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  • BONO’S GRETSCH IRISH FALCON ELECTRIC GUITAR AT BONHAMS

    March 22nd, 2017

    THE GRETSCH “IRISH FALCON” ELECTRIC GUITAR SIGNED BY U2

    A Gretsch “Irish Falcon” electric guitar signed by U2 from Bono’s personal collection comes up at Bonham’s in New York on March 27.

    At Bono’s request, Gretsch built only ten “Irish Falcon” guitars to be used in U2’s Elevation Tour  in 2001. This is one of the earliest such prototypes. The Irish Falcon has become Bono’s signature instrument for performing.

    In 2003, MusiCares charity recognized Bono as their Person of the Year and held a tribute in his honor in New York. This guitar, signed by all four members of U2, was auctioned to benefit MusiCares that night.

    The electric guitar, with laminated maple hollow single cutaway body and evergreen finish, comes with gold sparkle binding, maple neck and fretboard with mother-of-pearl humpback inlays.
    It is signed “Bono 2007,” “Edge,” “Adam Clayton,” “Larry Mullen, Jr.” in silver permanent marker and estimated at US$180,000-220,000.

    ANTIQUE AVANT-GARDE CELTIC INSPIRED DESIGN FROM LIBERTY AND COMPANY

    March 22nd, 2017

    Archibald Knox – Tudric clock model number 0369 produced by Liberty and Company,

    An Archibald Knox Celtic inspired clock dating from 1901-05 will feature at Sotheby’s Design sale in New York on March 29. Born on the Isle of Man, Archibald Knox (1864-1933) was the artist who defined The Liberty Style or English Art Nouveau.

    His Celtic inspired designs propelled Liberty & Co to the foreground of avant-garde decorative art in the late nineteenth and early twenty century.

    Knox’s Celtic heritage is inseparable from his island home. Knox was expert on the many Celtic crosses that dot the island, and was also inspired by masterpieces of Christian illumination like the Books of Kells. These sources of inspiration reflect in the elegant silhouettes and intricate decoration of his clocks and objects.

    In a catalogue note Sotheby’s say that the lots presented in this sale epitomize Knox’s talent to reinterpret the complex Celtic interlacing decoration and coloration that can be found in the early manuscript illumination and adapt them in his objects, though elegant lines realized in silver and pewter and enamelled decorations. The clock is estimated at $3,000-5,000.

    ANTIQUE FURNITURE AT MEALY’S TWO DAY SALE IN CASTLECOMER

    March 21st, 2017

    The spring fine art sale at Mealy’s in Castlecomer on March 28 and 29 will comprise 1,000 lots.  The sale will include the collection of an Irish gentleman of title, comprising period paintings, furniture, and decorative arts; the entire contents of a country house in the South East of Ireland – on the instructions of the representatives of the estate;  a private collection of guns and other militaria, with rare examples not seen on the market for decades; fine family silver previously held at an Irish bank vault; and a diverse selection of fine art, antiques, and interiors from other Irish estates and collections.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection from the furniture in the sale:

    A pair of William IV mahogany and crested hall chairs (500-600)

    Part of an 11 piece Hille Art Deco dining suite (2,000-3,000)

    A set of 14 carved Victorian dining chairs by Eadon and Sons, Sheffield (6,000-8,000)

    An Irish Victorian rosewood breakfast table (1,500-2,000)

    TWOMBLY’S LEDA TO HIGHLIGHT CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK CONTEMPORARY SALE

    March 21st, 2017

    Cy Twombly’s Leda and the Swan, 1962 will  highlight the May 17 Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sale at Christie’s in New York. One of two large format masterpieces to emerge from this unbridled subject, Leda and the Swan’s heroic sister painting of the same title is among the most popular works on view within the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This unequivocal tour de force has been in a private collection for over 25 years. It has not been seen publicly in that time and has never been at auction before.  It is estimated at $35-55 million.

    Koji Inoue, International Director, Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s remarked: “Hidden from public view for over 25 years, we are thrilled to present one of Cy Twombly’s absolute masterpieces in Leda and the Swan, 1962. This is a remarkable painting that has been pursued by collectors for decades. Impregnated with paint passionately and poetically applied with the hand, brush and stick, Leda and the Swan, is one of the most vital canvases created during this transformative period in the artist’s career. Given its tremendous importance within the context of both Twombly’s oeuvre, and the canon of Post-War art, we are honored to have the opportunity to offer this work to the market after nearly thirty clandestine years. This is also a particularly exciting time for the Twombly market, given its overlap with the Centre Pompidou’s groundbreaking retrospective of the artist’s expansive career.”

    AN INTERIOR BY VILHELM HAMMERSHOI AT SOTHEBY’S

    March 21st, 2017

    Vilhelm Hammershøi – White Doors

    An interior by Vilhelm Hammershøi, long revered as one of Denmark’s most celebrated artists, comes up at Sotheby’s sale of 19th century European paintings in London on June 6.   Painted in 1899, White Doors perfectly reflects the interests and sensibilities of its distinguished owners, aesthetes from three generations of the same family. The work comes to sale from the estate of Jens Risom, the renowned Danish American furniture designer, best known for his mass-produced ‘Risom Chair’.  Mr. Risom died last December at the age of 100. The painting , which has never been on the market since it was painted, is estimated at £400,000-600,000.

    Hammershøi took the domestic interior as his principal subject, using his Copenhagen apartment as the setting for some of his most recognisable compositions. The sparsely furnished interconnecting rooms, dove-grey walls and solid white-painted doors provided the artist with the ideal environment in which he could immerse himself in a self-contained and hermetically sealed world. The natural daylight of the Danish mid-winter illuminates this sequence of spaces, and in White Doors its muted radiance is transformed into a poetic symphony of tone and light.

    THE LARGEST FLAWLESS PINK DIAMOND EVER GRADED AT SOTHEBY’S

    March 20th, 2017

    The Pink Star

    The Pink Star will lead Sotheby’s sales of magnificent jewels and jadeite in Hong Kong on April 4.   At 59.60 carats this oval mixed-cut pink diamond is the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded. It is estimated at more than US$60 million.

    The Pink Star has received the highest colour and clarity grades from the GIA for pink diamonds and has been found to be part of the rare subgroup comprising less than 2% of all gem diamonds – known as Type IIa: stones in this group are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical transparency. Mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999, the 132.5-carat rough diamond was meticulously cut and polished over a period of two years and transformed into this stunning gemstone.

    David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, said: “At a time of unprecedented demand for the finest in coloured diamonds, I am delighted to be bringing this magnificent stone back to the market.  The extraordinary size of this 59.60-carat diamond, paired with its richness of colour, surpasses any known pink diamond recorded in history.”

    QUEK Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman, Asia, and Chairman International Jewellery, Asia, said: “Over the years Sotheby’s Hong Kong has played host to many outstanding stones and sales; including the 118.28-carat oval D-colour flawless diamond sold in Oct 2013, the still-current world auction record for any white diamond, as well as the fancy vivid blue 10.10-carat De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 which set a record for any jewel sold at auction in Asia in April 2016. The market for the world’s finest diamonds and gem stones remains buoyant.”

    At 59.60 carats, The Pink Star is more than twice the size of the Graff Pink’ – the 24.78-carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond which currently holds the world auction record for any pink diamond. Sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2010 for US$46.2 million the Graff Pink marked an auction record for any diamond or gemstone at the time.

    TEFAF WATERCOLOURS FOR RIJKSMUSEUM

    March 19th, 2017

    A unique collection of 750 exquisite watercolours of animals, birds and plants from the late Renaissance period from TEFAF is to be exhibited at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.  The Natural History Paper Museum of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II was one of the most extraordinary items on offer at this year’s TEFAF and dates from the late Renaissance period.  The albums were purchased by a private collector from Antiquariat Bibermuehle AG Heribert Tenschert for a seven figure sum and will be on long term loan to the museum.  Compiled between 1596 and 1610 as a compendium of zoology and botany—a Historia Naturalis—by Rudolph II’s court physician, Anselmus de Boodt they have remained together for four centuries. The watercolours are still pristine.

    From common domestic and farmyard animals like dogs, cats, horses and cattle to exotic creatures such as the ostrich, walrus and porcupine and extinct ones such as the dodo and even a dragon ‘drawn from life’, the compendium offers a glimpse of the range of plants, animals and birds believed to exist at the dawn of the Dutch Golden Age. Although De Boodt aimed to supply a faithful ‘scientific’ reproduction of each living thing, the animal illustrations in particular have a lively, humorous air that sets them apart from earlier models.

    The general director at the Rijksmuseum Taco Dibbits said: “This was the absolute sensation at TEFAF. Rarely, if ever does something come on the market that was made for Emperor Rudolph II. The colours are particularly fresh, which makes the drawings lively and attractive to the eye. It’s great that a private collector has made it possible for everyone to admire them.”

    IRISH GEORGIAN MARBLE FIREPLACE AT LYNES AND LYNES

    March 19th, 2017
    An 18th century marble fireplace will be the centrepiece of the sale at Lynes and Lynes in Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork on March 25.  The Irish Georgian breakfront Carrara and giallo antico marble fireplace is in original condition and complete with brass inset grate.  It is estimated at 20,000-30,000.
    Antique Cork furniture includes a Regency secretaire bookcase (3,000-5,000) and four early nine bar chairs (400-600). A Killarney wood tray inlaid with scenes of Muckross Abbey has an estimate of 150-250.  There is a large collection of antique furniture and collectibles.

    The auction will include a lifetime collection of GAA hurling and football programmes to be sold in over 60 lots. The 1939 All Ireland hurling programme in which Kilkenny beat Cork is estimated at 500-700.  This is a 12 page booklet complete with songs and ballads. There are match programmes from the ’40’s, ’50’s and ’60’s with estimates from 20 upwards. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection.

    An Irish Georgian Cararra and giallo antico marble fireplace

    A pair of antique Irish cut glass urns

    A Cork Regency secrétaire bookcase

    The 1939 All Ireland hurling final programme – a 12 page booklet printed with songs and ballads

    AN IMAGE OF ST. PATRICK BY MARGARET CLARKE

    March 17th, 2017

    Margaret Clarke – St. Patrick with a group of figures and an Irish wolfhound. © The Artist’s Estate

    This image of St. Patrick with a group of figures and an Irish Wolfhound by Margaret Clarke RHA (1888-1961) is in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland.  The watercolour, gouache, charcoal and graphite on paper work was purchased in 2007.

    Newry born Margaret Clarke (nee Crilley) studied at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art under William Orpen after winning a scholarship in 1905.  After completing her studies she began working as assistant to Orpen and exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy from 1913 until 1953. Most of the work she exhibited was portraits. In 1914 Margaret married her fellow student Harry Clarke.  They had three children.  Margaret became the director of the Harry Clarke Stained Glass Studios following the death of her husband in 1931. Her work is in the National Gallery, the Hugh Lane, the Crawford in Cork, the Ulster Museum, Limerick City Gallery, the National Self Portrait Collection and the Irish College in Rome.

    We wish all our readers a happy St. Patrick’s Day.

    SCOTT, YEATS, BLACKSHAW AND LE BROCQUY AT DE VERES

    March 16th, 2017

    Works by William Scott, Jack B. Yeats, Basil Blackshaw and Louis le Brocquy will be among the highlights at de Veres first art auction of 2017 on April 4.  The 160 lots include works from private collections which are fresh to the market. The catalogue cover lot is a 1973 Still Life by William Scott and it is estimated at 60,000-90,000. From the Woods Shadow by Yeats depicts a boy in the Phoenix Park. It is estimated at 80,000-120,000. A brace of paintings by Basil Blackshaw, Jack’s House I and 2, are individually estimated at 25,000-35,000.  There is a similar estimate on a tapestry by le Brocquy entitled Eden.   The first half of the sale is dedicated to the collection of the late Michael Carroll OF AIB, who bought much of his collection at the Dawson Gallery and the Taylor Galleries.  The auction goes on view at the Taylor Galleries, Kildare St. from April 1 and the venue for the sale is the Royal College of Physicians on Kildare St.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    William Scott CBE RA, 1913-1989
    STILL LIFE (1973)

    Basil Blackshaw HRHA, RUA , 1932-2016
    JACK’S HOUSE (BLUE)

    Jack B. Yeats RHA, 1871-1957
    FROM THE WOODS SHADOW (1953)

    Louis le Brocquy HRHA 1916-2012
    EDEN, 1951 (AKA Womans Heel)