Two oil paintings by Canadian artist Maud Lewis combine for CA$501,500 at Miller & Miller Auctions
The 407-lot Canadiana & Decorative Arts auction grossed $948,218. Categories included art, art pottery, furniture, bronzes, sculptures, folk art, textiles, fruit jars, silver, oil lamps, lighting. Online bidding was via LiveAuctioneers.com.
By: Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.
Easily the top lot of the 407-lot auction was Lewis's Black Truck, painted in 1967, an oil on Masonite board measuring 11 inches by 14 inches. The springtime painting, showing a black truck, daffodils, blossoming cherry trees and a house, had an estimate of $30,000-$35,000, but aggressive bidders ultimately bested even the high estimate figure tenfold.
"In a time of great turmoil and change, the art world lived vicariously through Maud Lewis and her art, setting three new world records with the three lots offered, including the highest, Black Truck, at $413,000," said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. "It raises the stage for her works to unimaginable heights."
The other Lewis rendering was one titled Oxen Pulling Logs, also from 1967. This was an interesting work by the artist, as it was somewhat simpler in the amount of subject matter. It featured a snowy scene of a driver with oxen hauling logs, with prominent evergreen trees in the background. The vibrant 12 inch by 16 inch work changed hands for $88,500.
Wedged between the two paintings was lot 336, a group of three letters from Ms. Lewis to John H. Kinnear, dated 1966-1967. Few letters by Lewis exist, and these offered a rare glimpse into her fascinating world. Kinnear, himself an artist, corresponded with Maud Lewis from the time she became famous, in the mid-1960s, up until her death in 1970.
Kinnear would send the artist pre-primed Masonite boards, brushes, and requested paints. In return, Maud would send the finished paintings for Kinnear to sell and he would then return the proceeds to Maud in Marshalltown, her home. The letters sold to a determined bidder for $82,600.
The rest of the sale featured art, art pottery, furniture, bronzes and sculptures, folk art, textiles, fruit jars, silver, oil lamps and lamps and lighting. "Categories such as textiles and Canadiana furniture underperformed,"
To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.