July 28th, 2016
Combermere Library restored.
Combermere Abbey in Shropshire has won the 2016 Restoration Award presented by the Historic Houses Association (HHA) and sponsored by Sotheby’s. The house, owned by the Callander Beckett family since 1919, had suffered severe deterioration over a number of years. The Award is for the most recent restoration of the North Wing and in recognition of the 24-year project to bring the whole house back to life. Combermere Abbey sits at the heart of 1,000 acres of farmland, woodland and park, with a 150-acre lake curving around the house. The origins date to the 1130’s. The 900-year history has encompassed Royal purchase, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the impact of the Civil War, stately visits in the 18th century and extensive remodelling in the early 19th century. The 19th century render had caused extensive dry rot. In 1957 when Penelope Callander, later Lady Lindsay, inherited the house it was in such poor condition that permission was sought to demolish much of the building. Thankfully this plan was rejected and the process of trying to save Combermere began.
Firstly, the stable block was converted to create nine holiday cottages. Later the Library, formerly the Abbot’s Hall, was restored and brought back to its former magnificence complete with family heraldry and portraits, supported by grants from the Heritage Conservation Trust and English Heritage. The final stage of the restoration has taken place in the north wing. This will provide luxurious boutique bedrooms with sitting and dining rooms, as well as bridal accommodation. Ancillary buildings have also been restored, including a Grade II* game larder which is thought to date from the 19th century with a grant from the Country Houses Foundation.
The Historic Houses Association/Sotheby’s Restoration Award recognises and celebrates the work being undertaken by Members of the HHA throughout the United Kingdom. These projects reflect the dedication of owners to the care and sympathetic restoration of the incredible buildings that they own, inhabit and share with the public. This year the judges commended three properties alongside the winner: Crichel House, Dorset for the restoration of the Wyatt State Rooms; Hedingham Castle, Essex for the restoration of the Norman Keep and Penicuik House, Midlothian for the consolidation of the remains of this 18th century house.
Combermere Abbey – before.
Combermere Abbey – after.
July 25th, 2016
The two day Connemara art and antiques auction by Dolan’s in Ballyconneely on August 1 and 2 is sure to be a crowd puller. There is an across the board selection of Irish art as well as antique furniture, collectibles, silver and rugs among around 500 lots on offer. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:
Tony O’Malley – The Studio, New Ross, 1959
Robert Taylor Carson – Lobster Man
Sean Keating – An Fear an Oilean
John Schwatschke – Morning at Heuston
July 24th, 2016
A solo show of painting, sculpture and print by Irish/English/Australian artist John Kelly has just opened at Uillinn, the gallery at the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen. It includes the large group of paintings he produced during a residence in Antartica on the icebreaker Aurora Australis in 2013. The show runs to August 31.
(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for June 29, 2016)
Sunset over west Arm
Helicopter Recee 3/11/2013, an Antartica work by John Kell
July 22nd, 2016
Antique bronze and ormolu ewers. UPDATE: THEY SOLD FOR 230
This pair of antique bronze ormolu ewers has created quite a stir at Lynes and Lynes in Cork. They are due up at auction at a house sale in Glounthaune, Co. Cork on July 23. Lot 110 is estimated at just 200-300, but it has around considerable interest.
This is a small house contents auction on the premises at The Highlands, Glounthaune, Co. Cork for the estate of the late Peter Rota. It comprises antique and decorative furniture, rugs, collectible porcelain and glass, mirrors, clocks and household effects. The catalogue is online.
July 20th, 2016
From Basil Blackshaw and Kenneth Webb to Sean Scully and Pauline Bewick there is much to choose from at Morgan O’Driscoll’s current online Irish art auction. There are 206 lots in the catalogue and bidding ends on August 2. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:
Basil Blackshaw HRHA RUA (1932-2016)
mixed media on card (2,000-3,000)
Kenneth Webb RWA FRSA RUA (b.1927)
oil on canvas (4,000-6,000)
Pauline Bewick RHA (b.1935)
White Cow & Caragh Lake (1983)
Sean Scully (b.1945)
Red Fold (2006)
limited edition lithograph signed & numbered 26/50
signed lower right & dated ’06 (3,000-4,000)
July 20th, 2016
Zhang Daqian’s Peach Blossom Spring.
Half year sales at Sotheby’s Asia are up 22% to US$461.5 million. The results for the first six months of 2016 defied markets and beat expectations. More than 80% of lots sold achieved prices at or above their mid estimate. Three artworks sold for prices above HK$100 million, capped by Zhang Daqian’s Peach Blossom Spring which sold after a 50 minute bidding battle for H$270.68 million or US$34.9 million.
There was particularly strong bidding from throughout Asia, including mainland Chinese collectors, though bidders registered from 65 countries around the globe. Asian private collectors dominated Sotheby’s jewellery sales in Hong Kong. The client base continued to expand and 23% of buyers were new to Sotheby’s. It was also noted that the interest of Asian collectors in Western art continued to deepen.
Kevin Ching, Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby’s Asia said: ‘We are delighted by the exceptional half year results that reached 22% over last year. After more than four decades in Asia, Sotheby’s maintains an unrivalled ability to source the finest and rarest objects from notable collections around the world – a critical element to our success. Longstanding relationships with seasoned collectors worldwide led to a number of important consignments – from the Pilkington Collection of Chinese ceramics, to Zhang Daqian’s Peach Blossom Spring, to the Mi Yun Hall Collection of Classical Chinese Paintings – that drove remarkable results across collecting categories.
‘We are further encouraged by the growing presence of Asian collectors in our worldwide salerooms, where they are pushing the market forward – evidenced by their active participation in recent major sales of Contemporary Art in New York and London, among so many others”.
Sotheby’s worldwide have year results are due to be announced in early August.
July 19th, 2016
The Collection of Leslie Waddington will be offered for sale as a single-owner auction at Christie’s in London during Frieze week next October. The sale will feature works from his personal collection including Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Milton Avery, Agnes Martin, Francis Picabia, and Jean Dubuffet, as well as works by many of the contemporary artists he represented. Assembled over several decades, Waddington’s personal collection is testament to his pioneering spirit as an art dealer who presented a groundbreaking exhibition programme and fostered creative relationships with artists: he brought a range of Modern, Post-War, and Contemporary names to the attention of international audiences and defined the London art landscape long before the rise in popularity of the contemporary art world today.
Born in Dublin Leslie Waddington, who died last year aged 81, was son the art dealer Victor Waddington and his wife Zelda (nee Levine). In 1927 Victor had founded a pioneering gallery in Dublin that represented contemporary Irish artists including Jack Yeats. Leslie Waddington received a classical education at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, whose old boys included Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett. He revered the Irish literary tradition and later on, in Paris, befriended Beckett, with whom he played chess. In 1958 he joined his father’s new gallery at Cork St. in London and in 1966 set up on his own. He was to become a leading British art dealer. In 2003 he was one of the first dealers to participate in Frieze. A Part II day auction will be held in November to coincide with Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art auctions.
July 18th, 2016
You Bowie, me Jane. Hard on the heels of Sotheby’s announcement of the sale of David Bowie’s Collection in London next November (see post on antiquesandartireland.com for July 14) comes the news that Julien’s Auctions in Hollywood will offer the Jane Fonda Collection in a live and online sale on September 23. Property from the collection of the Oscar winning actress, author, fitness guru, philanthropist and producer will cover items from both her career and her personal life. Highlights include an Andy Warhold 1982 pop lithograph of Fonda as Barbarella, her red and black striped leotard from the cover of the Jane Fonda Workout book, her collection of bespoke Atelier Versace garments and the Yves St. Laurent Oscar acceptance speech suit for Klute. Here is a small selection:
A necklace and earring Georgian amethyst set circa 1830, mounted in Pinchbeck ($3,000-5,000)
CAST SIGNED ON GOLDEN POND SCRIPT (Universal, 1981) – $800-1.200
PAIR OF TIBETAN POLYCHROME CABINETS ($4,000-6,000)
ALFRED MITCHELL (AMERICAN, 1888-1972) – Sunset Glow ($10,000-15,000)
A canary yellow Gianni Versace Couture gown worn by Jane Fonda to the 69th Academy Awards in 1997 ($3,000-5,000).
July 18th, 2016
The summer auction at Woodwards in Cork on July 23 features garden statues and benches as well as furniture. Included is a pair of lions on plinths from Underhill House in Dunmanway (5,000-7,000), a pair of Georgian style cast iron seats (3,000-4,000), large garden vases (700-1,200) and a pair of reclining lions (700-1,200). Furniture includes a Victorian sofa table (1,200-1,500), a Victorian chest of drawers (300-400) and a large gilt framed wall mirror (500-1,000).
A pair of stone lions on plinths.
A pair of Coalbrookdale style garden seats.