Auction Preview | March in Montana

Great Falls, MT
Townhouse Inn, March 20-21

Edward Quigley (1895-1984), Reservation Round-Up, oil, 33 x 47. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000.

Edward Quigley (1895-1984), Reservation Round-Up, oil, 33 x 47. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000.

This story was featured in the March 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art March 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

On March 18, at the Townhouse Inn in Great Falls, MT, western-art and artifact aficionados get a first look at the 700 lots in the 28th annual March in Montana auction, which begins at noon both Friday and Saturday, March 20-21. In conjunction with the auction is a three-day show of top western art and artifacts from dealers around the country, which opens on March 19.

“We have a nice selection of antique guns, a lot of nice beadwork, and about 50 Navajo weavings,” says Bob Nelson of the auction. Nelson and his wife, Charla—who own Manitou Galleries in Cheyenne, WY, and Santa Fe, NM, as well as Manitou Auctions—work with the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction to bring the event to Great Falls. As in the past, this year’s auction features top-quality historic Indian artifacts, including a Crow woman’s beaded saddle, children’s items, and weaponry; an Arapahoe beaded scalplock warrior’s shirt; and beadwork, quillwork, and ethnographic items.

Fine-art works include Martin Grelle’s TRAILRIDE IN CHISOS BASIN, estimated to sell for between $10,000 and $20,000; Edward Quigley’s painting RESERVATION ROUND-UP and a carved wood diorama titled the THE HOLD-UP, depicting the robbery of a Wells Fargo stagecoach; and a 23-inch-tall Cody Houston bronze sculpture titled GREAT FALLS OF THE MISSOURI, depicting Lewis and Clark and Indian guide Sacajawea, which is expected to sell for $8,000 to $12,000. Works by Frederic Remington, C.M. Russell, Olaf Carl Seltzer, Nick Eggenhofer, and Oscar Berninghaus are available, as are works by contemporary artists including William Acheff, Bill Nebeker, and numerous members of the Cowboy Artists of America, Nelson says.

“The bronze sculptures will just blow you away,” Nelson adds, referring to works among the 175 items from the estate of Kendall Holm, a Denver-area businessman who amassed a sizeable collection of western art and who frequently attended The Russell to add to his collection. A second private estate adds nearly 100 lots, among which are several silver saddle outfits from Edward H. Bohlin, one of which is estimated to sell for between $25,000 and $35,000.

Nelson says that 80 to 90 percent of the pieces in the March in Montana auction come with no reserves, “which gives the collector a chance to get really nice work at a fair price,” he says. —Laura Rintala

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Featured in the March 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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