Lot Sale Results

Frederick Horsman Varley

Frederick Horsman Varley

Frederick Horsman Varley

Frederick Horsman Varley
Spring 2017 - 2nd Session Live auction

Lot # 101

Frederick Horsman Varley
ARCA G7 OSA 1881 - 1969 Canadian

Eskimos on Board the Nascopie #2
watercolour, pastel and graphite on paper circa 1938
signed and inscribed in the margin with various numbers
18 x 24 in  45.7 x 61cm

Acquired from the Artist by Percival Price
By descent to the present Private Collection, Ontario

From 1931, when he saw the arctic paintings of A.Y. Jackson and Lawren Harris in a Group of Seven exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Frederick Varley desired to travel to the North. In July 1938 he realized that dream, after he received a letter from Charles Camsell, deputy minister of Mines and Resources, authorizing him to board the RMS Nascopie for a 12,000-mile journey to the eastern Arctic. Varley worked aboard the ship for two months, producing images of the raw landscape and the Inuit people. Since the cold affected the plasticity of his oils, his primary medium was watercolour. Eskimos on Board the Nascopie #2 is an exceptional watercolour from this time, with its intriguing interactions of the group of Inuit people on the ship and for its extraordinary light and colour. Varley has captured to exquisite effect, in the sky and in reflections in the water, the glowing hues produced by long arctic days, with their prolonged sunsets and sunrises.
This exceptional watercolour was acquired from the artist by Percival Price, the legendary Canadian-born campanologist, carillonneur, composer, author and teacher. Price was born in Toronto in 1901. He came from a musical family but it was a trip to Europe that introduced him to the art and science of bells, and in 1921 he was appointed the first carillonneur in North America at the Metropolitan Church in Toronto. Subsequently he helped with the design of the new carillon in the Peace Tower in Ottawa and held the position of Dominion Carillonneur from 1927 until 1939, when he left Canada to teach composition and campanology at Ann Arbor, University of Michigan.
During and just after World War II he served as consultant to the Inter-Allied Commission on the Wartime Preservation of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas, and he helped many European countries to locate bells which had been looted for war purposes.
A collection of artifacts from his estate was donated to the National Library of Canada and forms one of the largest collections on campanology in the world. The library files also include correspondence between Price and Varley from 1941 to 1955.
A group of other Varley works, including the portrait of Percival Price (shown above) and a commemorative bell, are being offered in Heffel's May online auction.
This work is #1023 in the Varley Inventory listing.

Estimate: $60,000 ~ $80,000 CAD

Sold For: $145,250.00 CAD (including buyer's premium)

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