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Hepaticas in a Cup, a rare 1935 still life by renowned Canadian painter David Milne is being offered for the first time at auction, featured in the Consignor Fall Auction of Important Canadian Art, one of more than 130 works of art which will be open for bidding between November 19 and 28, 2014.  The 22 X 24 inch canvas, being offered with an auction estimate of $125,000 to 175,000, was once praised by the artist himself as being a fine achievement and among one of his best works.  Milne praised the painting to his patrons (the Rt. Honourable Vincent and Alice Massey) through a series of letters during the execution of the artwork and regarded it as his “Spring Fever” painting of 1935.  The striking canvas was painted during Milne’s time living at Six Mile Lake and features his charismatic large blank space with curious “out of focus” close-up objects (flowers in bowls).  Hepaticas captures the artist’s excitement for the season.

Lydia Abbott, Managing Director of Consignor, comments, “David Milne’s Hepaticas in a Cup is featured on the cover of our auction catalogue this season as it is a masterwork from an important period and it is a testament to Milne’s prominence as a great Canadian painter.”

A recent Consignor Canadian Fine Art public appraisal day led to a surprising discovery for one art owner who learned she owned a painting by renowned Ukrainian-Canadian artist William Kurelek. The newly discovered painting—titled Ukrainian Proverb—is included in the Consignor November auction.  The 10” X 4.5” inch painting encased in the artist’s handmade frame, depicts a charming scene of a child trying (and failing) to catch two rabbits in the snow. Such scenes, capturing winter life on the Canadian prairies, have proved to be some of Kurelek’s most popular, harkening to the artist’s childhood memories of being raised on a Manitoba farm. Ukrainian Proverb is expected to fetch between $15,000 and $20,000 at auction.

“Our appraisal ‘roadshows’ have led to many surprising discoveries for individuals across the country curious to know the value of a work of art they owned,” said Rob Cowley, President of Consignor Canadian Fine Art. “We’re thrilled to help bring this important part of Canadian art history to auction for the first time. Kurelek’s work has been extremely popular during the past decade, routinely fetching values above expectation.”

The painting was inherited from the owner’s parents, who were introduced to a local artist while visiting a neighbour. They had brought some apple strudel to share, and when the artist declared it was “as good or better” than his mother’s, the couple happily gave him a basket full of the pastries. A few days later, the artist returned with a painting (Ukrainian Proverb) as a token to reciprocate the kind gesture. The painting has since been passed down and displayed in the family’s home in Etobicoke, ON, and it wasn’t until years later when the owner brought the painting to Consignor’s appraisal day that it was discovered to be an unknown work by William Kurelek.

Consignor will be holding an open house, November 19-21, inviting the public to bring in works of art for mini-consultations and verbal auction valuations. Additionally, the open house will offer a preview of upcoming works featured in Consignor’s fall auction.

The November auction will also offer up notable works of art by celebrated historical and post-war Canadian artists such as A.J. Casson, Arthur Lismer, Franz Johnston, Emily Carr, P.C. Sheppard, Kathleen Morris, Nora Collyer, Robert Pilot, Jean Paul Riopelle, Jean McEwen, Jack Shadbolt, Harold Town, Sorel Etrog, Sybil Andrews, W.J. Phillips, Otto Rogers, Dorothy Knowles, Gordon Applebe Smith, Maud Lewis, Ted Harrison, Robert Bateman, Joe Fafard, Doris McCarthy, David Blackwood, among others.

A print catalogue featuring the majority of lots on offer is available for sale, and live previews will be held from November 3–28 at the Consignor Canadian Fine Art Gallery located at 326 Dundas Street West.

Since its inception in 2013, Consignor Canadian Fine Art has broken Canadian art auction records. In May 2014, the Spring Auction of Important Canadian Art saw two works from renowned Canadian artist Jack Bush sell for $310,500 and $299,999, the highest value ever paid in an online auction for Canadian works of art. Consignor’s June 2014 Auction of Canadian & International Contemporary Art also saw eight artists’ records broken.