Canada’s Group of Seven artists triumph at Miller & Miller
NEW HAMBURG, Ontario, Canada – Original, vibrant oil paintings by Canadian artists Alfred Joseph Casson (1898-1992) and Alexander Young Jackson (1882-1974) were the top achievers in a Firearms, Sporting & Canadiana auction held October 9 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. The two paintings combined for nearly $100,000 (all prices quoted here are in Canadian dollars).
The landscape painting by Group of Seven artist Alfred Joseph Casson sailed past its $30,000-$40,000 estimate to finish at $59,000. The work, titled Outside Algonquin Park, depicted a bucolic scene near the village of Whitney and was executed in 1940, at the height of the artist’s great career. Casson focused much of his work on rural villages and towns in Canada.
The countryscape by Group of Seven founding member Alexander Young Jackson was similar in style to the Casson work, except there were no buildings in the Jackson painting, as there were in Casson’s. The piece topped its $30,000 high estimate, selling for $38,350. It was signed lower left, titled and dated, “Oat Field Harrington, Quebec, Sept. 1966, A.Y. Jackson.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction, which attracted 546 bidders who placed 9,540 bids in a sale that grossed $803,993. One hundred percent of the lots sold, and one-third of the lots exceeded the high estimate.
A large watercolor and ink folk art fraktur-type painting by Anna Weber (Canadian, 1814-1888), signed in fraktur writing and dated 1870, the design, executed in blues, red, yellow and brown, consisting of 11 pairs of birds, each pair a different type, changed hands for $27,140.
Also, a taxidermied male passenger pigeon, cased in glass and secured to a wood branch perch, went for $10,620. Passenger pigeons went extinct in 1914. The example in the sale was from circa 1900.
There were two paintings by Joseph Swift (Canadian, 1832-1889) in the auction, both of them equestrian-themed and both with estimates of $12,000-$15,000. One was of a horse named Manfred, which trotted away with $16,250.
The other was of the horse Royal Exchange, which realized $15,340. Smith spent much of his artistic time filling a growing need for recording prize-winning animals that were often shown at the Toronto Exhibition in Canada for proud owners in the late 1800s.
A Duffner & Kimberly table lamp, made in America in the 1920s and featuring a Nasturtiums floral pattern mosaic glass shade on a solid bronze base in the thistle pattern, achieved $23,600. Also, an exceptional musical bracket clock by William Vale London (Finsbury), made in England between 1804 and 1824, sold for $14,160.
Firearms were a huge hit with bidders, led by a Colt model 1851 Navy pistol, made in America but issued to the Canadian Upper Canada (Ontario) Volunteer Militia in 1855, and one of 800 model 1851 navies purchased by Canada that year. It sold for $28,320.
Also performing well was a B. Mills (Hamilton, Upper Canada) side-by-side double-shot rifle, made prior to 1842 and one of only two known to Don Blyth, the collector. It achieved $16,520.
To consign a single piece, an estate or a collection, call Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. at 519-573-3710 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and firm’s calendar of upcoming events, visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.
The current rate of exchange is dollar CA 1 = 80 cents.
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