When Sam Wyly agreed to sell several pieces from his renowned art collection this spring as part of bankruptcy proceedings, he didn’t have an exact dollar figure in mind.
But the Highland Park entrepreneur and the proprietors of Dallas Auction Gallery had to be thrilled with the results of Wednesday’s auction, which brought in almost $2.6 million — largely from his collection — and surpassed pre-sale estimates across the board.
The top seller was Rembrandt Peale’s “George Washington,” a portrait that sold for $293,000. Norman Rockwell’s “Barbershop Quartet” fetched $209,000, and a trial proof of Andy Warhol’s “Apple (From Ads)” set an artist auction record at $161,000.
Others included Martin Grelle’s “Gifts For the Little People” ($161,000), Frank Tenney Johnson’s “The Pioneers” ($112,500), Rockwell’s “Portrait of Richard M. Nixon” ($93,750), Fred Darge’s “Old Pedro the Goat Herder” ($59,375), and Joe Jones’ “Raking Hay” ($56,250).
“Last night proved what the art world already knows — buyers in Dallas aren’t afraid to bid frequently and aggressive, as was evidenced by the floor bidding in last night’s sale,” said Scott Shuford, president of Dallas Auction Gallery. “Texas buyers’ have wide-reaching taste and exceeded the conservative estimates, particularly in the case of the Sam Wyly collection.”