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Press Release - August 21, 2017
Newly Discovered Norman Rockwell Masterpiece Brings $1.6 million at Heritage AuctionsAustin family learns 'framed print' is actually original painted study
The buyer remains anonymous at this time.
"It is remarkable to still discover such an important Norman Rockwell original artwork after so many years," said Chris Ivy, director of Sports Memorabilia at Heritage Auctions. "The art community and sports fans all over the world owe thanks to Beans Reardon's family for preserving this piece of Americana for future generations despite not quite understanding what they had."
The original painting for "Tough Call" was published as a 1949 Saturday Evening Post cover and became an instant classic of American illustration art. Rockwell's study for the piece (a preliminary work that guided the master's hand) was gifted to umpire Beans Reardon.
Auction house experts realized the work, signed by Rockwell, was much more than a simple print of the famous work. Close inspection showed it was an original oil on paper study for one of Rockwell's most famous paintings.
"The Rockwell discovery is a wonderful story and the auction price exceeded all expectations," added Chris Ivy, director of Sports Auctions at Heritage.
This is the second Rockwell study sold in Dallas recently, as Heritage Rockwell's study for "Triple Self Portrait" commanded over $1.3 million just months ago by Heritage Auctions, itself more than tripling any previous record for a Rockwell study.
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
Eric Bradley, Public Relations Director
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