Earlier this month I was a guest on the CBC Montreal radio show Cinq à Six with Pierre Landry. We discussed the opening of the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal and their new hanging of Quebec and Canadian Art.
By my calculations they grossed about $175,000 on those 116 lots. (Once again, take any figures I give with a grain of salt, trying to juggle a video camera, pen, paper and keep track of what happens is fraught with the possibility of making mistakes.) – All prices noted here include the 15% buyers premium and all local sales taxes. All the lots and how much they sold for are here.
Which sold for $12,446.31 and $10,088.06 respectively.
The lowlight of the auction had to be this painting by André Bergeron, which even when the opening bid was lowered down to $50, did not get a single bid.
But besides the obvious differences between the auctions of M. Blaizel and M. de Saint Hippolyte, M. Blaizel sold real estate, furniture, collectibles and other things besides the art, the thing that fascinated me was the differences in their style of selling art. M. Blaizel clearly points towards the current high bidder, talks with the audience, offers certificates of authenticity, tells the audience when something doesn’t meet the reserve price and in general is much more transparent in how he does business.
Last week I went to Iegor – Hôtel des Encans to watch their auction of Canadian art (the first part at least). In total they were offering 350 lots. I stayed for about 170 or so, stopped taking notes at lot 149. It’s kind of difficult, keeping track of opening prices, closing prices, what sells, what doesn’t sell, and videotaping all at the same time… Next time I want to go with an assistant!
By my count (please take with a large grain of salt) 64 of the approximately 140 lots sold, or almost 46%. I have no idea if that is a good percentage or a bad percentage, although I’m, leaning towards a bad percentage. I’m going to have to track other auctions and other auction houses to see how this one compares.
Using my same rough calculation I would estimate the Canadian art section of the sale grossed about $230,000 – that’s including the 20% buyers premium and all taxes. (All prices noted here include the 20% buyers premium and all local sales taxes.)
The highlights being Tarozita by Jacques Hurtubise
Which sold for $33,493.95.
An ink and watercolor composition by Jean-Paul Riopelle from 1961.
Which sold for $24,607.80.
And a oil on masonite painting by Albert Dumouchel from the early 1960s called L’Alcazar which sold for $14,012.78.
Unfortunately Il a neigé sur Opinaca by Jean Paul Riopelle did not meet the reserve and did not sell.
Oh, yeah. There was also this pair of lamps described as a “rare pair of Moor floor lamps. Glass and gilt metal chandeliers on glazed porcelain Moor busts on enameled metal pedestal. Milano, Italy circa 1960.” And apparently they were made by Piero Fornasetti.