This month's American paintings sale at Sotheby's resulted in a record price at auction for a work of American folk art.

The Peaceable Kingdom With the Leopard of Serenity

, one of more than 60 variations on this theme by the Quaker artist and Bucks County native Edward Hicks (1780-1849), sold for $9,673,000, which was also a record price for his work.

Done near the end of Hicks's life (1846-1848), the painting contains an unusually large number of animals grouped in harmony in the foreground. Beyond is the familiar vignette of William Penn's treaty with the Indians by the riverbank.

"All you had to do was look at it, and it was just perfection," Sotheby's Dara Mitchell says. "Every once in a while, an artist paints something that is really above and beyond what he does on another day."

- Karla Klein Albertson