Auctions | April 1, 2015

Audubon Engravings Led the First Lauren Bacall Sale at Bonhams

New York—It was a white glove sale for Day 1 of the Lauren Bacall Collection. Every lot sold as thousands of bidders participated in the first installment of the most anticipated auction of the season, the Lauren Bacall Collection, which took place on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. The saleroom remained packed throughout the day and online bidding grew stronger with every lot. 

Top lots from the day include the following.

  • American White Pelican, an 1836 hand colored engraving by renowned artist and naturalist, John James Audubon, which realized $173,000, almost 3 times its high estimate of $60,000. The work is from the Havell edition of The Birds of America, a book of illustrations by Audubon that was published between 1827 and 1838.
  • Brown Pelican pelicanus puscus (Pl. CCCCXXI), 1838, another hand colored engraving by Audubon and from the same Havell edition that achieved $68,750, well past the high estimate.
  • Gabrielle, circa 1993, a sculpture by Robert Graham that sold for $57,500, soaring past its high estimate.
  • Maquette II Walking Woman, a bronze sculpture of a woman by Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003) that sold for $40,000, well past the high estimate.
  • Humphrey Bogart's brass inset black granite and wrought iron games table, first half 20th century, which sold for $26,250, almost 9 times its high estimate.
  • Jamaican hillside road, an oil on canvas board by celebrated English playwright, director, composer, singer and actor, Sir Noël Peirce Coward (1899-1973), which fetched $10,000, twice the high estimate. Lauren Bacall appeared in a television production of his work Blithe Spirit, in which Coward also starred as did Claudette Colbert.
  • A lithograph by Edward Kennedy titled Daffodils, dated 1993, that achieved $7,500, more than 8 times its high estimate. It is signed in pencil in the bottom right corner with “Ted K.” The work is in an edition of 100 that was originally a wedding gift to his wife, Vicki. It is inscribed by Senator Edward Kennedy with the words, “Betty, You are the greatest, much love, Ted,”and counter-inscribed by his wife- To Betty, we hope that your heart, too, with pleasure fills and dances with the Daffodils, Vicki.”

Vice President and Director of Business Development, Jon King, the specialist in charge of the sale commented, “We are very pleased with the overwhelming international response. Today's results have been extremely gratifying and we are looking forward to the conclusion of this exciting landmark sale tomorrow.”

Part II of sale of the Lauren Bacall Collection will begin on April 1 at 10am.