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    MAJOR BACON PAPAL SERIES WORK AT CHRISTIE’S IN NOVEMBER

    Thursday, October 16th, 2014
    Francis Bacon (1909-1992) Seated Figure (Red Cardinal)

    Francis Bacon (1909-1992)
    Seated Figure (Red Cardinal) Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014.  UPDATE: IT MADE $44,965,000

    A major work by Francis Bacon based on his obsession with the Velazquez Portrait of Pope Innocent X will highlight Christie’s  evening sale of Post War and Contemporary art in New York on November 12.  Seated Figure (Red Cardinal) is an exceptional example of Bacon’s painterly practice and a rare outing at auction for a major painting from his Papal Series. Painted in 1960 it is estimated at $40-60 million. All of Bacon’s pope figures stem from his obsession with the 1650 portrait of Pope Innocent X by Diego Velazquez.  He is quoted as saying that he was overwhelmed by the image and by reproductions of it.

    In this work Bacon presents the pope  as a tragic hero brought low by the external forces around him.

    In New York last November Christie’s sold Bacon’s Three Studies for Lucian Freud for $142,405,000, setting a new world record for any work of art ever sold at auction.

    UPDATE: IT MADE $44,965,000

    LOTS WITH INTERESTING PROVENANCE AT MEALY’S

    Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

    Lots with interesting provenances will come up at Mealy’s three day sale in Castlecomer on October 21, 22 and 23.   The sale offers period furniture, paintings, fine and decorative art from sources including 200 lots from the collection of the McGrath family, founders of the Irish Hospitals Sweepstake and lots from the Marquess of Ripon Collection inherited by descent. On the third day there is a thrift sale of more affordable pieces.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection to whet the appetite:

    An Irish carved gilt wood mirror in the Chinese Chippendale style (2,000-3,000).

    An Irish carved gilt wood mirror in the Chinese Chippendale style (2,000-3,000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,800 AT HAMMER

    An Edwardian satinwood Carlton House Desk (1,000-1,500).

    An Edwardian satinwood Carlton House Desk (1,000-1,500).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 900

    John Behan - A bronze study of Dan Breen (2,500-3,500)

    John Behan – A bronze study of Dan Breen (2,500-3,500)

    A white metal inlaid tortoiseshell tea caddy (800-900).

    A white metal inlaid tortoiseshell tea caddy (800-900).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 800

    A George III oval harewood and satinwood tea caddy (250-350)

    A George III oval harewood and satinwood tea caddy (250-350)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 240

    MOORE SCULPTURES FROM BACALL’S COLLECTION AT BONHAMS

    Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
    Two bronze sculptures by Henry Moore from the estate of Lauren Bacall will come up at Bonhams  Impressionist & Modern Art auction in New York on November 4. Working Model for Reclining Figure: Bone Skirt ($600,000 – 800,000) is a spectacular figure with rich dark brown patina, cast shortly after Bacall and Moore met for the first time in 1976. The work is a beautiful portrayal of the Reclining Figure, one of Moore’s iconic motifs, and a constant from the early 1920s through to his very last works. It measures 27 inches in length. Maquette for Mother and Child: Arms ($150,000 – 200,000), is eight inches in length and was cast in 1976.
    Lauren Bacall became interested in Henry Moore in California in the 1950’s when she started buying his lithographs.  She did not meet him until 1976, an encounter she described as a high point in her life. These sculptures adorned the drawing room of her home which overlooked Central Park in New York’s Dakota building.

    Henry Moore, Working Model for Reclining Figure: Bone Skirt, 1977-1979  © The Henry Moore Foundation.

    Henry Moore, Working Model for Reclining Figure: Bone Skirt, 1977-1979  UPDATE: THIS MADE $1,061,000
    © The Henry Moore Foundation.

    Henry Moore, Maquette for Mother and Child: Arms, 1976  © The Henry Moore Foundation.

    Henry Moore, Maquette for Mother and Child: Arms, 1976
    © The Henry Moore Foundation.  UPDATE: THIS MADE $281,000

    END OF IRISH AUSTERITY BUDGETS, GROUND TO BE MADE UP

    Monday, October 13th, 2014

    THE budget in the Irish Republic tomorrow is billed as the end of austerity, but there is much ground to be made up after years of financial hardship and increased taxes. This was evident to some extent at the two day Country House Collections auction by James Adam at Slane Castle which ended today.  Private buyers dominated a sale which grossed approximately  1.4 million, making it one of the most successful sales in the country this year.  However there was a degree of nervousness in the antique trade. Trade buyers were in short supply. The Maria Edgeworth table, billed as one of the top lots, remained unsold, but is under negotiation and may change hands in coming days.  Among the top lots were Yachts Racing past the Irish Lights Vessel off Dublin Bay by Samuel Walters (1811-1882), a pair of Library Globes by Newton and Son, London (1840-1841) and a marble bust of Benjamin Lee Guinness by John Henry Foley (1818-1874), each of which sold for a hammer price of 25,000.

    SAMUEL WALTERS (1811-1882) Yachts Racing Past the Irish Light Vessel off Dublin Bay

    SAMUEL WALTERS (1811-1882) Yachts Racing Past the Irish Light Vessel off Dublin Bay

    A PAIR OF ENGLISH 15-INCH LIBRARY GLOBES BY NEWTON & SON, LONDON

    A PAIR OF ENGLISH 15-INCH LIBRARY GLOBES BY NEWTON & SON, LONDON

    John Henry Foley - a portrait of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness.

    John Henry Foley – a portrait of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness.

    DE KOONING’S CLAMDIGGER AT CHRISTIE’S IN NOVEMBER

    Monday, October 13th, 2014
    Clamdigger - Willem de Kooning (1904-1997). Copyright credit the Willem de Kooning Foundation Artists Rights Society (ARS).

    Clamdigger – Willem de Kooning (1904-1997). Copyright credit the Willem de Kooning Foundation Artists Rights Society (ARS).

    The most important sculpture of the Abstract Expressionist Movement,  Willem de Kooning’s Clamdigger, will lead Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art sale in New York on November 12.  Part of de Kooning’s personal collection since it was created in 1972, Clamdigger is widely recognized alongside Giacometti’s Walking Man as a crowning achievement in expressive 20th century sculpture. de Kooning pushed the boundaries of what was possible in sculpture and launched a creative Renaissance of his art in the 1970’s. A rare male subject for an artist famous for his highly expressionistic depiction of monumental women, de Kooning kept this work for himself; several art historians assert it became a surrogate self-portrait, depicting with the most brutal honesty an artist in his sixties conscious of humanity and his mortality.  De Kooning would confront his Clamdigger every day, positioning it with pride of place by the entrance to his studio.

    The majority of the ten casts belong to major institutions and foundations around the world, including The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Glenstone Foundation in Potomac, Maryland, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Daros Foundation in Switzerland and the Centre George Pompidou in Paris. Clamdigger was also a highlight of the highly celebrated De Kooning: A Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2011.

    The sale is on behalf of the Lisa de Kooning Trust.  She was his only child and Clamdigger is being sold by his three grand daughters  to fulfil the tax obligations of their mother’s estate.  It is estimated at $25-35 million.

    ROSETTI’S MOST SENSUOUS PICTURE AT SOTHEBY’S IN DECEMBER

    Thursday, October 9th, 2014
    DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI (1828-1882) - VENUS VERTICORDIA

    DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI (1828-1882) -
    VENUS VERTICORDIA  UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £2,882,500

    Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s most sensuous picture,  a watercolour version of Venus Verticordia, comes up at Sotheby’s  in London on December 10.  The Pre-Raphaelite artist’s obsession with luscious sensuality and female allure reached its zenith in his only major nude subject, and the picture led to the breaking of Rossetti’s friendship with John Ruskin, Victorian Britain’s leading art critic. Painted in 1868, Venus Verticordia is the epitome of Pre-Raphaelite glamour, a powerful and radical image of confident female sexuality from an age when women were supposed to be reserved and demure. Ruskin had become increasingly concerned by what he perceived to be sensuousness in Rossetti’s art. His prudishness and ambivalence towards the naked female form has been well-documented and features in the film Effie Gray, which opens this week.

    Last sold at auction in 1886, the painting will be the centrepiece of Sotheby’s British & Irish Art sale, carrying an estimate of £1,000,000-1,500,000.

    MICRO-MOSAICS SELL FOR 9,800 AT FONSIE MEALY

    Thursday, October 9th, 2014
    A large Chinese bronze censer with dragon handles sold for 8,200 at hammer.

    A large Chinese bronze censer with dragon handles sold for 8,200 at hammer.

    These micro mosaics sold for 9,800.

    These micro mosaics sold for 9,800.

    An attractive pair of small 19th century micro mosaic estimated at 800-1,200 sold for 9,800 at Fonsie Mealy’s sale in Castlecomer on October 7.  A Hen and her chicks and A Duck with chick measuring just 6.5 cms together with a third micro mosaic A Parrot on a Perch a were each inscribed “Zechini” on copper back.  They attracted strong bidding.  At the same auction a large Chinese bronze censer from an Irish stately home, which had been estimated at 1,200-1800, sold for 8,200 at hammer.  The auction at Fonsie Mealy realised approximately 250,000 at hammer.

    OUTSTANDING WORKS AT CHRISTIE’S DURING FRIEZE WEEK

    Thursday, October 9th, 2014
    Signar Polke (1941-2010) - Indian with Eagle (£1.5-2 million).

    Signar Polke (1941-2010) – Indian with Eagle (£1.5-2 million).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £5,122,500

    An outstanding selection of Post-War and Contemporary Art will come up at Christie’s during Frieze Week  in London next week. The evening auction on October 16 showcases giants of German art, including Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke, Martin Kippenberger and Georg Baselitz. Highlights also include Peter Doig’s first tropical landscape painting and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s emotionally charged tribute to his mentor Andy Warhol as well as a major sculptural work by Juan Muñoz. In the spirit of Frieze Week, the evening auction also showcases a new generation of leading contemporary artists who are making their mark on the art world, such as Sterling Ruby, Adrian Ghenie, Mark Bradley, Alex Israel, Brent Wadden, Louis Eisner and Toby Ziegler.

    The sales follow the successful series at Christie’s in July – the third highest Post-War & Contemporary Art evening auction ever in Europe, and second highest Post-War & Contemporary Art day auction ever in Europe.

    Francis Outred, Christie’s Chairman of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Europe, commented: “When I first began working in the auction business in 1999, the October series was a mid-season sale with a value of around £2million and an Italian sale of around £5million. This year we’ve surpassed £100million as a low estimate for the season for the very first time.”

    CHURCHILL PAINTINGS FROM MARY SOAMES AT SOTHEBY’S

    Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

    Almost 300 lots from the estate of Mary Soames (1922-2014) – youngest daughter of Winston and Clementine Churchill – will come up at Sotheby’s in London on December 17.  Mary Soames and the legacy of Churchill will include a group of 15 paintings by her father.  These have been described by art historian David Coombs  as “a sublime group of some of the best of Churchill’s work and his most important subjects.”   The sale of almost 300 lots will cover British paintings (Modern and Victorian), decorative arts (English furniture, ceramics, silver, objects of vertue), books and manuscripts and photographs.  Estimates range from £40 to £400,000.

    Mary Soames bequeathed her personal papers to the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College Cambridge.  It was also Lady Soames’ wish that the important Winston Churchill paintings and other memorabilia she had loaned to Chartwell, her childhood home (now owned by the National Trust), and to other public venues, should stay in place and on public view. Consequently, this body of 38 paintings, described by David Coombs as “a national treasure of major historical and artistic importance”, will be offered to the nation in lieu of inheritance tax.

    Mary Spencer-Churchil served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II, manning anti-aircraft batteries in London, Belgium and Germany. She accompanied her father on several of his most important trips, including to the 1945 Potsdam Conference, where Churchill, Stalin and US President Harry Truman discussed the future of post-war Germany and Europe. Later, as wife of Christopher Soames (prominent Conservative politician who served as minister under Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home and Margaret Thatcher) , she found herself first in Paris, lobbying hard for British membership of the EC. Soon after she was in in Rhodesia, addressing guerrillas prior to the handover of power to Mugabe and his associates in 1980. Sotheby’s sale in London in December will include many of the personal possessions that Mary Soames lived with in her home in Holland Park.

    Sir Winston Spencer Churchill The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell, 1932 Oil on canvas, 25 by 30in. est. £400,000-600,000 Copyright © Churchill Heritage Ltd

    Sir Winston Spencer Churchill
    The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell, 1932
    Oil on canvas, 25 by 30in.
    est. £400,000-600,000
    Copyright © Churchill Heritage Ltd UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £1,762,500

    Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, The Weald of Kent under snow, circa 1935 Oil on canvas, 20 by 24in. Est. £250,000-350,000 Copyright © Churchill Heritage Ltd

    Sir Winston Spencer Churchill,
    The Weald of Kent under snow, circa 1935
    Oil on canvas, 20 by 24in.
    Est. £250,000-350,000
    Copyright © Churchill Heritage Ltd  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £626,500

    Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, Tapestries at Blenheim, circa 1930 Oil on canvas, 25 by 30in. Est. £200,000-300,000 Copyright © Churchill Heritage Ltd.

    Sir Winston Spencer Churchill,
    Tapestries at Blenheim, circa 1930
    Oil on canvas, 25 by 30in.
    Est. £200,000-300,000
    Copyright © Churchill Heritage Ltd.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £1,082,500

    VIEWING AT SLANE CASTLE FROM TOMORROW

    Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

    Viewing for the annual James Adam Country House Collections sale at Slane Castle in Co. Meath gets underway tomorrow on October 9.  The two day sale takes place on October 12 and 13.  Here are some exciting upcoming lots.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for October 3, 2014).

    A FINE LATE GEORGE II MAHOGANY SERPENTINE FRONT GENTLEMAN'S WRITING DESK, circa 1755, attributed to William Vile, (25,000-35,000)

    A FINE LATE GEORGE II MAHOGANY SERPENTINE FRONT GENTLEMAN’S WRITING DESK, circa 1755, attributed to William Vile, (25,000-35,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A FINE PAIR OF GEORGE III MAHOGANY FRAME GAINSBOROUGH ARMCHAIRS, (10,000-15,000)

    A FINE PAIR OF GEORGE III MAHOGANY FRAME GAINSBOROUGH ARMCHAIRS, (10,000-15,000)  UPDATE: THESE MADE 14,000 AT HAMMER

    AN OCTAGONAL LOO TABLE, Irish circa 1830 (10,000-15,000)

    AN OCTAGONAL LOO TABLE, Irish circa 1830 (10,000-15,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

     PAIR OF ENGLISH 15-INCH LIBRARY GLOBES BY NEWTON & SON, LONDON, THE TERRESTRIAL DATED 1841, THE CELESTIAL DATED 1840 (15,000-25,000)

    PAIR OF ENGLISH 15-INCH LIBRARY GLOBES BY NEWTON & SON, LONDON, THE TERRESTRIAL DATED 1841, THE CELESTIAL DATED 1840 (15,000-25,000)  UPDATE: THESE MADE 25,000 AT HAMMER

    AN EARLY 18TH CENTURY AUBUSSON TAPESTRY, depicting the Rape of Europa (15,000-20,000)

    AN EARLY 18TH CENTURY AUBUSSON TAPESTRY, depicting the Rape of Europa (15,000-20,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A SCOTTISH GEORGE III MAHOGANY LONG RECTANGULAR HALL TABLE in the Chinese Chippendale taste (8,000-12,000)

    A SCOTTISH GEORGE III MAHOGANY LONG RECTANGULAR HALL TABLE in the Chinese Chippendale taste (8,000-12,000)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 7,500