Auctions | April 7, 2014

Strong Results at Swann Galleries’ March 6 Auction of Prints & Drawings


New York—Crowded previews and large international interest led to a $2.5 million auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings at Swann Galleries on March 6. The all-day auction saw more than 400 bidders competing from at least 20 different countries.

New auction records were set for a range of prints, including the sale’s top lot, James A.M. Whistler’s Quiet Canal, etching and drypoint, 1879-80 at $65,000*; as well as Odalisque au Coffret Rouge, color aquatint and etching after Henri Matisse, circa 1952, $62,500; and René Magritte’s Paysage de Baucis (Self Portrait with a Hat), etching, 1966 ($30,000).

American prints that achieved record results included Martin Lewis’s Relics (Speakeasy Corner), drypoint, 1928, $45,000; Thomas Hart Benton’s The Race, lithograph, 1942, $30,000 and a group of eight whimsical color woodcuts by Frances Gearhart, from Let’s Play, 1929, at $25,000.

Another set of woodcuts that realized a strong price was Käthe Kollwitz’s Krieg, complete set of seven woodcuts on Japan paper, at $52,500.

Additional modern European highlights were Marc Chagall (after), Carmen, color lithograph, 1967, $50,000; Maurits C. Escher’s mind-bending Ascending and Descending, lithograph, 1960, $37,500; Matisse (after), Petit Intérieur Bleu, color aquatint, circa 1952, $35,000; and Pablo Picasso’s Tête de femme, de profil, drypoint, 1905, $23,750; Garçon et Dormeuse a la Chandelle, aquatint and etching, 1934, $22,500 and Corrida en Arles, aquatint, 1951, $20,000.

Notable unique works included an Ethel Mars watercolor of Provincetown, circa 1916-17, which brought $22,500 and a watercolor and pencil Nude Study by Kahlil Gibran, 1916, $20,000.

Rounding out American highlights were another of Lewis’s luminous NYC views, Glow of the City, drypoint, 1929, $35,000; Edward Hopper’s iconic Night Shadows, etching, 1921, $30,000; Benton’s Strike, lithograph, 1933, $17,500 and Max Weber’s Feast of Passover (The Holy Book), color woodcut, 1920, $16,250.


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: James A.M. Whistler’s Quiet Canal, etching and drypoint, 1879-80 sold for a record $65,000 (including buyer's premium).

Second image: Odalisque au Coffret Rouge, color aquatint and etching after Henri Matisse, circa 1952, sold for a record $62,500 (including buyer's premium).