Canadian and International Fine Art

Auction begins to close:
November 30, 2023 at 8:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 45

Lot 45

Sir William Cornelius Van Horne (1843-1915)

Sir William Cornelius Van Horne (1843-1915)
Lot 45 Details
Sir William Cornelius Van Horne (1843-1915), Canadian


oil on board
signed with initials "WCVH" and dated "89"
4.75 x 7 in — 12.1 x 17.8 cm

Estimate $3,000-$5,000

Realised: $2,952
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
Sir William Cornelius Van Horne (1843-1915)
  • Sir William Cornelius Van Horne (1843-1915)
  • Sir William Cornelius Van Horne (1843-1915)
  • Sir William Cornelius Van Horne (1843-1915)
  • Sir William Cornelius Van Horne (1843-1915)
  • Sir William Cornelius Van Horne (1843-1915)

Private Collection, Toronto, ON;
Joyner Waddington's, Toronto, ON, 4 Jun 2003, lot 196;
Collection of Sir Christopher and Lady Ondaatje


​​George Stephen, 1st Baron Mount Stephen (1829-1921) was a Canadian businessman and the first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Stephen was tasked with raising the enormous sum of $100 million required to finance the project. Despite his humble beginnings, he became the richest man in Canada, as well as a noted philanthropist.

Stephen’s great passion in life was salmon fishing. In 1873, he purchased a property at the confluence of the Matapédia and Cascapédia rivers, a junction known as Les Fourches (the forks). The Matapédia is known as one of the great salmon rivers in the world, and once it became accessible courtesy of the railroad, it attracted fishermen from around the world.

A great pioneer and promoter of sport fishing in the Gaspé region, Stephen would visit this fish camp often before relocating to a second fishing camp in Grand-Métis in 1886. Fishing camps like this one did double-duty as both a place of leisure and business. Stephen kept a log of his visitors, which included financiers, nobility, politicians, lawyers, and fellow members of the CPR, including William Van Horne.

Van Horne, while most famous for his role in building Canada’s transcontinental railway, was also a sophisticated artist who most likely painted this work while holidaying with Stephen.

In the early 20th century, a group of businessmen bought the estate and renamed it the Matamajaw Salmon Club. Today it is a heritage site open to the public.

For another Van Horne painting of a fishing camp, we invite you to view lot 20.


Good overall condition. Frame abrasion. Small areas of consolidation. Minute loss near signature in bottom left corner.

LOT 45

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.