“His acute ability to capture the notion of nostalgia and sentimentality through depictions of everyday objects transcends cultures,” White said.
Thiebaud’s confection paintings are typically the most highly valued by the market—White finds this trend particularly true for his works from the 1960s. But Acquavella has also seen his landscapes and portraits becoming more sought-after. Notably, Thiebaud’s second-highest result at auction is a full-length double portrait, Eating Figures (Quick Snack), a 1963 oil painting sold at Christie’s earlier this year.
“Because he is such a skilled and impressive painter and draughtsman, collectors appreciate all of his different subjects,” Acquavella said, noting strong demand for his works on paper. Thiebaud’s drawing skills are revered, as evidenced by last year’s Morgan Library & Museum exhibition of his sketches, pastels, watercolors, and charcoal drawings. His record at auction for a work on paper is $1.6 million, set at Christie’s in 2011 by Sixteen pies (1965). In the coming days, Christie’s will offer the ink-and-graphite-on-paper work Layer Cakes Row (1964) with a pre-sale estimate of $150,000 to $200,000, while Thiebaud’s ink-on-paper work Candied Apples (1964) will be sold at Sotheby’s with a pre-sale estimate of $120,000 to $180,000.