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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Bonhams California And Western Paintings Auction takes $3.4 Million

With a substantial turnout, Bonhams Fall sale of California and Western Paintings & Sculpture held on November 25 made a total sale of $3.4 million. The success of the evening came from strong bidding amongst auction room, internet and phone bidders. The auction included numerous important California impressionist Plein Air works, Society of Six landscapes and cityscapes as well as two significant sculptures that rarely make appearances at auction. Simulcast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the sale was the last in a series of three annual sales conducted by Bonhams in this increasingly competitive collecting category.

Bonhams was proud to offer two important works by the preeminent California impressionist painter Guy Rose. San Gabriel Road sold for $665,000 including premium. The second Rose painting on offer was Spring Rain and sold for $149,000.

The notable highlight of the sale is John Frost’s Spring, which sold above its high estimate for $269,000. The painting which illustrates an area near Pasadena, beneath Mt. Wilson is considered the best work by Frost that Bonhams has ever offered. It is the second highest auction record for the artist.

Furthermore, Bougainvillea by Joseph Kleitsch, depicting a cascade of bougainvillea adorning the walls of the San Juan Capistrano Mission, proved to be a hit and sold for $305,000. Of the top Plein Air artists on offer, William Wendt’s Mt. San Antonio and Quiet Brook found new owners for a price of $106,250 each.

Lastly, surprising results came from Maynard Dixon’s Great White Throne and Frank McCarthy’s Under surveillance, where each sold for $112,500, more than twice their high estimates. In particular, the McCarthy painting achieved the second highest price for the artist.

Overall, Fine Art Director of Bonhams, Scot M. Levitt says, “Collectors continue to hone in on the top quality offerings. Although there was robust bidding throughout the sale, the top offerings generated the most attention, virtually all of which sold. The Western market continues to storm forward, as multiple phone and absentee bidders filled the auction sheets in the latter portion of the evening.”

For detailed results of the auction, please visit our webpage: The department is now accepting consignments until Feb 1st for the next California & Western Paintings auction.