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Heffel fall art auction reaches $11.5 million in total sales

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TORONTO - The 2012 Heffel fall auction of Canadian post-war and contemporary art held at Toronto's Park Hyatt Hotel on Thursday night reached total sales of $11.5 million.

In all, eight sales records were broken, led by Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris’ ”Hurdy Gurdy” at $1,082,250 while works by Emily Carr achieved sales of $2,180,000.

Heffel had estimated that Harris’ work, which depicts Toronto’s Ward district, was expected to fetch between $400,000 and $600,000.

All prices include a 17 per cent buyer's premium.

”Frivolous September, Up the Gorge (Blue Sky and Forest)” by Carr sold for $643,500, well above the pre-sale estimate of as much as $250,000 for oil on paper.

Other works by Carr that sold above their estimated prices included ‘‘Alert Bay,‘‘ which sold for $702,000 against an estimate of $200,000-$300,000 and 'Skidegate,' which sold for $585,000.

In total, the seven works by Carr sold for $2.18 million.

Other highlights include ”King of the Mountain” by William Kurelek, which was expected to fetch as much as $350,000 but sold for $380,250.

”Guardian Spirit of Owl” by Jack Shadbolt sold for $163,800, well above its estimated value of between $40,000 and $60,000.

Another painting that surpassed sales expectations was ”Snowed In” by Franz Johnston, which sold for $128,700 _ above its pre-action estimate of up to $80,000.

”West Coast 2/06: Dawn, Pacific Ocean, at Brooks Peninsula” by Takao Tanabe also sold well above its estimated selling price of up to $30,000 at $76,050.

"This auction exceeded our expectations and it is a testament to the strength of the Canadian art market," said Heffel Art Auction House president David K.J. Heffel.

"We set new records for artists from coast-to-coast including Jack Shadbolt, Takao Tanabe, Emily Carr and William Kurelek.”

Heffel’s spring 2012 live auction had achieved total sales of $14.6 million.

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