Strong outcomes were also achieved for painter Lawren Harris by healthy bidding at the Canadian auction house Heffel.
Live and online bidding generated impressive results at the Heffel auction house in Toronto’s autumn evening sale yesterday, with Andy Warhol’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II taking center stage.
In doing so, it surpassed the previous global auction record for an editioned print by the artist, bringing in $853,000 (all amounts are in US dollars).
Lawren Harris, a painter and the lead singer of the Group of Seven, also made a sizable profit: six of his works sold for a total of $5.5 million, and Heffel made $15.6 million in revenue for the evening.
One of four Elizabeth II images that Warhol featured in his 1985 Reigning Queens series is the late monarch in a royal blue screenprint.
The low estimate for this specific lot, which was from the extremely rare Royal Edition and encrusted with diamond dust, was $373,000.
It started at $400,000, stopped for a moment before bidders increased their offers, and then, after some frenzied haggling, was sold to a telephone bidder for $710,000.
It’s fantastic to have people back in the ballroom, the auctioneer, Robert Heffel, said at the start of the evening, pointing out that the sale signified a return to pre-pandemic measures.
Another unexpected artist in Toronto was female Automatist painter Marcelle Ferron, whose painting Sans titer sold for about five times the high estimate, bringing in $1.3m.
The painting’s high estimate was between $149,000 and $224,000, and it was sold for that amount. Heffel stated following the sale, “Canada’s contribution to the global art market yet again proves strong, confident, and passionate.”