Exceptional Results from our Major Spring Art Auctions

By: Waddington's Staff

Norval Morrisseau, Anishinaabe (Ojibwe). NATURE’S BALANCE, 1975. Price Realised: $183,750

Waddington’s is pleased to share some of the exceptional results we achieved in our 2024 major spring auctions of Canadian & International and Inuit & First Nations art. We sincerely thank all of our consignors and bidders for choosing Waddington’s and for your continued support.

Below are a few highlights from our major spring auctions, which concluded on May 29, 2024. We also invite you to browse the entire list of prices realised from our auctions, and remind you that all prices noted include Buyer’s Premium.


Norval Morrisseau’s “Nature’s Balance” sold for $183,750, shattering the record for a work on paper by the artist. The work had excellent provenance, is well known to scholars and collectors, and had been included in a 2012 retrospective at the Kinsman Robinson Galleries. Jack Pollock and Lister Sinclair also included the work in their 1979 book “The Art of Norval Morrisseau,” describing the work as an “abstract composition which integrates the creatures of the sky, the earth and the waters. Strong lines of communication unite the three domains, suggesting the natural interdependence of all creatures and the environmental interactions necessary for their survival.”[1] Not only did the work set a new record for a work on paper, but is also notable for achieving the second highest price for a Morrisseau work sold at auction.

Jeune fille au voile bleu,” a luminous painting by Jean Paul Lemieux also performed well, selling for $354,550 – almost double the high estimate. The painting came to Waddington’s from a robust Toronto private collection, and will be included in Michèle Grandbois’s forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work. Remarkably preserved in private ownership for over 60 years, “Jeune fille au voile bleu” has not aged a day.

Another highlight of the spring auction catalogue was a rare mid-19th century album containing 66 original watercolours, oils and drawings by artists including Cornelius Krieghoff, James Duncan, Otto Reinhold Jacobi. Coming to Waddington’s from a private collection, this album tells a story of early Montreal, and was likely assembled by Anne McCord, née Ross (1807-1870). Anne married John Samuel McCord (1801–1865), a Judge of the Supreme Court. Together they had several children, the fourth of whom was David Ross McCord (1844-1930), a lawyer and the founder of the McCord Museum in Montreal. The story of the album is an interesting one, and we invite you to read the full details on our website. Bidding on this item was brisk, with discerning collectors vying to own this unique piece of Canadian art history. The final price realised was $30,720, over five times the high estimate.

From our International department, superb results were achieved by paintings by Irish artist Daniel O’Neill. “Portrait of a Girl” and “Funfair” both doubled their high estimates, selling for $32,470 and $34,910, respectively. A pastel by French artist Léon Lhermitte attracted early and rapid bidding, achieving a price realised of $32,470. Other highlights included a colourful triptych by Norman Bluhm, the 1983 “Sleeping Goddess,” which sold for $27,500, and the atmospheric “Snow Mountain” by Józef Bakoś, which sold for $20,480.

Davidee Mannumi ᒪᓄᒥ, Kinngait (Cape Dorset) / Iqaluit (Frobisher Bay). TRANSFORMING SPIRIT, CA. 1961. Price Realised: $25,000


Setting a record for the artist, “Transforming Spirit,” circa 1961 by Davidee Mannumi, fetched $25,000, soaring over the estimate of $5,000-7,000. This remarkable and apparently unique transformation sculpture from the artist is documented both in George Swinton’s original 1972 publication “Sculpture of the Eskimo,” and again in the revised 1994 iteration of the text. The work is a significant departure from the artist’s known oeuvre.

Another notable auction result was a large and gracefully carved example of a rearing caribou sculpture by Osuitok Ipeelee, which went nearly three times over its high estimate to reach a price realised of $54,430. Also notable were Davie Atchealak’s “Dancing Bear,” circa 1990 and Judas Ullulaq’s “Spirits Embrace,” circa 1985, both of which went double their high estimate to reach $10,625 and $10,000, respectively.

Following the success of an early dome top Mi’kmaq quilled box in our December 2023 auction of art from the Collection of Steven Blevins & Sonja Morawetz which soared to a price realised of $15,006, we were thrilled to see this fine diminutive ovular quilled box in our major spring 2024 auction reach $9,375. This marks two record auction prices in recent years.

Other excellent results from First Nations artists included a Pook-mis mask by Beau Dick, which almost tripled its high estimate to achieve a price realised of $42,230, and a 19th century standing male figure by an unidentified Tlingit artist, with exceptional provenance which almost doubled its high estimate to reach a price realised of $16,250.


We are already hard at work assembling works for the second half of our 2024 auction schedule.

As we head into the second half of the year, be sure to view our upcoming auctions and sign up for our emails so you don’t miss out. We have also introduced a new bidding platform, and we invite you to sign up for a new account to continue accessing our auctions. As we plan for more exciting auctions we look forward to connecting with you to talk about consignment opportunities. Contact us to find out more.

Our clients love working with us because of the care and attention we show your fine art, the broad international markets we reach, and the industry-leading results we achieve. Whether you are looking to consign or learn more about selling at auction, please contact us to discuss how we can be of service.

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