Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Masterworks from Band Estate Auctioned at Heffel

Fifteen masterworks from the collection of Helen E. Band estate brought in a combined $10,494,024, and with the other 84 lots in Heffel’s second session of Fine Canadian Art, totaled $17.5-million. The first session featuring Canadian Post-War and Contemporary Art that occurred between 4 p.m. and 6:05 p.m. brought in $3.3-million. The two sessions combined totaled $20.8-million – the second highest total for a Canadian fine art auction. This sale also set a record for the most million dollar paintings in one Canadian auction with five works.

Heffel set the record for the highest-grossing Canadian fine art auction in Spring 2007 with a $23-million sale in what was considered the height of the art market. This $20.8-million Fall 2009 sale is the second highest fine art auction in Canadian history.

“A sale like this in a recovering art market is phenomenal,” says David Heffel, principal of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. “To have four Lawren Harris paintings each exceed a million dollars is a reflection of the quality of the work in the Band estate. It was an honour for us to represent this unprecedented and historic consignment.”

Lawren HarrisThe cover lot, Lawren Harris’ “The Old Stump, Lake Superior”, became the most valuable Group of Seven painting in Canadian history when it sold for $3,510,000 (all prices include a 17 per cent buyers premium) to a buyer sitting near the front of the crowded ballroom in Toronto’s Park Hyatt Hotel.

The largest Harris painting in the sale, the 32-1/2 by 40-1/4 inch, oil on canvas, “Houses, St. Patrick Street” went for $2,808,000. The two Harris iceberg images, both 12 by 15 inches, oil on boards painted in 1930 went to the same bidder. The pair sold for a combined total of $2,632,500.

Other notable pieces in the Band estate included Group of Seven member A.Y. Jackson’s canvas “North Shore, Lake Superior”, which sold for $626,500. Frederick Varley’s “Nude on a Couch” went for $585,000 and a stunning 9 by 8 inch B.C. Binning abstract “Atomic Fountain” went for three times its high estimate at $55,575. A Henry Moore bronze sculpture, “Maquette for Figure on Steps”, sold for $198,900.

“It was only five months ago in our spring auction when we set a record of three million dollar-plus paintings in one auction. In this evening’s sale, it was exhilarating to sell five paintings for more than a million dollars in a span of 20 minutes,” says Robert Heffel, principal of Heffel Fine Art Auction House.

The other big painting of the night was Tom Thomson’s masterpiece “Early Spring, Canoe Lake”. The 8-1/2 by 10-1/2 inch oil on panel sold for a record $2,749,500. This was one of eight works from an anonymous Canadian philanthropist who donated the proceeds from the sale of his collection to various Canadian charities, including The Nature Conservancy of Canada. His eight works totaled $3,350,880.

Another early Tom Thomson work, “Autumn, Algonguin Park “sold for $380,250. Other noteworthy pieces included David Milne’s “Bronx Park,” 1913 which sold for $280,800. Emily Carr’s “Arbutus Trees” sold for $198,900 and her Skidegate image went for $234,000.

Highlights in Heffel’s first session of Canadian Post-War and Contemporary Art included the sale of a 42 by 32 inch abstract oil by Paul-Emile Borduas, “Arabesque”, which sold for $338,750. Another oil on canvas by Borduas, Allegro furioso, sold for $144,400. E.J. Hughes had a painting that sold for $245,700 and set a record for a drawing.

In the two sessions, 24 paintings exceeded the $100,000 mark and 26 records were set.

The complete list of the top 10 paintings from the two sales and the list of new Canadian fine art records follows below. High resolution images of the top paintings are available upon request.

In total, the Fall Auction featured 210 Canadian works. Information on the pieces and artists can also be found at

New Price Records Set in Heffel Fine Art’s Two Sessions on November 26, 2009
These are the 26 new price records set at Heffel’s Post-War & Contemporary Art and Fine Canadian Art auction today. All prices include the 17 per cent buyers premium added to the hammer price.

James Williamson Galloway (Jock) MacDonald
Lot 002 – Cross and Recross / Color in Stained Glass
New record: $15,210

Alexander Colville
Lot 006 – Study for Stove
New record: $49,725

Oscar Cahén
Lot 008 – Untitled
New record: $40,950

Sorel Etrog
Lot 023 – Circus
New record: $49,725

Hortense Mattice Gordon
Lot 032 – Nirvana
New record: $15,210

Charles Gagnon
Lot 035 – Intersection
New record: $105,300

Lise Gervais
Lot 036 – Les jeux controptiques opus 6
New record: $21,060

Lise Gervais
Lot 040 – Sans titre
New record: $29,250

Betty Roodish Goodwin
Lot 041 – Shoes for a Long-Distance Runner
New record: $6,435

Raymond John Mead
Lot 046 – Painting
New record: $64,350

Christopher Pratt
Lot 047 – Black Boat, Study for Launching Greyling
New record: $18,720

John Geoffrey Caruthers Little
Lot 051 – Une journée d’été, avenue Coloniale vers Duluth, Montréal
New record: $55,575

Edward John (E.J.) Hughes
Lot 058 – Museum Ship, Penticton, BC
New record: $46,800

Joseph Hector Yvon (Joe) Farad
Lot 75 – Auguste
New record: $55,575

Takao Tanabe
Lot 077 – Chilcotin 6 / 89: The Way to Farewell Canyon
New record: $43,875

Mashel Alexander Teitelbaum
Lot 091 – Untitled
New record: $23,400

Maxwell Bennett Bates
Lot 093 – Reception
New record: $49,725

Ted Harrison
Lot 098 – Mountains of Hope
New record: $40,950

Daphne Odjig
Lot 100 – Rhythm of the Northern Lights
New record: $55,575

Samuel Borenstein
Lot 102 – Street in Ste-Agathe
New record: $76,050

Alexander Colville
Lot 106 – Study for Elm Tree at Horton Landing
New record: $38,025

Molly Joan Lamb Bobak
Lot 108 – Grain Boats at English Bay, Vancouver Harbour
New record: $32,175

Robert Wakeham Pilot
Lot 205 – The Ferry Landing, Quebec
New record: $64,350

Tom Thomson
Lot 223 – Early Spring, Canoe Lake
New record: $2,749,500

Emily Carr
Lot 238 – Klee Wyck Ceramic Bowl
New record: $32,175

Lawren Stewart Harris
Lot 240 – The Old Stump, Lake Superior
New record: $3,510,000

Top Ten Paintings Sold – Heffel Fine Art’s two sessions – November 26, 2009

Below is a list of the top 10 highest selling paintings from Heffel Fine Art’s Post-War & Contemporary Art auction and the Fine Canadian Art auction combined. All prices include the 17 per cent buyers premium added to the hammer price.

Lot 240 – Lawren Harris – The Old Stump, Lake Superior – $3,510,000
Lot 237 – Lawren Harris – Houses, St. Patrick Street – $2,808,000
Lot 223 – Tom Thomson – Early Spring, Canoe Lake – $2,749,500
Lot 241 – Lawren Harris – Iceberg, Baffin’s Bay North — $1,521,000
Lot 242 – Lawren Harris – In Buchanan Bay, Ellesmere Island — $1,111,500
Lot 235 – Frederick Varley – Nude on a Couch – $585,000
Lot 245 – A.Y. Jackson – North Shore, Lake Superior – $526,500
Lot 263 – Tom Thomson – Autumn, Algonguin Park – $380,250
Lot 280 – J.E.H. MacDonald – Sunset, Waldmere Farm, Muskoka – $339,300
Lot 074 – Paul-Émile Borduas – Arabesque – $315,900

Image: Lawren Harris, “The Old Stump, Lake Superior”, became the most valuable Group of Seven painting in Canadian history when it sold for $3,510,000