Heffel Fine Art Auction House

October 19, 2005 07:00 ET

Readers Digest Collection Highlights Heffel's Fall Fine Art Auction

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2005) - Important paintings from Canadian corporate collections highlight the 243 lots in Heffel Fine Art Auction House's upcoming fall auction. Among them are 18 pieces entrusted from the Reader's Digest Collection and many pieces from important undisclosed corporate collections and consigned works from estates.

Paintings sold from corporate collections have grown steadily in recent years as Canadian companies have discovered the value of works hanging on their walls. With insurance concerns and tighter profit margins, many companies are choosing to sell off some of their collections. David Heffel says that this segment has grown to about 15% of their commissioned work.

Eleven paintings from the estate of New Brunswick's Roma Henderson which include, by descent, important works from Montreal's Drummond family are also included in this rare sale which is expected to break several Canadian auction sales records. The Drummond family is historically acknowledged for its contribution to art collecting in Montreal. They are noted for acquiring both Old Master and modern painting between 1880 and 1920, linked to the fortunes built around the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Heffel, Canada's leading fine art auction house based on total net sales and its national prominence, is due to mail auction catalogues to subscribers, and the complete catalogue has been posted on its web site: www.heffel.com. The Heffel Fine Art Auction House's upcoming fall auction takes place at Toronto's Park Hyatt Hotel on Thursday, November 24, 2005. The auction has a pre-sale estimate conservatively set at $6-million to $8-million. The Heffel's national presence with offices / galleries in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, has helped generate major consignments from coast to coast.

The Heffels will have two sales catalogues for the upcoming Toronto sale. The catalogue for eastern distribution features a snowy, night-time landscape -- The Birdshop, St. Lawrence Street by Maurice Cullen; while bidders on the west side of North America will receive the same 168-page catalogue with a spectacular JEH MacDonald mountain landscape displayed on its front cover. JEH MacDonald's Lake O'Hara & Cathedral Mountain, Rockies has a conservative pre-sale estimate of $400,000 - 600,000 and Maurice's Cullen's Bird Shop has a conservative pre-sale estimate of $250,000 - 300,000.

"It's not every auction we have two masterworks fighting for our catalogue cover," says David Heffel. "Having two versions of the catalogue's colour cover image, was a solution to giving the plum position both paintings deserve."

Few Canadian art auctions have ever had such a strong and varied line-up, evident by the 24 lots that have presale estimates with an upper end that exceeds $100,000. Highlights include a strong assortment of paintings from Group of Seven members. A colourful oil on panel sketch of Toronto houses by Lawren Harris is estimated at $150,000 to $200,000 and several $100,000-plus Rocky Mountains images are among eight Harris works in the sale. Four panels and two pencil sketches by A.Y. Jackson, seven paintings by David Milne, 11 works by Arthur Lismer and two small Algonquin Park landscapes by Tom Thomson are among some of prizes up for bid.

The work of Canada's female art masters has been rising in stature in recent years and the best of the bunch are well represented in this auction. Five of 10 pieces by Emily Carr in the auction are expected to go for six-figure bids.

Helen McNicoll was one of the foremost Canadian female practitioners of Impressionism in her day. Her untimely death at 36 years-of-age in 1915 only serves to increase the significance of her artistic legacy. McNicoll has risen to prominence in recent years -- largely on record sales of several spectacular canvases in Heffel's auctions. Both of McNicoll's sunbathed landscapes in this sale are expected to exceed $100,000; with 25" x 30" Reaping Time coming directly from her nephew.

Three works by Quebec painter Kathleen Morris are featured, with an 18" x 24" winter scene Moving Snow, Berthierville expected to draw bids in the $70,000 to $90,000 range.

A colorful array of contemporary art is sprinkled in this sale. There are four dynamic images from Jean-Paul Riopelle, four from Jean McEwen, two large oils by Lise Gervais, a 48" x 48" collage by Harold Town and a piece by Jack Bush.

Michael Snow's 1960s oil on canvas Green Skirt, was first exhibited in Snow's 1962 solo exhibition at the Poindexter Gallery in New York City, Green Skirt entered the private collection of Elinor Poindexter. With the current hot interest in important Canadian Pop works, Green Skirt will certainly turn a number of heads.

Three vibrant images by Paul-Emile Borduas are highlighted by a 36" x 30" oil on canvas, Patte de velours signed and dated 1955. A long description of the painting is written by Dr. Francois-Marc Gagnon, explaining its history and how this piece is a precursor to Borduas' Black and White period. It is estimated at $125,000 - $175,000.

"We are particularly pleased with our catalogue," says Robert Heffel, principal of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. "It is our largest full colour catalogue to date and we have invited guest authors to contribute essays. For instance, Dr Gagnon, the leading scholar on Paul-Emile Borduas contributed two of the Borduas essays and Lisa Christensen, author of The Lake O'Hara Art of J.E.H. MacDonald and Hiker's Guide writes with authority about J.E.H. MacDonald's masterpiece Lake O'Hara and Cathedral Mountain, Rockies."

The Toronto sale commences at 7:00pm on Thursday, November 24, 2005 at the Park Hyatt Hotel. Previews will take place in the Heffel Galleries in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto in advance of the sale.

For media images of The Bird Shop St. Lawrence Street and Lake O'Hara and Cathedral Mountains, Rockies copy this link: www.heffel.com/new/links/newsroom/Images_A05F.aspx.


Contact Information

  • Heffel Fine Art Auction House
    Robert Heffel
    Media Contact
    Vancouver office (604) 732-6505
    or
    Heffel Fine Art Auction House
    David Heffel
    Media Contact
    Vancouver office (604) 732-6505
    www.heffel.com
    or
    Peak Communicators
    Ross Sullivan
    Media Contact
    (604) 689-5559
    or
    Peak Communicators
    Jeff Domansky
    Media Contact
    (604) 689-5559