February's Fine Wines & Spirits

Earlier this month our very own Joann Maplesden was invited to talk about investing in wine to a group of women interested in alternative assets. Having worked in the Fine Wine and service industry for over 25 years, Joann is immeasurably qualified to speak knowledgably about what to buy, how to store, when to drink, and when to sell. She also has a deep understanding of the food and wine culture, which is at the core of what many collectors are interested in.

The advice she gave is what an expert in any field would give to a novice investor:

  • Read and taste widely.
  • Buy the best you can afford; it will always reward you.
  • Immerse yourself in the world of wine, there is so much to learn and it’s also a lot of fun.
  • Don’t expect to know everything overnight. While it might be easy to chase just the big names - the first-growth Bordeaux and Grand Cru Burgundy, there is also great value and pleasure to be found just a little off the beaten path, in the wines of the Rhône Valley or Piedmonte, in Spain, Sonoma or Margaret River.
  • Remember to differentiate between investing for pleasure and investing for profit.
  • And remember - the rewards of sharing a well-cellared wine are ample!

This month’s Fine Wine and Spirits auctions offer wines for the novice collector, seasoned collector and the sommelier. Led by a lovely selection of well-cellared wine from the acclaimed Rundles restaurant of Stratford, Ontario, the auction goes deep into world-class Burgundy and California Cabernet Sauvignon. There are numerous mixed lots for current drinking pleasure, investment grade lots for the collector and wines ready for the spring and fall festivals. There is a plethora of Château Pétrus from numerous vintages, an awesome selection of wines from Rousseau and Leroy and a very special flight of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon.

Please make use of our Wine Search tool at to make finding wines of interest that much easier.

We hope you enjoy this auction as much as we enjoyed assembling it for you.

Please also note our consignment deadline for the May auction is fast approaching. Wines for consideration should be sent to us by March 16, 2018.

Cheers, Stephen Joann Devin

Posted: 2/15/2018 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger

Ormo-what? Ormolu!

This is a term that we hear around our auction house on a regular basis, especially in our Decorative Arts department.

It’s an odd-sounding word in English, but the French translation makes it clear – it means ground gold - “or” (gold) “moulu” (ground, as in ground up into a powder). The practice was perfected in France in the 1700’s and was used extensively in the decorative arts, and to enhance the beauty of furniture.

It was a process performed by gilders, who would mix the gold powder with mercury in a 1 to 10 solution and then burn the mercury off to create of vibrant matte gold finish. Using this process, one gram of gold could be stretched to gild many square inches. By burning off the mercury, about 20% it would become airborne which was extremely hazardous for the health of gilders.

Breathing in mercury, a neurotoxin, literally caused them to become as “mad as a hatter”. In fact, most gilders didn’t live beyond the age of 40. In France, after 1830, the government passed a law banning the use of mercury in gilding, but it’s difficult to say how strictly this was enforced.

Today, the term “ormolu” refers generally to a gilded matte gold finish, regardless of the process used to adhere the gold to the metal. “Hang him a gilder that hath his brains perished with quicksilver is not more cold in the liver” – John Webster, The White Devil.

Interested in finding out what your decorative arts, art, jewellery or might be worth?  Contact Ellie to find out.

Ellie Muir Manager Appraisals & Consignments


Posted: 1/30/2018 12:00:00 AM
By: Ellie Muir

"Fantastic Martin Brothers Birds Soar"

Published in Antiques and the Arts Weekly

by Madelia Hickman Ring

TORONTO, CANADA – On December 6, Waddington’s offered an extraordinary private collection of nearly 100 pieces of sculptural stoneware objects and pots by Martin Brothers Studio potters, including, most notably, a small flock of Robert Wallace Martin’s “Wally Birds.”

The sale realized $502,309 CDN and all 92 lots offered were sold, achieving the rare distinction of “white-glove” status. With very few collections of this size available on the market, Waddington’s was not certain what the outcome would be, and the sale exceeded the expectations of Bill Kime, Waddington’s senior specialist in ceramics, glass and silver and one of its senior auctioneers.

The success of the sale underscores not only the strength of market for this specific collecting category but also Waddington’s sale strategy of selling with conservative estimates and without reserves. Kime said there had been extraordinary interest in the sale from private collectors, dealers and institutions but that more than half of the pieces were purchased by private collectors.

While there was international interest, most buyers were from the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Kime said he was surprised at the amount of interest from Canadian buyers and was pleased that several pieces, including a few of the “Wally Birds,” were purchased by Canadian buyers.

The sale got off to a promising start with the first lot, a face jug selling for $9,000, six times its low estimate. The top-selling lot was a stoneware bird tobacco jar, by Robert Wallace Martin, dated 1907, approximately 8 inches tall. Estimated at $15/20,000, it more than tripled its low estimate when it sold for $48,000. Kime thinks it could have set a record price for a late Martinware bird due to its distinctive and unusual glazed decoration. According to Kime, Martin would go to London’s Old Bailey courthouse and sketch the birds there, giving them exaggerated features, and they would become the “Wally Birds” so alluring to collectors today. Many later birds were made as forms with movable heads; this ability to further animate the birds adds to their appeal. Regardless of size, “Wally Birds” did well: two 4-inch small birds each doubled their low estimates, while a 2-inch miniature bird brought three times its low estimate.

Working in late Victorian-era London, the Martin Brothers are considered to have been pioneers in transforming decorative arts from the formalism of the Victorian era to a more whimsical and naturalistic style that foreshadowed studio pottery of the Art Nouveau movement. Kime attributes the appeal of Martinware to their whimsical and eccentric aesthetic that, while they led the way for other Studio potters, was purely their own.

Eclectic to the core, the Martin Brothers’ work bears the influence of art and architecture from the Middle Ages and Gothic periods, but much of their unique pottery exists in a category of its own. While holding on to the eclectic characteristics of Victorian times, many of their sculptures took on exaggerated forms and personalities. Among recognizable Martinware forms are their sculpted face jugs, Gothic stoneware vases and spoon warmers resembling monsters, mythical creatures, classical figures and the use of sea life motifs and other fantasy-inspired figures. A fantastical beast-form spoon warmer jug more than tripled its low estimate when it sold for $19,200 and other forms outperformed their estimates as well.

Kime said that the collection was relatively unknown, belonging to a couple in the Vancouver Islands who began by collecting Moorcroft pottery. The couple were advised by scholar and dealer Richard Dennis and traveled to London in 1978. Staying in an apartment over his studio, the wife of the couple discovered the collection of Martinware he was assembling. The couple would continue to seek guidance from Dennis, as well as Vancouver gallery owners Neil MacMillan and Dan Perrin, who are recognized as “market makers” for Martinware. According to Kime, the collection had no obvious gaps and was extremely balanced, including works by not just the four Martin brothers but also the various workmen who were known to have worked in their studio. He concluded his comments by saying the sale was “the most fun he’d ever had in 40 years.”

All prices reported buyer’s premium.

Published: December 19, 2017

Posted: 1/30/2018 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean

Staff Favourites in Our Decorative Arts Auction

Ellie Muir, our Appraisals and Consignments Manager, talks about two of her favourite lots in our Decorative Arts auction. Both sculptures were gifted to the Art Gallery of Ontario and are being deaccessioned to benefit future art purchases at the AGO. Meet "Psyche and the Butterfly" and "Dance of The Three Graces".


This version of Psyche shows her in a jubilant state, celebrating her new immortality and reunion with her husband, Cupid. She has accomplished momentous tasks assigned to her by Venus in order to achieve her union of love, and seems to be joyfully sending a butterfly, which symbolizes innocence as well as transformation, into flight. Everything about her is ascending up into the air, her hair, her arms, even the vines of roses encircling her body reach upward. Psyche now has her own butterfly wings as she has joined Cupid as an immortal.

Cesare Lapini made many sculptures of Psyche at various points in her journey - this one in particular shows her in her final state; self-assured and confident in her new place amongst the Gods.

Lot 241 - CESARE LAPINI (ITALIAN, 1848-AFTER 1902) PSYCHE AND THE BUTTERFLY Carrara marble, inscribed Gall.Lapini, Firenze, 1895, height 57.25 in — 145.4 cm Provenance: Gifted to the Art Gallery of Ontario by Mrs. J. Morrow Deaccessioned to benefit art purchases at the AGO.

Estimate: $20,000—30,000 


Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux is best known for his sensational marble sculpture “Dance” which adorns the façade of the Paris Opéra (a replacement is now there displayed as the original was moved to the Louvre in 1964 to preserve it from the elements).

When it was unveiled in 1868 it caused a sensation as it went against the popular Neo-Classical aesthetic of the time and instead favoured a raucous Baroque style where the figures seemed to move with joyous sensuality and abandon. Some unhappy onlookers were compelled to deface it by throwing bottles of ink. As is often the case, any publicity is good publicity, especially when it comes to art, and Carpeaux went on to produce many other iterations of “Dance”.

This lot shows three of those figures in a smaller configuration, but they are no less pleasurable to view. The swirling motion of the women with their fingers just barely touching give the sense that the centrifugal force of their dance could send them flinging outward at any moment as they emit peals laughter. Carpeaux produced plaster, terra cotta and bronze versions at his atelier right up until his death in 1875.

Lot 239 - JEAN-BAPTISTE CARPEAUX (FRENCH, 1827-1875) DANCE OF THE THREE GRACES, 1874 terracotta, incised signature and date, and with impressed ‘Atelier-Dépôt, Paris’, and ‘Propriété Carpeaux’ seals, height 31.5 in — 80 cm Provenance: Gifted to the Art Gallery of Ontario by the Junior Women’s Fund, 1958, inventory no. 57/27 Deaccessioned to benefit art purchases at the AGO.

Estimate: $8,000—12,000


To view the online catalogue: Decorative Arts

Posted: 12/5/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Ellie Muir

The Martin Brothers – A Private Collection

Comprised of nearly 100 pieces, this auction includes an intriguing mixture of sculptural objects and pots, most notably a small flock of Robert Wallace Martin’s ‘Wally birds’.

Working in late Victorian-era London, the Martin Brothers are considered to have been pioneers in transforming decorative arts from the stale formalism of the Victorian era to a more whimsical and naturalistic style that foreshadowed the Art Nouveau movement.

While holding appeal to the eclecticism characteristic of Victorian times, many of their sculptures took on disturbing and bewildering forms and personalities. The most celebrated examples can be found among Robert Wallace Martin’s grotesque bird sculptures, which may function as tobacco jars or vases, but are highly stylised to resemble the sometimes deviant human subjects after whom they were modelled. 

Eclectic to the core, the Martin Brothers' work bears the influence of art and architecture from the Middle Ages and Gothic periods, but much of their unique pottery exists in a category of its own. Among recognizable Martinwares, their sculpted ‘face jugs’, gothic stoneware vases and spoon warmers resembling monsters, portrayals of mythical creatures and classical figures, and the use of sea life motifs and other fantasy-imbued images are all very well represented in this collection. View the catalogue.

Please be sure to meet all the characters in this extraordinary collection at our preview opening at 12:00 noon on Friday, December 1, at Waddington's in Toronto.

Bill Kime Senior Specialist


Posted: 11/29/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Bill Kime

Canadian Art Auction: Excellent Results

The real estate market was on fire last night at Waddington’s major fall sale of Canadian Art when Montreal Plateau street scenes, Quebec chalets, Ontario heritage homes, Irish beach cottages, Maritime fishing shacks, and trappers' cabins raced passed pre-sale estimates selling to advantage to a full house of bidders, many of whom were attending our auctions for the first time.

Women artists fared exceptionally well, too. Waddington’s set a new record of $43,200 for Montreal painter Regina Seiden's Gathering Spring Bouquets and Daphne Odjjg’s canvas Walking with Donald soared past the expected pre-sale range selling for $48,000 after a spirited bidding battle.

Maud Lewis continues to be beloved by collectors, and Doris McCarthy surprised many of our preview guests with the breadth and talent she has shown the art world over the many decades of her practice, finely exemplified by the excellent price achieved for her large canvas of Keel, Ireland which fetched $36,000. (Please note that prices quoted include premium.)

For the past several years our major spring and fall auctions have enjoyed significantly high sell-through rates - this auction continued that trend with a 85% sell-through rate at the time of this publication.

As we have already started to gather works for our 2018 auctions - we'd love to talk with you about future consignment possibilities.

View prices realised gallery 

Linda Rodeck, Senior Specialist






Posted: 11/28/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck


Most of us wine lovers have at one point experienced the nirvana that comes with the perfect glass of wine. Often, that perfect wine does not exist in isolation, but is accompanied by: the perfect date, a perfect meal, the perfect setting, or any number of other lovely things that are all part of the experience. Will any great wine taste better when it is shared with people you love and an inspired setting?

Well, there are some who would disagree and suggest that a perfect wine is simply a combination of a great region, exacting producer, ideal terroir and great vintage.

We are not here to argue either way, suffice to say that no less than 80 wines in our current auction are rated 100 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. A further 88 are rated between 97-99 points. From the classic 1989 Château Haut-Brion and 1986 Château Mouton Rothschild to newer vintages like the 2009 Château Leoville-Poyferre and the 2010 Château Petrus, perfection reigns supreme. Let’s not forget our friends in California like the 2001 and 2007 Harlan Estate, or the 2002 and 2007 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon. The legendary Penfolds Grange from 1998 and 2001 couldn’t have scored higher either -- unless someone has invented the 200-point scale!

We encourage you to really dig deep into this auction; we know you’ll be greatly rewarded whether you are looking for mixed lots of well-cellared wine for the holidays, or if you are intent on filling your cellar with the best of the best. We’ve got it all.

As we do prior to the end of every auction, we’ll send out a list of some wines that still represent great opportunities. If you aren’t already on our fine wine email list, please visit Fine Wine Emails to subscribe. In the meantime, feel free to contact Joann, Devin or myself with any questions you may have.

Enjoy the auction.

Stephen Ranger, Senior Specialist

Posted: 11/28/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger

Concrete Contemporary Art Auction

The Fall 2017 Concrete Contemporary Art auction is perhaps the most diverse offering we have yet to put forward. Iconic abstractions by David Bolduc and Michael Adamson are offered side-by-side with a figurative Kim Dorland painting, while illustrative works by Marcel Dzama and Gary Taxali compliment the photo-based works of Barbara Astman and the Sanchez Brothers.

Two haunting landscapes by Wanda Koop are contrasted by a print featuring Alex McLeod’s futuristic, made-up world and mythical paintings by Stephen Appleby-Barr. Canada’s regions are all well represented; the range of works highlighting the diverse and abundant creativity of this country.

Once again we have partnered with for this live auction, inviting bidders from all over the world as we work to expand our market for Canadian contemporary art.

We look forward to seeing you in the gallery this season and thank you for your support of Canadian Contemporary Art.

Stephen Ranger, Senior Specialist


Monday, November 27 at 7:00 p.m.



Posted: 11/27/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


This past Tuesday, 139 works of Inuit and Northwest Coast artwork were presented for auction at Waddington’s, the premier auction house for Inuit art and now in our 39th year of conducting Inuit art auctions. The energy from a week of exhibition culminated in our busiest preview ever and carried directly over into spirited bidding during the sale.

Highlights of the auction include:

  • Over 90% of works sold, well above industry standard, resulted in elated consigners and buyers alike.
  • Feverish bidding led to prices repeatedly exceeding the healthy pre-auction estimates for early stonecuts and stencils. Three iconic Niviaxie stencils were each hammered down above the $10,000 mark.
  • Sculptural form took precedence for collectors, with the elegant and understated 20” caribou by Osuitok Ipeelee selling for nearly $30,000.
  • Impressive prices were also commanded from our curated selection of small-scale sculptures, such as Judas Ullulaq’s wonderful 6” work in antler, which sold for almost three times its estimate at $2,840.
  • Contemporary works from artists such as Bill Nasogaluak and Suvinai Ashoona sold well and within or above estimate.
  • The strong interest displayed for the Northwest Coast works during the previews resulted in 11 pieces selling for over a combined $30,000.

This year, we made some long overdue changes to how we present Inuit artwork in our catalogues. The Inuit community names are now included. Artists’ names are now also displayed in Inuktitut syllabics. Furthermore, Inuit artists' disc numbers – rooted as they are in the colonial system – have been removed from the catalogue descriptions, and now only appear in the index for reference.

It was particularly nice to see some familiar faces reappear during the auction and previews this season, as well as to connect with some new collectors. The interest in the artform is truly in a transition period between long-standing collectors - to those newer to it, and the interaction between these collector profiles is exciting to see and is reflected in the results of the sale. For further information about this auction or consigning with us in the future, please contact me directly. Thank you to all of our consignors and buyers for a wonderful evening.

Christa Ouimet
Senior Specialist




Lot 60 NIVIAXIE HUNTER WITH BEAR                                REALISED: $13,200




Posted: 11/23/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Having our colours done - for the fall season

I may be the only person old enough in the Canadian and Inuit Art departments to remember the craze of “having your colours done”. Trained colour consultants would be engaged to find colours for their clients to wear that best complemented their complexion, eyes, and hair colour, thereby enhancing one’s attractiveness and boosting one’s confidence. People were categorized as Seasons. Cool colour palettes were “Winters”, warm muted colours were “Falls”. You get the idea.

We know colour can have a powerful effect on us. Whether dramatic, sophisticated, soothing or subtle, colour impacts our mood and carries varied - even contradictory- cultural meaning. Our reaction to colour serves both a biological purpose, and an aesthetic ambition. 

Each season, one of our favourite projects leading up to the auction preview, which begins tomorrow (dates and times below), is determining the set up of our preview gallery in order to best enhance the works of art being offered that season. This involves decisions about layout, placement of lots, lighting and choice of wall colour. While I suspect I can be somewhat dictatorial about some of these decisions, the fact is they are largely predetermined by the sale itself. Once we reach our consignment deadline and begin laying out our catalogue, it becomes very apparent that we have a “blue” sale or a “coral” sale or a “violet” sale. Inevitably, one colour or two seems to dominate, and the rest falls into place accordingly.

This year, several key paintings inspired our choice of wall colour and we have developed spaces that contain families of paintings and sculpture which play off one another. They have been set in environments that have been prepared to enhance your ability to read them and enjoy them.

While Russell Foster, a neuroscientist at Oxford, maintains “The whole point of colour vision is not to inspire poets, but to allow contrast detection,” (Tom Chivers, February 2015, The Telegraph), I can’t help but take a slightly less scientific position. And while I can’t argue with an Oxford intellect, I hope the layout and design of our saleroom both pleases and inspires you. Please join us this season for a dose of chromotherapy.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, I’m a “Summer”).

Linda G. Rodeck, Senior Specialist





Canadian Fine Art Auction Monday, November 20 at 7:00 pm

On View:

Thursday, November 16 from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Friday, November 17 from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Saturday, November 18 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Sunday, November 19 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Monday November 20 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

View the Auction Gallery

Posted: 11/15/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck

Pre-loved Rings in Our Dec 5th Fine Jewellery Auction

Thinking of buying a vintage engagement ring? We have several lovely examples in our Fall 2017 Fine Jewellery Auction.

You may be surprised to know there are many excellent reasons you should consider purchasing a pre-loved token of affection, in addition to their beauty. Christa Lambert explains the top four reasons and provides some advice on what to look out for when you buy antique:

  1. Hand crafted and one-of-a-kind – If your significant other loves unique pieces, you can be sure the vintage ring you propose with will never be seen on another hand. Each antique piece was handcrafted by skilled jewellers prior to the introduction of modern equipment used today to create jewellery, such as CAD and growing machines. Antique pieces were hand crafted; added details such as engraving and milgrain all required much more time, patience, and skill. The precision details of the past just cannot be duplicated to the same degree by today’s modern methods.
  2. Exceptional value, get more for your budget – Why pay retail prices, when you can purchase a piece of equal value for a fraction of the price? Retail prices are based on market value of the metal and gemstones, plus an average of 200-300% mark up (sometimes even more). Auction estimates are primarily based on the market value of materials. And bear in mind that many antique dealers actually buy their stock at auction, adding their markup when it enters their display case. Chances are you'll find a deal by participating in an auction, and perhaps even be able to buy a larger diamond than you thought your budget could afford.
  3. A historical piece makes an excellent heirloom – Each antique ring tells a story. It’s fascinating to learn about the older cut of diamonds, materials used, and the different styles that date a piece. Perhaps there is a hallmark that will provide information on a country of origin or a maker mark that gives the piece historical significance. Speaking with a Waddington’s specialist you can learn all about your ring of choice and share its romantic story with your intended.
  4. It’s a more environmentally safe and ethical choice – In today’s world we’re increasingly conscious of the footprint we leave on this earth and make choices acordingly. That includes being aware of the environmental impact of mining metals and gemstones. When purchasing a vintage piece, you’re not contributing to further damaging impact on our environment. For more information visit, a website making ripples and influencing retailers to take a stand against destructive mining.
"There is no such thing as clean gold, unless it’s recycled or vintage,” Alan Septoff, communications manager for the No Dirty Gold campaign.

What to be on the lookout for when buying an antique ring:

    1. Loose stones – A simple shake close to the ear is usually enough to tell if there are loose stones in a mount that would require tightening by a skilled jeweller.
    2. Wear on claws – Over time the claws that secure stones can wear down, leaving the gemstones susceptible to coming loose from the mount.
    3. Are the details intact? After years of wear, details can be softened. In the case where rings have been worn next to each other, some details may be worn off completely.
    4. Thickness of the shank – After years of wear, a shank may have been worn quite thin. Antique rings sometime require a shank replacement.
    5. Have there been alterations or repairs to the piece? Using a jeweller’s loop, study the piece to see if there have been changes. You may notice globs of solder that have not been removed properly. Parts may have been added or removed from a piece. Poor quality repair or alterations can detract from a piece’s beauty and value.
    6. Have old-cut diamonds been replaced with modern-cut stones?  Using a jeweller’s loop, examine the diamonds. Do the cuts match? Often, older stones have been lost and replaced with modern cuts.
    7. Is the ring the right size / can the size be adjusted? Not all rings can be sized without damaging the structural integrity of the ring, or details such as enamel inlay. Ask a Waddington’s specialist if it is possible to size the ring you're interested in.

The good news is that many of the above problems can be corrected by a skilled jeweller. Make sure you speak to one of Waddington’s jewellery specialists to find out if pieces can be restored and what are the costs associated with repairs that may be required.











Posted: 11/13/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Lambert

November's Rich Offerings

While we’ve never had lunch together, exchanged greeting cards or, in truth, even met, my “good friend” Heather Reisman rarely lets me down.

When I am wandering around Indigo not quite finding the right read for the weekend, time and again I have relied on one of “Heather’s Picks”. Last week, it was Sapiens: A brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. It wasn’t long before I found myself identifying with our earliest ancestors.

Harari writes that for nearly our entire history Sapiens have lived as foragers and that even today “our brains and minds are adapted to a life of hunting and gathering.” I can tell you that there is a lot of hunting and gathering that goes in to putting together an auction and like the early Sapiens I, too, “roam from place to place in search of food”, with which to stock the auction catalogue larder; I, too, am “influenced by the changing seasons” and “explore new lands opportunistically” looking for areas that are rich in what will sustain us.

The life of a forager was varied, interesting, and rewarding we are told, and I can attest that the life of a modern art forager (that’s forager not forger) can also be very rewarding. “The forager's secret of success” says Harari “was their varied diet”.

Likewise, in this season’s sale you will find a “varied diet” of works of art that span hundreds of years of Canadian painting, that come from or were painted by artists from all over our enormous nation (my primary hunting ground) and which reflect, stylistically and attitudinally, myriad positions, schools and periods of Canadian Art making.

We hope you will take the time to work your way through the rich offerings of this season, stopping here and there to sample some of the fine works we have harvested for your enjoyment.

Click here for auction details


Posted: 11/7/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck

Hey Our Vancouver Friends!

Considering selling a work of art? Need advice on estate planning or downsizing as it relates to understanding the value of an item or collection? We can help you find out what it's all really worth and what your options are.

Stephen Ranger, Vice President Waddington's, is joining me this week in Vancouver to talk about selling, buying or appraising art - and much more.

We've been invited to talk with a few groups already, but we're reserving the evening of Thursday, October 19 specifically for individual appointments. And as experts in the broadest range of art and objets d'art, this is a great opportunity for you to find out about more about your Asian, Canadian, International or Inuit Art; Decorative Arts; Fine Jewellery or Fine Wine.

Date & Time: Thursday, October 19, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Location: Sutton Place Hotel, 845 Burrard Street, Vancouver

To make an appointment to discuss selling, buying or appraising your valued possessions with Stephen, please contact me: Jacqui Dixon, Director of Client Services, Western Canada or 1.778.837.4588.

Just a reminder that I'm Vancouver-based and available at any time to provide guidance - so don't hesitate to get in touch with me.

And for the rest of the world... our appraisal specialists are always happy to provide their expertise, no matter where you are. Find out more from our Appraisals Manager Ellie Muir at or call 416.504.9100 / toll-free 1.877.504.5700.



Posted: 10/13/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Jacqui Dixon

Bright, Bold and Exceptional Quality Prints Attracts Bidders

Our September 2017 Prints and Photography Online Auction Results

Responding to market trends for bright, bold and exceptional quality of minimalist prints, the highlight of our auction was Ellsworth Kelly’s Blue/Green (EK70-336) achieving a top five price for the artist’s prints this year. Selling for over three times the high estimate for $17,500, Blue/Green (EK70-336) caught the attention of many bidders. Reflecting the transition between Kelly’s postwar abstraction towards a minimalistic point of view, this work is a poignant and important time the artist’s career. Blue/Green is also a perfect example of the exactitude of the lithographic process, the crisp delineation between the ink and white spaces.

What Attracts Collectors to Prints?

Printmaking techniques are also important factors to consider when collecting and buyers were equally drawn to Kelly’s perfectionism. Another highlight from the auction was Josef Albers who’s I-S’K (from Homage to the Square) sold for $10,625. The instant recognisability of the artist’s style has grown in popularity by collectors. Not only precise, but the colours that each square dons, has strong links to the colour field movement, while also expressing minimalistic tendencies.

This print was a rarity on the market as the colour combination selected by Albers was unique, combining deep, rich colours contrasting with an apple green centre square, which was undeniably attractive to buyers.

There is clearly excitement around the Bauhaus movement and its artists within the art community from exhibitions to collecting taste, ranging from printmaking to architecture. This modern movement will be gaining strength and one to watch on the auction block for seasons to come.

What's Popular in Photography?

Black and white photography continues to dominate the market as buyers look to build their collection with notable, groundbreaking photographers of generations gone by.

Works by André Kertész performed exceptionally well with a perfect sell-through rate, totalling over $16,500. Not only in pristine condition, these works were particularly strong due to their direct provenance from Kertész himself, by way of a private collection near Toronto.

Why Buy Prints & Photography?

Prints and Photography are an affordable way to build your art collection, while also providing access to the very best artists. Waddington’s Prints and Photography department’s expertise draws top works by consignors globally, while also attracting bidders from around the world, remaining competitive with other international auction houses.

To find out more about our auctions and how to consign, please contact Holly Mazar-Fox,


Posted: 10/2/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Holly Mazar-Fox

Ethnographic Arts & Artifacts Auction Highlight: A Yoruba Ogboni Drum

This rare Ogboni drum carving by Areogun (c.1880-1954) of Osi Ilorin, Northern Ekiti, Nigeria, is featured in our Ethnographic Arts & Artifacts Auction.

With a pre-sale estimate of $8,000—12,000, the carved wood drum, with natural pigments, hide and fibre, stands 64.8 cm, with a diameter of 53.3 cm.

Note: The Ogboni drum was used throughout Yoruba (southwestern and north-central Nigeria) in most cultural events, and their collective symbolism helps tie together elements of Yoruba society. In fact, without the music of the Ogboni drums, most funerals, festivals, and ceremonies would have been incomplete or impossible.

These drums, known as the ritual drums of Nigeria, have remained primarily remote and covert.

The Yoruba is one of the three largest ethnic groups of Nigeria concentrated in the southwestern part of the country.

Sherwin Memel, Los Angeles; Lot 102,
Sotheby’s, New York, May, 16, 2008;
Collection of Joey and Toby Tanenbaum, Toronto

Ethnographic Art and Artifacts Online Auction
September 30 - October 5

Register now to bid online:

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

To find out more please contact Andrew Brandt at 416.847.6168 / 

Posted: 9/26/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Andrew Brandt


Our inboxes have been buzzing with happy buyers and sellers as our September Fine Wine auction closed on Tuesday with 97.7 % of lots selling.

We thought we would share some of the auction statistics with you.

Total # of Lots  44
Total Estimates  $562,690-664,700
Total Hammer (bid)  $665,625
Total Realised (bid+premium)  $798,750
Total Bids Placed  4,334
Total Lots Sold  436
Total Lots Unsold  10
Sold Percentage  97.76%
Total Lots Sold Over High Est  335
Total Lots Sold Double High Est  23

All of this to say that throughout 2017 we have maintained an average of 97% of lots finding buyers at consistently strong prices.

Highlights of the auction:

Lot 96 - 1990 Chateau Margaux 1-6 litre bottle $10,560 (including buyer’s premium)

Lot 23 - 1989 Chateau Haut Brion 4 bottles $8,160 (including buyer’s premium)

Lot 135 - 1995 Opus One 6 bottles $5,100 (including buyer’s premium)

Lot 320 - 2000 Chateau Petrus 1 bottle $4,860 (including buyer’s premium)

For a full list of prices realised please see

Upcoming auctions

We are finalizing lots now for our November auctions and are already in the planning stages for our February 2018 live and online auctions. Wine collectors considering selling are asked to submit lists for consideration at least 10 weeks prior to each auction. The dates for 2018 auctions are posted on the website.

We look forward to offering you another robust and invigorating offering online from November 20 - 28.


The Waddington’s Fine Wine and Fine Spirits Team


Posted: 9/25/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger

Embracing Simplicity, Style and Workmanship

What do Eames and Miller have in common with Jensen, Hansen and Anderson?

Let’s start with they're all part of a resurgence of love for design inspired by the mid-century modern era in home furnishings, décor, art and architecture. A love for stylish, yet functional, clean-lined designs, exemplified by furniture designers Charles and Ray Eames and Herman Miller.

It’s not hard to see why people are in love with this style once again. The scale and simplicity is perfect for anyone streamlining their life; whether you’re in pursuit of a more Zen-like environment or responding to the practicality of what works best in the structure of condo living.

And with the same style aesthetic, creations by the jewellery designers of that period are equally relevant and appealing today, with their focus on simplicity, style and workmanship.

The philosophy of designers Georg Jensen, Hans Hansen and David Anderson and others was to create designs of both functionality and beauty - craftsmanship at the forefront.

Our upcoming Silver & Costume Jewellery auction features several excellent examples by Jensen, Hansen and Anderson, as well as by lesser-known designers, whose designs are equally compelling.

If you are a lover of anything mid-century modern, make sure to you take a look at the many amazing offerings in our September 30 – October 5 online auction.

Here are a few lots that might appeal to your sense of style:

Lot 22 ERLING CHRISTOPHERSEN NORWEGIAN STERLING SILVER PENDANT set with a granite specimen, and suspended on a silver chain
Estimate: $100—150
Together with:
Estimate: $120—160
Lot 24 GEORG JENSEN DANISH STERLING SILVER BRACELET, CIRCA 1960’s. Designer: Steffen Andersen, design #210
Estimate: $200—300
Together with:
Estimate: $60—80
Estimate: $80—120
Estimate: $200—300


To view all the items in the September 30 - October 5 online auction visit: Silver & Costume Jewellery Auction.













Posted: 9/22/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Lambert

Making Your Connection ...with Art

I watched the Emmys Sunday night. From start to finish. No fast forwarding. Stephen Colbert is reason enough to extract this level of commitment from me but I also experienced a revelation where I least expected it. From Donald Trump. Okay not THE Donald Trump but rather from Alec Baldwin, who won an Emmy for his SNL portrayal of the current president.

I’ll have to paraphrase slightly, but Baldwin’s acceptance speech resonated with me. He said when we are at the end of our life, we won’t remember a bill that was passed or a supreme court decision or an address made by the president. We remember a book, or a line from a favourite play, a painting, a scene from a movie or a song. Unlike Proust and his madeleine cookies, for me it is music, books, and pictures that provoke strong memories and deep emotion, so I agree with Mr. Trump...I mean Alec.

When I walked around our sale room today, I was reminded of this: How the art we choose to surround ourselves with enriches our lives throughout our lifetime. There are pictures hanging now that I will really miss when they leave Waddington’s for their new homes but I won’t soon forget them. I’ve made a connection. Art helps us connect with each other, too. With people from our own time and those that have gone before.

We want to encourage you to come down and make that connection, too, so we’ve extended our viewing hours for the Select Auction and will stay open for you to visit Tuesday, September 19 and Wednesday, September 20 until 7 p.m.




Posted: 9/19/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck

Canadian Art Select Online Auction Preview Begins this Weekend

The preview for this season's Select Online Auction of Canadian Art is now installed.

Please join us this Sunday, September 17 from noon to 4 pm; Monday, September 18 until 7 pm, or weekdays before the auction closes on September 21 to view the marvellous collection of painting, prints, sculpture and books that we have sourced for you.

There are exceptional works by Jack Beder, Leon Bellefleur, Bruno Bobak, LL Fitzgerald, John Fox, Clarence Gagnon, Gerald Gladstone, Dorothy Knowles, Henri Masson, Manly MacDonald, Harold Town, Jack Reppen, Jack Shadbolt and many others.

If you can't attend the live preview, please view our catalogue online and feel free to contact us if you have any questions about what you have seen. We're here to make a match between you and whatever you think might add a little lustre to your collection, so please let us know how we can make that easiest for you. In the meantime, enjoy!

Bid Online

Register to Bid Online

Contact Us

Posted: 9/15/2017 12:00:00 PM
By: Linda Rodeck

Don't Miss the Opportunity to Consign

Waddington’s invites you to consign to our Fall 2017 auctions of Important Inuit Art.

Here are a few of the reasons you should consider consigning to Waddington's:

1. Our service excellence combined with four decades of experience in selling Inuit Art at auction culminates in superior results for our valued clients.

2. Marketing is a key element of our success. Our strategic marketing channels include direct mail, digital marketing, social media and personal contact to reach our own extensive network of clients - and to reach new audiences.

3. When it comes time to preview the auction, our downtown Toronto location provides the perfect gallery space for your artwork to be presented in museum-quality exhibitions prior to the auction.

Please note that we are interested in major collections as well as individual works for our upcoming auctions.

If you would like to find out more about the many benefits of working with Waddington’s, please contact us.

Christa Ouimet 416.847.6184


Highlights from our Upcoming Auctions


Josephie Pootoogook, Woman Scraping Skin, 1958 Estimate: $3,000-5,000
Johnny Inukpuk, Woman Cradling Infant, 36" Estimate: $30,000-40,000
Josephie Pootoogook, Joyfully I See Ten Caribou, 1959 Estimate: $6,000-8,000
Osuitok Ipeelee, Hawk, 16.5" Estimate: $22,000-26,000 

























Posted: 9/15/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

One of Mark's Auction Tips: Visit the Preview!

With Asian Decorative Furniture, Scrolls and Sculpture, and Decorative Arts online auctions closing today, Mark will check the bidding on his favourite items to see if he is still interested. He might even look at other items if the current bids exceed his wisely set, self-imposed limits.

Following his own advice, Mark came to the preview on Monday to see everything himself. Interestingly, one of the items he loved in his original online browsing was not as compelling in person. So he's dropping back in today for a sneak peek at the Canadian Select online auction to look for something else. *While the preview officially opens this Sunday, September 17, our specialists are always happy to book personal appointments.

I think we've lost track of where he is with his original budget of $5000 - but that doesn't really matter as it's been a blast following his selection process.

Mark's Choices So Far:

From the Sept 12 Quarterly Jewellery Auction:

Lot 222 - 14 K white gold & blue topaz ring, est $250-350

I don't own much jewellery except for rings which I usually wear only on my left, pointing finger. I love white gold (or sterling silver) over yellow gold and the beautifully-cut blue topaz and diamonds add just the right amount of "bling" without being obnoxious. And since it's already a size 10-1/2, I wouldn't even have to re-size the ring!

*The ring sold in Tuesday's auction for $288. If Mark was actually bidding - it might have been his!

From the Decorative Arts Online Auction:

MJG - There are several items which have perked my interest in this auction. They include several house-ware-y and accessory items and one which is a nice bit of Canadiana.

Lot 185 - "Nemours" Lalique bowl, est $200-300

IF I'm going to own a fine example of cut glass, I may as well buy Lalique, non? Although I'd also hold-out for just the right example of Tiffany. This bowl is a nice size and if I can find a glass-insert to place inside, I would totally put this on an entry-way table for my keys and wallet. The flowers add a slight feminine fmotif while the black enamel dots are a nice graphic detail.

Lot 195 - Enrico Cammozzo Murano Glass Large Vase, est $250-350

This nicely-sized vase might be from the 1980's but it would be a perfect accessory to put on top of a small pile of art books, atop my credenza and be as good an excuse as any to buy cut flowers.

Lot 285 - Wedgwood Gilt Black Basalt Pastille Burner c.1900, est $75-150

This curious burner would be a great counter to the Murano glass vase. The black and gold in both for sure compliment each other perfectly while the antique motifs would also soften the strong, dominant forms of my credenza. Plus, I could put my topaz ring inside, when I'm not wearing it.

Lot 304 - Ormolu Mounted ‘Sèvres’ White Biscuit Group of Two Maidens late 19th century, est $75-150

This lamp would be a beautiful statement piece. I'd get this professionally re-wired (and re-restored for the oopsies) and attach a large Edison-style lamp bulb and no shade to give an updated, pseudo-contemporary look. For around the same price of a lamp found in big-box decor store, I'd have a gorgeous antique which reflects the romantic designs of the small Wedgwood burner while interplaying nicely with the strong lines and forms of the credenza.

Lot 444 - Contemporary Cherry Free Edge Log Stool, est $100-120

This little bit of Canadiana would look great beside my black leather side chair. Plus I'd have something to put my drinks on as well as my TV clicker, which I have a tendency to misplace. The natural, organic form would bring a bit of Mother Nature into my otherwise contemporary-ish home decor.

From the Asian Art Online Auction:

Lot 83 - Birds and Gourds Signed Bo Yan ??, est $100-200

This large painting, colour-wise, would work harmoniously with my credenza & leather side chair, the Murano vase and Wedgwood burner. I love birds. And gourds are representative of happiness and good luck in the Chinese culture.

Lot 126- A Small Hardstone Inkwell, est $300-400

This little fella is a curious choice. I simply like the quirkiness of the opposing, carved heads. And the thought this may have been used for generations gives it a nice history. And hey, this could be another holder for my white gold and blue topaz ring!

...And He's Still Shopping!

Being a good son, Mark is looking through the Fine Wine & Fine Spirits auctions to find something for his dad, whose birthday was September 10. Mom and dad's anniversary also requires another review. (The Wine & Spirits auctions close September 19.)

Mark is also coming by to see the items in the September 16-21 Canadian Art Select online auction, and take another look at some of the lots in the Prints and Photography auction, which closes September 21.



Posted: 9/14/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean

The $5000 Auction Challenge

The Auction Challenge

We asked our good friend Mark Gleberzon to participate in a unique challenge. We asked him: "If you had $5000 to spend at auction - what would you choose?" With Mark's background as an artist and his own personal style and sense of design, it seemed like a challenge custom-designed for him.

Here was our original conversation with Mark:

W – What do you think will be the most difficult part of this challenge?

MJG – I am actually in the midst of looking for a new place to live. I sold and donated and actually even consigned some items to Waddington’s (!) looking for a fresh, new start. Even decor-wise. So, this challenge will be fun. And hey, I might end up bidding on one or two things to keep, for reals. The challenge will be to rein in the crazy! It's always easy to find items to "want". It's more difficult to commit to something I might actually "need". Unlike a retail store, I can't return my purchase from an auction house. My selections - even fictional - need to be thoughtful and practical.

W – How about you select a work of your own collection as a starting point, to build around. Perhaps a favourite piece of furniture or one of your own works of art?

MJG – The few furniture items I kept include a mid-century modern credenza and a cozy black-leather chair. And yes, we could certainly include one of my photos or paintings to use for further decor inspiration to draw colours and other considerations from.

W – Do you have a strategy when you’re bidding in an online auction?

MJG – budget and commitment are my two most important strategies when it comes to purchasing from an auction. It's always easy to see something and fall in like with an object. But reality must be considered. What am I really able to afford and will the object be what I need and will use and ultimately enjoy having in my home?

W – Do you have any words of advice for those new to the auction world?

MJG – I have several words of advice, starting with:

Do your research. Every auction maintains records of what has sold in previous sales. It's a fantastic resource to see market trends, realized prices and the kinds of items you’ll find in a sale.

Go to the viewing previews. If you're a stickler for perfection, look at the object you covet in person. Hold it. Feel it. See if there's a connection between you and it. Don't only go by photos. If concerned, ask if there's been any restoration. And hey, sometimes you can learn if the prior owner was a noted collector or someone famous.

When there's the opportunity to, attend a live auction, go. Perhaps first watch how people bid and even the kinds of people who are bidding. You will see seasoned buyers and collectors who love the small victory of their winning bids as well as seasoned bidders who may be dealers or designers, looking to re-sell or buying that special something for their client's home. Auctions can be somewhat slow but if you have the right auctioneer and bidding gets fierce, they can be rather entertaining.

When it comes to online bidding, watch how bids are placed and the increments at which prices go up. And if you take that leap of faith and bid yourself, be mindful of your budget!! That can't be stressed enough. Keep in mind you're not only paying the price of the winning bid but also the auction house premium (a pre-assigned percentage, usually) as well as those dreaded taxes. It's easy to get caught up in a bidding war. Unless the item is that unique or the opportunity too personally important to let the item be purchased by someone else, you may just have to show restraint and put the paddle down (in a live auction) or not press the 'bid' button (if you're bidding online)

W - Thanks Mark! That was a great primer for anyone new to the auction world.


Posted: 9/7/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean

Halcyon Days

2017 was the 100th anniversary of the tragic death of Tom Thomson. This summer, I visited some of Thomson's favourite painting places and then paddled with my daughter to the cairn on Canoe Lake, a pilgrimage in honour of this exceptional Canadian. It was a poignant experience for me and a powerful reminder of the beauty of the Canadian landscape and the fleetingness of summer, which we can easily forget when we spend too much time behind a desk or tablet.

The one thing that keeps most of us sane during summer in the city is that great Canadian institution - the pilgrimage to cottage country beginning from the Victoria Day weekend and repeated religiously every weekend thereafter we can spare. The glory days of summer (despite a little rain here and there) begin to taper off now with the arrival of Labour Day Weekend. Our thoughts turn to the start of the school year, to TIFF, to gallery hops and galas and other city- centred events that fill the early months of autumn, muffling the cries of the loons and the splash of a paddle, putting distance between those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer as we sprint towards Christmas.

There will be no more time for trips north now but, luckily for us, hanging in the office of the Canadian Art Department, is Charles Comfort's exquisite rendering of Monument Channel, Georgian Bay extending that summer idyll for a few weeks longer until it, too, moves on to the home of whoever is wise enough to acquire it at our November 20th auction of Important Canadian Art.

In saying goodbye to summer 2017, Anna, Rochelle and I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a safe and enjoyable long weekend. We look forward to welcoming you back to our sales rooms on September 17 and 18th, when we will be previewing our Select Online Sale of Canadian Art.

Posted: 9/1/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck


We hope you have all had a wonderful summer and are ready for a great fall season of Fine Wine and Spirits. Waddington’s Fine Wine department has been very busy over the last few months and we are pleased to report that our September auctions are ready to roll. The catalogues will be available in print and online before Labour Day weekend giving you lots of time to peruse the sale as you enjoy the last weekend of summer.

The Fine Wine and the Fine Spirits auctions will run concurrently online from September 11-19 at

To celebrate the launch of the season and the bounty of the September auction Waddington’s Fine Wine will be hosting a Magnum Tasting on September 14 from 6-8 pm.

Representing some of our most impressive cellars, these wines exemplify the superb quality of the September sale. Here are the wines we look forward to enjoying with you:

1994 Ornellaia 1995 Tignanello 1995 Dominus 2000 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape 2005 Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot 2005 Chateau Gruaud-Larose 2009 Clos St. Jean Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous 2010 Faiveley Gevrey Chambertin Les Cazetiers

The tasting will start off with some delicious Champagne and excellent cheese. Tickets for the special tasting are $75.00 and are strictly limited as the wines are available in limited quantity. To order tickets please contact Brittany Boyd-Pyman at 416-504-9100 or

Please also note that the deadline for consignments for the November auction is September 22. See for information on submitting lists for consideration.

Finally we wish to say thank you and farewell to our Inventory and Client Service Manager, Franklin Marcano, who is leaving Waddington’s for a job in the US in the energy sector. Many of you have got to know Franklin over the last two years and we will miss his graciousness and dedication to our Fine Wine clients.

We look forward to seeing you at the tasting and to your participation in the Fall auctions.

Stephen Ranger

Posted: 8/21/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger

Two Things to Know About Fine Prints & Photography at Auction: “The Cachet without the Cash”

Fact 1: Auction houses are a fertile springboard for strengthening the market for prints and photography.  And as an integral part of that market, we're pleased to offer a unique selection of Fine Prints & Photography in our September 8- 21 auction featuring Modern, Contemporary and Impressionist artworks.

Fact 2: Global online art market sales surged to $3.75 billion in 2016, a 15% increase from 2015.   As a leader in online auctions in Canada, we predict this growth trend to continue. Approximately 35 % of our revenue is currently generated by online auctions. We act opportunistically to determine the best platform to suit the potential of the material being featured; for the prints and photography market, online auctions have proven to be the optimal method for us to reach our international audiences.

Waddington’s Fall 2017 Prints & Photography online auction includes excellent examples of the type of works currently sought by collectors, including two special works by Andy Warhol: Flowers, 1964 and Wayne Gretzky #99, 1983.  Warhol’s portrait of “the Great One” seems particularly apropos in this year of Canada’s 150th anniversary - giving us another reason to celebrate Canadian icons.  This dynamic silkscreen brings to life Warhol’s obsession with portraiture and celebrity (which extended to elite athletes), and captures the vivacity of Gretzky as a budding legend with bright and bold energy.

On the subject of icons, three works from the final photo shoot of legendary movie star Marilyn Monroe are also included in the auction.  American photographer Bert Stern captured both the beauty and fragility of Monroe in a series of photos that would become to be known as the “Last Sitting”.  Marilyn with Diamonds is one of the best from the series -  Marilyn draped in diamonds and pearls, the epitome of sensual and human vibrancy - later adorned with 23 Swarovski crystals by Stern. Crucifix is actually one of the prints Monroe didn’t want published, indicated by the ‘red cross’ scribbled across in marker.  Like other portraits of Stern’s from the 1960s, these images of Monroe exhibit a directness without sacrificing the sitter’s natural relationship with the camera.

Amongst the prints included in the September auction is a perfect archetype of German-American artist and Bauhaus alum Josef Albers. The Bauhaus concept of the union of art and design is clearly evident in Albers’ I-S’K, where he experiments with a single, repeated geometric shape, the relativity of colour, and how it changes through juxtaposition, placement, and interaction with other colours. Albers’ work continues to gain traction as appreciation of the Bauhaus aesthetic increasingly suits contemporary design tastes.

We’ll continue to add to our online preview gallery and look forward to welcoming you to our gallery to preview the entire auction September 8 – 21, which will be hosted by global powerhouse In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions.

Posted: 8/1/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Holly Mazar-Fox

Assessing the Art Market for Antiques & The Arts Weekly

Antiques & The Arts Weekly asked our perspective on the market for their July 18 story: Northern Perspectives: Canadian Auctioneers Assess The Market.

Linda Rodeck, Senoir Canadian Fine Art Specialist, Christa Ouimet, Inuit Art Specialist, and Sean Quinn, Decorative Arts Senior Specialist weigh in on the discussion.

Questions posed to Linda Rodeck, Senior Canadian Fine Art Specialist, Waddington’s:

Q: Beyond the Group of Seven, what Canadian artists are of interest to collectors?

A: Because of current demand, we are seeking works that resonate for two discreet audiences. One core group is focused on the distinct history of Canada and chases mostly Nineteenth Century topographical works. The other focus of top collectors is great Canadian masters from the 1950s through to the early 1970s, painting primarily in a non-representational style. Quebec artists, in particular Les Automatistes and Les Plasticiens, are currently du jour.

Q: What percentage of your business is online and how much do you see that changing?

A: Currently about 35 percent of our revenue is generated by online sales. However, in our view, online sales cannot replace the live experience. Waddington’s will continue to act opportunistically – live and online sales, themed or seasonal sales – adapting each to suit the potential of the material being featured.

Q: To what may we look forward to in your live auction of Canadian art scheduled for November 20?

A: The fall Canadian art catalogue sale should comprise about 140 lots in total. We have already accepted 45 lots, more than half of which are Group of Seven pictures. The Group pictures are solid bread and butter for us, but my associates and I will soon be hitting the road in search of those rarities that transform a seasonal sale into an event. Stay tuned.

Questions posed to Christa Ouimet, Inuit Art Specialist,  Waddington’s:

Q: How long has your firm been a major player in the Inuit art field?

A: Waddington’s was the first auction house to have a dedicated department for Inuit art, and we are now approaching our 40th anniversary of holding standalone Inuit art auctions. We handle mainly Canadian Inuit artwork, with some Alaskan and Greenlandic work, primarily sculpture, prints and textiles from the 1950s to the 1990s.

How much education is still needed to familiarize buyers with Inuit art?

A: We have clients and consignors all over the world, but, as with all art forms, education is key to developing and nurturing new collectors. Our website,, offers the most comprehensive searchable database of artists and artwork. We also manage the companion website, which lets users search Inuit art and artists, and even translate syllabics as they may appear on their artwork. Canada’s incredible public art galleries and museums also foster appreciation for the broad and deep tradition of Inuit art.

Q: Has the push for an international ivory ban changed what you do?

A: Waddington’s policy is to not accept consignments of post-World War II elephant ivory or any rhino horn, and we fully abide by the CITES international convention regulations when handling materials from plants or animals that may be threatened or endangered. All of our catalogues, for many years, have included a compliance statement to this effect. So the recent push on a total ban on ivory really fits into our longstanding policies in place. Of course, ivory, mostly from walrus, is still a common medium for artists working in the North and would be procured by the Inuit artists themselves or by Inuit hunters. The ivory used for carvings is a by-product of traditional hunting for food. If one of those pieces is purchased by a collector outside of Canada, the appropriate permits would be secured prior to export.

Questions posed to Sean Quinn, Decorative Arts Specialist, Waddington’s:

Q: What went into your June 27 Canada 150 sale?

A: This sale was a collaborative effort between several departments within the company. We had great luck when we put out a call for consignments, but many things came in by fortuitous happenstance, like the cast iron border marker, which sold for $18,000 CAD. A woolly mammoth tusk from the Yukon did $9,000. Two silver Canadian Peace Medals did $15,600 and $13,200 respectively.

Q: Where do you see the market heading?

A: It seems there are fewer collectors who like to amass large quantities of similar things. I think today people tend to decorate with one or two good pieces of silver, or a Victorian microscope, rather than 70 Royal Doulton figurines. I love the unusual and tend to get excited about interesting things I don’t see every day. I’m especially interested in science and medicine, natural and Canadian political history and antique weaponry, among other things.

By Laura Beach, Antiques and The Arts Weekly

Posted: 7/25/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean

Summer Wines and Fall Wine Auctions

When the weather heats up fine wine lovers often find themselves looking askance at big brooding Cabernets and Barolos and seek out the gentler pleasures of lighter whites, cru Beaujolais, and often these days, rosé, to quench their thirst. Regional Italian whites like Greco di Tufo, Bandols and Tavel from Provence, Morgons and Chenin Blanc from Beaujolais and the Loire provide exceptional drinks (and value), to match grilled summer fare. 

While most of these wines are not intended for, or even suitable for long term cellaring (and would rarely appear at auction), the price quality ratio has never been closer and the abundance of summer wines never better. 

This summer the Fine Wine department has been busy cultivating our cellar tans and preparing for the fall season with two major auctions planned for September and November. We are thrilled to tell you that the season is shaping up to be a blockbuster, with several important collections and estates slated for sale.

In particular, we are very excited about a major estate collection we will be offering in September that is a Bordeaux lovers dream. Multiple lots of Lafite, Latour, Mouton, Margaux, Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Le Pin and Pétrus from great vintages of the 80’s and 90’s are only part of the offering. They are joined by an array of second, third and fourth growths as well as verticals and large format bottling’s of Dominus, Ornellaia, Sassicaia and Tignanello. The cellar is capped by Imperiales of 1990 Château Margaux and 1982 Château Pétrus as well as jeroboams of 1995 Château Margaux and 1981 Château Ausone. It may well be the most prestigious cellar we have yet to offer. All the wines have been purchased from highly reputable sources and impeccably stored. 

To help celebrate this magnificent cellar as well as our other excellent consignments, please save the date for Thursday, September 14 for a Magnum Tasting to kick off the season at Waddington’s. This will be a ticketed event with attendance strictly limited. Details will be posted in August including a full list of the wines to be poured. 

In the meantime, enjoy the warm temperatures, the sunshine, and of course, your favourite summer wines! 

Stephen Ranger 
Joann Maplesden
Franklin Marcano


Posted: 7/7/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger

What Sells at a Canada 150 Auction?

What Sells at a Canada 150 Auction?

Note: We were working on a post-auction summary about our Canada 150 auction at the same time that Leah Sandals was working on a story.  After reading Leah’s story, we realized we couldn’t tell the story any better than she did, so please read and enjoy courtesy of Leah and Canadian Art.

On June 27, Waddington’s in Toronto held what it called “The Canada 150 Auction.” 

Here are 12 objects from the event, all of which found ready buyers.

June 29, 2017 by Leah Sandals, managing editor, online, at Canadian Art

From funding for major new arts events to spurring of political resistance among Indigenous artists and allies, the federal government’s Canada 150 proclamation has affected many sectors of the art world so far this year. And as of this week, the auction field is no exception. On June 27, Waddington’s auction house in Toronto held what it called “The Canada 150 Auction.” The 190 lots in this sale ranged from tiny silver snuff boxes to massive acrylic paintings, and from 400-year-old Maritime maps to 28-year-old Skydome tickets.

Here are 12 interesting lots from the auction—all of which found ready buyers.

Norval Morrisseau’s Shaman Astral Guide I and Shaman Astral Guide II (Estimated at $50,000 to $60,000, sold for $60,000)

Each of the canvases in this 1978 diptych measure three metres high, providing a prime example of work by the man credited with creating the Woodland School style. Morrisseau, who was Anishinaabe and self-taught, said that “all my painting and drawing is really a continuation of the shaman’s scrolls.” Early on, he also painted on birchbark and moose hide, among other materials.

Given the critiques that many Indigenous artists and allies have made of Canada 150 in recent months, it is worth remembering that Morrisseau, in his day, also confronted issues of erasure and censorship. He was asked to be part of the Indians of Canada Pavilion at Expo 67—and ended up leaving the project when government officials, as Carmen Robertson puts it, “deemed his mural design of bear cubs nursing from Mother Earth to be too controversial.”  The pavilion itself still took a critical slant after Morrisseau’s mural was finished (in altered form, by another artist) with visitors being greeted by the phrase “You have stolen our native land, our culture, our soul…” and other truths.

Convention of London, Canada-United States Cast Iron Obelisk Form Border Marker, 19th Century (Estimated at $5,000 to $7,000, sold for $18,000)

A great many historical, somewhat utilitarian, items were available in this auction, and this is the one that went for the highest price: a marker that was erected along the border between the US and Canada in 1861.

Made of granite, cast iron, bronze and stainless steel, and reaching some two-and-a-half metres high, the marker/obelisk was one of 8,600 placed along the border that year. The Convention of London—whose signing date, October 20, 1818, is printed in raised letters on the obelisk—was, as the Canadian Encyclopedia puts it, “a treaty between the United States and Britain that set the 49th parallel of latitude as the boundary between British North America and the US across the West. This remains the boundary today between the two nations.”

Woolly Mammoth Tusk from Yukon Territory (Estimated at $3,000 to $4,000, sold for $9,000)

Some fossils are found in museums, others stumbled upon by hikers at trailside or by engineers on a mine site. Though it is uncertain exactly where this tusk came from, and who initially found it—it is now heavily polished, and comes with its own presentation stand—it is said to be from the Yukon and the Devensian Period, roughly 110,000 to 12,000 years ago. As the Yukon’s Beringia Interpretive Centre notes, “These large, furry elephants were perfectly adapted to living on the Mammoth Steppe of ice age Yukon.…The long, curved tusks of woolly mammoths are probably the most immediately recognized ice age fossil from Yukon. A single tusk from an adult male can stretch over 3.5 metres long and weigh more than 100 kilograms. These tusks may have been used for display, defense, or possibly to sweep away snow to get at grass in the winter.”

E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) Signed Portrait Cabinet Card (Estimated at $200 to $300 and sold for $960) “

This was taken in 1894, just after I returned from my first London season. The frock is my first English dinner dress. It was made at Barkers, High St., Kensington S.W.” So reads the handwritten note on the back of this portrait of E. Pauline Johnson (1861–1913), the daughter of a Mohawk father and an English mother, who some say was Canada’s first spoken-word star. She was also known as a writer, artist and performer, penning such famous poems as “The Song My Paddle Sings,” and the 1903 book Canadian Born, which reportedly sold out within a year.

Born the youngest of four children on the Six Nations reserve near Brantford, Johnson took early to “reading and writing of rhymes,” the 1916 book Canadian Poets states. Her breakthrough performance came in Toronto in 1892 of her own poem titled “A Cry From an Indian Wife,” which told the story of the North-West rebellion from a First Nations point of view. As this cabinet card indicates, once she became established, Johnson travelled to the UK to perform as well as across Canada.

Arthur James Donahue’s Winnipeg Chair (Estimated at $500 to $700, sold at $3,840)

Originally crafted in the basement of Arthur James Donahue’s Winnipeg home with the help of his architectural design students at the University of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Chair was originally sold for $35 at the Hudson’s Bay Company. The mid-century piece was also then available in colours including orange, mustard and lime green. This one is leather-upholstered on laminated wood and an iron frame—now, a collectors’ item.

Born in 1917 in Regina to a family oriented towards farming and business, Donahue went on to, as the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation puts it, become the “the first Canadian to complete a degree at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.” There, he was influenced by Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius. His 1940s designs for fibreglass stacking chairs, which never went into production, were similar to those introduced a few years later by Charles Eames. Donohue’s larger-scale projects include the Confederation Building in Charlottetown, the Monarch Life building in Winnipeg and the Nova Scotia Archives in Halifax.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Campaign Dress (Estimated at $1,000 to $1,500, sold for $2,880)

If one needed any more evidence for the frenzy that was Trudeaumania 1.0, here it is: a sleeveless A-line dress of printed cellulose fabric. Not only fashionable (to some), it also served as a wearable campaign poster for Trudeau’s 1968 Liberal leadership bid and the related party convention that year. Following his win at that leadership convention in April, Trudeaumania continued to build, and the Liberals won the federal election later that year as well. Trudeau would go on to become the longest-serving prime minister of anyone before him, holding that post from 1968 to 1979 and 1980 to 1984.

Collection of 13 World War II Propaganda Posters (Estimated at $300 to $400, sold for $3,120)

It seems that history buffs and design buffs alike love a good wartime propaganda poster. This lot of posters from 1943 fetched 10 times its low estimate at auction. Each poster measures roughly 33 inches by 22 inches, and each seems to emphasize strengthening a connection between Canadians’ efforts at home with those of Allied soldiers in Europe. Slogans include “He’s doing his part are you doing yours?” “It’s Our War” and “To Victory! With Our Help” as well as French versions, like “Allons-y… Canadiens!” for a bilingual populace.

As exhibitions at the Canadian War Museum have noted, “The creators of [propaganda] exploit the power of words and images to construct persuasive visual messages that evoke feelings of fear and anger, pride and patriotism. In proposing or privileging one point of view to the exclusion of others, propagandists during the two world wars were neither the first nor the last to manage information in this fashion. It is as much a part of our contemporary world, in commercial advertising or political campaigning, for example, as it was a part of the Roman Empire over 2,000 years ago, when emperors and generals manipulated their images and accomplishments in order to secure or attain power.”

Terkarihogen (Joseph Brant) Lease to Ahdohwahgeseon (Catherine Brant) (Estimated at $300 to $400, sold for $3,600)

Mohawk military and political leader Thayendanegea (1742–1807), also known as Joseph Brant, fought throughout the American Revolution with an Aboriginal-Loyalist band, the Canadian Encyclopedia notes. Then, when American independence displaced him from his Mohawk Valley homeland, he moved to a territory provided as compensation by the British on the banks of the Grand River in Ontario. There, he spent several years working “to form a united confederation of Iroquois and western Aboriginal peoples in order to block American expansion westward.” When Thayendanegea died in 1807, he willed his farm to his son Terkarihogen (Joseph “John” Brant). In 1811, this son leased it back to his mother Ahdohwahgeseon (Catherine Brant), who returned to live there for the rest of her life. The lease is created in quill on laid paper, and is signed by the younger Joseph Brant, as well as Catherine Brant, and witnesses.

Thayendanegea is the namesake for present-day city of Brantford, where both his and his son’s remains are interred at the burial grounds around the Chapel of the Mohawks.

The Beatles First Concert at Maple Leaf Gardens Ticket and Programme (Estimated at $100 to $150, sold for $2,460)

From Trudeaumania to Beatlemania, this auction spanned it all. This souvenir is from the Beatles’ September 7, 1964 concert at Maple Leaf Gardens. It is claimed that Toronto was actually home to the largest organized Beatles fan club in North America at one point, and perhaps that is true; on this particular visit, the Beatles played two shows (one at 2:30 p.m. and one at 8:30 p.m.) selling 35,522 tickets, says the Beatles Bible. (The ticket in this auction lot was for the afternoon show, originally priced at $5.00).

When the band arrived at the King Edward Hotel from the airport, they reportedly found a 14-year-old girl hiding in a linen closet. At the Gardens, 4,000 police officers and Mounties were on duty, and a five-block surrounding area was sectioned off for 12 hours before the group’s arrival. The Beatles returned to Maple Leaf Gardens on only two other occasions: 17 August 1965 and 17 August 1966.


Kenojuak Ashevak Owl’s Bouquet (Estimated at $2,000 to $3,000, sold for $6,600)

This 2007 stonecut and stencil on paper contains an image that Canadians will be seeing a lot more of this year, as a 10-dollar bill featuring a replication of Owl’s Bouquet was recently unveiled by the Bank of Canada for general currency circulation during Canada 150.

Kenojuak Ashevak (1927–2013) is the first Inuit artist to have work on a Canadian banknote. It’s just the latest nod to this artist’s influence and legacy; in 1970, her print for the Enchanted Owl was featured on a postage stamp, and last year, she was honoured with a Heritage Minute. Ashevak was one of the first women involved with the Cape Dorset Co-op. During her lifetime, she also received the Order of Canada and the Order of Nunavut, and was exhibited at many international locations.

Vincent Massey’s Top Hat (Estimated at $300 to $400, sold for $1,680)

Among his other achievements—like initiating the tradition that all Governor Generals be Canadian citizens—Vincent Massey (1887–1967) is perhaps best known in the arts for major initiatives of his that continue to have impact, such as the annual Massey Lectures and the 1951 Massey Report, which led to the establishment of the Canada Council. These initiatives came in his seven years as Governor General from 1952 to 1959. Massey’s legacy is not without controversy and documented bias, however. The award-winning 2012 book None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948 states that in the late 1930s, Massey tried to use his influence as scion of a wealthy family to keep Jewish refugees out of Canada, advocating to the Prime Minister that Canada boost refugee status for non-Jewish Eastern European migrants instead. Wikipedia also notes that “His donation of Hart House to the University of Toronto stipulated that the building be restricted to men only, and it was not until after his death that the deed of gift was altered to allow for women becoming full members in 1972.”

This circa-1940 top hat, along with leather case and travel pillow, came from Lock & Co. Hatters on St. James Street in London, and perhaps can be read as representative of the colonizer costumes and morays woven together in Massey’s history, and his impact.

Emily Carr’s Klee Wyck Book and Note (Estimated at $100 to $150, sold for $1,800)

Old books were a prominent feature of this auction, with volumes including a first edition of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, a 1925 edition of Wilfred Thomason Grenfell’s A Labrador Doctor, and a 1869 edition of Catherine Parr Traill and Agnes Fitz Gibbon’s folio Canadian Wild Flowers.

This first edition of Emily Carr’s Klee Wyck, published in 1941 and winner of the Governor General’s Award that year, describes, through her settler eyes, some experiences among First Nations people in BC. Carr’s books, like her Klee Wyck persona, is not without its problems, contemporary critics have noted. In the Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada, Misao Dean notes of Carr’s earlier memoir Growing Pains: “Aggressively colonial, resentful of British condescension, the narrator retreats into her identity as Klee Wyck, ‘the laughing one,’ in order to defend herself against negative pronouncements on her appearance and manners.” Dean also writes that Carr’s books contain “habitual distortion of the facts of her life,” often departing “from strict fact to heighten the sense of her protagonist’s victimization.”

The signed note accompanying this book was sent to a Mrs. Mackie in Toronto in thanks for a yearly association membership card. “Mounting years and poor health make seeing to [art] shipping details burdensome,” Carr writes, “but I have had a one man show in the Vancouver Art Gallery for the last four successive years so you see I still work in spite of war and indifferent health.”

Posted: 6/30/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean

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: View the Auction Gallery










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

Fine Wine & Fine Spirits Auction Results - May 2017

Dear Fine Wine Lovers,

The results are in and we are pleased to report that our May 2017 Fine Wine and Fine Spirits auctions were tremendously successful.

Wine boasted an astonishing 98.1% sell through rate with over 220 lots selling over the high-end estimate. Fine Spirits sold a solid 85% and demonstrated growing interest in this emerging category. Over 4,000 bids were placed in both sales and over 518 lots changed hands. Some major highlights of the auctions include:

  • A Sassicaia vertical 1995-2000: Estimate $1,400 to $2,000 - price realised $2,700

  • Japanese Karuizawa whisky: Estimate $2,000 to $2,300 - price realised $5,880

  • A Mouton Rothschild vertical 1945-2000: Estimate $55,000 to $65,000 - price realised $57,600

  • Three bottles of Château Pétrus 1979: Estimate $4,100 to $4,800 - price realised $5,280

  • Three bottles of Screaming Eagle CS 1999: Estimate $7,300 to $8,500 - price realised $9,000

  • A double magnum of Château Lafite Rothschild 1999: Estimate $2,800 to $3,300 - price realised $4,980

  • Two bottles of Château Haut-Brion 2000: Estimate $1,500 to $1,700 - price realised $3,900

  • A mixed lot of Le Petit Mouton 2005 (3 mag.) and Les Hauts de Pontet Canet 2009 (1 mag.) opened at a bid of $900 and after fierce bidding realised an incredible price of $3,300

To see all the results for the auctions please see:

View Wine Results

View Spirits Results 

Invitation To Consign Quality consignments for our September 2017 Fine Wine & Spirits Auctions are now being accepted for consideration - deadline is July 15, 2017. With such consistent success, we urge potential consignors for the fall auctions to get their lists to us as soon as possible in order to ensure a place in what is shaping up to be an exciting season of Fine Wine at Waddington's. Upcoming Auctions

We will be offering two major auctions: September 11 - 19, 2017 and November 20 - 28, 2017 For more information:

For more information on the consignment process, please visit:

Cheers from the Waddington's Wine & Spirits Team!

Posted: 6/3/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger

One Art Nation Lecture Series Comes to Waddington's

Waddington’s is pleased to host the final presentation in the One Art Nation lecture series on Wednesday, May 24 at 6 pm. The informative discussion on buying and selling at auction will feature a private viewing of the Waddington’s Canadian and Inuit art auctions.

Buying and Selling at Auction Curious about how auctions work? Waddington’s senior specialists Linda Rodeck and Stephen Ranger will explain that if you know how to go about it, purchasing and selling art at auction can be accessible, affordable, personal and fun. The leading experts in the Canadian art market will discuss the merits and opportunities of buying fine art at auction and will offer their personal insights on short and long term collecting strategies. The talk will conclude with a tour of the auction preview

About One Art Nation One Art Nation (1AN), an international online art network connecting collectors, enthusiasts, professionals and experts, brings its internationally recognized vision for innovative arts education and community home to Canada with 1AN’s inaugural four-part “Art Collecting – Know Your Options” Toronto Spring Lecture Series. Discussions on Art Collecting, Understanding the Artist’s Process and Buying at a Gallery, preceded this final event at Waddington’s. Through educational talks, artist showcases, and expert interviews, One Art Nation (1AN) is demystifying the process of buying art from start to finish. Their goal is to bring together prominent art experts from across the globe to address topics that range from building, maintaining and protecting a collection, to tax and financial aspects of owning art.

Click here to register for the event

Lot 24 - JEAN ALBERT MCEWEN, R.C.A. COMPOSITION Estimate: $25,000—30,000

Posted: 5/19/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean

Bid on a Vertical of Château Mouton Rothschild

Drinkable Art Introducing Lot 289, an impressive 56-bottle vertical of Château Mouton Rothschild, 1945 to 2000. This vertical is a merging of two disciplines of art: outstanding oenology and sophisticated artistic labels. Each vintage of wine and label is unique to itself but as a whole collection reflects the passage of time. Salvador Dalí (1958), Joan Miró (1969), Marc Chagall (1970), Pablo Picasso (1973) and Andy Warhol (1975) are a few of the contemporary artists that have designed Château Mouton Rothschild labels; interestingly, for payment in cases of wine. History in a Bottle In 1945, Château Mouton Rothschild commissioned artist Philippe Jullian to create a unique wine label to celebrate the victory over Germany in World War II. Thus began the tradition of creating a unique wine label for every vintage. The labels are often topical, sometimes whimsical, but always quintessentially Mouton. The wine itself is also the closest one can come to drinking history; drinking this collection of wines would not only allow one to follow the evolution of the chateau's masterful work but to also follow the evolution of art, style and culture. Bidding To bid on this collective work of art, whether for the fantastic investment opportunity, the potential cellar crown jewel, or to drink history yourself, you must be registered for our online auctions. Fine Wine Online Auction May 8 - 16, 2017 Specialists: Stephen Ranger Joann Maplesden


Posted: 5/15/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger

Fine Wine & Spirits May Auctions

There are always great reasons to get excited for the Spring and it’s not just the return of the warmth and the green to our lives. For the Fine Wine Department at Waddington’s, it’s our Spring Auction running May 8-18.

We’ve carefully assembled over 400 lots of fantastic wines representing the best of what you can buy in the wide world of wine. Leading off with some beautiful trophies, like multiple vintages of Pétrus and Lafite, our Bordeaux offering culminates in a spectacular vertical of Mouton Rothschild featuring one bottle from each vintage 1945-2000. These wines were originally purchased at the Vintages auction in 2003 and have been lovingly stored in a custom built cellar in the east end of Toronto ever since. The vertical is like looking at history in a bottle and the condition of the bottles ranges from very good to excellent.

Speaking of condition, now is probably a good time to emphasize how seriously we take the provenance of each and every bottle we receive for consignment. Our team regularly makes cellar inspections and every bottle is examined of every lot we offer. If there is a question that the wine has been not properly stored, it is not accepted for sale. It is our duty to you to maintain the highest standards of quality and professionalism and we welcome all enquiries regarding provenance of the offering, every sale.

Getting back to the auction, please register and bid on a huge array of ready-to-drink red and white Burgundy from a notable cellar; more Châteauneuf-du-Pape and rare Rhône wine from a Mississauga collection; plenty of cult California, like Saxum and Dominus; multiple case lots of rare Italian wines as well as wonderful mixed lots of Bordeaux for special days or Mondays.

We hope you enjoy this auction and greatly appreciate your enthusiasm and support for Fine Wine at Waddington’s.

Stephen Ranger

Posted: 4/29/2017 12:00:01 AM
By: Stephen Ranger

Inuit Art Spring 2017

We are pleased to present the following collections and individual works entrusted to us for this spring's auction of Inuit Art.

This lovely selection of artwork by artists from across Canada’s Arctic is highlighted by the prestigious private collection of a long-time auction attendee who found such treasures as Karoo Ashevak’s animated drum dancer at Waddington’s in 1983.

Another extraordinary work in this auction is Michael Massie’s mixed media work titled Creativity of the Spirit: Distant Relations which has gained the admiration of all of Waddington’s specialists and which I’m especially pleased to present to the auction market, along with three other fabulous works by Massie. From this same Ottawa collection we offer some stunning contemporary graphics by Itee Pootoogook, Germaine Arnaktauyok and Kenojuak Ashevak.

A particular wonder of this auction is a collection of fabrics printed with incredible designs in Cape Dorset in the 1960’s. The largest collection of fabric art to come to market and a rarity to even see - this collection is a piece of the history of innovation in the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative.

Pauta Saila, the master of the dancing polar bear, is well represented in the following pages, each carving of his was carefully selected and are prime examples of different creative phases in his career.

Finally, we are pleased to bring attention to another collection which has come all the way to us from Wales and was composed by a couple who lived and worked in the North in those early days and felt akin to the people they met there. We’ve included their story on page 56 of the catalogue.

Thank you to all of our consigners this season, it is truly a pleasure to hear your stories and be trusted to present your collections. A sincere thank you to all the collectors who continue to demonstrate their love of Inuit art, season after season.

View the PDF Catalogue

Christa Ouimet Inuit Art Specialist

Posted: 4/29/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

In Memory of Ron McLean, Auctioneer Extraordinaire

Ronald McLean, the patriarch and founder of modern-day Waddington’s, passed away this past Saturday morning, March 25, at the age of 92.

Ron will be remembered for both his business integrity and engaging charm, but most people will also fondly recall his skill, character and humour, as a wonderful auctioneer. Whether he was selling an eclectic, one of a kind piece to an anxiously excited client at a Waddington’s regular weekly auction, or a fine painting that was destined to grace the wall of a prominent collection offered in a catalogued auction, his auctioning style was the same, delivered in his broad, Northern England accent. Informed, at the same time entertaining, and never missing a bid.

In contrast to this new era of anonymous and impersonal online auctions – Ron, sitting above the crowd and declaring an item he was offering as “not hard sold” was the classic old school auctioneer.

A celebration of Ron’s life will be held in early May at Waddington’s.
Posted: 3/27/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Duncan 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


Selling through Waddington's means partnering with a firm with 167 years of experience auctioneering fine and decorative arts. Last year alone, Waddington's sold over 12,000 objects ranging from rare Group of Seven paintings to vintage wines. Our team of specialists is dedicated to providing you with prompt and courteous service as well as exemplary expertise.

Now Accepting Consignments for our

Spring Canadian Fine Art Auction






If you are thinking of selling your art, here are a few simple steps that will help expedite our response to you. With this information, we will be able to quickly provide auction estimates, date of sale, deadlines and terms for your consideration.


1. A basic description of the work: artist, title, medium (oil? watercolour? drawing? print?)

"Lumber Camp"
oil on wood panel

2. Measurements (excluding frame) - height x width in inches.

3. Any information you have on the history of ownership.

4. Photos (front and back).

You're all done! Now just press SEND to or mail these details to us at Waddington's 275 King Street East, Toronto, M5A 1K2.

Please be sure to include your telephone number in case we require clarification.

Our turnaround time for most inquiries is less than one week. If for any reason you are unable to provide the information above, please contact our office directly to determine what alternative may be available to you. 416-504-5100

We look forward to being of service.


*There is no charge for this service for clients who sell through Waddington's.

Written appraisals for probate, insurance, family divisions, donation and other purposes can be provided by our appraisal department to current USPAP standard. For more information please contact

Posted: 1/26/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean

Canadian Fall 2016 Fine Art Auction Results

Waddington’s Fall Auction of Canadian Fine Art included 128 works that grabbed the attention of seasoned collectors and newcomers alike. The high-calibre selection of lots emphasizing quality, variety and freshness to the auction market were received enthusiastically by bidders, and resulted in a great number of lots far outperforming their pre-sale estimates.

Our specialists believe strongly that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in collecting art, and to that end, focus on offering works that appeal to buyers with varying degrees of buying capacity. Waddington's is piqued by the exceptional and marvelous at every price level. "Specialist Linda Rodeck says “We are motivated to locate consignments that will make our buyers stop, look twice, and feel as though their life has changed, even if only a little.

Waddington's sells over 12,000 lots per a year across our various sale categories including Fine Wine, Asian, Canadian, International, Inuit and First Nations Art, Jewellery, and Decorative Arts, with prices ranging from a few hundred dollars into the millions.

Waddington's is now accepting consignments for our online and catalogue sales. If you would like to discuss the auction process with us, please contact the Canadian Art department at or 416-504-5100.

A complete list of results from our recent sales and a list of upcoming sales and events can be found on our website at

Posted: 11/30/2016 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean

Fine Wine Auction Report

With 92% of all the lots sold in our November auction, we are delighted to report a highly successful end to Waddington’s wine auction year. Highlights of the auction:

- Auction total $645,792 (including premium)
- Our best sell-through rate to date with 2,300 bids placed on 505 lots
- 137 successful bidders

Here’s a sampling of some of the top lots:

Lot 287 - 5 bottles of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982 sold for $15,600
Lot 324 - 4 bottles of Chateau Haut Brion 1989 sold for $7680
Lot 483 - Single bottle of Chateau Petrus 2000 sold for $4800
Lot 141 - 12 bottles of Opus One 1996 sold $4320
Lot 94 - 3 bottles of Masseto 2007 (OWC) sold for $3120

It's safe to say that the success of this auction also bodes well for the addition of some very fine offerings to the wine lists of Toronto’s prominent dining establishments.


Our 2017 wine auction season will include a blue chip offering to be sold live at Toronto's Nota Bene Restaurant on February 25. Chef David Lee will prepare an exquisite three-course lunch before we launch into the auction. Tickets for the lunch are strictly limited, but all are welcome to attend the auction itself. What a great way to chase away the mid-winter blues! Ticket and menu information will be available shortly.

Other fine wine auctions scheduled in the new year include online auctions February 20 - 28, and May 8 - 16. Consignment deadlines will be shared shortly.

Until then - we wish you all the best for the season ahead and thank you for your continued passion for fine wine at Waddington’s.

4 bottles of Chateau Haut Brion 1989 - $7680
Single bottle of Chateau Petrus 2000 - $4800

12 bottles of Opus One 1996 - $4320
3 bottles of Masseto 2007 (OWC) - $3120
Posted: 11/28/2016 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger

Inuit and First Nations Art Auction Fall 2016

Waddington’s fall auction season was highlighted by an important auction of Inuit and First Nations Art on November 22, 2016 in Toronto. Celebrating 38 years in the Inuit Art market, Waddington’s presented 200+ works by some of the most important artists in Canada.

Christa Ouimet, head of Waddington’s Inuit and First Nations Art department, was diligent during the consignment process to ensure that the vast majority of art in the auction would be fresh to the market. The carefully curated auction included major pieces from several important private collections; with many works on offer on the secondary market for the first time. Ouimet cites the rare, large scale, double-sided work in bone by iconic Canadian artist Karoo Ashevak as an example; the consensus is: for such a large and striking piece by this distinctive artist to have been unknown to the market until this time is extraordinary. Spirits Faces - Tooth Pull was a major highlight result of the auction setting a new record for the artist of $132,000.

Other examples of previously little-known works include an exquisite, early stone sculpture of a group of midwives by Ennutsiak, sculptures by Charlie Ugyuk including excellent examples of his top three subjects: an intricate demon; a highly realistic fishing scene; and his famous falcon. Superb pieces by Judas Ullulaq in both stone and antler were also featured in the auction, along with a selection of fascinating early Cape Dorset works including several small-scale gems for the Small Wonders section of the auction. Ouimet adds of special note was a large number of carvings that comprised the 1986/87 Art Gallery of Windsor exhibition: Sugluk, Sculpture in Stone 1953-1959.

An additional highlight of the auction was a magnificent 7’ work on cloth, Dropping Atom Bombs, by Métis artist Bob Boyer, which sold for $8,400.

Duncan McLean, President of Waddington’s, and leading Inuit Art expert says, “Waddington’s has played a vital role in establishing new markets for Inuit Art since our first auction in 1978. We are passionate about the art form and the culture of the Inuit and First Nations people and are delighted to present this unique art to an increasingly expanding market of discerning collectors."

Referring to the auction preview McLean added, "Can you imagine a better way to introduce a visitor to the culture of Canada than inviting them to explore the diversity of Canadian art? Side by side, complementing each other, Canadian historical, Contemporary, Inuit and First Nations, Group of Seven, pre-historic, etc.; our auction preview provides a rare opportunity to appreciate the depth and breadth of Canada’s art and culture."

Auction Highlights

Lot 80 - Karoo Ashevak, Spence Bay / Taloyak
A monumental work in dense whalebone carved to both sides with dramatic shaman or spirit faces, highlighted by antler, stone and bone inlaid eyes and inset bone teeth. The tattooed face grins widely with a prominent third eye and the opposing face with crossed eyes, mouth agape and a removable tooth attached by sinew, signed in syllabics.
Estimate: $35,000—45,000
Price Realized: $132,000

Lot 196 - Bob Boyer
Mixed media on blanket, signed, titled (faded) and dated Spring ‘88 on the reverse.
A Métis artist with a cultural background influenced by the Assiniboine and Sioux, Boyer’s works, broadly, speak to notions of a dual cultural perspective of his Native heritage and Western traditions of Abstract and Contemporary art. Though he worked in a variety of media throughout his career, Boyer is perhaps best known for his series of blanket paintings completed between 1983 and 1995. Boyer elected to use a blanket as his substrate rather than a traditional canvas to address the political issues of First Nations people.
Estimate: $4,000—5,000
Price Realized: $8,400

View the Auction Gallery

Posted: 11/18/2016 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean

Canadian Fine Art Auction - Nov 2016

Toronto, ONNovember 15, 2016

Waddington’s Auction of Canadian Fine Art on Monday, November 21 will make collectors stop, look twice, and maybe even feel as though their life has changed. That’s the goal of Linda Rodeck, Waddington’s Senior Canadian Art Specialist.

This fall’s auction includes 128 works that are fresh to the market, a preoccupation of Rodeck and her team, whom she refers to as ‘part art specialists and part sleuths’.

Waddington’s Canadian Art team are in fact building a reputation for offering works that have not been already passed around the art market. Prime example is The Crossing by James Wilson Morrice, R.C.A. Rodeck notes that examples of Morrice's best work have become increasingly difficult for collectors to acquire, with the recent large gift of 50 of the artist’s works to the National Gallery of Canada, added to the previous Laing Collection gift which included over 75 works, as well as a further group of Morrice sketches donated to the Art Gallery of Ontario. As a result, few oil sketches of this calibre remain on the open market, making The Crossing one of the highlights of the Canadian auction season.

While the investment value of a work of art has become increasingly part of the dialogue at art fairs and auction previews – and is not lost on Rodeck – her interest and that of her team and the broader specialist community at Waddington's is piqued by the exceptional and marvelous at any price level.  “We are motivated to locate consignments that will make our buyers stop, look twice, and feel as though their life has changed, even if only a little. I'm not after the stratospheric sticker prices alone and while I like selling valuable paintings as much as the next person, I want to sell quality at any price level."  

To further demonstrate her philosophy, Rodeck refers to an Econ 101 class lesson of “in search of a greater fool”. Rodeck reminds us that the “greater fool” theory states that the price of an object is determined not by its intrinsic value, but by the irrational beliefs of market participants. Simply put, one may pay a price that seems "foolishly" high because one may rationally expect that the item can be resold to a "greater fool" later. Rodeck continues, “We have seen a lot of this lately with the same works being passed back and forth, each new "investor" wanting his or her ten-point mark up, and PDQ! Inevitably, however, someone gets caught holding the hot ‘art’ potato.”

Admittedly, sourcing fresh works is a harder row to hoe but it’s particularly important in an age when everyone can check out what something last traded for with a few key strokes. Rodeck concludes, "I think it's more gratifying for our collectors and for us to find fresh works for their consideration and it fits the ethos of Waddington's, which is an auction house that celebrates originality and creativity."  

A selection of favourites which Rodeck and her team of "sleuths" have brought onto the market this season include:

The Crossing
Estimate - $100,000/150,000
(pictured above)

Wartime Harvesting Near Winnipeg
Estimate - $30,000/50,000

Sold together with two drawings: St. Peter’s Church and Bermuda Street Scene
Estimate - $25,000/40,000

The Butterfly
Estimate - $20,000/30,000

Estimate - $10,000/15,000

Monday, November 21, 7 pm

Public Preview
Friday, November 18, 12 – 5 pm
Saturday, November 19, 11 – 5 pm
Sunday, November 20, 11 am – 5 pm
Monday, November 21, 10 am - noon

About Waddington’s
Waddington's is the Canada's most diversified provider of auction and appraisal services.  Waddington's offers live and online auctions of fine art and collectibles across a broad spectrum of markets, including Asian, Canadian, Inuit and First Nations, International and Contemporary art, as well as Decorative Arts, Jewellery and Fine Wine & Spirits.  

Waddington’s Fall 2016 Auction Season includes:
Inuit Art – November 22, 2016
Asian Art – November 28, 2016
Fine Jewellery – November 29, 2016
Decorative Arts – December 5, 2016
International Art – December 6, 2016

For more information on Waddington’s visit:

For Media Information
Tess McLean
Tel: 416.504.9100
Cell: 647.296.8377

Posted: 11/17/2016 9:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean


The November auctions feature a cornucopia of treasures for Fine Wine and Spirits lovers that are sure to please every palette and budget. With over 500 lots of wine and 133 lots of fine spirits, this may be our most diverse offering to date as we complete our first full year of Fine Wine auctions at Waddington’s. All the great names in Bordeaux, California, the Rhone, Champagne, Italy, Spain, California, Port and Australia are beautifully represented.

As we approach our anniversary, we wanted to share some things we've learned from our clients. First of all, the vast majority prefer our online format to the live auctions as it offers the time and leisure to peruse the catalogues closely in the comfort of home or office or on your mobile device. We also offer a printed catalogue for those who have purchased in the past, to make notes and study, away from the screen of your computer. If you would like to receive one in the future, please send us a note and we will be happy to oblige. Please note however, the online gallery is usually available at least a week before the printed version.

Secondly, there is a hard core who love coming to a live sale - and to that end we will be hosting a live auction on February 25 at Note Bene in Toronto. More details will follow shortly along with a beautiful luncheon menu prepared by star chef David Lee. Reservations are required for the luncheon, but the auction will be open to the public.

As usual we wanted to share some highlights of this November's auction.

Lots 67 through 107; Italian magic featuring case and half-case verticals of Super Tuscans and rare gems.

Lots 244, 245, 246 are full case lots of the 100 point rated 2009 Chateau Leoville Poyferre, a veritable trove of greatness.

Lots 358 through 398 features an array of hard-to-find cult California Cabs and Pinot Noirs.

Lots 496 through 507. If size is your thing, please have a look at the large format bottles perfect for a winter feast, or maybe just lunch!

If you are having difficulty finding a particular wine please use the wine searcher tool we have custom-developed that will make it easy to find any producer, vintage or format in the auction.

We welcome your comments and suggestions at any time. Please visit for our full 2017 auction dates and deadlines for consignment.

Wishing you good lu