October 22nd, 2016
These days you can view many auctions from the comfort of your own home and buyers are increasingly doing just that. Locally, nationally and internationally auction houses are finding new buyers on the internet. The online portal Invaluable is teaming up with the prestigious European Fine Art Fair TEFAF to connect with a collector base in 180 countries. TEFAF opens its debut fair outside Europe at the Park Avenue Armoury in New York today.
Closer to home there are two online sales of Irish art running this weekend, at Whyte’s and Morgan O’Driscoll. Whyte’s are offering nearly 200 lots with estimates from 100 to 6,000 in an auction with examples from the McClelland Collection and work by Yeats, Lavery, William Conor, Nano Reid, Mainie Mellett, Harry Kernoff, Tony O’Malley and Basil Blackshaw. There are 230 lots in Morgan O’Driscoll’s sale, which includes 13 works of sculpture. The sale runs until 6.30 pm next Monday and is on view in Skibberen from noon to 5 pm today and tomorrow and from 11 am to 3 pm on Monday. Whyte’s sale is on view at Molesworth St., Dublin from 1 pm to 5 pm today and from 10 am to 5 pm on Monday. Their auction starts at 6 pm.
River Bank I by Donald Teskey at Morgan O’Driscoll (4,000-6,000)
A drawing by Dame Elizabeth Frink at Whyte’s online art auction (400-600)
October 21st, 2016
Edvard Munch – Girls on the Bridge.
A masterwork by Edvard Munch will lead Sotheby’s evening sale of Impressionist & Modern Art in New York on November 14. Pikene på broen (Girls on the Bridge) from 1902 is estimated to make more than $50 million. The lyrical work ranks as one of the most powerful paintings of his career, and has twice set a new world auction record for the artist at Sotheby’s.
Simon Shaw, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art Department said: “Edvard Munch’s importance to the full breadth of 20th century art cannot be overstated. From the Expressionists to Fauvism and Pop Art, his oeuvre is increasingly prized for its lasting influence on the art of recent times. Munch pioneered the art of the self: recent museum shows pairing his work with that of artists ranging from Vincent van Gogh to Robert Mapplethorpe, Louise Bourgeois, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol – among many others – have illustrated that his genius burns brighter today than ever.”
In 1996 Sotheby’s sold the painting for a then record of $7.7 million. It was sold in 2008 for $30.8 million.
October 21st, 2016
The revolver used by Verlaine. © CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LIMITED 2016
The gun bought by Paul Verlaine bought with the intention of killing Arthur Rimbaud comes up at Christie’s Exceptional Sale in Paris on November 30. The poets had known each other since 1871 and were inseparable. Verlaine was married but decided to flee to London with Rimbaud in 1873. In May and June of that year in London they quarrelled violently. On July 3 Verlaine left London to seek refuge in Brussels. Rimbaud soon joined him, but then decided to return to Paris. Verlaine then shot him twice with a gun he bought from a gunsmith in Brussels on July 10, 1873. He managed only to to shoot the wrist. Rimbaud then spent ten days in the hospital, and Verlaine was sent to jail for two years. The story of the Brussels affair in well documented statements and depositions taken at the time is now kept at the Royal Library in Belgium. The gun is estimated at 50,000-70,000.
October 20th, 2016
A large and arresting study of a Stork eating a snail from the important Lady Impey Series – part of the estate of Jacqueline Kennedy when sold by Sotheby’s in 1996 – brought in £245,000 over a top estimate of £80,000 at Sotheby’s in London this week. The single-owner sale of The Khosrovani-Diba Collection, a prestigious group of Indian miniatures by Mughal masters and fine paintings of the Rajasthani, Pahari and Company Schools, more than doubled pre-sale expectations t0£3,052,500 at Sotheby’s. Over 87% of lots achieved in excess of their high estimates.
The auction was led by an elegantly coloured and lyrical depiction of Radha consoled by Krishna in a forest, an illustration of a romantic night scene from the “Lambagraon” Gita Govinda series, which made £353,000.
The Kennedy Stork from the Lady Impey series made £245,000.
Radha consoled by Krishna made £353,000.
October 19th, 2016
THE house contents auction by de Veres at Ailsbury Road, Dublin 4 on October 24 will feature 650 lots . There is fine Irish Georgian furniture, mirrors, lighting, paintings, silver, porcelain, books, fine wine, household items, Objets d’art and even a Maserati car. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:
A LARGE GEORIGAN MAHOGANY DOUBLE BREAKFRONT BOOKCASE (10,000-15,000)
A PAIR OF IRISH GEORGIAN MAHOGANY AND BRASS BOUND PLATE BUCKETS (2,000-3,000)
Norah McGuinness HRHA, 1901-1980 ENNISKERRY (1,500-2,000)
A PAIR OF KINGWOOD AND PAINTED BOMBE SHAPED COMMODES (1,000-1,500)
October 17th, 2016
THE SUPREME NUMBER ONE
THE first Chinese firearm with an imperial reign mark to be offered at auction comes up at Sothebys in London on November 9. Created for the Qianlong Emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty – arguably the greatest collector and patron of the arts in Chinese history – this exquisitely crafted musket is to be sold with an estimate of £1,000,000-1,500,000. Produced in the imperial workshops the musket bears the imperial reign mark on top of the barrel and four Chinese characters which denote the gun’s peerless ranking incised on the breech. The exceptional grading te deng di yi, ‘Supreme Grade, Number One’ makes it unique amongst the known extant guns from the imperial workshops.
The advent of Western firearm technology sparked the production of muskets in the imperial workshops, and this modern mode of weaponry had unquestionable advantages over the traditional bow and arrow for hunting. Using only the most luxurious materials, imperial muskets were created in very small numbers for the Qianlong Emperor. While the Emperor is unlikely ever to have held a gun in battle, he would regularly hunt with a musket. The Supreme Number One is closely related to six celebrated, named imperial Qianlong muskets in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing.
Robert Bradlow, Senior Director, Chinese Works of Art, Sotheby’s London, said: “This remarkable object epitomises the pinnacle of imperial craftsmanship during the Qing dynasty. The gun’s historical importance cannot be overstated – it ranks as one of the most significant Chinese treasures ever to come to auction.”
October 17th, 2016
The 8.01 Sky Blue Diamond
A rare Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ring by Cartier will be the centrepiece at Sotheby’s November auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva on November 16. Weighing 8.01 carats, this mesmerising stone has been named ‘The Sky Blue Diamond’, emphasising its highly sought-after hue. The estimate is US$15 – 25 million.
David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said: “The Sky Blue Diamond is of a wonderfully clear celestial blue, presented in an extremely elegant square emerald cut – in my view, the most flattering of all the cuts for a coloured diamond. This important gem will, I am sure, captivate all collectors of exceptional gemstones.”
Fancy Vivid Blue is the highest possible colour grading. It is awarded to no more than 1% of blue diamonds submitted to the Gemological Institute of America. Sotheby’s has twice set a new world record auction price for a blue diamond within the past two years most recently with the only diamond or gemstone in auction history to have exceeded $4 million per carat, the Blue Moon of Josephine. This sold for $48.5 million ($4,028,941 per carat) in November 2015.
October 16th, 2016
Fine jewellery and watches will come under the hammer in a sale of 168 lots at James Adam on October 18. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:
A BURMESE SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND CLUSTER RING (22,000-26,000) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD
A CHALCEDONY AND DIAMOND NECKLACE, BY MARGHERITA BURGENER (3,500-4,500) UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,000 AT HAMMER
A lady’s gold plated quartz wristwatch by Hermes (250-450) UPDATE: THIS MADE 450 AT HAMMER
October 16th, 2016
The antique furniture, art and collectibles amassed over several decades by retired Cork based orthopaedic surgeon Mr. Tony McGuinness and his wife Geraldine will come under the hammer at an evening sale at Hegarty’s in Bandon on October 18. The contents of Bealaha Bridge House, Kilbeg, Bandon form the bulk of the sale. Irish 18th century furniture on offer includes a card table and a wine table. A fine William IV oval ended dining table with two extra leaves is estimated at 2,000-3,000. A set of ten early 19th century dining chairs is estimated at 1,200-1,800 and a Regency rosewood fold over card table at 1,500-2,000. There is an Edwards and Roberts display cabinet, a pair of Victorian library chairs, a 19th century writing table, a Regency rosewood sofa table and a selection of occasional furniture.
Collectibles include some Cork silver pieces by William Egan, Oriental Famille Rose and Famille Vert porcelain, an Imperial green and yellow Chinese bowl with a five clawed dragon motif impressed with the six character mark, 19th century English porcelain and Moorcroft pottery. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:
A late 19th century French giltwod pier mirror (2,000-3,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,850
Mark ONeill – Boots by the back door (2,500-4,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,200 AT HAMMER
An Irish Silver tea set by Egans, Cork (600-800). UPDATE: THIS MADE 750 AT HAMMER
An Imperial yellow and green Chinese bowl (1,500-1,700) UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,600