Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Saturday, August 5th, 2017
    A study by artist Gareth Reid for his portrait of Graham Norton now on display at the National Gallery of Ireland comes up as Lot 4 in Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish art online auction which runs until next Tuesday at 6.30 pm.  The Belfast artist – winner of the Sky Arts portrait artist of the year 2017 –  was commissioned by the programme to paint the portrait.  Afterwards he and Norton discovered that their great grandparents were siblings.  The chalk on canvas study resembles the portrait in the National Gallery and is estimated at 1,500-2,500.

    Morgan O’Driscoll’s sale, on view in Skibbereen throughout this Bank Holiday weekend, features work by Basil Blackshaw, George Campbell, Gladys McCabe, Mark O’Neill, Brian Maguire,Kenneth Webb, Charles Tyrrell, Peter Curling, John Kingerlee,  Peter Blake and photographer John Minihan among 189 lots.  The catalogue is online.

    Gareth Reid – Study for a portrait of Graham Norton (2017)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER

    Gladys McCabe – Church Goers, Kerry  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, August 5th, 2017
    With work from artists as diverse as Sean Keating and John Shinnors, sculpture by John Behan as well antique furniture, collectibles and fashion, Dolan’s main summer sale at Balyconneely village in Connemara on Bank Holiday Monday and on Tuesday, is of interest to a wide range of collectors.
    Viewing is now underway for this auction of 550 lots to be spread over two days.   Along with Keating and Shinnors there is art by George Russell, Donald Teskey, Charles Harrper, Patrick Hennessy, Sir William Orpen, Mark O’Neill, Cecil Maguire and Norah McGuinness.
    Among the more contemporary art are paintings by Sean McSweeney, Henry Morgan and Carina Scott.  The sale includes work by Kenneth Webb, who is 90 this year and whose view of The Fish Market, Roundstone, was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s sale last week. It made 15,000 at hammer.  There is work by Arthur Maderson, George Campbell, Gerard Dillon, Arthur Armstrong and Robert Egginton.
    Lot 112, The 12 Bens from Inishnee, is by Sian Maguire whose work art features alongside that of her father Cecil. There is a collection of Connemara paintings by Rosemary Carr and a flower study by Philippe Grisel (1930-1998).

    A long case clock with brass dial and a French tortoiseshell and pewter mantle clock will be included as well as some 19th century Irish silver. Outdoor pieces include a pair of garden lions, a griffin, a pair of ornamental cannon and a ships anchor.  There are designer handbags by Chanel, Cartier, Fendi and Dior and a Rolex watch in its original case. Here is a small selection:

    A 19th century inlaid French mantle clock

    Na Fir on Oilean by Sean Keating (1889-1977)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 17,000

    Child in interior by John Shinnors UPDATE: THIS MADE 21,500


    Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

    With work by Basil Blackshaw, George Campbell, Peter Blake and Mark O’Neill the current sale of Irish art online at Morgan O’Driscoll runs until Tuesday, August 8.   There are 189 lots on offer, including 15 pieces of sculpture.   The sale is on view throughout the August Bank Holiday weekend at Morgan O’Driscoll’s headquarters in Skibbereen in scenic west Cork.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    Mark O’Neill (b.1963)
    Vintage Red (2,000-3,0000  UPDATE: THIS AMDE 1,800 AT HAMMER

    Peter Blake (b.1932) British
    Paul Weller’s Stanley Road (2003)
    limited edition silkscreen print, numbered 65 from an edition of 250 with 20 AP
    signed by both Peter Blake & Paul Weller (4,000-5,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,800 AT HAMMER

    John Minihan (b.1946)
    Lady Diana Spencer, photographed with children at London Kindergarten, September 1980
    silver gelatin print no 7 from an edition of 25 (1,000-1,500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,000 AT HAMMER

    Basil Blackshaw HRHA RUA (1932-2016)
    The Grey Van (2,000-4,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,000 AT HAMMER

    George Campbell RHA (1917-1979)
    Azcelt Vertical Complex (4,000-6,000) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Friday, July 28th, 2017

    Unusual antique composition group with Daniel O’Connell  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,500 AT HAMMER

    An unusual composition group of Daniel O’Connell meeting a group of catholics clad in local costume is the catalogue cover lot for for Mealy’s mid-summer sale in Castlecomer on July 31 at 11 am.  On an oval base under a glass dome it is estimated at 500-800.

    Among the other collectible items on offer is a scale painted wooden model of the Titanic in red, white and black (500-550) and a heavy copper and brass mounted divers helmet on a wooden base (380-450).

    A set of French Art Deco dining chairs is estimated at 3,000-5,000 and an Art Deco macassar ebony dining table with two extension leaves has an estimate of 8,000-15,000.

    Viewing gets underway in Castlecomer today for this one day auction of over 600 lots. It will include fine and decorative art, antique furniture, garden furniture and interiors from a variety of private estates and collections.  The catalogue is online.


    Thursday, July 27th, 2017

    The Crouching Venus

    A painting by Kenneth Webb was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s summer art sale in Castlecomer this year.  The Fish Market at Roundstone sold for a hammer price of 15,000. A set of four stained glass panels of saints from The Earley Studios in Dublin sold for 11,000 at hammer. A 17th century Italian School of Moses Striking the Rock attributed to Bernardo Cavilling made 10,500 at hammer and The Crouching Venus, a white marble Italian School c1800 sculpture originally at Powerscourt sold for 8,000 at hammer.

    Other top hammer prices included a pair of Irish duelling pistols (8,000), a 12 bore Purdey shotgun (5,600), a stained glass panel of St. Patrick (5,500), an oval enamel plaque portrait by J. Sadler, Liverpool (5,200), two Carrara marble statues of The Blessed Virgin and The Sacred Heart (5,000) and an Irish George III period bookcase (5,000).

    (See posts on for July 25 and July 22,  2017)


    Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

    Beyond Boundaries: Avant-Garde Masterworks from a European Collection will come up at Christie’s during the second half of 2017 in New York, Geneva, and Paris. The collection is expected to achieve around $30,000,000 and comprises around 180 works from five categories: Impressionist and Modern Art, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Magnificent Jewels, African Art and Design. The Modern and Post-War works of art were assembled with the guidance of renowned advisor Alain Tarica, who also advised Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé as well as Hubertus and Renate Wald for their collections.  This collection is led by Wassily Kandinsky’s Improvisation mit Pferden (Studie für Improvisation 20) which is estimated between $10,000,000 and 15,000,000, and executed in 1911, the year Kandinsky realised the first abstract painting in history.

    Guillaume Cerutti, CEO of Christie’s said: “This collection is without doubt one of the greatest moments of the autumn season. Not only because this group of around 180 works, comprising design, modern art, jewellery and some African sculptures is of the highest quality and refinement, but also because this collection has a soul, a unique spirit. It is obvious that every object has been chosen with passion and with an extraordinary liberty by this couple of collectors. The result is a beautiful testimony for dialogue between arts and styles”.

    The images above displays, from left to right,  Wassily Kandinsky – Improvisation mit Pferden; Yves Klein – Monogold: Hemba Figure – Democratic Republic of Congo and Marc Newsom – Pod of Drawers.


    Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

    A cased pair of early 19th century Irish flintlock duelling pistols by McDermot, Dublin sold for 8,000 at the opening day of Fonsie Mealy’s two day sale in Castlecomer today. A late 18th century Irish George III flintlock blunderbuss by Rigby, Dublin sold for 2,100 at hammer and a similar vintage blunderbuss by G. Pepper, Dublin made 1,600.

    A large oval enamel plaque portrait of Frederick III, King of Prussia estimated at 150-200 sold for a hammer price of 5,200. It was from the collection of Senator George Sigerson from his dispersal sale by Battersby and Co. in July 1925 and thence by descent through the Humphries family.  The sale continues tomorrow.

    A cased pair of Irish flintlock duelling pistols by McDermot, Dublin

    J. Sadler – Liverpool, enamel portrait of Frederick III, King of Prussia


    Saturday, July 22nd, 2017
    Historic stained glass from the Convent of Mercy in Castletownbere,  Ernest Bewley’s desk and a white marble crouching Venus once at Powerscourt House are among the lots to tempt collectors at Fonsie Mealy’s two day sale in Castlecomer on July 25 and 26.
    The prime piece from among eight stained glass panels is entitled St. Patrick Our National Apostle.  Estimated at 4,000-6,000 it depicts King Loegaire, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, King of Pagans and Barbarians, being baptised and received into the catholic church. It was made  by Earley and Company (1861-1975), one of the largest ecclesiastical  decorators in Ireland and the UK.  The rest of the eight  panels depict various saints, Our Lady and the Sacred Heart with estimates from 700 to 6,000.
    Lot 550 is a late 19th century Chinese export wooden desk owned and used by Ernest Bewley, founder of the eponymous oriental cafes. It is estimated at 2,000-3,000.  The catalogue cover lot is an Italian crouching Venus which was in the Great Salon at Powerscourt in the 1800’s.  Powerscourt and most of its contents were destroyed by fire in 1974. It is estimated at 7,000-9,000.

    The auction will feature a collection of more than 70 lots of militaria built up over the past 40 years. Among these is a pair of Irish flintlock duelling pistols by McDermot (Dublin) estimated at 5,000-7,000.  There is a selection of Georgian and Victorian furniture form Kevin Castle in Co. Cavan. Lot 183, Lord Nelson’s shoe buckle was formerly in the Bridgeport collection and the vendor believes it to have been originally held by Nelson’s brother William.  Art includes a group of five original watercolours relating to the 1798 rebellion by  Arthur David McCormick for a London book marking the centenary of the rebellion in 1898.  This is estimated at 4,500-5,500. A depiction of The Fish Market at Roundstone by Kenneth Webb is estimated at 10,000-15,000. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    St. Patrick, Our National Apostle from the Mercy Convent, Castletownbere  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,500 AT HAMMER

    Chinese export desk owned by Ernest Bewley  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    The Fish Market at Roundstone by Kenneth Webb UPDATE: THIS MADE 15,000 AT HAMMER


    Friday, July 21st, 2017

    George Frederic Watts(1817-1904) – Orpheus and Eurydice

    One of the greatest compositions by George Frederic Watts, ‘England’s Michelangelo’ sold for £320,750 at Sotheby’s sale of Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite and British Impressionist art in London.  Orpheus and Eurydice remained in Watts’ possession until his death in 1904 when it was inherited by his adopted daughter Lilian. The romantic subject matter may have been inspired by the emotions Watts was experiencing following the breakdown of his first marriage to the young actress Ellen Terry, resulting in their separation after only eleven months.  

    Simon Toll, Sotheby’s Victorian Art Specialist, said: “Orpheus and Eurydice encapsulates everything that made Watts’ art so visionary and revolutionary in the 1860s – powerful drama, a sensual and expressive use of paint and rich colour and reverence for the work of the Italian Old Masters. This hauntingly beautiful vision of lost love is among a handful of his best-known pictures and the most important example of his art to be seen at auction in the last decade and a half. It is fitting that a picture of two lovers emerging from the shadows should itself re-emerge into public view in the year that marks the two-hundred year anniversary of the artist’s birth.”


    Sunday, July 16th, 2017

    Samuel Frederick Brocas (Dublin 1792-1847)
    The General Post Office and Nelson’s Pillar, Sackville Street, with the Dublin Lying-in Hospital beyond

    There was a new auction record for Irish artist Samuel Frederick Brocas at Christie’s classic week sales. A pen and ink and watercolour of the GPO and Nelson’s Pillar, Sackville Street, with the Dublin Lying-in hospital beyond sold for £20,000.

    The General Post Office on Sackville Street, modern day O’Connell Street, is perhaps the most iconic of Dublin’s buildings, serving as the headquarters of the Irish Republicans during the Easter Rising of 1916. The adjacent Nelson’s Pillar survived the Rising but was destroyed by Republicans in 1966. The rotunda of the Dublin Lying-in Hospital, today the Rotunda Gate Theatre, is visible, as is the spire of the St George’s church.