler’s Two Doorways, etching and drypoint, 1879-80.


A run of prints by Henri Matisse featured Jeune Femme le Visage enfoui dans les Bras, etching, 1929, $32,400 and La Sieste, linoleum cut, 1938, $30,600.

Also among modern European highlights were Claude Monet and George W. Thornley’s collaboration, Femme au Chevalet, color lithograph, circa 1908, $24,000; George Braque’s Fox, drypoint, 1911; $24,000 and Feuilles,Couleur Lumière, color lithograph, 1953-54, $21,600; and  Fernand Léger’s Le Vase, color lithograph, 1927, $21,600.

For complete results, an illustrated catalogue with prices realized (on request) is available for $40 in the U.S. ($50 internationally) from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at

For further information, and to propose consignments to Swann’s upcoming auctions of Works of Art on paper, please contact Todd Weyman at (212) 254-4710, extension 32, or via e-mail at

*All prices include buyer’s premium.

First image: Pablo Picasso, Tete de Femme (Portrait Stylise de Jacqueline), color linoleum cut, 1962. Sold for $48,000 (including buyer's premium).

Second image: Benton Spruance, Riders of the Apocalypse, lithograph, 1943. Sold for an auction record of $45,600 (including buyer's premium).