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  • RARE CARVED CINNABAR LACQUER DISH AT SOTHEBY’S

    April 28th, 2017

    A Large Carved Cinnabar Lacquer Dish Late Yuan/Early Ming Dynasty

    A rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer dish from the late Yuan/early Ming period will lead Sotheby’s sale of Important Chinese Art in London on May 10. It is one of the finest examples from the period when lacquer carving in China experienced its peak. According to Sotheby’s the sensitive, naturalistic rendering of the flowers, the complexity and harmony of the interwoven flower design, the craftsmanship and monumental dimensions are hard to surpass. The century or so from the late Yuan (1279-1368) to the early Ming dynasty (1368-1644) witnessed the evolution of the art of carved lacquer ware in south China from a decorative craft to a branch of imperially produced artefacts of the highest order, in parallel to a similar development of Chinese blue-and- white porcelain. Lacquer ware of this period is rarer than contemporary porcelain.  It is estimated at £400,000-600,000.

    The sale will showcase a selection of notable Chinese ceramics and works of art across the disciplines of imperial porcelain, lacquer, jade and Buddhist sculpture.

    A white jade Ruyi sceptre, Qing Dynasty (£40,000-60,000)

    One of a pair of imperial yellow glazed dishes Zhende marks (£50,000-70,000)

    A MONUMENTAL BASQUIAT TO LEAD SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK SALE

    April 27th, 2017

    Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled 1982

    Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled from 1982 will lead Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening auction in New York on May 18.  This  monumental work has remained virtually unseen since it last appeared on the market in May 1984. At the time the work was completed he was virtually unknown to the art world.  Purchased at auction for $19,000 in 1984 it is now estimated to make in excess of $60 million.

    It is one of a number of iconic American post-war paintings in a sale that also features Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly, as well as European masters including David Hockney, Rudolf Stingel and Gerhard Richter.

    Grégoire Billault, Head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Department in New York, commented: “It is an enormous pleasure to bring a Basquiat of this magnitude to the market. The scale, subject matter, date and freshness, combined with recent record prices and increased demand for the artist’s work, make May the ideal time to present a masterpiece of this caliber – a truly outstanding achievement of recent art history – to the market.”

    SCHIELE MASTERPIECE AT SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK

    April 25th, 2017

    Egon Schiele’s – Danaë

    Egon Schiele’s first masterpiece Danaë will lead Sotheby’s evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in New York on May 16.  Painted in 1909, the work marks Schiele’s first major oil painting of a female nude, and is estimated to sell for $30–40 million.  The artist was just 19 years when he produced this extraordinary example of his daring technique. Danaë introduces the artist’s iconic aesthetic, and epitomizes the Jugendstil movement’s influence at the time. The composition also pays homage to Schiele’s informal mentor, Gustav Klimt, who championed the young artist throughout his career.

    Painted in 1969, a little more than a week before his 88th birthday, Pablo Picasso’s self-portrait Tête d’homme  is estimated at  $8/12 million.  It was painted in 1969, a little more than a week before his 88th birthday and was first exhibited in a one-man show that the artist curated himself in the hallowed halls of the Palace of the Popes in Avignon. Works emerging from a distinguished private collection include Impressionist pictures by Paul Signac, Alfred Sisley and Pierre Bonnard, as well as an important early sculpture by Alexander Archipenko. The group is led by Signac’s Le Pin de Bertaud ($3.5/5 million), a spectacular view of Saint-Tropez painted in 1899-1900

    Paul Signac – Le Pin de Bertaud

    Pablo Picasso’s self-portrait Tête d’homme

     

    IRISH ARTISTS WHOSE WORK IS ENJOYED

    April 25th, 2017

    Irish artists whose work is enjoyed and collected by auction goers will feature at Dolan’s May Bank Holiday sale at Kelly’s Resort Hotel in Rosslare, Co. Wexford on April 30. Kenneth Webb, Evie Hone, Sean Keating, Frank McKelvey, James Humbert Craig, Hans Iten, Helen O’Hara, Markey Robinson, Tony O’Malley, Mark O’Neill, Sean McSweeney, Norman Teeling, Carina Scott, Arthur Maderson, Henry Morgan, Charles Harper, Mat Grogan and Carina Scott and Cecil Maguire all feature.  There is sculpture by John Behan and Cynthia Moran. Here is a small selection:

    Mark O’Neill’s “Show Day, Tinahely” (2,500-3,000)

    Carina Scott’s “Silhouette (white Connemara) (700-1,000)

    Mark O’Neill’s “Up Close and Personal” (1.400-2,000)

    Carina Scott’s “Moonlight” (1,200-1,800)

    PARCHMENT COPY OF AMERICAN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE DISCOVERED IN SUSSEX

    April 23rd, 2017

    The parchment copy of the American Declaration of Independence, which had been folded.

    One of only two parchment copies of America’s Declaration of Independence has been discovered by researchers from Harvard in a record office in West Sussex.  They unearthed the manuscript – believed to date from the 1780’s – while compiling a database of every copy of the declaration kept in Britain. The only other known parchment manuscript copy is kept at the National Archives in Washington DC.

    Staff at the West Sussex Record Office in Chichester had not taken a particular interest in the copy before the team from Harvard got in touch.  It was made ten years after the declaration. They are now working on a valuation. It is believed that the copy came to the record office  in 1956.  It was given by a local man who apparently worked for a law firm representing the Dukes of Richmond.

    Field Marshal Charles Lennox (1735-1806), 3rd Duke of Richmond, was known as the “radical duke” for his support for the American colonists’ rebellion.  He also supported a policy of concession in Ireland and held advanced views on parliamentary reform. It is thought that  he may have originally brought the manuscript to Britain. The record office is now working with the university as well as historians at the British Library and the American Library of Congress to carry out further tests on the manuscript.

    MONTGOMERY OF ALAMEIN AT WAR IN CORK

    April 23rd, 2017
    One month after the Burning of Cork by the Black and Tans in December 1920 the future Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery of El Alamein was appointed Brigade Major of the British Army’s 17th Infantry Brigade stationed in the city. Their task was to carry out counter insurgency operations during the final stages of the Irish War of Independence. Monty is the officer at the centre of this very rare c1921 photograph taken in front of a Cork Physiology college building with about 40 uniformed British soldiers.
    It comes up as lot 162 at Adams History Sale in Dublin on April 26 estimated at 500-600. It is unlikely that the regard in which he is held as a hero of the 2nd World War – the man who defeated Rommel at a very heavy cost – was widely shared in Cork a little over two decades previously.  He later wrote to a fellow officer: “Personally, my whole attention was given to defeating the rebels but it never bothered me a bit how many houses were burnt. I think I regarded all civilians as ‘Shinners’ and I never had any dealings with any of them. My own view is that to win a war of this sort, you must be ruthless. Oliver Cromwell, or the Germans, would have settled it in a very short time. Nowadays public opinion precludes such methods, the nation would never allow it, and the politicians would lose their jobs if they sanctioned it.”
    He was of the opinion that if the British had gone on the rebellion could probably have been quashed, but thought it would have broken out again the moment the troops were removed.

    More than 250 lots from medieval to modern times, including a copy of the 1916 Proclamation, will come under the hammer. There are Georgian firearms by WJ Rigby with Cork marks. A rare 1985  Irish 20 pence test coin is estimated at 3,000-4,000.  Less than 50 of these are in circulation.Viewing for the auction gets underway at Adams tomorrow afternoon.

    UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A detail from the image with Montgomery in the centre.

    This c1921 photo from the Adams History sale in Dublin next Wednesday shows about 40 British soldiers in Cork during the War of Independence. Montgomery of Alamein is seated at the centre.

    BRANCUSI’S LA MUSE ENDORMIE AT CHRISTIE’S, NEW YORK

    April 20th, 2017

    CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI (1867-1957) La muse endormie , patinated bronze with gold leaf, Length: 10 ½ inches

    Constantin Brancusi’s sculpture La muse endormie will be a highlight  at Christie’s evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art on May 15 in New York. Estimated at $20-30 million La muse endormie counts among the greatest achievements in sculptural history. Its drastic purification of form and emotional resonance mark the dawn of a new sculptural language.

    First conceived in marble in 1909-1910, La muse endormie was cast by Brancusi in six bronze versions by 1913. Four bronzes today are housed in museums—The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, and two examples in the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris—while two, including the present work, remain in private collections. This one was acquired by the distinguished French collector Jacques UImann in the 1950’s and has remained in his family to this day.

    Jessica Fertig, Senior Vice President, Head of Evening Sale, Impressionist and Modern Art, said: La muse endormie has a magical amplitude — displaying a formal genius and wondrously modulated patina. Brancusi considered each of his La muse endormie bronzes a unique work of art, rather than as part of a uniform edition. He therefore oversaw the patination process during casting to ensure variations between every bronze. Brancusi delighted in the varying effects of color and finish, always aware of the diversity of expression he could achieve through patination. The present sculpture has a rich, warm patina that Brancusi heightened by gilding sections, a contrast he described to the legendary American collector John Quinn as enhancing the expressive power of his art.”

    A SIGNED COPY OF THE IRISH PROCLAMATION AT ADAMS

    April 20th, 2017

    One of only two known original copies of the Irish Proclamation in private hands signed by the printer Christoper Brady comes up at the annual James Adam History sale in Dublin on April 26.

    The most important document in modern Irish History was printed in Dublin on April 23, 1916 by Christopher Brady, Michael Molloy and Liam O’Brien for the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic.

    A print run of 2,500 copies was planned.  It seems unlikely that more than 100 were printed.  It was printed on an old Wharfdale Double-Crown, printing machine and the rollers the rollers failed to maintain an even pressure. The work was difficult and the paper quality was poor with the result that nearly all copies show some smudging.

    Printed at Liberty Hall on Easter Sunday, 1916 it was read from the steps of the General Post Office, O’Connell St., Dublin on Easter Monday morning by Padraig Pearse, thus heralding The Rising and the advance of Ireland towards self-determination. This copy is estimated at 150,000-250,000.

    The catalogue for the sale, which is online, lists 268 lots.

    UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 120,000 AT HAMMER

    MOORE, GIACOMETTI, ARP AT SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK

    April 20th, 2017

    Works by Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Arp, Germaine Richier and Marino Marini from the Finn family collection will feature at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in New York on May 16. Together the five sculptures are estimated in excess of $17 million. This group is united further by the fact that each piece was conceived in the 1950s, during the period of turmoil and uncertainty following World War II.

    The five exceptional modern sculptures were collected by David and Laura Finn. David Finn, co founder of pr firm Ruder Finn, is a celebrated sculpture photographer whose prolific work championed the art form.  Through their collecting, they developed not only a staunch patronage but also enduring friendships with many artists – particularly Henry Moore. Mr. Finn photographed and published Moore’s sculptures over a number of decades, playing a vital role in expanding the artist’s audience internationally. Moore hand-selected Seated Woman (estimate $4/6 million) for the couple during a visit to his studio.

    Henry Moore
    Seated Woman
    Conceived in 1956-1957 ($4-6 million)

    Germaine Richier
    Don Quichotte
    Conceived in 1950-51 ($1.5-2.5 million)

    Jean Arp
    Torse de Pyrénées
    Conceived in 1959 $1.5-2.5 million

    Alberto Giacometti
    Buste de Diego
    Conceived circa 1957 ($10-15 million)

    GREAT IRISH INTERIORS AND CLASSIC ART AT SHEPPARDS

    April 19th, 2017

    The Great Irish Interiors sale at Sheppards in Durrow on April 25 and 26 promises a wide variety of interesting lots.  It is to be followed on April 27 by a Classic Art afternoon auction.  Here is a small selection:

    Pre-Raphaelite School – The Annunciation Oil on canvas (unlined) Provenance: St. Nicholas’s Church, Ghent, Belgium (20,000-30,000)

    EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY PERIOD CARVED GILT FRAMED OVER MANTLE MIRROR (3,000-5,000)

    PAIR OF LARGE NINETEENTH-CENTURY ORMOLU APPLIQUÉS (2,500-3,500)

    Irish 19th century side table (4,000-6,000)

    NINETEENTH-CENTURY JAPANESE BRONZE GROUP Sage and deer mounted on an oval base (4,000-6,000)

    GEORGE III PERIOD IRISH STATUARY WHITE MARBLE, SIENNA AND BLUE JOHN CHIMNEY PIECE (35,000-45,000)