Frederic Remington (1861–1909)
Coming Through the Rye
Bronze with brown patina; 30 ¼ in. (76.8 cm.) high
Modeled in 1902; cast by 1906.
Estimate: $7-10 million
New York – Christie’s announces the spring season of American Art, with a live sale taking place on May 23 and a concurrent online sale from May 17-24. The season is led by distinguished private collections and fresh to the market works, notably Property from the Estate of Richard J. Schwartz, which includes the top lot of the sale, a rare bronze by Frederic Remington, Coming Through the Rye (estimate: $7-10 million), as well as two spectacular examples of Albert Bierstadt’s dramatic landscapes, and a nationalistic painting from Childe Hassam’s famed flag series. The sales offer a strong selection of Impressionist, American West, and 19th century masterpieces across painting and sculpture showcasing the best of each genre. With 92 lots in the live sale and 113 lots in the online sale, the combined pre-sale estimate is in excess of $38 million.
Eric Widing, Deputy Chairman, remarks: “We are honored to be offering cast number 3 of Remington’s iconic bronze, Coming Through the Rye, an archetype of the American West and a work that has been appreciated for over a century, influencing generations of artists. It has been in the collection of Richard J. Schwartz since 1978, alongside the other patriotic works in his collection, such as Hassam’s Just Off the Avenue, Fifty-Third Street, May 1916, the first of what would become his celebrated series of flag paintings. This is a connoisseur’s collection which is imbued with fine examples that portray the enduring and optimistic American spirit.”
The sale is led by the collection of Richard J. Schwartz (1938-2016), who was a public advocate for the arts and education. He served on and later chaired the New York State Council for the Arts, in addition to providing leadership to regional arts councils in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. He served on many museum boards, as well as the boards of hospitals, schools and universities, and he also supported several notable restoration projects for civic monuments in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The top lot of the sale from the Schwartz collection is the early cast of Frederic Remington’s most daring and complex sculptural undertaking, Coming Through the Rye, modelled in 1902 and cast by 1906, which captures the spirit of the artist’s iconic depictions of the American West. Collected by the nation’s leading institutions from the moment it was created, the work is not only remarkable for its artistic and technical virtuosity, but has truly become an archetype of the American West and of the cowboys that inhabited it. Of the located life-time casts of the sculpture, only two are known to be in private collections, and this is the first time this work is being offered at auction.
Other highlights among the 33 lots included in the Schwartz collection are Saint-Gaudens’ celebrated Victory and a famed portrait relief of Robert Louis Stevenson, as well as Albert Bierstadt’s epic Lake Tahoe, Childe Hassam’s early street scene with flags, and a portrait by William Merritt Chase.
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in 2017 that totalled £5.1 billion / $6.6 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.
Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.