Bonhams & Butterfields Modern & Contemporary Prints Auction

Bonhams & Butterfields, California’s oldest and largest fine arts auctioneers, has established a reputation as a preeminent source for Fine Prints. The firm’s next offering is scheduled for 5 November 2008, to be simulcast between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Works on offer include Old Masters, 19th century and Modern prints, and Contemporary prints and multiples.

“Interest in fine prints remains strong, with enthusiasm for Old Master works through to the contemporary, showing a robust market for this material,” said Judith Eurich, Director of Prints and Photographs at Bonhams & Butterfields. The marquee lots of the November sale include works by several well-know British artists. Highlighting the fall offering is Trolleys, 2007, a signed color screenprint by urban artist Banksy (est. $15/20,000). The highly satirical piece from the elusive pseudo-anonymous British graffiti artist challenges the viewer through a combination of street art, screenprint technique and thought-provoking topics.

“Trolleys explores Bansky’s street style and the art of dissent through his use of images and underlying messages. The work issues a challenge to the viewer and asks them to question how they see the world,” said Eurich.

Additional works by British artists in the November 5th sale include David Hockney’s View of Hotel Well III, from Moving Focus series (est. $40/60,000); Study for a Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1989, by Francis Bacon, and John Hill’s View near Sandy Hill (est. $2/3,000).

The Fall sale also features a strong selection of Gustave Baumann and Joan Miró impressions, as well as four Roy Lichtenstein works, a pair of etchings by Robert Motherwell and a good representation of Picassos. Signed in pencil and numbered 47/50, Picador et Torero is estimated at $35,000 – $45,000, while Picasso’s linocut Le Vieux Roi is expected to bring $20,000 to $25,000. Additional works by the Spanish master include Tete de face (Portrait of Marie-Therese de face), a strong drypoint and aquatint. The work is estimated to bring $10,000 to $15,000.

Several works by Andy Warhol will also be featured in November, with the artist’s iconic Marilyn, coming to auction from the corporate collection of New Line Cinema, estimated to bring $40,000 – $60,000. The same estimate is in place for the studio’s Ed Ruscha screenprint Hollywood, 1968, signed, dated and numbered by the artist.

Additional highlights for the upcoming Fine Prints sale will include: Paul Klee’s Der Seiltänzer, from Kunst der Gegenwart (K. 95), 1923, (est. $20/30,000); an iconic Warhol screenprint titled Howdy Doody, from Myths (F./S. II.263), 1981 (est. $20/30,000); and Robert Motherwell’s Mexican Night II (B. 318), 1984 (est. $18/25,000), a color etching and aquatint print.

Several Marc Chagall lithographs and etchings will also be featured — highlighted by Le Magicien de Paris II (M. 598) from 1969-70 and Paris of Dream (M. 600) 1969-70, which are both estimated to fetch $25,000 to $30,000.

Sales of Fine Prints are held at Bonhams & Butterfields salesrooms twice annually. The illustrated auction catalogs are available online at

Auction info