What have Mick Jagger, Maria Callas and an historic collection of 12 GAA medals got in common? They all feature at Whyte’s Eclectic Collector sale in Dublin on May 14.
A collection of 12 Co. Cork Gaelic Football medals including an 1890 All Ireland Championship medal is estimated at 3,500-4,500. It includes the medals won by William Buckley at the Cork County Football Championship in 1889 and the Football Championship of Ireland in 1890.
There is a limited edition colour lithograph print of a portrait of Mick Jagger by Ronnie Wood. Number 179 out of an edition of 295 of a print entitled “Paint it Black – Out of Control” is estimated at 1,500-2,000. A signed photograph of Maria Callas dated 1971 has an estimated of 300-500. The Capital Records photographic studio image is inscribed “To Michael Comber – Sincerely – Maria Callas”. There is much for collectors to pour over in this sale of 470 lots. The catalogue is online.
John Doherty – Strand Street, Youghal, Co. Cork from the show at Taylor.
Legacy is the title of John Doherty’s exhibition at Taylor Galleries in Dublin until May 21. Long known for his finely detailed studies of the minutiae of life in an Ireland that is in the process of slowly fading from view much of Doherty’s work focuses on the effect that the passage of time has on the surface of things. He returns frequently to familiar leitmotifs – old shops in small country towns, petrol pumps, public houses that have long since called last orders and marine paraphernalia that resemble marooned relics of another time and place. In Legacy he presents a series of paintings that together comprise a close study of our built environment and encompass a vast array of architectural quirks and foibles, as well as intriguing aesthetic decisions made by owner/occupiers, that make them rich in vernacular variety and visual interest.
The largest rough diamond discovered in over a century – the 1109 carat Lesedi la Rona – will be offered in a stand alone sale at Sotheby’s in London on June 29. The largest rough diamond in existence today is estimated to make more than $70 million. Lesedi la Rona (“Our Light” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana) was uncovered by Lucara Diamond Corp. in November 2015, at their Karowe mine in Botswana. Around the size of a tennis ball (measuring approximately 66.4 x 55 x 42 mm), this colossal rough diamond of exceptional transparency and quality is around 2.5 to over 3 billion years old.
Diamonds have been mined continuously for centuries in multiple locations around the world and yet nothing of the size and quality of Lesedi La Rona has been found in over 100 years. In terms of its size, the rough is exceeded only by the legendary Cullinan Diamond, mined in South Africa in 1905. The 3016.75-carat Cullinan Diamond produced nine major diamonds that are part of the historic Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, including the Great Star of Africa – currently the largest top-quality polished diamond in existence, weighing 530.20 carats.
According to a study by the Gemological Institute of America, the Lesedi La Rona’s “top colour and transparency exemplify the “limpid” appearance commonly associated with type IIa diamonds” – a rare and coveted subgroup which comprises less than 2% of all gem diamonds. Stones in this group are “the most chemically pure and often show extraordinary optical transparency”.
David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, commented: “The Lesedi la Rona is simply outstanding and its discovery is the find of a lifetime. It is a huge honour for Sotheby’s to have been entrusted with its sale. Every aspect of this auction is unprecedented. Not only is the rough superlative in size and quality, but no rough even remotely of this scale has ever been offered before at public auction”.
Basil Blackshaw – Six Miles Valley sold for 13,000 at Whyte’s in Dublin last November.
The artist Basil Blackshaw who has died aged 83, was a leading Northern Ireland artist and regarded as one of the most talented Irish artists of his generation. He painted rural scenes, in particular horses, and his portrait subjects included Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney and Clint Eastwood. He was a member of the Royal Ulster Academy and designed posters for the Field Day theatre company in Derry.
Many tributes have been paid to the artist. Dublin’s Royal Hibernian Academy has described him as “one of Ireland’s greatest artists” who was “lauded by the art world and his fellow painters”.
High Grasses by Norah McGuinness was the top lot at Dolan’s summer art and antiques auction at Kelly’s Hotel, Rosslare on May 1. It made a hammer price of 9,000 in a vibrant auction which saw good numbers of viewers and much competitive bidding. More than 85 per cent of the 300 plus lots on offer found buyers.
Norah McGuinness (1901-80) trained at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and at Chelsea. She spent the 1920’s in Dublin working as a book illustrator and stage designer. In 1929 she followed the advice of Mainie Jellett and moved to Paris to study with Andre Lhote. She spent time in London and New York before returning to live in Dublin. She was associated in Ireland with the Modern Movement and helped found the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1943. Norah McGuinness and Nano Reid represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale of 1950.
A life size portrait of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde by Sir Peter Lely and Studio of Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680) is among the highlights at Mealy’s sale of contents from Lotabeg at Tivoli in Cork on May 24. A pair of artworks by Dave de Coninck (1644-1680) – Garden Friends and Guarding the Day’s Catch – is estimated at around 50,000. Last year a pair of works by the same artist sold for 120,000. The auction will include paintings, furniture, a collection of Cork and Irish silver, rare books, porcelain, Oriental carpets, chandeliers, Indian and Asian art and Irish historic collectibles.
(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for April 27, 2016)
Sir Peter Lely and Studio of Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde
Francis Bacon said, “Everything I do goes into painting.” In this short video, Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons brings to life excerpts from the artist’s interviews with David Sylvester and reveals Bacon’s own thoughts about his celebrated self portraits. ‘Two Studies for a Self-Portrait,’ painted by Bacon in 1970, highlights Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening quction in New York on May 11.
(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for March 17, 2016)
This large blue and white lotus bouquet dish at Sotheby’s sale of Important Chinese Art in London on May 11 embodies the creativity of Qing craftsmen.
They combined contemporary elements with antiquity. The fine porcelain body and smooth glaze is typical of the Qianlong period. The lotus bouquet motif is inspired by the wares of the early Ming Dynasty.
Dishes painted with a lotus bouquet were first revived under the Yongzheng Emperor who was keen to see historical pieces replicated as a reminder of the nations glorious past. By the Qianlong reign the style of painting of this motif was slightly altered and applied on dishes of various shapes and sizes of which this is the largest known type. It is estimated at £60,000-80,000.
The auction will feature jades, early ceramics and Chinese furniture.
The art and antiques sale by Dolan’s in Rosslare on May 1 kicks off with a limited edition colour print by Robert Ballagh entitled My Studio 1969. One of an edition of 75 it is estimated at 500 to 800. Kelly’s Hotel in Rosslare is the venue for this auction of more than 300 lots. The emphasis is on art, but there sale features a selection of reasonably estimated rugs, small antique furniture pieces, silver and collectible objects. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection.
Robert Ballagh – My Studio 1969 (500-800) UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 600 AT HAMMER
Kenneth Webb – Sweet Pea, profusion of colour (2,800-3,200) UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,200 AT HAMMER
Markey Robinson – Clown Juggling (800-1,000) UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,200
A Victorian walnut duet music stand (800-1,000) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD
A William IV reading table (100-200). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 11O
A landmark sale of major paintings and sculpture will mark Christie’s 250th anniversary in London on June 30. The focus will be on great works of British art. Highlights will include an intimate family portrait by Lucian Freud painted in 1992. At auction for the first time in 100 years is a pivotal example of British Aestheticism from 1864 by Frederic, Lord Leighton. And there is an exquisite 1778 portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds which has never been on the market before.
Building on the success of Christie’s pioneering series of curated evening sales including Looking Forward to the Past and The Artist’s Muse in 2015, the global auction house will celebrate four centuries of British artists with an evening sale on June 30 entitled Defining British Art. A loan exhibition with the same title will run from June 17 to July 15. Highlights will be on view at Christie’s New York from May 6-12 and at Christie’s Hong Kong from May 26-30.
Ever since James Christie first opened his doors for business in 1766, in St James’s London, where the headquarters remain today, Christie’s has championed British art and artists. Both Reynolds and Gainsborough were among the regular visitors to these salerooms. Orlando Rock, Chairman, Christie’s UK said: “A celebration of Britain’s artistic achievements, the Defining British Art Loan Exhibition and Evening Sale will break new ground for Christie’s, charting the evolution of British art over the last 400 years. A fitting launch to Christie’s 250th Anniversary celebrations in London and inspired by James Christie’s own innovative spirit, the sale and exhibition will create dynamic juxtapositions and, we hope, inspire artists and collectors of the future. Open to all, I would like to encourage not only those who are already friends of Christie’s but also those we have yet to welcome, to share in these celebrations and become part of our next chapter, looking ahead to the next 250 years and beyond.”
LUCIAN FREUD (1922–2011) Ib and her husband (estimate c£18 million). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2018.
Frederic, Lord Leighton, P.R.A. (1830-1896) Golden Hours (£3-5 million). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2016
Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. (1723-1792) Portrait of Lucy Long, Mrs George Hardinge (£2-3 million). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2016