Richard MacDonald Sculptures Set Auction Records

On March 14th, 2010, Clars Auction Gallery offered the most extensive collection of Richard MacDonald sculptures as part of their March Fine Estates Sale. This important collection came to auction from a former real estate developer of luxury homes.

The collection of seventeen sculptures ranged in size from 14” tall to 54” tall. Presale estimates ranged from $1,000 to $50,000. Richard MacDonald is considered by many the foremost figurative sculptor working today. His bronze sculptures show the power, grace and beauty of athletes, ballerinas, mimes and nymphs. He gained worldwide recognition in 1996 when his sculpture “Flair Across America” was installed at Centennial Park in Atlanta for the 1996 Olympic Games. As of March 14th, only fourteen of his works had been offered at auction with the highest result being $13,200 achieved in a 2008 sale at Altermann Galleries. With the offering of these fresh to market works, it was anticipated that a new world record would be set for this contemporary master and indeed it was.

The patinated bronze sculpture, “Nureyev Half Life, 1990” (Lot 6579) measured 44” high by 25.5” wide by 18” deep. It was signed and dated “R. MacDonald 90” on the sculpture, ed. 16/50. There was very active floor and phone bidding on this piece. The winning bidder had been waiting for years for this particular work to come to auction. The final sale price of $53,330 solidly set an exciting new world record for Richard MacDonald.

Now holding third highest price achieved for this artist was Lot # 6580, a patinated bronze entitled “Myth and Legend: Diana & the Coursing Cheetahs,” 1996. This work sold for $13,040.

Overall, Clars’ March sale realized strong prices across the board with other highlights being the work by another well-known sculptor, Louis Ernest Barrias (French, 1841-1901). His gold patinated sculpture entitled “Nature reveals Herself” was estimated to achieve $8,000 to $12,000 but sold for $21,330. A diamond ring in platinum set with a 4.18ct round diamond sold for $59,250 and coming from the Loftus Collection of Carmel (CA), a pair of tall carved Chinese tusks estimated at $4,000 to $6,000, sold for $7,110.

Highlighting the art category was a framed oil on canvas entitled “Silver Veiled Horizon” by Hanson Duvall Puthuff which achieved $13,035. KPM performed well as expected with the framed porcelain plaque “The Expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael” selling for $9,480. On the furniture side, a stunning Napoleon III ormolu and porcelain mounted marble top side cabinet brought $10,665.

Clars next monthly Fine Estate Auction will be held on April 10th and 11th, 2010. For more information about the March sale or the upcoming April sale, please visit Clars website at or call (888) 339-7600. Clars Auction Gallery is located at 5644 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609.

Image: Lot# 6580 Richard MacDonald(Californian, b.1946), Patinated bronze sculpture, ”Myth and Legend: Diana & the Coursing Cheetahs,” 1996, SOLD FOR $13,035