Auction uptick? Joyner's records big dollars in Spring sales
Yesterday in the paper, I did a small item about the Sotheby's/Ritchie's auction of "important Canadian art," which is a matter of opinion, of course, but the fact of it was that it offered very little as an indicator of the market's health. Some big names, like a Lawren Harris, reached their pre-sale estimates (it was the biggie at $175,000); others, like an Emily Carr with an estimate of $250,000, failed to sell at all.
The very next day, though, Joyner's seemed to defy that hesitance, selling major works like A.Y. Jackson's Sun Gleams Near Bic (left) for a whopping $478,000, well beyond its $250,000 estimate. Another, Franklin Carmichael's Howry Creek, La Cloche, more than doubled its estimate of $50,000, selling for $115,000.
Smaller contemporary works shot past their estimates, too, with a Greg Curnoe selling for $34,500, well past the $25,000 estimate, and a Kazuo Nakamura painting bettering its estimated $15,000 by almost $10,000, going for $24,150.
No doubt, Heffel's, which holds the biggest auction of the season next June, will be encouraged by this; it has 2 pieces set at over $1 million for its sale, an Emily Carr at $1.2 million and a Jean-Paul Riopelle at $1.5 million. It will be the most telling of whether confidence has returned to the game or not.