Edwin Cox’s Art Earned $332 Million at Christie’s Last Year. Now, Lesser-Known Pieces Are Hitting the Block for a Fraction of the Price

Chicago's Hindman Auctions will offer up a selection of art and design from the Cox estate over the course of three months.

Constantin Kluge, River Scene. Courtesy of Hindman Auctions.
Constantin Kluge, River Scene. Courtesy of Hindman Auctions.

Last fall, nearly two dozen prized artworks from the estate of the late Texas oil magnate Edwin L. Cox scored a staggering $332 million at Christie’s, propelling the company to the second-highest total for an auction ever recorded in a single evening.

Now, a smaller auction house is looking to cash in on some of what’s left.

Over the course of four events in three months, Hindman Auctions in Chicago will offer up a selection of art and antiques from Cox’s estate. In addition to Impressionist paintings like Gustave Caillebotte’s Young Man at His Window, which the Getty bought at Christie’s for $53 million, Cox also collected European furniture, decorative arts, and Chinese and Himalayan paintings.  

“Cox left a distinct mark through his consummate collection,” said Corbin Horn, Hindman’s vice president and senior specialist of European furniture and decorative arts, in a statement. “Cox’s decorative arts,” the VP added, “are as intriguing as his collection of Impressionist art.”

Peter Ellenshaw, <i>Path Through the Moors</i> (1975). Courtesy of Hindman Auctions.

Peter Ellenshaw, Path Through the Moors (1975). Courtesy of Hindman Auctions.

Among the highlights on offer are paintings by Russian landscapist Constantin Kluge and Oscar-winning Disney special effects artist Peter Ellenshaw, pieces of Chinese famille verte porcelain, and a number of European decorative artworks.  

Two Kluge canvases will be included in this week’s “Chicago Collections” sale on January 13 and 14, where they are estimated to fetch between $1,500 and $2,500 and $600 and $800, respectively. An Ellenshaw painting is also expected to go for $1,500 to $2,500. None of the objects from the Cox estate carry a guarantee, a spokesperson for the auction house confirmed.

The remaining objects will be included in Hindman’s European furniture and decorative art sale on February 2 and 3; its Asian art auction on March 25; and its Chinese and Himalayan works of art event scheduled for March 29th. 

An oilman and investor, Cox was, for decades, recognized as one of Texas’s most successful businessmen and influential philanthropists. He was a major Republican donor, supporting the campaigns of both Bush Presidents, and a benefactor of Southern Methodist University, his alma mater, where the Cox School of Business was named in his honor.

He put a great deal of money toward art, too, amassing a world-class collection and serving on the boards of the Dallas Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and the Library of Congress Trust Fund. Multi-million dollar Impressionist paintings by Caillebotte, Paul Cézanne, and Vincent van Gogh were among those sold at Christies in November 2021, where they sparked international bidding wars.

Cox died at age 99 in 2020.


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