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  • Archive for October, 2018

    CRAWFORD ACQUIRES FAMINE PAINTING BY MACDONALD

    Sunday, October 21st, 2018

    Daniel MacDonald (1820-1853). “The Village Funeral – An Irish Family by a Graveside during the Great Famine”

    The latest acquisition at the Crawford Gallery is a famine work by Cork artist Daniel MacDonald (1820-1853).  “The Village Funeral – An Irish Family by a Graveside during the Great Famine” is a scene of rural Irish mourning.  Daniel MacDonald is practically unique in his depictions of rural life and customs in Ireland in the 1840’s and ’50’s. Other paintings by MacDonald in the Crawford collection include Bowling Match at Castlemary, Cloyne (1842),  A Country Dance or The Wedding Dance (1848), Eviction Scene (c1850) and his 1845 portrait of General Sir Rowland Smyth KCB (1845).

    Rose McHugh, chairman of the Crawford Gallery board of directors said the acquisition demonstrated “a real commitment” to building the collection and ensuring works of national and international significance can be exhibited together in Cork.  The government plans to invest 22 million in the gallery in the coming decade as part of Project Ireland 2040.

    WOODEN CHEST FROM FIRST STEAMSHIP CROSSING OF THE ATLANTIC

    Saturday, October 20th, 2018

    The iron bound wooden seaman’s chest. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 210

    A possible memento of the first crossing  of the Atlantic by steamship comes up at Hegarty’s sale in Bandon tomorrow afternoon. Lot 184 is an iron bound wooden coffer or seaman’s chest with rope handles believed to have been on The Sirius which  completed the first steamship crossing in New York on April 10, 1838.

    SS Sirius, built in 1837 for the London Cork route by the Saint George Steam Packet Company, was captained by Richard Roberts of Passage West, Cork.  The next year she was chartered by the British and American Steam Navigation Company for two voyages to the US. Hegarty’s sale includes contents from Simla, a 19th century house overlooking the sea in Passage West, which was home to the Roberts family for almost 100 years.

    ALBERTO AND DIEGO GIACOMETTI – MASTERS OF DESIGN AT CHRISTIE’S

    Thursday, October 18th, 2018

    Diego Giacometti, ‘En Souvenir de la Levrette Bucky’ Table. ($250,000-350,000) © Christie’s Images Limited 2018.

    A sale of 27 lots created by both Giacometti brothers will take place at Christie’s in New York on November 12 as part of their marquee 20th century week.  Lots on offer represent their crucial contribution to the field of decorative objects, lighting, and furniture.

    Highlights include an ‘Arbre Au Hibou’ table, circa 1980 ($200,000-300,000), and a ‘Grecque’ table, circa 1965 ($250,000-350,000) by Diego Giacometti.

    There is a sculpture of Giovanni Giacometti, ‘Tête du Père Ronde II’ ($300,000-500,000) and a drawing of Diego, ‘Tête’ ($30,000-50,000) both by Alberto Giacometti.

    In the Post-War and Contemporary evening sale Christie’s will be auctioning an Alberto Giacometti Cat estimated at$14-18 million

    Highlights will be on view in Paris from October 19-21 and at the Rockefeller galleries in New York from November 4-11.

    THE NIGHT WATCH TO BE RESTORED IN PUBLIC

    Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

    Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Night Watch is to be restored in public at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam beginning in July 2019.  The 1642 work will be restored in a painstaking process likely to take years, and all on public display.  The varnish on the painting has darkened over the years, dimming the original colours.  Here is a video about the the project from the Rijksmuseum.

    ARMADA TABLE SELLS FOR 360,000 AT HAMMER

    Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

    The Armada Table

    THE Armada Table of the O’Briens became the most expensive piece of Irish furniture ever sold at auction in Ireland today when it was knocked down for a hammer price of 360,000.  The 430 year old table made from wood from Spanish Armada galleons washed up on the Clare coast was the subject of competitive bidding in the room and on the internet at the James Adam Country House Collections sale at Townley Hall in Drogheda. The Armada Table is described by The Knight of Glin in Irish Furniture (Yale, 2007) as one of the most important and earliest pieces of Irish furniture.

    In autumn 1588 as many as 27 ships of the Spanish Armada were lost off the Irish coast, two off the west Clare coast. Boethius Clancy, High Sheriff of Clare had the table made and later gifted it to the O’Briens of Lemenagh, Co. Clare. It has been owned by them ever since, passing by descent through the O’Brien Clan to the current Lord Inchiquin, 18th Baron. The table was relocated from Lemenagh Castle to Dromoland Castle after 1660, remaining there until 1962 when it was removed to Bunratty Castle. Lord Inchiquin made the decision to sell the table with regret.  It had been estimated by Adams at 100,000-200,000.  The table was bought by a private buyer and will be remaining in Ireland.

    There were exceptional prices achieved at the sale. An Irish George III mahogany breakfront bookcase with a top estimate of 20,000 made a hammer price of 75,000.  An Irish George II side table made 37,500 and a George III dining table sold for 26,000.

    The gross total for the sale was 2.15 million.

    MUSEUM QUALITY IZNIK CHARGER AT SOTHEBY’S SALE

    Monday, October 15th, 2018

    The Iznik charger.

    A c1480 museum quality Iznik charger will lead the Arts of the Islamic World auction at Sotheby’s in London on October 24. One of the most important pieces of Iznik pottery remaining in private hands, the large intact dish, or charger, represents a significant discovery in the field of Ottoman art.

    It belongs to the earliest group of Iznik – produced at the very advent of the art form during the reign of Mehmet II (‘the Conqueror’) – the finest examples of which are almost all held in museum collections across the globe. This small, and exceptionally rare, group of Iznik pottery is characterised by an intense, inky, blue-black colouring, which reflects the embryonic stage of firing control – roughly two decades before a brighter cobalt blue was accomplished.

    Among the other highlights of the sale are Persian and Indian paintings, an exceptional costume album for Ottoman Turkey in the 19th century, two rare ninth century works on astronomy in one volume and a Company School portrait of a large white heron.

    REPUBLICAN SILVER CUP AT TOWNLEY SALE

    Sunday, October 14th, 2018
    Not least of the remarkable selection of lots at the Country House Collections sale of 730 lots by James Adam at Townley Hall near Drogheda on October 16 is a Republican silver two handled cup made by Egans of Cork at the height of the Civil War in 1922.
    Republican silver is prized by collectors. Only about 80 objects were made by the renowned Cork silversmiths in the period to September 1922 when war conditions made it impossible to send silver to the Assay Office in Dublin. The Dublin writer and surgeon Oliver St. John Gogarty suggested a special hallmark to distinguish this particular period. So Egan’s made a punch based on the Arms of Cork showing a ship between two castles with two masts instead of three.  The punch was destroyed when normal conditions resumed. The loving cup is estimated 10,000-15,000.
    The highlight of the auction is the Armada table made from wood salvaged more than 400 years ago. As many as 27 Spanish ships were lost off the Irish coast in 1588.  The catalogue cover is a 1760’s uniformed portrait of Capt. Edward O’Brien of Dromoland Castle by Robert Hunter (1715-1780).  The estimate is 30,000-40,000.  Two other lots of note from Dromoland are a set of Giant Irish Deer antlers and skull (30,000-50,000) and an iron bound 15th/16th century muniments chest (used for storing documents) at 8,000-12,000. A collection of nearly 50 lots of old Irish glass formed by Mrs. Noel Guinness of the banking family in the early part of the last century is highlighted by a late 18th century Waterford or  Cork fruit bowl (1,500-2,500).  There are decanters, preserve jars, serving dishes, milk jugs with estimates from 100 upwards.

    An exceptional irish George II mahogany drop leaf table is estimated at 30,000-50,000, as is a pair of Irish George I walnut console tables. Among many other furniture lots of note are an Irish George II side table, a Louis Seize style ormolu and marquetry commode, a pair of Georgian style giltwood pier tables and mirrors in the manner of William Kent and a George IV pedestal sideboard.

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for September 15 and October 11, 2018)

    Republican silver loving cup UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    18th century Waterford or Cork fruit bowl. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,400 AT HAMMER

    JOSEPH WALSH TABLE AT SOTHEBY’S DESIGN SALE

    Saturday, October 13th, 2018

    Enignum X table  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £316,000

    The Enignum X table, a unique piece by the Co. Cork designer Joseph Walsh, comes up at Sotheby’s design sale in London on October 17 with an estimate of £80,000-120,000.  In a note on the catalogue the world renowned mid career furniture maker explains: “The unique aspect of Enignum X is the sweeping curvature of this table top shape, this is unique within the series and the creating of the shape had an immediate consequence in the free form composition beneath.  This is evident for instance where the two legs meet the ground and wrap past each other, supported by a wishbone bracket jointed in and carved seamlessly into the composition. At the time I had some beautiful burr Ash, large planks, from a very old tree. So we had a wonderful selection for the table top. Each slab as selected, nested into the next plank and finding the appropriate joint line between to link and connect the slabs.”

    The first Enignum table was realised in 2009 and it took another year to realise the next one.  Dating to 2013 Enignum X is representative of the exploratory moment when he was thinking of developing the Magnus, Luminoria and Lilium series.  It was, Walsh recalled, a great period at the workshop.  Keisuke Kawai from Japan had joined in 2008 and followed the development of the Enignum series. French maker Remi Behr had been with us in 2006 for training and returned at the end of 2010.  Sotheby’s annual design sale will feature the very best in Post War and Contemporary design.

    A NEW BANKSY EMERGES FROM THE SHREDDER

    Thursday, October 11th, 2018

    Banksy – Love is in the Bin 2018

    Just when you thought it was safe to come out of the shredder the sale of Banksy’s Girl with Balloon was confirmed by Sotheby’s with the new title Love is in the Bin.

    “Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one. Following his surprise intervention on the night, we are pleased to confirm the sale of the artist’s newly-titled Love is in the Bin, the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art, Europe.

    The buyer, a female European collector, commented:  “When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realise that I would end up with my own piece of art history”.  She has confirmed her decision to acquire the new work at the same price of £860,000 at hammer and a final sale price of £1,042,000 with Sotheby’s commission.

    Banksy has a history with pranking art establishments, having previously pulled stunts in the Louvre, Tate Britain, the British Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum.

    (See post and video on antiquesandartireland.com for October 7, 2018)

    COUNTRY HOUSE COLLECTIONS SALE AT TOWNLEY HALL

    Thursday, October 11th, 2018

    The annual James Adam Country House Collection sale at Townley Hall near Drogheda features 730 highly collectible lots with items from Dromoland headed by the Armada Table estimated at 100,000-200,000. There is antique Irish furniture, art, silver, glass and a variety of collectibles,  The catalogue is online and viewing gets underway on October 13. Here is a small selection:

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for September 15, 2018)

    THE DROMOLAND CASTLE MEGALOCEROS GIGANTEUS. Giant Irish Deer antlers and skull, c. 12,000 – 8,000 BC (30,000-50,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 47,000 AT HAMMER

    A 19TH CENTURY CARVED GILTWOOD PIER MIRROR (4,000-6,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A FINE GOTHIC REVIVAL MAHOGANY SIDE TABLE (8,000-12,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 12,000 AT HAMMER

    AN IRISH GEORGE III MAHOGANY BRASS BOUND TURF BUCKET (3,000-5,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER

    A 19TH CENTURY GOTHIC REVIVAL STONE WELL-HEAD (5,000-7,000)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 10,000