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    A SKELETON CLOCK AT MEALY’S IN CASTLECOMER

    Monday, March 21st, 2016
    A skeleton clock, pewter, an early depiction of Waterford city and a set of 17 mahogany dining chairs from Cork Chamber of Commerce will all feature at Mealy’s Spring Fine Art sale in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny on March 22 and 23.  The auction includes one of Ireland’s largest private collections of clocks and timepieces and the pewter collection of the late Geoffrey O’Connor of Co. Kerry. The catalogue cover is a 19th century brass skeleton mantel clock in the form of the Sir Walter Scott monument in Edinburgh from the collection of Michael Guerin, who died in 2015. It is estimated at 700-1,000.There are unique Irish clocks including both long case and a double fusee wall clock with an intricate case carving by Chancellor and Son of Dublin as well as English, French and German clocks.

    An early watercolour View of Reginald’s Tower in Waterford by John George Mulvany (1766-1838) is certain to arouse local interest (1,200-1,800).  The pewter collection includes work by the highly collectible Austen and Son of North Main St., Cork.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for March 14, 2016)

    A skeleton clock (700-1,000).

    A skeleton clock (700-1,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,180

    An early watercolour of Waterford, A view of Reginald's Tower by John George Mulvany (1766-1838) (1,200-1,800)

    An early watercolour of Waterford, A view of Reginald’s Tower by John George Mulvany (1766-1838) (1,200-1,800)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 6,000

    A set of five Irish pewter hay stack measures by Austen and Son, North Main St., Cork (400-600).

    A set of five Irish pewter hay stack measures by Austen and Son, North Main St., Cork (400-600).

    A Killarney davenport (5,000-6,000).

    A Killarney davenport (5,000-6,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 5,400

    AN OPTIMISTIC FRANCIS BACON SELF-PORTRAIT FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY

    Thursday, March 17th, 2016
    Francis Bacon - Two Studies for a Self-Portrait (1970)

    Francis Bacon – Two Studies for a Self-Portrait (1970)

    A rare optimistic Francis Bacon self-portrait will lead Sotheby’s sale of Contemporary Art in New York on May 11. Two Studies for a Self-Portrait (1970) is at auction for the first time with an estimate of $22-30 million.  It has been in the same private collection since soon after it was painted.   While Bacon is renowned for capturing the tortured psychological depths of human existence in his portraits, the overwhelming positivity of Two Studies for a Self-Portrait renders this work almost unique in the artist’s oeuvre. Here we see an elated Francis Bacon on the cusp of his career-defining retrospective at the Grand Palais in 1971 (Bacon was only the second living artist, after Picasso, to be afforded this honour), and in the throes of his relationship with George Dyer, whose suicide a year later was to haunt Bacon (and shape his art) for decades to come.

    It was exhibited twice: at the acclaimed 1971 Grand Palais retrospective and at the Marlborough Fine Art Small Portrait Studies exhibition in London in 1993.  Its iconic status lies in the fact it was chosen to adorn the cover of Milan Kundera and France Borel’s definitive book Francis Bacon: Portraits and Self-Portraits, confirming its position at the absolute zenith of Francis Bacon’s most significant and enduring body of work. Oliver Barker of Sotheby’s is fulsome about the work:  “Two Studies for a Self-Portrait goes straight in at number one of all the paintings I’ve handled in my career. Discovering a work such as this is like finding gold dust. To my mind, the painting is worthy of a place alongside the very finest self-portraits of Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Picasso. It’s certainly among the greatest self-portraits ever offered at auction.”

    Bacon created only two other self-portraits in this dual format. One of them, Two Studies for a Self-Portrait (1977) sold at Sotheby’s in February 2015 for £14.7m ($22.4m). The year 2016 is set to be a red-letter year for Francis Bacon.  There are upcoming exhibitions at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco (sponsored by Sotheby’s), at Tate Liverpool, and at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The most significant publication on the artist for 30 years, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, edited by Martin Harrison, will be released in the next few months and is expected to reveal no fewer than 100 unseen works by the artist.

    JAPANESE ART AT CHRISTIE’S IN PARIS

    Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

    A personal collection of Japanese art reflecting the taste of four generations of experts and collectors comes up in Paris on June 21.  The Portier family, major figures of the Asian art market in France, will offer 90 lots at Hotel Drout through Beaussant Lefèvre in association with Christie’s.  Highlights include 8 exceptional Japanese stamps from the Edo period. They are mainly okubi-e (portraits of actors) by masters  Toshusai Sharaku (active between 1794 and 1795), Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), Kitagawa Kunimasa (1773-1810) and Utagawa Toyokuni (1769-1825). Each piece was acquired by Henri Portier and his son André (1886-1963), great-grandfather and grandfather to Patrick, Thierry and Emeric Portier, through various auctions held at Drouot in the 1900’s.

    With the exception of three exhibitions where some stamps were shown (Utamaro in 1976 and Sharaku, portraits d’acteurs at the Huguette Bérès Gallery, Paris and Toulouse-Lautrec and Utamaro in 1980 at the Mitsukoshi museum, Tokyo), these works have remained out of the public eye since their acquisition over a century ago.

    Kitagawa Utamaro (1753 ? -1806) Deeply Hidden Love (Fukaku shinobu koi), from the series Anthology of Poems: The Love Section (Kasen koi no bu), with pink mica ground Oban tate-e (80,000-100,000). © CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LIMITED 2016

    Kitagawa Utamaro (1753 ? -1806)
    Deeply Hidden Love (Fukaku shinobu koi), from the series Anthology of Poems: The Love Section (Kasen koi no bu), with pink mica ground
    Oban tate-e (80,000-100,000). © CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LIMITED 2016

    oshusai Sharaku (active circa 1794-1795)  The actor Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi, the wife of Ogishi Kurando, with dark grey mica ground Oban tate-e: (50,000-70,000) © CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LIMITED 2016

    Toshusai Sharaku (active circa 1794-1795)
    The actor Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi, the wife of Ogishi Kurando, with dark grey mica ground
    Oban tate-e: (50,000-70,000) © CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LIMITED 2016

    YEATS, O’CONOR, LE BROCQUY, HENRY AT JAMES ADAM

    Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

    Louis le Brocquy, Jack Butler Yeats, Roderic O’Conor, Colin Middleton, Dan O’Neill, Barrie Cooke, Patrick Collins, John Luke, Gladys MacCabe, Markey Robinson, Arthur Maderson, Harry Kernoff, Maurice Wilks, Percy French, all feature at the sale of Important Irish Art at James Adam in Dublin on March 23.  The cover lot is A Connemara Village by Paul Henry (70,000-100,000).  The catalogue, which lists 211 lots, is online.  Here is a small selection. This being Cheltenham Week we have included a couple of horse images:

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for January 8, 2016)

    Louis le Brocquy (1916-2012) Being, watercolour (10,000-15,000)

    Louis le Brocquy (1916-2012) Being, watercolour (10,000-15,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 17,000 AT HAMMER

    Man Reading by Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1947) - (60,000-90,000).

    Man Reading by Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1947) – (60,000-90,000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 92,000 AT HAMMER

    Nassau Blair Brown (1867-1940) - Charmer, Skipaway and Skipoker, a set of three from 1913 (3,000-5,000)

    Nassau Blair Brown (1867-1940) – Charmer, Skipaway and Skipoker, a set of three from 1913 (3,000-5,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,800 AT HAMMER

    Roderic O'Conor, Nu Brun Assis (8,000-12,000)

    Roderic O’Conor, Nu Brun Assis (8,000-12,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 30,000 AT HAMMER

    Liam O'Neill (b 1954) Hometurn (4,000-6,000)

    Liam O’Neill (b 1954) Hometurn (4,000-6,000)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 8,000 AT HAMMER

    LARGE BRONZE OF DANIEL O’CONNELL AT MEALY’S

    Monday, March 14th, 2016

    In the season of history and memorabilia in Ireland it is worth noting that an unusual large scale bronze of Daniel O’Connell comes up at Mealy’s sale in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny on March 22-23.  Inscribed NY and dated 1881 it is by American Denis B Sheahan (fl 1870-1900) and is estimated at 2,000-3,000.  The auction will include one of Ireland’s largest private collections of clocks and other timepieces from the estate of the late Mr Michael Guerin (1937-2015) whose lifelong passion for collecting and the careful restoration of antique clocks has led to this outstanding and varied collection of over 100 clocks & timepieces from across Ireland and Europe and the collection of the late Mr Geoffrey O’Connor of Co. Kerry, a Pewter Society member, including his pewter collection.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    Daniel O'Connell by Denis B Sheahan (2,000-3,000)

    Daniel O’Connell by Denis B Sheahan (2,000-3,000)

    An 18th century red chinoiserie lacquered long case clock by James Defontaine, London c1735 (3,000-4,000).

    An 18th century red chinoiserie lacquered long case clock by James Defontaine, London c1735 (3,000-4,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 5,600

    A pair of 12 branch crystal chandeliers (5,000-6,000)

    A pair of 12 branch crystal chandeliers (5,000-6,000)

    A c1800 Irish soup ladle by William Fitzgerald, Limerick (4,000-5,000).

    A c1800 Irish soup ladle by William Fitzgerald, Limerick (4,000-5,000).

    Eugene Pavy - Falcon Hunt (7-00-1,200).

    Eugene Pavy – Falcon Hunt (7-00-1,200).

    An Irish William IV serving table (1,500-2,500).

    An Irish William IV serving table (1,500-2,500).

    An Anglo-Indian sandalwood and ivory workbox (1,000-1,500).

    An Anglo-Indian sandalwood and ivory workbox (1,000-1,500).

    ATKINSON’S PAINTING OF QUEEN VICTORIA AT CORK HARBOUR MAKES 28,000

    Saturday, March 12th, 2016

    A painting depicting the Royal Yacht Squadron escorting Queen Victoria to Cork Harbour in 1849 sold for a hammer price of 28,000 at Woodwards auction in Cork today.  It is by the Cobh based painter George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson, and it will return to Cobh, where it is to be part of a private collection. Based in Cobh George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson responded enthusiastically to the brief visit, after the which Cove was renamed Queenstown, reverting to Cobh in the late 1920’s. He provided pictorial evidence of the visit, which is extremely rare.  Last sold for 40,000 the work had an estimate of 25,000-35,000 this time around.

    Woodwards reported a highly successful auction.  Three pencil and wash drawings by the Cork artist William Harrington, whose work is not widely known outside Cork but whose early work from the 1960’s and ’70’s is especially keenly collected locally, made hammer prices of 2,600, 2,500 and 2,500 respectively.  They included The Apple Seller, illustrated below.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for February 18, 2016).

    George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson - The Royal Yacht Squadron escorting Queen Victoria to Cork Harbour, 1849 sold for 28,000 at hammer.

    George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson – The Royal Yacht Squadron escorting Queen Victoria to Cork Harbour, 1849 sold for 28,000 at hammer.

    William Harrington - The Apple Seller sold for 2,500 at hammer.

    William Harrington – The Apple Seller sold for 2,500 at hammer.

    A MASTERPIECE BY RUBENS AT CHRISTIE’S IN JULY

    Friday, March 11th, 2016
    SIR PETER PAUL RUBENS (Seigen 1577-1640 Antwerp), Lot and his Daughters, circa 1613-1614. Courtesy CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2016

    SIR PETER PAUL RUBENS (Seigen 1577-1640 Antwerp), Lot and his Daughters, circa 1613-1614. Courtesy CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

    Sir Peter Paul Rubens’s masterpiece, Lot and his Daughters (circa 1613-1614) is to be sold by Christie’s  in London in July. An outstanding example of Rubens’s early maturity this is one of the most important paintings by the artist to have remained in private hands. It has been hidden from public view for over a century. Lot and his Daughters will be exhibited during Christie’s New York Classic Week on April 8-12 and in Hong Kong from May 26-30.  It will be the centerpiece of a curated week of sales, Classic Week, in London and will lead Christie’s Old Master & British Paintings evening dale on July 7.

    The work boasts a distinguished provenance. It was once part of the collections of wealthy Antwerp merchants; a Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands; Joseph I Holy Roman Emperor; and the Dukes of Marlborough. It was included in the first volume of The English Connoisseur from 1766 and has since been listed in all the major publications on Rubens’s work. The sale of this painting by the quintessential artist of the Northern Baroque presents a rare opportunity for both international collectors and institutions.

    “After the historic private sale of two Rembrandt Portraits* to the French and Dutch states earlier this year, Christie’s is leading the masterpiece market by offering this monumental work by the other stellar artist of the Northern School, Sir Peter Paul Rubens. The impact of this painting in the flesh is overwhelming: we look forward to seeing the reactions of those who come to view it when we exhibit it in New York, Hong Kong and London.”  said Paul Raison, Deputy Chairman, Old Master Pictures.

    UPDATE: THIS MADE £44,882,500, THE HIGHEST PRICE EVER ACHIEVED FOR AN OLD MASTER AT CHRISTIE’S

    NEWLY DISCOVERED EARLY REMBRANDT AT TEFAF

    Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
    Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (Leiden 1606-1669 Amsterdam) - Smell

    Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (Leiden 1606-1669 Amsterdam) – Smell

    Major unveilings at TEFAF Maastricht, which opens on March 11 include a newly discovered very early work by Rembrandt.  Talabardon & Gautier will present the work which was purchased at auction in 2015 catalogued as Continental School, 19th century.  Meticulous research and cleaning by the gallery revealed it to be The Unconscious Patient (Smell), c.1624-25.  The oil on panel was executed when Rembrandt was only 18 or 19 years old. In addition an example of what is believed to be one of Rembrandt’s earliest signatures was discovered during cleaning.

    TEFAF provides an unparalleled platform for dealers to unveil discoveries and re-attributions to a discerning audience of international collectors.

    The 2016 TEFAF Art Market Report issued today shows that global sales fell 7% during 2015 from $68.2bn to $63.8bn.  The volume of sales declined by 2% to 38.1 million. The picture that emerges in 2015 is of a highly polarized market, whereby most of the value within the market is shared between two sectors – Post War and Contemporary and Modern art – and is concentrated in sales at the very highest price levels.

    Although the global sales figure fell in 2015, sales in the US rose by 4% to their highest ever total of $27.3bn confirming its position as the global market leader, with a 43% share of total sales values. The UK, in second place, had a 21% share and China accounted for 19% by value.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for March 3, 2016)

    LATE 19TH CENTURY ITALIAN SCULPTURE THE TOP LOT AT FONSIE MEALY

    Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
    Cristoforo Vicari (b1848) - a carved marble sculpture of a woodland nymph.

    Cristoforo Vicari (b1848) – a carved marble sculpture of a woodland nymph.

    This soup ladle by Samuel Johns, Limerick sold for 7,600.

    This sauce ladle by Samuel Johns, Limerick sold for 7,600.

    This 19th century Italian carved marble sculpture of a woodland nymph was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s sale in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny on March 8.  By Cristoforo Vicari and mounted on a large green marble plinth it made 50,000 on the hammer.  An 18th century carved carrara marble fireplace from Wolfe Tone’s house in Dublin made 36,000, a gilt mounted Vernis Martin kingwood display cabinet made 12,ooo, a 19th century diorama in two sections of a working factory staffed by mice made 10,000, a collection of ten South African one ounce gold Krugerrands, nine from 1974 and one from 1972, sold for 9,500 and a pair of fine cast Irish George II silver candlesticks sold for 9,000.

    An 18th century sauce ladle by Samuel Johns, Limerick c1750 sold for 7,600, four Irish William IV carved armchairs made 8,500, an early 18th century Irish carved oak table made 8,000 and a three quarter length portrait of John MacNamara of Moyreisk, Co. Clare made 5,400.  A large George III style carved gilt wood over mantle originally at Clontarf Castle sold for 3,000.

    The auction realised 480,000 on the hammer.

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for March 7 and March 2, 2016).

    LUCIAN FREUD AT IRISH MUSEUM OF MODERN ART

    Tuesday, March 8th, 2016
    Reflection (Self Portrait), 1985 (oil on canvas), Freud, Lucian (1922-2011) / Private Collection / © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Image

    Reflection (Self Portrait), 1985 (oil on canvas), Freud, Lucian (1922-2011) / Private Collection / © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Image

    A landmark Lucian Freud project for Ireland was announced today by the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).   The gallery has secured a long term loan of 50 works by the world renowned artist, regarded as one of the greatest figurative painters of the 20th century.  IMMA director Sarah Glennie said: “From September 2016, the IMMA Collection: Freud Project will be presented in a new, dedicated Freud Centre in the IMMA Garden Galleries for five years. With this extraordinary resource IMMA will create a centre for Freud research with a special programme of exhibitions, education partnerships, symposia and research that will maximise this exciting opportunity on offer in Ireland.”

    The museum announced highlights of its 2016 exhibition programme today. It will include solo exhibitions by Patrick Hennessy and the Italian artist Carol Rama. Artists will take over the courtyard in the summer for a project entitled A Fair Land in collaboration with Grizedale Arts.  In the Autumn there will be an exhibition of artist Emily Jacir, whose work explores various histories of migration, resistance and exchange through the telling of very personal stories. In a new invited curators initiative Indian curator Sumesh Sharma and Irish curator Kate Strain will present projects at IMMA that reflect their individual practices and bring new curatorial perspectives into IMMA’s programme.