Two Norman Rockwell works to command strong bids at Christie's

Christie's has announced that its forthcoming sale of American Art on September 25 will be led by two superb Norman Rockwell drawings on paper.

Norman Rockwell Study for The Runaway
Like most pieces, the study is based on locals from Rockwell's hometown

The highest estimate of the pair is the $80,000-120,000 given to Rockwell's Study for "The Runaway". The finished piece stands among Rockwell's most iconic images of American life and was used as the cover for the Saturday Evening Post in 1958.

As with the majority of Rockwell's work, the characters in this piece are based upon locals in his hometown of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Rockwell recruited the help of Richard Clemens, a local policeman and one of Rockwell's neighbours, and had him meet at a local diner with the eight-year-old Eddie Locke, who the artist had spotted at the local elementary school.

The consigner's mother, who worked for the Saturday Evening Post for many years, was given the painting as a retirement present.

Following is Study for "A Man's Wife", which was created by Rockwell as an illustration for a 1939 issue of Ladies' Home Journal. The piece accompanied a short story written by Howard Fast, who fictionally documented the lives of George and Martha Washington.

Originally given to Rockwell's friend and barber Steven M Kovac and passed down through his family since, the work will sell with a $30,000-50,000 estimate.

At Sotheby's own American Art sale back in May, Rockwell's War Hero Job Hunting (Welcome Home Hero) sold for $422,500 - a 68% increase on estimate that highlights his popularity at auction. The current world record for Rockwell's work was set in 2006, when his Breaking Home Ties sold for $15.4m at another Sotheby's sale.

Also featuring is a sparse piece from the influential female artist Mary Cassatt. The sketch, entitled Baby Embracing Her Mother, was created from Cassatt's experimentation with pastel counterproofs and is expected to make $30,000-50,000.

Paul Fraser Collectibles will be bringing you the results of this sale next month, so be sure to check back with us  to avoid missing out. Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more of the latest from art collecting and investment.

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