The Globe and Mail recaps the highs and lows of Heffel’s $14 million sale of Canadian art last week:
Man on Verandah, painted in 1953 by Nova Scotia master Alex Colville, sold for an astonishing $1.29-million, including the 17 per cent premium charged on the hammer price ($1.1-million) to an unidentified telephone bidder from Europe. This was far above the painting’s presale estimate of $400,000-$600,000, and it demolished the old auction record for a Colville, $690,000, established by Heffel in May 2007. […] A minimalist profile of a seated elderly man gazing out to sea, Man on Verandah was one of about 146 lots that Heffel sold Thursday for a total of almost $14-million, including premium. […]
[D]isappointing was the result achieved by a modest-sized oil sketch done in the high Arctic in 1930 by Group of Seven founder Lawren Harris. His Arctic sketches are rare – it’s believed there are no more than 40 of them – and this one served as the basis for one of Harris’s major canvases, North Shore, Baffin Island II, now in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada. With a presale estimate of $700,000-$900,000, the Harris seemed poised to earn big bucks. But the bidding, which started at $500,000, was short and not so sweet, ending at $625,000. The work was declared unsold.
Winnipeg art dealer Shaun Mayberry succeeded in bring smiles to Heffel principals David and Robert Heffel. He placed the winning bid of $160,000 ($187,200 with premium) on a small Ontario landscape sketch, done in 1918 by Mr. Harris’s Group of Seven compatriot, J.E.H. MacDonald. This was twice high end of the sketch’s presale estimate of $60,000-$80,000. […]
The auctioneer also had four David Milne paintings (three landscapes, one street scene) up for bidding. Two of these, a double-sided watercolour on paper from 1916 and Green Hillside, Boston Corners, a 1920 oil on canvas, did exceptionally well relative to their estimates ($30,000-$50,000 and $70,000-$90,000, respectively). The first earned almost $200,000, including premium, the second $280,800.
Colville’s Man on Verandah Sets Record at Heffel Auction (Globe and Mail)