A great late Yeats work will highlight the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art and Irish historical documents in Dublin on December 7. Glory to the Brave Singer, which depicts a woman reclining in a landscape pointing towards a songbird, was exhibited at the RHA in 1951, at Victor Waddington’s in Dublin in October 1953 and at the Munster Fine Art Club annual exhibition in Cork in 1956. It was shown several times at Victor Waddington’s gallery in London in the late 1950’s and ’60’s but has rarely been seen in public since becoming part of a private collection in 1971. It is estimated at 250,000-350,000. It is one of four Yeats’ oils in what Adams describe as one of their finest sales in some years.
There is a small section on Irish historical documents which includes the most expensively estimated lot, the final order of surrender written by Padraig Pearse at Easter 1916 (1-1.5 million) and two original copies of the Irish Proclamation (each estimated at 250,000-350,000).
The art sale features lots from the Smurfit Kappa Collection, which includes a self portrait by Sir William Orpen (the catalogue cover lot) and Paul Henry’s Connemara Landscape. There are important works by traditional Northern painters like Frank McKelvey, James Humbert Craig and Maurice Wilks. The back cover of the catalogue features one of Roderic O’Conor’s biggest and most ambitious paintings of the female nude. Etude du nu dates to 1914 and is estimated at 50,000-70,000. The sale features work by artists like Sir John Lavery, Joseph Malachy Kavanagh, Aloysius O’Kelly and Nathaniel Hill as well as four paintings by Patrick Hennessy who was the subject of an exhibition at IMMA during the summer.
There is work by Mildred Anne Butler, Evie Hone, Mainie Jellett, Letitia and Eva Hamilton and Norah McGuinness. Contemporary artists include Tony O’Malley, Louis le Brocquy, Mark Francis, Donald Teskey and John Doherty. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:
UPDATE: The Pearse surrender letter was unsold. The sale grossed 1.35 million with 76% of lots sold.