Frederic Remington’s Coming Through the Rye sculpture could make up to $10m on May 23.
It’s offered in Christie’s upcoming American Art sale in New York.
Remington (1861-1909) created a huge body of work inspired by the Old West. He began his career as a painter and only began branching into sculpture in 1895.
This design is among his greatest masterpieces.
Coming Through the Rye depicts cowboys returning home
It was enormously complex to produce.
Remington began working on it in 1902 and created around eight finished pieces until 1908, when he smashed the wax model to pieces in frustration.
A weary entry in his journal reads: “They got it away from me.
“I could no longer make it satisfy me.”
Soon after he fixed the model and produced another seven renderings.
This work is numbered 3 and dated 1905. It was originally sold for $2,000, a huge sum back in the early 1900s.
It’s now among Remington’s most coveted bronzes. Another example from 1903 sold for $4.4m in 1989.
It was his most valuable sculpture, until the sale of the Wounded Bunkie for $5.6m in 2008.
The present lot looks set to advance Remington’s record.
Christie’s comments: “Collected by the nation’s leading institutions from the moment it was created, the present work is not only remarkable as a representation of Remington’s talents as an artist, and of the technical virtuosity of Roman Bronze Works, but has truly become an archetype of the American West and of the cowboys that inhabited it…
“Perhaps unique to other works of Western Art that came before it, or romantic interpretations that have come since, in its jubilant mood Coming Through the Rye specifically embodies the enduring, optimistic American spirit.”Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about art and photography