The bronze sculpture, Coming Through the Rye (1902, cast by 1906), was a collaboration between Frederic Remington and Riccardo Bertelli of Roman Bronze Works. Although the foundry produced some of the cowboy chronicler’s most complex pieces, this particular design proved more arduous than others. In 1908, the frustrated artist smashed his model with a metal bar, leaving just eight completed casts (and two prototypes). The sculpture—"a dramatic portrayal of the American cowboy that informs our national perception of this persona and, more broadly, the American West", says Will Haydock, the head of American art at Christie’s—is one of the last casts remaining in private hands. The top lot of the sale at Christie's on 23 May, the sculpture achieved $11.2m with premium (est $7m-$10m)—a record price for the artist, as well as for an American sculpture made before the Second World War.