Blogs



Recent & Upcoming Events in Canadian Art


Recent and Upcoming Events


Waddington’s May 29th Spring Auction of Important Canadian Art was an exhilarating evening with the total hammer price for the sale widely exceeded Waddington’s pre-sale expectation for this select 112 lot event.


Our cover lot, an early topographical watercolour by William Armstrong, came within a hair’s breadth of setting a new world record for the artist. Our back cover lot, a mighty 1961 McEwen painting, doubled its pre-sale estimate, and dozens of other lots soared well above their pre-sale estimate, to our sellers’ great delight.


On June 27th, we will be conducting our Canada 150 Auction which includes exquisite and fascinating objects and works of art selected to tell the story of Canada’s history. The sale is a collaborative event supported by the Canadian Art, Decorative Arts, Inuit Art, International Art and Jewellery Departments here at Waddington’s.


Please be sure to look for highlights from the Canadian Art Department including a suite of 21 paintings by William Kurelek depicting Huronia in 17th Century Canada, as well as works by AY Jackson, Frederick Banting, Emily Carr, Jane-Ash Poitras and others.


Details about this special sesquicentennial event can be found here: The Canada 150 Auction


 

Posted: 6/15/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck


Waddington’s Canada 150 Auction


The Canada 150 auction is a special Waddington's event celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary featuring art and objects of historical and cultural significance. Some may be whimsical, others more important, all drawn together to celebrate and tell the stories of 150 years of Canadian art and culture. Waddington's is proud to be Canada's oldest auction house, founded pre-Confederation. Our deep well of expertise crosses multiple collecting categories, showcasing our rich passion and capacity for scholarship and linking our heritage to Canada's. This specialized auction will share in the excitement of Canada’s sesquicentennial. Please contact Sean Quinn for further information: sq@waddingtons.ca View the Auction Gallery



CITY OF TORONTO QUEEN VICTORIA DIAMOND JUBILEE ENAMELLED GOLD MEDAL, 1897 Estimate: $2,000—3,000



PROVINCE OF CANADA LAND GRANT TO SIR SANFORD FLEMING, 1856 Estimate: $300—400



LARGE SILVER CANADIAN INDIAN PEACE MEDAL, 1860 Estimate: $2,000—3,000



AFTER JOHN S.C. SCHAAK (ACTIVE WESTMINSTER 1761-1769), BRITISH MAJOR GENERAL JAMES WOLFE, COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES ON THE EXPEDITION AGAINST QUEBEC, 1759 Estimate: $3,000—5,000



JOHN MARSHALL & CO. ‘CANADIAN SPORTS’ LARGE BASIN, 1880S Estimate: $150—250


Save


Save


Save


Save

Posted: 6/3/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean


SKAM Graffiti Art Online Auction April 3 - 13


Waddington’s is proud to present Toronto’s first auction of Graffiti Art. A collection of 16 recent works by Toronto-based artist Jason Wing, known as SKAM, will be offered in an online auction April 3 to 13. Highly-regarded, Jason is considered one of Toronto’s true, original graffiti artists.

Formally trained in graphic design at George Brown College, Jason began creating his art over 20 years ago, which now appears everywhere from dark back alleys to gleaming corporate spaces. Of the works featured in the Waddington’s auction, each is an original, spray-painted freehand onto canvas, varying in size from 48” x 48” to 48” x 96”.

In answer to what he is inspired by, Jason says: “It varies, sometimes I sketch beforehand and sometimes I don’t. Nowadays with over a 1000 plus pieces under my belt I generally free style. I get inspiration from anywhere and everywhere: fashion, art, music, etc.”

Jason skillfully balances maintaining his street credit with receiving mainstream recognition for his work. He has designed movie sets, conducted live painting engagements for festivals and special events, as well as created commissioned artwork for clients like Yabu Pushelberg, Google, Beanfield Metroconnect, and Louis Vuitton.

In addition to his graffiti work, Jason is also an entrepreneur, and has turned his lifelong passion into a storefront business, Homebase, which sells graffiti supplies, providing other artists with access to great products and to connect with him. Jason is also prolific. He paints personal pieces on a weekly basis, completing an average of 80 works a year.

Duncan McLean, president of Waddington’s, notes that “urban art plays a critical role in constructive societal discourse. It is free expression at its ultimate and underlines our innate need to chronicle our stories, struggles, history.” He adds: “Waddington’s has been the vanguard of promoting diverse forms of Canadian art, from our first sales of Group of Seven works in the 1960s, to creating new markets for Inuit art over the last four decades, and developing a secondary market for contemporary Canadian art through our Concrete Contemporary Art Auctions and Projects division.”





Posted: 3/2/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean


"Off the Wall" Art Auction - June 22-25, 2015


GERSHON ISKOWITZ (CANADIAN, 1921-1988)
UNTITLED (detail)
$1,200—1,500
As always, our "Off the Wall" art auction offered an eclectic assemblage of artwork from a variety of artists. Enter: Ronald William Bolt, Gershon Iskowitz, Roy Lichtenstein and Dorothy Knowles.

This season’s June sale featured a wide variety of Canadian and International artists on scales large and small. As the current market for collecting has shifted to a more modern taste, our monthly online auctions offer many works of abstraction that would benefit any contemporary art enthusias. Side by side with works of the classic tradition, including esteemed Canadian artists Frederick Stanley Haines and Paul Rodrik, bidding online has never been so fun… and rewarding.

Our "Off the Wall" art auctions continue to exceed our expectations here at Waddington’s. With art coming in all the time, fine art specialist Doug Payne, together with his remarkable eye for detail, selects and supplies the demand for abstraction and mixed media works that attract so many collectors. With this our monthly online auctions continue to appeal to a vast audience, with art that ranges in style, subject matter, palette and is easy on the wallet.

We hope you enjoyed the selection of artwork featured in our "Off the Wall" art auctions throughout the season.


View the Auction Gallery

View the PDF Catalogue

Posted: 6/15/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean


As one auction season ends, another is soon underway…


Upcoming Auction Highlights
2014 was extremely busy at Waddington’s with 21 live auctions, 43 online auctions, several selling exhibitions and numerous fundraising events. Across our various departments we brought together 4,219 successful bidders with over 12,000 lots consigned by 3,039 vendors. And our Canadian art department set 12 new artist’s auction records this year!

Our success in 2014 was in great part due to our diversity of knowledge and experience, and our broad market networks. Waddington’s is well equipped to handle your items not only through our traditional departments, but anything you can challenge us with no matter how unique.

For me, the stand-out items are not always the most valuable ones. In 2014, what I found the most intriguing was The Billy Jamieson Collection of everything macabre, magical and outrageous – including a wooden New Guinea cannibal fork, a 19th c human tooth necklace, a pair of Houdini’s handcuffs and a commemorative slice of Jumbo the Elephant’s tusk originally presented to Mrs. P.T. Barnum.

Other 2014 auction highlights were a 16th c gilt bronze Buddha, a stone sculpture by Inuit artist Davidialuk depicting the story of Katyutayuuq, a rare set of 12 Imperial Russian dinner plates, a 19th c Napoleonic chess set depicting the Battle of Algiers, Sir Isaac Brock's Knighthood Commission document, an Elizabethan (1580) silver-mounted Tigerware jug, an Andy Warhol portrait of Karen Kain, and an important J.E.H MacDonald oil sketch for a major AGO collection canvas.  Now how’s that for diversity!

Spring 2015 will see Waddington’s offer yet another unique collection to complement our traditional department offerings: 250 pieces from the ‘FXSMITH Studio Collection’ including movie costumes and props from films like The X Men series and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. 

We invite you to be part of our Spring 2015 season and to consider a consignment opportunity with us. Whether live, online or through private sale, we can provide the best forum to buy or sell.

Winter 2015 Newsletter (PDF)

Spring 2015 Auction and Consignment Schedule (PDF)

— Duncan McLean
President

Posted: 1/26/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Duncan McLean


IN MEMORY OF TOLLER CRANSTON


(1949 – 2015)

Toller Cranston lived in a grand Victorian home on Pembroke Street in downtown Toronto in the 1980s. Waddington’s was on Queen Street East at that time – on the other side of Moss Park, a short walk away. Toller was a regular at all our auctions, which in those days included twice-weekly estate auctions offering anything and everything to be found in a home. Toller was always on the hunt for the wild, the colourful, the outrageous, the beautiful and anything over the top. His favourite expression when he saw something he had to have was: “It’s beyond the beyond!” Pieces Toller had to have included an Italian Murano green glass indoor fountain that was destined for his bay window (where it actually worked once installed); a huge black metal sculpture of a flying raven; as well as every antique, carved wood cherub he could find.

One evening, I was hanging out with Toller and Bill Kime, another friend from Waddington’s, at his home. In our conversation Toller declared that it was time for him to start selling a few pieces to help spark a change in his life. This was during a difficult period for Toller, in the twilight of his skating career, and feeling unappreciated by the art world. (I remember a large canvas he had recently painted of classically Victorian dressed skaters on a frozen outdoor pond. On a hill next to the pond, a sinister-looking tree with another skater hanging by the neck from a branch over the frozen pond. That was Toller – dramatic and dark-humoured.)

Bill suggested that the best way to sell his pieces was not a few at a time, but all at once as a big event that would generate excitement; create a buzz in Toller’s world of art and entertainment. Toller loved the theatre of big events – and he was immediately excited by the prospect. In June 1991, after many days of working closely with Toller to catalogue the collection and produce a catalogue, Waddington’s offered the contents of his three-story house over a three-session auction. Invitations to the preview party were highly sought. Fans, collectors, voyeurs and media spilled out our front doors the evening of the first auction. And as predicted, the sale of his home and its contents allowed him to “reinvent himself”. Toller bought a magnificent estate in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico’s artist colony, where many ex-pat Canadians including Leonard Brooks and Toller’s good friend Gary Slipper were already settled. A new chapter of his life.

The reality is, Toller had already reinvented himself several times – from virtuoso world-champion skater, to caustic commentator to devoted coach – Toller had pushed the limits of a restrictive sport at every leap and turn. As a painter, Toller’s work was like his artistry on ice. Graceful, sensual, provocative, at times dark, or exploding with colour and energy. Defying tradition and eschewing conformity.

Toller lived large. He craved attention and appreciation, but he also spoke the truth as he saw it – which often landed him on the wrong side of the establishment. He had a wicked sense of humour and could slay his critics with a mere word or two. Toller was brilliant. He should be honoured as one of Canada’s most remarkable creative forces for changing the Canadian landscape in so many ways. Toller was a friend. He was generous, he was fun, he was both a social animal and a solitary man, a mercurial temperament who would disappear for months and then return with bravado.

Toller will be missed. By me, by those who had the chance to enter his magical life, and everyone else who will be touched by his creative legacy.

Duncan McLean
27/01/15


This photograph of Toller’s main floor living room was taken by Joy von Tiedemann and used as the auction catalogue cover. It’s a wonderfully mad room that is all Toller.





These images of Toller and his home were simply taken down off his wall to be used in the auction catalogue.





These images are of the auction preview displaying Toller’s immense and diverse collection. Waddington’s gallery had never looked so vibrant, so colourful or so fantastic!



Posted: 1/26/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Duncan McLean


Specialists' Preview - Spring 2014 Auction Highlights
April 3 – 8, 2014


Sometimes what’s old is truly new again. Traditionally, Waddington’s held our much anticipated Fine Art Auctions bi-annually, a dedicated week of previewing and selling the best we had to offer for that season from all our departments. Previewed as an enormous mix of wonderful and eclectic, rare and beautiful, classically traditional and wildly eccentric, there was something for everyone and for every taste. As all our departments grew, it became unwieldy to organize all our auctions and previews into the same time period. Spreading the auctions throughout the spring was more manageable, and the departments began to conduct business more autonomously, focused on their core proven markets and clients.

Fast forward ten years and we see an evolution in market tastes and buying trends. Today, fewer people collect as a hobby in pursuit of objects from a narrow, focused area of interest. Nowadays people are more likely to collect to decorate their home or business – and they’re much more willing to mix cultures, textures and periods to create an individualized environment. In reflection, our traditional preview settings more suited to the current more diversified market. They made it easy to imagine how things would look in situ – how an English highland painting might look beside the Sorel Etrog sculpture already in your home, how the clean and powerful lines of an Inuit sculpture could complement your Group of Seven canvas. How a delicate Chinese vase is flattered by art deco bronze figures and English silver candle sticks. It was almost like looking at the pages of a décor magazine.

So we’re borrowing from the past. We’re bringing back the multi-department preview to demonstrate how great but different art can blend together. Our specialists (some of the best in the world in their various categories of expertise) have handpicked their favourite items from their spring season auctions. The most interesting, most eclectic, and in some cases the most valuable, to be previewed together in our gallery in one glorious display. And to further enhance the experience, we’ve also invited Farrow & Ball to be part of the display, weaving in the colour palette and wallpaper highlights from their spring season.

We look forward to sharing some of our favourite things with you.

Please be sure to visit April 3 – 8.

Posted: 3/31/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Duncan McLean


"Off the Wall" Art Blog


Hello 2014!

Entering into our 15th year of Monthly Art Auctions - both Off The Wall and Online - I would like to thank all those who participated in making 2013 a successful and fun year. I am looking forward to another year of offering the wide range of artworks, sculptures, etc. that come through our doors.

The January 20 - 23rd online auction has some great works coming up and many more affordable pieces. Here are just a few names that will be offered:

Norval Morrisseau
Robert Pilot
W. Goodridge Roberts
Tom Roberts
Harry Britton
Blake Debassige
Arthur Verner
J.W. Beatty
A.A. Edson
B. des Clayes
H.S. Palmer
Guido Odierna
J. Giunt
Henry Cooper
Alfred Leyman, and much more.
Posted: 1/15/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Doug Payne


Off the Wall - May 2013


Hello and welcome to my second blog posting!

First, I would like to thank all those who participated in March's past auction, and for making the monthly "Off The Wall" online auction a success. I truly can't believe it is almost April already!

Each month offers a variety of mixed works - from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. However, beauty is in the eye of the buyer. Nothing surprises me anymore! After working at Waddingtons.ca for 27 years and having probably seen over a million pieces of art, you'd think I might have seen it all. But sometimes, out of the blue, something will come in that will fill me with wonder and leave me saying "Wow, amazing!" (which is truly difficult to do .. ha ha).

For some of the auctions, you are probably in the same boat as me when I see how much works are sold for, given the conservative estimates I offer. This probably explains why 98% of the works offered each month are sold. My working motto is "I'm here to sell it, not showcase it". It's amazing and it works. The Off the Wall web page is one of the busiest in the company.

In April, "Off The Wall" has another great online auction from the 22nd to 25th. Works include pieces by Marion Long (2), Andre Bieler (5), Andre Lapine, Allen Sapp, Marmaduke Matthews, William Armstrong, Willem Hendriks, Guido Odierna, Wentworth Folkins, Bobs Cogill Haworth, Alexander Dzigurski, Bertram Brooker, Guy Michon (3), Horatio Walker, Leif Ostlund (6), Carl Beam, G. Osborn, Dick Ferrier, Geza Marich, Edmond Montague Morris, Farquhar McGillivray Knowles, Tom Scott, Antoine Blanchard, Nihan Basak (3), Albert J. Franck (4), Frederick S. Haines, Nicholas Hornyansky, Ted Bertram, L.A.C. Panton, Ernest A. Dalton, William John Hopkinson (2), and many more. Each piece is a high quality of work, with new pieces being consigned every day, so stay tuned for more to come!

Each day seems busier than the last with clients coming in to meet with me for various reasons. Whether they are downsizing their homes, inherited beautiful pieces or selling works they've had for years (or some just recently found), I am rarely at my desk! That said, if I don't answer my phone when you ring, please call the main line at (416) 504 - 9100, or drop me an email at dp@waddingtons.ca and I will be more than happy to assist you in any way possible.

For those of you wishing to consign for the April "Off The Wall" online auction, the deadline is April 10th by 5 pm. Finally, make sure to put the May dates into your calendar as the online auction will be running from May 13th - 16th, with consignments being accepted until May 1st.

Thanks for stopping by. I am looking forward to the myriad of online auctions coming up this Spring and can't wait to see what the Summer has in store (if it ever gets here!)

All the best,

Doug Payne (or as Ronald McLean used to call me... Bluto)
Posted: 5/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Doug Payne


Off the Wall - October 2012


Hello and welcome to my first Blog....ever. I'm been working here at Waddingtons since February 1986. I can honestly tell you that I love it and love what I do. My experience comes from "hands on" and having a photographic memory surely helps.

Since we started "Off the Wall" auctions way back in February 1998 (I can still remember the very first lot, an etching of "Ward's Island". We are now approaching the 14th year of these auctions and an estimated 40,000 pictures later, we are still going strong.

The "Off the Wall" auctions offer a variety of artworks from well known artists to the unknown. It's a great way for clients who are just starting an art collection or wishing to add to their collections or those dealers/sellers looking for a quick turnaround at affordable prices.

In the upcoming "Off the Wall" November 12th - 15th, will include works by Manly MacDonald, Rene Richards, Henry George Glyde, Betty Goodwin, John Joy, and many other noted artists, as well as lesser known and decorative works.
Posted: 10/1/2012 12:00:00 AM
By: Doug Payne

UPCOMING AUCTIONS & EVENTS



"Off the Wall" Art Online Auction
June 24 - 29, 2017


On View:
Friday, June 23, 2017
from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Saturday, June 24, 2017
from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday, June 25, 2017
from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monday, June 26, 2017
from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

View the Auction Gallery


"Off the Wall" Art Online Auction
August 26 - 31, 2017


On View:
Sunday, August 27, 2017
from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Monday, August 28, 2017
from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm


"Off the Wall" Art Online Auction
September 30 - October 5, 2017


On View:
Sunday, October 1, 2017
from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Monday, October 2, 2017
from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm