Works by Lawren Harris surpass $7 million as ballroom bids light up Heffel auction

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Works by Lawren Harris surpass $7 million as ballroom bids light up Heffel auction

Canada NewsWire

  • Record-breaking Heffel auction in Toronto totals more than $20 million
  • Six major works by Lawren Harris totalled an astounding $7.3 million, led by two masterpieces each surpassing $2 million
  • Commanding canvas by Marcelle Ferron smashed the previous artist record, and Andy Warhol's iconic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II shatters global editioned print record for the artist

TORONTO, Nov. 24, 2022 /CNW/ - Today in Toronto, and before a global audience, a collection of monumental masterworks soared to incredible heights at Heffel Fine Art Auction House's highly-anticipated fall sale. The landmark, record-breaking auction presented 87 works of art from renowned historical and contemporary artists to an eager market, at the stunning Park Hyatt Hotel. Dazzling collectors and leading the charge were Lawren Harris, Andy Warhol, Marcelle Ferron and Tom Thomson. Competition from passionate bidders that filled the packed auction room, along with remote participants on the phones and through Heffel's Digital Saleroom, drove the sale total an extraordinary $20.8 million. (All prices are in Canadian dollars and include a buyer's premium.)

Six works by Lawren Harris captured the hearts of art-lovers and collectors, and led Heffel's fall auction, totalling an exceptional $7.3 million. His optimistic urban landscape canvas, House in the Ward, Winter, City Painting No. 1, consigned from a prestigious corporate collection, surpassed the $2 million mark. Three extraordinary oil sketches by Harris, among the best that have ever come to market, made their auction debut this fall at Heffel, and each performed exceptionally well. From Berg Lake, Evening, Arctic Sketch XV and Lake Superior Sketch XI were acquired by the Lyle family in 1936, directly from Harris's studio, with the assistance of Harris's son, and have been cared for by the family ever since. The consignor of the works, who was sitting in the front row of the saleroom, was close to tears as the hammer went down on the last of the works and mouthed a heartfelt "thank you" to the auctioneer. 

"The passion and confidence of our bidders this season, many of whom were in the ballroom, was evident to all, as participants enthusiastically called out bids well above asking prices," said Robert Heffel, Vice President of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. "We are honoured to have presented so many phenomenal works by Canadian and International giants which will continue their journeys in wonderful new homes."

Highlights from the Fall 2022 Live Auction

  • Canvases by Lawren Harris are among the most sought-after works on the Canadian art market, and his blockbuster House in the Ward, Winter, City Painting No. 1 garnered major attention this fall. Leading the auction, the painting sold for $2,521,250 (est. $2,000,000 – 3,000,000).
  • Three radiant museum-quality paintings by Lawren Harris were consigned to Heffel this fall by the descendants of John Lyle, the architect behind Union Station and other iconic Toronto buildings. The superb Arctic Sketch XV sold for an exceptional price of $2,041,250 (est. $600,000 – 800,000), followed closely by From Berg Lake, Evening which fetched $1,561,250 (est. $600,000 – 800,000) and Lake Superior Sketch XI, which sold for $871,250 (est. $300,000 – 500,000).
  • A showstopper by female Automatist painter Marcelle Ferron led the Post-War & Contemporary Art session and shattered the auction record for her work. The striking masterwork sold for $1,801,250 at Heffel's fall auction. A highlight at the previews across the country, the 1962 canvas is truly museum-quality (est. $200,000 – 300,000).
  • The crown jewel of the auction, Andy Warhol's highly coveted portrait of Queen Elizabeth II surpassed the million dollar mark, and broke the global auction record for any Warhol editioned print ever sold at auction. The royal blue screenprint from the ultra-rare Royal Edition, dazzling with diamond dust, sold for $1,141,250 (est. $500,000 – 600,000).
  • Tom Thomson's rare and important Moccasin Flower or Orchids, Algonquin Park was once proudly owned by Blair Laing, the legendary Canadian art dealer, and his family. The dramatic oil sketch, called "a national treasure" by historian Joan Murray, sold above its estimate for $1,501,250 (est. $1,000,000 – 1,500,000).
  • James Wilson Morrice's Paris, View from Studio Window, a major canvas and a magnificent example of early Canadian Impressionism sold for a noteworthy price of $721,250 (est. $600,000 – 800,000).
  • Competing bids in the auction room and on the phones drove the sale price for Jean Paul Lemieux's La nuit des rois to $1,081,250. The spectacular, largescale canvas is among the most impressive works by the artist to ever come to market (est. $600,000 – 800,000).
  • Standout examples by four important artists reached new heights in the fall auction. Global auction records were broken for Sybil Andrews, whose famous Speedway sold for $133,250 (est. $70,000 – 90,000), Regina Seiden with Marketplace for $115,250 (est. $20,000 – 30,000) and William Perehudoff with Zephrus #2 for $157,250 (est. $30,000 – 50,000).

Heffel is currently accepting consignments for the spring 2023 auction season, inclusive of international works of art. The deadline for spring consignments is February 2023.

For more information on the works included in Heffel's fall live auction, visit

About Heffel Fine Art Auction House
Since 1978, Heffel has connected passionate collectors across the world with outstanding works of art, with sales totaling three quarters of a billion dollars. With offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Calgary, Heffel has the most experienced team of fine art specialists in Canada and provides superior client service to both sellers and buyers internationally.

SOURCE Heffel Fine Art Auction House

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