Auction Records Set at Swann Galleries September 12 Auction of Prints & Drawings


New York—Swann Galleries kicked off their autumn 2013 auction season with a well-attended sale of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings on September 12 that resulted in several new auction records for prints and strong results for drawings by significant artists.

A new print record was set for artist Blanche Lazzell, when her 1933 color woodcut The Flaming Bush made its auction debut and realized $87,500*.

Individual prints that achieved record prices included James A.M. Whistler’s The Muff, etching and drypoint, 1874 at $37,500; C.R.W. Nevinson’s Under Brooklyn Bridge, drypoint, 1921, $30,000; and Benton Spruance’s Arrangement for Drums, lithograph, 1941, $37,500.


The sale’s top lot was a gouache and watercolor Composition on paper by Bauhaus artist László Moholy-Nagy that sold for $118,750.

There were more strong results for drawings by modern European artists, such as Gustav Klimt’s pencil drawing Sitzende Dame in ganzer Figur von vorn, 1917-18, $47,500; Fernand Léger’s cubist Villes I, gouache, watercolor and charcoal design for the book Les Illuminations, 1949, $50,000; Marino Marini’s Cavalli e Cavaliere, gouache, pen and ink, 1949, $42,500; a quintessential Salvador Dalí surreal landscape, La Chiave, pen and ink, 1960, $72,500; and Pablo Picasso’s double-sided pen and ink drawing Tête de Mousquetaire, 1969, $40,000.

Print highlights by Picasso included the portfolio Histoire Naturelle: Eaux-Fortes Originales pour des Textes de Buffon, with 31 aquatints with etching and drypoint, 1942, $45,000; Mintaure, Buveure et Femmes, etching, 1933, $27,500 and Minotaure aveuglé guide par une Fillette, III, etching and drypoint, 1934, $32,500.

Additional American works of noted included Edward Hopper’s Night Shadows, etching, 1921, $37,500 and a Paul Cadmus chalk drawing from his Nantucket Man series, Male Nude Seated on a Ledge (NM 158), $37,500.

From the 19th century were James Jacques Tissot’s Octobre, etching and drypoint, 1878, $35,000 and Jean-François Millet’s Paysanne près d’un petit feu dans les Champs, chalk drawing, $30,000.

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: Blanche Lazzell, The Flaming Bush, color woodcut, 1933. Sold for $87,500 (including buyer's premium) in its first appearance at auction.

Second image: László Moholy-Nagy, Composition, gouache and watercolor. Sold for $118,750 (including buyer's premium).

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