Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for October, 2011


    Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

    One of the set of 14 Samuel Dixon bird pictures. (Click on image to enlarge).

    A group of 14 Irish George II embossed bird pictures c1750 by Samuel Dixon has been sold for $98,500 in New York. It happened on the final day of the four day sale of the Safra Collections at Sotheby’s.  The lot had been estimated at  $60,000-90,000.  Samuel Dixon was based on Capel St. in Dublin city centre where he produced embossed papier-mâché pictures of birds and flowers sold in black and gold japanned frames. At the same sale sets of six and four Dixon bird pictures made $15,000 and $31,250 respectively  and a set of Flower pictures sold for $28,125.

    The Burghley Epergne (click on image to enlarge).

    The Burghley Epergne, a masterpiece of the English Rococo from the Safra Collections, made  $950,000. It was created for the distinguished collector and patron Cecil Brownlow, 9th Earl of Exeter (1725-1793), known as Lord Burghley from 1725 to 1754. The design for this centrepiece is in the Louis XV picturesque manner celebrated by the artist and engraver William Hogarth in his Analysis of Beauty published in 1753.  The ornament is inspired  by the writings of Virgil and celebrates the triumph of Venus with the union of Bacchus and Ceres. The evolution of the abundant fruit form, derived from the Louis Quatorze style, can be traced through engravings on the confectioner’s art, especially that of Le Sieur Guilleurs, La Carameliste Française, 1684 re-issued in 1750.

    The four day sale of the Safra Collections brought in  $45,900,064.

    See posts on for October 11 and July 10, 2011.


    Friday, October 21st, 2011

    Circle of Sir Anthony van Dyck Portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    THE portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria shown here was once at Malahide Castle.  From the circle of  Sir Anthony van Dyck it features at Sotheby’s sale of Old Master and British paintings in London on October 27.  The portrait was part of the collection of Lord Talbot de Malahide and was sold with the house contents.  It relates to an important, lost three-quarter length portrait of Henrietta Maria by van Dyck, and is one of several known variants, among which there is a good version in the Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, and another at the Bomann-Museum at Celle.  It is estimated at £8,000-£12,000.

    Henrietta Maria, youngest daughter of King Henri IV of France and Marie de Medici, was married to the Prince of Wales in 1625 aged 15.  As a catholic she was not allowed to be crowned alongside her husband when he became King Charles I in 1626.

    A number of lots of Irish interest feature at Sotheby’s sale of Furniture, Tapestries, Ceramics, Clocks, Silver and Carpets in London on November 2.  Lot 245 is a set of four Irish George II mahogany chairs, probably Irish c1750 estimated at £4,000-6,000. Lot 246  is an Irish George II style carved mahogany centre table estimated at £5,000-7,000 and lot 252 is a Regency mahogany bookcase, possibly Irish with an estimate of £15,000-25,000.

    A Regency mahogany bookcase, possibly Irish. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    An Irish George II style carved mahogany centre table. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE A HAMMER PRICE WITH BUYER'S PREMIUM OF £5,625.

    A set of four Irish George II mahogany chairs circa 1750. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR £4,500



    Friday, October 21st, 2011

    L. S. Lowry, The Railway Platform, 1953, (£1-1.5 million). (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE £1,161,250.

    William Roberts, The Boxing Match, 1919-25, (£200,000-300,000). (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE £217,250 A WORLD RECORD FOR THE ARTIST AT AUCTION.

    WHAT may be the first British depiction of a film crew at work is among the remarkable works on offer at Sotheby’s evening sale of Modern and Post-War British Art  on November 15. Highlights include paintings by L.S. Lowry and Sir Stanley Spencer. William Robert’s The Boxing Match circa 1919-1925 (on the middle left) offers an image of a film crew at work.  The sale includes paintings by artists including Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood, to be sold on behalf of The Dartington Hall Trust.  The sale comprises 37 lots and is estimated to reach a combined total of £7.2 – £10.8 million.

    The Modern and Post-War British day sale November 16 features the most exceptional group of Wyndham Lewis watercolours and drawings ever to be offered for sale at auction. The works range in date from 1910 – 1949 and are estimated to fetch a combined total of more than £270,000.

    UPDATE:  THE sales realized a combined total of £8.5 million.

    Christopher Wood, Pony and trap, Ploaré, Brittany , 1930, (£150,000-250,000). (Click on image to enlarge).

    Stanley Spencer, Beatitude 2: Knowing, 1937 (£600,000-£800,000). (Click on image to enlarge).




    Thursday, October 20th, 2011

    Irish Georgian circular table by Stahan made 7,000 at Woodwards. (Click on image to enlarge).

    This antique circular Irish Georgian dining or library table made 7,000 at the Woodwards auction in Cork on October 19. The table, which is marked Strahan, is 66″ wide and on a foliate carved tripod with scroll feet.  Founded in Dublin in 1776 Robert Strahan’s firm served some of the great country houses of Ireland. The Strahan output is noted for its quality.

    By 1845 they had workshops at Henry St. and Leinster St.  Robert Strahan and Co. showed at the Dublin Great Industrial Exhibition in 1853, which had been modelled on the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851, and at the London International Exhibition of 1862.


    Thursday, October 20th, 2011

    The silver box presented to Robert Peel by TCD in 1812. (Click on image to enlarge)

    A Dublin silver box presented to Robert Peel in 1812 when he was Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland has been discovered by silver dealers L. and W. Duvallier.  Peel, who as Home Secretary helped to create the modern police force  – they were bobbies in England and peelers in Ireland – served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

    The engraved underside of the box. (Click to enlarge).

    The silver box, made in 1810 by Aneas Ryan, has a hinged lid engraved with Robert Peel’s coat of arms within a leaf border.  It commemorates the award of an honorary LLD degree to him by Trinity College, Dublin (TCD). The sides are engraved with the TCD Coat of Arms.

    Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) was elected MP for the Irish rotten borough of Cashel, Co. Tipperary, when he was 21. Only 24 voters were eligible.  His sponsors were his father (who bought the seat) and the Chief Secretary for Ireland Sir  Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington  Peel became Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1812. He opposed Catholic Emancipation and was dubbed “Orange Peel” by Daniel O’Connell.  The enmity between the two was so great that they agreed to fight a duel, but it never took place.  Peel served as Prime Minister twice, in  1834-35 and from 1841-1846.


    Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

    Patrick Scott (b1921). A box of pippins (1949). (Click on image to enlarge).

    The work of the White Stag group of painters, who flourished in Dublin during the Second World War, is on exhibition at the Ava Gallery at Adam’s, Clandeboye in Northern Ireland from October 19 to November 4.

    The White Stag was a group of artists centred round the painters Basil Rákóczi and Kenneth Hall.   Founded in London in 1935, the group moved to Ireland in 1939 and stayed until just after the Second World War, living, painting and exhibiting mainly in Dublin after a brief spell in the West of Ireland.  It gained a number of Irish members that included Thurloe Conolly, Paul Egestorff, Stephen Gilbert (from Carrickfergus) and Patrick Scott, all of whom are represented in this exhibition, alongside Rákóczi and Hall, and Parisian Georgette Rondel.

    Their work helped liberalise Irish art and artists from the grip of an ultra conservative Irish culture, during the 1940’s. The exhibition is curated by David Britton of Adam’s who remarked: “Their work was more avant-garde than anything yet seen in Ireland.  As a result, they paved the way for a more liberal consensus in Irish art”. The exhibition has been sourced from private collections in Ireland and abroad.  All work is for sale at prices ranging from £475 to £15,000.

    Kenneth Hall (1913-1946). Train II. (Click on image to enlarge).

    Basil Ivan Rakoczi (1908-1979), Le Jardin (1949). (click on image to enlarge).


    Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

    A Chinese porcelain baluster vase with Qianlong seal mark to base at Hegarty's. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 540

    Chinese ceramics from several collections, antique furniture, art, silver and glass all feature at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon on October 23 at 3 p.m.  The sale includes Chinese jade, monochrome wares from the Qing and Ming periods, 19th century Sikh watercolours, an Easter Island carving and a Japanese  Meiji period (1868-1912) doll.

    Furniture includes an Irish George II foldover tea table, an Irish davenport, bookcases, desks, Victorian chests of drawers, display cabinets, dining chairs and tables and a pair of Edwardian chairs.

    Three-door Regency rosewood bookcase, with brass grille doors and column supports at Hegartys. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,400

    Tribal carving of an Easter Island figure at Hegartys. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 450


    Monday, October 17th, 2011

    Paul McCartney's August 1960 letter. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £34,850 TO AN ANONYMOUS TELEPHONE BIDDER.

    A letter handwritten  by Paul McCartney inviting an unknown drummer to audition for The Beatles is to be sold at Christie’s Rock and Memorabilia auction in South Kensington, London on November 15. Dated August 12, 1960 it was discovered by an anonymous collector inside a book at a car boot sale in Bootle, Liverpool. This is one of the earliest occasions in which the band referred to themselves as The Beatles.

    On August 15, 1960 The Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Stuart Sutcliffe, along with drummer Pete Best) travelled to Hamburg for almost two months. McCartney’s response to an advert in the Liverpool Echo was written four days after John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Stuart Sutcliffe had verbally committed themselves to travel to Hamburg on August 15 as a five-piece band.  It is not known if there was a response. There was no alternative but for Pete Best to travel with them to Hamburg. Best was dismissed from the band two years later, and replaced by Ringo Starr.  The letter is expected to make £7,000 to £9,000.

    Bed Peace from John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969. (Click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS WAS THE TOP LOT IN THE SALE. IT MADE £97,250.

    Another lot is a John Lennon placard reading BED PEACE from the historic Montreal Bed-In for Peace, 1969. The Montreal ‘Bed-In for Peace’ was held two months after John and Yoko’s honeymoon Bed-In at the Amsterdam Hilton, and lasted for seven days between May 26 and June 2, 1969. Throughout the week the couple sat up in bed in their nightclothes and opened their doors to the worlds’ media, speaking to journalists and politicians. Most notably the Lennon’s, along with an enthusiastic congregation of friends and supporters, recorded the anthem ‘Give Peace a Chance’ during their stay. The placard is estimated at £80,000-100,000.


    UPDATE: THE sale brought in a total of a total of £478,738


    Monday, October 17th, 2011

    A Gilt-Bronze Cloisonne Enamel Tiger Waterpot and Cover Qianlong Mark (£200,000-300,000). Image copyright Sotheby's. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £825,250.

    This beautiful gilt bronze and cloisonné enamel tiger waterpot of Qianlong mark and period is a highlight of Sotheby’s bi-annual sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art in London on November 9.  The sale offers an exceptional range of Imperial porcelain monochrome ceramics, bronzes and jades from two of Britain’s greatest collectors of Chinese works of art. The tiger waterpot, from the private collection of Sir Peter Moores at Parbold Hall, is estimated at £200,000-300,000.

    The auction includes Imperial Qing dynasty monochromes from the collection of Richard Fairfax William Cartwright at Aynhoe Park.

    Sotheby’s Senior Specialist in Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Stephen Loakes said:  “The prestigious and diverse pieces  from Sir Peter Moores’ private collection at Parbold Hall, represent his passionate and scholarly approach to the field over some 50 years. Richard Fairfax William Cartwright’s exquisite monochromes delighted visitors to Aynhoe Park for decades and will present collectors with the opportunity to acquire pieces of the most refined and ravishing glazes.”

    The auction of 560 lots is estimated to realise in the region of £12 million.


    Monday, October 17th, 2011

    The Sunday Sale offers collectors and new buyers of Irish art an opportunity to purchase at an affordable level according to de Veres.  The Dublin based art auction house will conduct the sale of around 300 lots at the D4 Berkeley Hotel at 2 p.m. on October 23.  They say that estimates are greatly reduced. The sale will include work by artists including Patrick Collins,  Thomas Ryan, Fergus O’Ryan, Peter Collis, Taylor Carson, Elizabeth Cope and Markey Robinson and lots of other well known Irish artists.  Here is a small selection (click on any image to enlarge it):

    UPDATE:  Around 65 per cent of lots at this auction found buyers in a sale that brought in 75,000.

    A work by Robert Taylor Carson estimated at 2,000-4,000. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 2,600.

    A painting by Patrick Collins estimated at 2,000-4,000. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 2,600.

    An artwork by Thomas Ryan estimated at 1,000-1,500. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 950.