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    A CHALICE FOR 5,300 AT FONSIE MEALY

    Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

    An early 20th century Birmingham 15 carat gold and silver gilt chalice and paten sold for a hammer price of 5,300 at the opening day of Fonsie Mealy’s two day auction in Castlecomer today. It had been estimated at 3,500-5,000. The engraved and chased body is decorated with vines, wheat sheaves and studded with small diamonds, pearls and other semi-precious stones.  It was made circa 1901, by Hayes & Finch Ltd.  A large suite of three Victorian glazed bookcases made 3,800 at hammer and a modern Irish silver model of the dome of the Four Courts in Dublin sold for  2,300.

    All 19 lots Tribal Art sold at hammer prices of from 40 to 1,800.  The top lot at 1,800 was a large 20th century fertility of fetish figure, possibly Nigerian.  Standing 58″ high it was from a private Irish collection and had been estimated at 700-1,000.

    A 20th century Birmingham chalice and paten sold for 5,300 at hammer.

    This large 20th century African fetish or fertility figure sold for 1,800.

     

    THE COLLECTION OF HUBERT DE GIVENCHY 100% SOLD

    Monday, March 6th, 2017

    Diego Giaconette (1902-1985) – Table aux deux oiseau et coupelle vers 1978 sold for 962,500

    The Giacomettis of Hubert de Givenchy auction at Christie’s in Paris today achieved a total of 32,748,500 with 100% of the lots sold above their pre-sale estimate. The top price of the evening was Diego Giacometti’s octogonal table aux caryatides et atlantes, executed circa 1980 which made 4,162,500 (estimate: €600,000-800,000) establishing a new auction record for the artist.

    Active international biddings demonstrated the continued demand for exceptional pieces with prestigious provenance. Hubert de Givenchy’s long collaboration and friendship with Diego Giacometti started in the 1960’s when Givenchy met him for the first time thanks to Gustav Zumsteg, the director of the fabric company Abraham.

    SCARFE AT SOTHEBY’S IN APRIL

    Monday, March 6th, 2017

    Over 130 drawings by the foremost caricaturist and cartoonist of our age, Gerald Scarfe (b. 1936), come up at Sotheby’s in London on April 5.  One highlight is a drawing of Winston Churchill showing his final appearance in the House of Commons in 1964. Scarfe had been commissioned by The Times to record the occasion, but his image was deemed too controversial to publish. In the artist’s own words ‘…The Times refused to print my drawing, saying that Churchill’s wife, Clementine, would be upset when the paper dropped through the letter-box in the morning.’ Less than six months later Churchill was dead, and the image appeared on Private Eye’s cover. Until recently, the drawing has been on exhibition at Portcullis House, House of Commons.

    Continuing a tradition of uncompromising satire dating back to Hogarth and Gillray, Scarfe has pushed the boundaries of caricature for more than five decades, delivering provocative portraits of the foremost politicians and statesmen of our age, from Winston Churchill to Theresa May. Together, they tell the history of over half a century of political intrigue and seismic change. Scarfe’s no-holds-barred approach in his contributions for Private Eye and The New Yorker, and as The Sunday Times’ political cartoonist for more than 50 years, has secured him a place on the list of the most 40 important newspaper journalists of the modern era. While many of the drawings included in the auction have been published, a number of works included in the sale are unseen, revealing the most private views of the artist.

    Gerald Scarfe – “Churchill in the House of Commons”.

    Gerald Scarfe – “Kneel you snivelling bastard”

    MUCH TO TEMPT IRISH COLLECTORS IN KILKENNY AND LAOIS

    Saturday, March 4th, 2017
    Sales in Durrow, Co. Laois and Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny next week offer much to tempt Irish collectors. There is fine furniture, art and collectibles rarities at clashing two day sales by Sheppards and Fonsie Mealy which both take place on March 7 and 8.
    In Co. Laois part contents of Milltown Park, Co. Offaly and the former contents of the Dower House at Emo Court will come up at Sheppards. In Co. Kilkenny Fonsie Mealy has a number of lots once in the collection of Ballynahinch Castle in Co. Galway.
    Certain to cause considerable interest at Sheppards is a selection of GAA All Ireland hurling and football programmes from the 1940’s, ’50’s and early 60’s.  Among them is the official programme for the 1946 All Ireland senior hurling final at Croke Park at which Cork defeated Kilkenny on a score of 7-5 to 3-8.  Estimates are in the 50-300 range.
    Something that does not crop up too often is a Regency surtout de table, or long mirrored table centrepiece.  Sheppards estimate theirs at 20,000-40,000. A large Irish side table by Mack Williams and Gibton and a roll top desk by Francois LInke are each estimated at 15,000-25,000. A c1710 Irish gilt wood console table with grey marble top is estimated at 10,000-15,000.

    The desirable collectibles at Fonsie Mealy include a set of six Cork silhouettes by Stephen O’Driscoll (1,200-1,800) who produced  portraits and caricatures of the inhabitants of Cork in Victorian times. Some of his work is in the Franks Collection in the British Museum. A silver table spoon with trifid terminal probably made in Galway is estimated at 3,000-4,000 and there is some Tribal art from Africa. Both sales offer a selection of art and quality antique furniture at a time when the market for furniture in particular remains depressed.  Viewing in Durrow is from 10 am to 5 pm from today until Monday.  There is viewing at Fonsie Mealy from noon to 5 pm tomorrow and from 10 am to 5.30 pm on Monday. Catalogues for both auctions are online.

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for February 26 and February 24, 2017).

    One of six silhouettes by Stephen O’Driscoll at Fonsie Mealy’s sale in Castlecomer (1,200-1,800).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 850 AT HAMMER

    The 1946 All Ireland senior hurling championship official programme at Sheppards (150-250)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 240

    JAPANESE SURIMONO PRINTS AT CHESTER BEATTY LIBRARY

    Friday, March 3rd, 2017
    AN exhibition of Japanese Surimono prints at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin marks the 60th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan.  The word surimono means  ‘printed thing’. These privately-published prints, products of the flourishing literary culture of Edo Japan, were prepared as gifts for friends and acquaintances at New Year and other special occasions. The surimono commissioned by poetry circles in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries combine short verses composed at poetry gatherings with designs prepared by leading artists. Taking their subjects from the scholar’s desk and the literary canons of Japan and China, surimono embody the eloquence and amity of these cultivated salons and offer a glittering glimpse into a world rich in playful allusion. Sir Alfred Chester Beatty amassed a collection considered one of the finest in the world.  The exhibition runs until August 27, 2017.  Here is a small selection:

    Pekinese dog with decorative ball.
    Totoya Hokkei. Japan, 1826 © Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin

    Series for the Hanazono Group: It is good to dress in new clothes.
    Totoya Hokkei. Japan, c. 1824 © Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin

    Masazumi, Hakaze and Ab? visiting Rokujuen
    Yashima Gakutei
    Woodblock print
    Japan, c. 1819 © Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin

    Courtesan preparing to inscribe a poem slip
    Keisai Eisen
    Woodblock print
    Japan, early 1820’s © Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin

    CONTEMPORARY INK ART AT SOTHEBY’S HONG KONG

    Friday, March 3rd, 2017

    A rare group of paintings by Liu Dan  will lead Sotheby’s Contemporary Ink Art sale in Hong Kong on April 4.  Works by the artist in the sale span four decades from 1979 to 2013.  Liu, who was born in 1953, has produced an exhilarating legacy of physical grandeur, spiritual immensity and lyrical power.

    With more than 70 lots on offer the sale will focus on significant moments and artistic milestones for pioneers of contemporary ink art working around the world.  These range from experimental calligraphy works by Bokujinkai leaders in 1950’s Japan, to landscapes by early masters such as Lui Shoukwan and Liu Guosong, to a subsequent generation of artists including Li Jin, Xu Lei, Qiu Deshu and Peng Jian.

    Katherine Don, Head of Contemporary Ink Art, Sotheby’s Hong Kong, said: “In a time when collectors are exceptionally discerning of quality and value in acquiring art, we see growing market interest in time-tested pieces with established track records and artistic significance. This season, collectors will find museum-quality works by thought leaders in the ink art genre, who are not only guardians of cultural heritage, but also innovators who create fresh works that respond to globally-relevant issues of our time. We hope our meticulously curated sale this April will provide connoisseurs and ink art lovers a glimpse into a dynamic world of conceptually engaging, technically awe-inspiring and art-historically relevant contemporary art.”

    Liu Dan (b.1953), Airy Mountains, Rushy Glens after Li Tang, 2004 (US$520,000 – 775,000)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR US$600,208

    OSBORNE WORK SELLS WELL AT BONHAMS

    Friday, March 3rd, 2017

    There was what Charles O’Brien of Bonhams described as “a good price for a non Irish subject” when a work by Walter Osborne sold for £125,000 at the London sale of 19th century European, Victorian and British Impressionist art in London. “When the Boats come in” was painted in the period from 1884 to 1891 when Osborne lived in England.  O’Brien said the world had attracted considerable commented.

    A portrait of Newry born Charles Russell, Baron Russell of Killowen by John Singer Sargent, also sold for £125,000. A close associate of Gladstone and a supporter of Home Rule he was the first catholic to become Lord Chief Justice of England.  Bonhams sale realised £1.4 million with 70% of works on offer finding buyers.  Charles O’Brien commented: “We were delighted with the overall sale results, proving that although selective, the 19th century and traditional market is still strong”.

    WALTER FREDERICK OSBORNE – WHEN THE BOATS COME IN  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £125,000

    Charles Russell, Baron Russell of Killowen by John Singer Sargent.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 125,000

    ART AND ANTIQUE FURNITURE AT HEGARTY’S, BANDON

    Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

    Art and furniture will come under the hammer at Hegarty’s sale in Bandon, Co. Cork on March 5.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    A 19th century inlaid bureau bookcase  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,700

    Mark O’Neill – Still Life UPDATE: UNDERSOLD AND UNDER OFFER

    A Killarney wood box with inlaid harp  UPDATE: THIS MADE 850

    John Francis Skelton – Lights, edge of Beara Peninsula  UPDATE: THIS MADE 900

    THIRD HIGHEST PRICE FOR A WORK FOR ART SOLD IN EUROPE

    Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

    Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) – Bauerngarten painted in 1907

    Gustav Klimt’s Bauerngarten sold for £47.9 million at Sotheby’s in London tonight. The third highest price for any work of art ever sold at auction in Europe was achieved at a sale which scored the highest total of £195 million for any auction ever staged in London.  At the Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist art evening sales five lots sold for over £10 million.

    The Klimt was a record for a landscape by the artist. Four bidders competed for the luminous flower garden. Bauerngarten was painted in 1907 during the golden period of Klimt’s career.

    It was a highlight of the critically acclaimed ‘Painting the Modern Garden’ exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London last year and at at auction for the first time in over two decades.

    Picasso’s Plante de Tomates, painted just days before the liberation of Paris in 1944, sold for £17 million. This is a record for a still life by the artist. The total achieved for eight works by Picasso over the course of the evening was £54.7 million. Two other works by Picasso exceeded £10 million – Femme nu assise (£13.6 million) and  Femme assise dans un fauteuil sur fond blanc (£12 million).  Modigliani’s Portrait of Baranowski made £16 million and a Tahiti painting by Gauguin sold for £8.3 million.

    Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department & Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said:
    Tonight’s outstanding result is a new benchmark for London sales as much as it is a statement on the momentum of the global art market in 2017. The success of tonight’s sale lies in reading the market to know what buyers are looking for, and Sotheby’s having been entrusted by our clients with extraordinary works. This, combined with the pent up market demand for works of such extraordinary calibre, propelled global buying in our saleroom – particularly from Asia –  and it was wonderful to experience on the rostrum.”

    Amedeo Modigliani
    PORTRAIT DE BARANOWSKI sold for £16 million

    Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – Vier Akte under Baumen (Four nudes under trees) sold for £5.4 million.

    Paul Gauguin – Te Arii Vahine sold for £8.3 million

    FLYING START TO 20TH CENTURY SALES AT CHRISTIE’S

    Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

    René Magritte – La corde sensible

    A combined total of £136,874,598 was realised at the Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale and Art of the Surreal  which launched 20th Century at Christie’s in London last night. The top lot was Paul Gauguin’s Te Fare (La maison) which made £20,325,000. René Magritte’s La corde sensible set a new world record at auction for the artist of £14,441,348. The evening saw an electric start with lively bidding for Portrait de Lluis Alemany, a work dating from the very beginning of Picasso’s career (£773,000), and continued with Berthe Morisot’s Femme en noir or Avant le théâtre which achieved £2,045,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £600,000-800,000 and Femme et enfant au balcon also by Morisot, which more than doubled its high estimate to realise £4,085,000.

    The nine further works from the personal collection of Barbara Lambrecht, including paintings by Kees van Dongen, Raoul Dufy, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Félix Vallotton, each sold above estimate with the group totalling £15,945,000 to date. All proceeds are to benefit the Rubens Prize Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen.  There was sell through rates of 92% by lot and 96% by value and registered bidders from 39 countries across five continents demonstrate continued global interest from buyers with notable bidding from Asia.