Drunken cowboy sculpture nets $US11 million at auction

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Coming Through the Rye has sold at auction for more than $US11 million.
Coming Through the Rye has sold at auction for more than $US11 million. Photo: Christie’s auction house

The famous Charles Remington bronze Coming Through the Rye has sold at auction for $US11,223,500, exceeding its pre-auction estimate of $US7m to $US10m.

The sculpture sold at Christie’s American Art auction in New York in May, and was one of the last casts produced during the lifetime of the sculptor to remain in private hands.

Christie’s describes Coming Through the Rye as Remington’s most daring and complex sculptural undertaking, capturing the spirit of the archetypal American cowboy.

Adapting the excited gestures of the riders and the actions of the horses’ pace to a three-dimensional work required an enormous technical effort. Just six of the 16 hooves touch the ground in the composition.

“Remington’s talents are evidenced in the gestures and laborious motions of his equine subjects under the nonsensical weight shifting of their inebriated riders.

“The extremely high level of detail in the horses’ musculature, the expressions on the cowboys’ faces, their many small accessories and the work’s multifaceted patina required even further talent on Remington’s part and expertise on the part of his foundry.”

Cheval se cabrant fetched just over £1 million at auction last month. Photo: Christie's
Cheval se cabrant fetched just over £1 million at auction last month. Photo: Christie’s

A bronze sculpture by Edgar Degas sold for just over a million pounds at auction at Christies in London late last month.

The work, entitled Cheval se cabrant (Riding Horse) fetched £1,025,000 ($US1.3 million), within its pre-auction estimate of £900,000 to £1.2 million ($US1.1m to $US1.5m).

The bronze, which stands 31 centimeters tall, was executed in wax by Degas in the mid-late 1880s and 1890s. It was cast in bronze at the A.A. Hébrard foundry in 1920 and 1921.

A run of 20 was made, marked A to T, plus two reserved for the Degas heirs and the founder. The auction house described the work as one of Degas’ most expressive, finely rendered and formally sophisticated sculptural representations of the horse.

Another work by Degas which was to be auctioned at at Christie’s New York sale of Impressionist and Modern Art on May 15, Chevaux et jockeys (Horses and jockeys), was withdrawn from sale.

The stirrups were used for the coronation of Britain's King Charles I. Photos: Christie's
The stirrups were used for the coronation of Britain’s King Charles I. Photos: Christie’s

A pair of copper-alloy riding stirrups made for the coronation of Britain’s King Charles I failed to sell at auction.

The stirrups, which date from the second quarter of the 17th century, were offered at The Exceptional Sale being staged by Christie’s on London on July 6.

Christie’s believed the stirrups, which carry the cypher of Charles I, would fetch between £40,000 and £60,000 ($US50,800 and $US76,200).

The stirrups were made for the coronation of Charles I, and were later used by William III in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690). Charles I became King in 1625, but his coronation did not take place until the following year.

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