Sunday, May 30, 2010

Buying Low and Selling High

Tom Thomson: Bing Inlet, Georgian Bay

Theodosia Dawes Bond Thornton had good taste.

Long before the Group of Seven came into vogue, the Montrealer assembled a collection of their work, for a relative pittance.

She bought Lawren Harris paintings for as little as $85, A.Y. Jacksons for the same amount and at least one Arthur Lismer painting for the princely sum of $37.50.

They've risen in value.

The $85 painting she bought from Harris in 1947, Lake Superior Sketch XXXIII, is expected to bring $200,000 to $300,000 at the Heffel Auction of Fine Canadian Art tomorrow at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Her $85 Jackson, Coal Miners' Houses, Canmore, Alberta, was purchased four months after the Harris, and has a pre-auction estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. The $37.50 Lismer, Forest Interior, bought in 1949, has an estimate of $20,000 to $25,000.

"She amassed a great collection with a total [cost] of $17,000 to $18,000," marvels David Heffel, who runs the auction house with his brother Robert. "It's in the millions now. It was a great investment."

That's an understatement. Three of the 37 works from the Thornton collection up for auction - Harris' Winter ($600 in 1962) and Arctic Sketch IX ($500 in 1959), and Albert Henry Robinson's St-Urbain ($165 in 1945) - have pre-auction estimates of $300,000 to $500,000.

Thornton died last Oct. 27, aged 93, and her collection has been put up for auction by her estate.

Heffel had met her and said her house had so many works of art, the living and dining rooms were set up like an art gallery, "with a gallery-type peg-board and broad lighting system in the dining room where she would rotate the works." She literally had a cupboard full of Harris paintings between the living and dining rooms, awaiting their turn in the rotation.

Excerpt of an article from the Victoria Times Colonist(May 25, 2010) and reprinted on the Heffel.Com website.
Click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for posting your comments.
ATTENTION SPAMMERS: Comments with links to other websites, will not be accepted.

A message for anonymous posters: Comments will be accepted provided they are thoughtful and articulate.

Reciprocating comments between posters will not be accepted. Sorry - I have no intention of giving readers the opportunity to engage in flame wars. It won't happen.

Fredericks-Artworks Blog, copying policy

The Canadian Copyright act, section 29 reports on fairdealing, that it is not an infringement to reproduce someone else's work for research, study, criticism, review or to report. Which pretty much sums up what this site is about. All content sources, be they artists, printed references, and website url's are respectfully identified on this site. http://http//

Mission Statement
A Portrait of the Visual Arts in Canada, is intended to celebrate the richness of Canada's visual arts, and to promote the arts in Canada.

Statement of Intent
I make every effort to credit the sources of information used in this blog and to obtain the permission and cooperation of all the works presented by living artists. I try, as much as possible to use works from public sources eg. national and provincial collections, of deceased artists. If for any reason, any artist disapproves of anything written about them or their work the artist is encouraged to request withdrawal of the content.