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LOT 147

Walter Joseph (W.J.) Phillips
ASA CPE CSPWC RCA
1884 - 1963
Canadian

York Boat on Lake Winnipeg
colour woodcut on paper
signed, titled, editioned 14/150 and monogrammed in the block and on verso dated 1930 on a label
11 x 14 in 27.9 x 35.6 cm

Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000

Sold for: $23,750

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Private Collection, British Columbia

LITERATURE
Malvina Bolus, editor, The Beaver: Magazine of the North, Winter 1969, reproduced page 4
Roger Boulet, The Tranquility and the Turbulence, 1981, reproduced page 133
Roger Boulet, Walter J. Phillips: The Complete Graphic Works, 1981, reproduced pages 10 and 335
Maria Tippett and Douglas Cole, Phillips in Print: The Selected Writings of Walter J. Phillips on Canadian Nature and Art, 1982, page 49, reproduced unpaginated plate


For over a century, the York boat was an important way of transporting goods between inland trading posts and York Factory, at the mouth of the Hayes River on Hudson Bay. The construction of these sturdy boats was based on an old Orkney design derived from the Viking longship. With the advent of the railroad their use died out, but they are still celebrated in a summer festival called York Boat Days at Norway House, at the northern end of Lake Winnipeg. In 1928, Walter J. Phillips spent a week on the Lake Winnipeg steamboat Wolverine and reached Norway House, sketching buildings, figures and boats along the way. He wrote, “This northern route was taken by picturesque brigades of York boats – big open boats propelled by sweeps when the wind was insufficient to fill the square blanket sail. There are none left now. The last lay rotting on the banks of the Nelson; the sturdy frame that withstood the shocks of a passage of the rapids a thousand times, now yielding to the action of the weather.” This dynamic and historic image is considered to be one of Phillips’s finest woodcuts.


Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars


Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business.