Harris sketch nets $175,000 at auction

A Lawren Harris sketch bought for just $70 back in the 1950s fetched $175,000 Monday to become the biggest seller at the Sotheby’s Canada spring auction.

Emily Carr’s Cathedral

TORONTO — A Lawren Harris sketch bought for just $70 back in the 1950s fetched $175,000 Monday to become the biggest seller at the Sotheby’s Canada spring auction.

Mts: Emarald Lake (sic), an oil on board depicting snow-capped peaks in British Columbia, went to an unidentified bidder in the room, reaching the high end of its pre-sale estimate. The $175,000 included the buyer’s premium.

Measuring 30 by 38 centimetres, the piece had been bought by a woman at the Group of Seven artist’s studio in Toronto in 1955, said Bert Dorpmans, the work’s appraiser.

She never exhibited it before passing it on to her son less than five years ago. He and his wife, who live north of Toronto, decided to sell the sketch in Monday’s auction so it would be properly taken care of, added Dorpmans.

“Having no children, they were quite concerned about this painting ending up in a garage sale,” Dorpmans, who works with McMaster Framing and Gallery in Dundas, Ont., said, adding the couple chose to remain unidentified.

Sotheby’s, in association with Ritchies, moved 70 per cent of its lots Monday for total sales of $3.5 million, including the buyers’ premiums.

That’s short of its pre-sale estimate of $4 million to $5.5 million.

Sotheby’s fall sale in November — in which a Harris was also the biggest seller — also failed to reach its pre-sale estimate, but Sotheby’s Canada president David Silcox remains optimistic.

“Given the economic times, we’ve done really quite well,” Silcox said in an interview after Monday’s sale.

“I’ve been keeping an eye on the international art auctions — some have done a little bit better . . . but a lot of them have done a lot worse,” he added.

“So I think we’re actually seeing in Canada a kind of stability that the art market here has shown over the years, which is kind of a steady growth and nothing too wildly spectacular.”

Other big sellers at Monday’s auction included another Harris panel, North of Lake Superior, which sold for $100,250.

Just Posted

Councillors want to represent Red Deer at AUMA

City council approves endorsement

Cannabis smoke raises health concerns

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Avid Penhold climber Catlin Hannah’s death a reminder of the dangers of scrambling

Hannah never returned from his Mount Smuts attempt on Aug. 12.

Children, elderly at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

VANCOUVER — Thick smoke blanketing British Columbia communities far from any flames… Continue reading

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month