Baltimore artist Alfred Jacob Miller's "Pawnee Running a Buffalo," was sold at auction Thursday in New York for $1.56 million.
Bids for Lot Number 40, an 1854 oval painting of a Native American astride a white horse that's galloping alongside a bison, went for a hammer price of $1.3 million, twice the reserve price of $650,000, during the sale at Christie's Auction House.
Adding a premium of $265,000 (which goes to the auction house, not the seller) that puts the total sale just above the auction house's top estimated price of $1 million-$1.5 million.
Though a nice piece of pocket change, the sum paid for the artwork is still nearly $500,000 short of the 2012 record for Miller's work — $1.76 million for "Caravan en Route (Sir William Drummond Stewart's Caravan)."
Information on the purchaser's identity was not immediately available.
"Pawnee Running a Buffalo" was inspired by the artist's participation in an 1837 expedition to the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming. Stewart, a Scottish nobleman, hired Miller to document the trek by sketching the scenes he observed.
The painting had been in the same family, originally from Baltimore, for the past 162 years. Christie's did not disclose the names of the sellers.