Heffel 2013 spring auction achieves strong sales of $11.5 million

Rare Canadian masterworks led by Emily Carr, Jean-Paul Riopelle and the Group of Seven garnered strong interest exceeding estimated prices

  • Heffel's Spring 2013 auction realized a total of $11.5 million, surpassing pre-sale expectations
  • Acclaimed Quebec artist Jean-Paul Riopelle's Composition exceeded expectations and sold for a smashing $1,228,500, well over the estimated price of $600,000 to $800,000
  • The highly anticipated collection consigned by The Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal Cultural Heritage Foundation fetched a combined total of $1,586,520, leading with A.Y. Jackson's A Quebec Village (Winter, Saint-Fidèle) which sold for $585,000
  • Emily Carr's Old Timer, which was originally donated by the artist to raise money for the Red Cross during the Second World War, sold for an impressive $936,000 (estimate $400,000 to $600,000)

VANCOUVER, May 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Heffel Fine Art Auction House celebrated Canadian artists this evening with a successful spring auction, bringing in an impressive total sales of $11.5 million (all prices are in Canadian dollars and include a 17 per cent buyer's premium).  The 185 lots, led by great Canadian artists such as Emily Carr, Jean-Paul Riopelle, the Group of Seven and more, featured recognizable works representing the best in Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art and Fine Canadian Art.

"Tonight's results demonstrated that the market for Canadian artists remains strong and as champions of Canadian Art, we are honoured to be connecting art enthusiasts around the world with truly exceptional works by the country's greatest artists." said David Heffel, president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House.

The evening thrived with great participation from bidders in the room and on the phone from across Canada and around the world. The bidders' active participation successfully set the tone for the evening, with Heffel establishing new records for eight artists by the end of the night.  The highest price of the sale was achieved by Jean-Paul Riopelle's Composition, which sold for $1,228,500 (estimate $600,000 to $800,000), followed by Emily Carr's Old Timer which sold for $936,000 (estimate $400,000 to $600,000).

Unveiled for the first time in public, 31 works by influential Canadian artists consigned by The Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal (PSBGM) Cultural Heritage Foundation took centre stage. The collection resulted in a combined total of $1.6 million in sales. A.Y. Jackson led the collection with his A Quebec Village (Winter, Saint-Fidèle) selling for $585,000 (estimate $500,000 - $700,000) and his Saint-Simeon, Lower St. Lawrence selling for $152,100 (estimate $90,000 to $120,000). Thoreau MacDonald's Canadian Geese sold for $21,060 (estimate $10,000 to $15,000), breaking the record for the artist.

"The PSBGM collection features many works that depicts the history of Quebec and Canada," David Heffel explains. "Collectors who acquired these great Canadian works tonight are not only taking home a piece of Canadian history, they are also contributing to scholarships for graduates of the English Montreal School Board to pursue post-secondary education."

The auction also featured nine works by Emily Carr, one of North America's most influential female artists, which commanded an impressive total of over $2 million. The highlight of the Emily Carr collection was the Old Timer (estimate: $400,000 - $600,000), which is returning to Canada from a private collection in the UK. This radiant canvas was auctioned off in 1942 to CBC's Alice Hemming to raise money for the Red Cross during the Second World War. The work sold for $936,000 seeing an increase in value since the original donation. Other highlights from the collection included the important watercolour Cape Mudge Totem Poles (estimate: $150,000 - $250,000), which sold for $380,250.

Other significant west coast artists shared the spotlight with Emily Carr. One of B.C.'s most important living Canadian Contemporary Artists Gordon Appelbe Smith was represented with five works. His Red Beach was the catalogue front cover feature this year and sold for a remarkable $93,600 surpassing the $20,000 to $30,000 estimate. Five works by influential B.C. artist E.J. Hughes totaled $252,720 in sales, led by his Mt. Stephen which sold for $175,500.

Nine works by distinguished Quebec artist Jean-Paul Riopelle was another exciting climax for the evening, bringing in total sales of $1.7 million, including the Composition, an important canvas by the artist selling for $1,228,500 far exceeding the estimated price. The other eight works by Riopelle were personally consigned by the artist's mistress Belle Burke. These works were given to Burke by the artist during their relationship. The Belle Burke collection drew an impressive total of $444,600.

The Quebec modern remains highly sought after, as demonstrated by Paul-Émile Borduas' Sans Titre from his calligraphic series, which sold for $409,500 (estimate: $100,000 to $150,000), Jean-Philippe Dallaire's Le fonctionnaire which sold for $ 70,200, and Marcelle Ferron's Otsatot which sold for $81,900. All three of these works were consigned from a prominent Montreal family Estate.

The Group of Seven continues to demand attention from buyers with sales exceeding estimates, including significant works by Lawren Harris such as the Pic Island, Lake Superior (sold for $234,000) and Lawren Stewart Harris' Rainstorm, Northern Lake which sold for $187,200, more than doubling the low estimate (sold for $187,200), and Tom Thomson's Mississagi (estimate: $80,000 - $120,000) which sold for $163,800.

Other highlights of the evening included Marc-Aurèle Fortin's Vue de St-Siméon, a rare large format oil painting, which sold for $672,750 (estimate $400,000 to $600,000). Additionally, all three of the David Milne works exceeded their high estimates, commanding a total of $277,975.

Tonight's auction achieved a sales result of $11.5 million, well exceeding the $7 to $10 million presale estimate. The Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art session had sales totalling $4.7 million, while the Fine Canadian Art session totaled at $6.8 million.

"The success of the sale is largely due to the quality of works we had on offer," said Robert Heffel, vice president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. "Anchoring the sale were major family collections and Estates in addition to collection of the PSBGM. These collections have been built over the years by passionate collectors and the quality was exceptional. We are honoured to have been entrusted by these families and foundations and to be able to include such outstanding works in our catalogue for the competition of collectors."

New Records set in Heffel's May 15, 2013 Fine Art Auction Heffel established eight new records during the Spring 2013 Auction. Below are the top three records set at tonight's event. Please note all prices include the 17 per cent buyers' premium added to the hammer price. High-resolution images of the top paintings are available upon request.

  1. Peter Clapham Sheppard's Market sold for $99,450, doubling the previous artist record which was held by Heffel
  2. Heffel broke the artist record for Sir Frederick Banting; however, this record was quickly surpasses 40 lots later with Honey Harbour selling for $70,200
  3. Lise Gervais's Indian Summer which sold for $46,800 (estimate $25,000 to $35,000)

About Heffel Fine Art Auction House 
With offices and representatives in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver, Heffel is Canada's National Auction House.  Since 1995, Heffel has sold more Canadian art than any other auctioneer worldwide, with over $325 million in art auction sales. In addition to full-colour printed catalogues, Heffel publishes its entire live auction online at www.heffel.com, from initial promotion and illustrated lot listings, to the auction's live multi-camera webcast and final sale results. Led by the most experienced team of fine art specialists in Canada, Heffel provides transparent expert service because they believe that art inspires the human spirit.

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*All estimates are in Canadian Dollars and include buyer's premium

Image with caption: "Jean-Paul Riopelle's Composition achieved $1,228,500 at tonight's Heffel Spring auction, far exceeding the estimated price (CNW Group/Heffel Fine Art Auction House)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130516_C7609_PHOTO_EN_26805.jpg

Image with caption: "Emily Carr's Old Timer sold for $936,000 at Heffel's Spring auction (CNW Group/Heffel Fine Art Auction House)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130516_C7609_PHOTO_EN_26804.jpg

SOURCE: Heffel Fine Art Auction House

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For more information, to schedule an interview or media viewing, or for high-resolution images, please contact:

Lesley Chang
NATIONAL Public Relations

David Heffel / Robert Heffel
Heffel Fine Art Auction House
604-418-6505 / 604-418-0100
david@heffel.com /robert@heffel.com

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