Saturday, December 6, 2008


In spite of the current economic crisis, some American painters of the XIXth century still achieve very high prices without all the buzz of the contemporary artists.

It is the case of this Sign of Peace (left) and of In Pastures New by Henry F. Farny (1847-1916), born in Alsace-Lorraine, France, who immigrated in 1853 to Warren, Pennsylvania with his parents and shortly thereafter settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he spent the remainder of his life. Following the path of earlier Cincinnati artists, Farny traveled to Europe studying first in Dusseldorf and then in Munich.

After returning from travel and study abroad, Farny made his first trip to the West in 1881 to witness the capture of Sitting Bull. Arriving after the removal of Sitting Bull from Fort Yates along the Missouri River, Farny stayed on and became an active participant in the social life of the Plains Indians who lived near the fort.

Farny recreated, and often repeated, scenes and events he witnessed on the Plains and in the mountains. This picture is a gouache on paper measuring 10 1/2 x 16 3/4 in. and was the property of an American Trust that sold it in 1985 to the Rosenstock gallery (Denver, Co.). The gallery put it on auction in December 2008 at Sotheby's NYC.

Estimated $600,000 - $800,000 , Sign of Peace fetched $662,500. In Pastures New estimated at $1,5 million fetched $1,425 million. However Sign of Peace was estimated $800,000 as its highest and could not reach this hight.

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