Works of art expected to fetch between $12-$15 million will be on display to the public starting Saturday at a Granville Street auction house ahead of what could be one of the top 10 grossing auctions in Canadian fine art history.
Heffel Fine Art Auction House’s collection includes 220 drawings, sculptures and paintings, including works from the Group of Seven. For an estimated $600,000 to $800,000, one lucky bidder will take home Bill Reid’s smaller version of the killer whale sculpture that sits outside the Vancouver Aquarium.
The most expensive piece, expected to fetch $1.5-$2.5 million, is a Lawren Harris painting, one of nine being auctioned off.
“We’ve previewed this auction across the country in Montreal, Toronto and now Vancouver,” said Robert Heffel, vice-president of the auction house.
He said about 1,200 people have already previewed the works before coming to Vancouver, where he’s received lots of questions and phone calls.
The buyers are “generally high net-worth individuals … some corporations and Canadian museums,” said Heffel.
He said the actual auction — which is being held at the Vancouver Convention Centre West on May 26 — will attract roughly 400 people, with telephone bidders from Canada, United States, Europe and Asia.
“One of the most powerful tools for us is previewing the paintings across the country.”
The auction house will be opening its doors for a public preview from Saturday to Wednesday.