| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Christie's auction takes in $3.8 million for National Geographic Society

AFP/Getty Images
AFP | Getty Images 'The Duel on the Beach, 1926' by painter N.C. Wyeth, sold for $1,082,500 during Christie's auction on Thursday.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By Reuters
Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

NEW YORK — The National Geographic Society opened its vaults and offered hundreds of historic and contemporary photographs and works of art at auction on Thursday, taking in nearly $3.8 million.

Led by Newell Convers Wyeth's painting of two pirates, “The Duel on the Beach,” which fetched $1,082,500 including commission, the sale at Christie's exceeded expectations, totaling $3,776,588.

Records were set for several artists and photographers, including Steve McCurry, whose haunting photograph “Afghan Girl” soared to three times the high estimate, selling for $178,900.

Christie's said in a statement it was “delighted” with the sale, “which saw participation that was just as enthusiastic and international as the readers of National Geographic magazine,” said Katherine Brambilla, associate vice president for private and iconic collections.

“It reinforces the visual power and emotional connection the National Geographic brand has to people from around the world,” added National Geographic Society senior vice president Maura Mulvihill, director of its image and video collection.

More than 200 photographs dating from the 1800s to the present, paintings by artists such as Andrew and Newell Convers Wyeth and works of art from the fields of geography, archaeology, wildlife and world cultures hit the block at the much-anticipated sale, which was held on the eve of the 125th anniversary of the society's founding.

Other highlights included “The North American Indian,” a 40-volume and portfolio record of traditional Native American culture by Edward S. Curtis with text and photographs, which sold for $902,500, just beating the high estimate.

Newell Wyeth's oil “The Sea-Spider” from 1914 fetched $146,500, while Tom Lovell's painting “Surrender at Appomattox” went for $80,500, about four times the presale estimate.

And Herbert Ponting's more than 100-year-old gelatin silver print, “Iceberg, Antarctica” sold for an artist's-record $37,500, more then five times its estimate.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Oregon college gunman’s victims walked varied paths
  2. Football game in St. Louis halted by gunshots
  3. 2 men arrested in 1984 rape, killing of girl, 14
  4. Survivor: Oregon college gunman spared 1 to give police a message
  5. W.Va. native killed as C-130 transport plane crashes in Afghanistan
  6. Navy intelligence official indicted on charges of theft, conspiracy
  7. Oregon shooter a lonely youth with grudge against religion
  8. Closure of ID offices in Alabama riles Democrats
  9. California vineyards skip irrigation amid drought
  10. Double whammy for dinosaurs: Death from above, below
  11. Spy chief Clapper reluctant to rely on China cyber deal