Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Thursday, July 26th, 2018

    Yaka head-rest
    Democratic Republic of Congo ©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2018

    Treasures from The Congo such as a beautiful Yaka head rest will come up at Christie’s Paris on October 30. The 30 works from the collection formed by wealthy Belgian industrialist and art collector Adolphe Stoclet- whose interests included mines in the Belgian Congo – in the opening decades of the 20th century have passed by descent in his family and have not been on the open market. The Yaka head rest is one of the best of its kind to remain in private hands and is estimated at 300,000-500,000.  Also from the Republic of Congo is an important Luba-Shankadi stool (300,000-500,000) and a Kifwebe mask from the Songye (200,000-400,000). There are ten Congolese works of art in ivory including a Yombe statue and a Boa spoon.

    The Stoclet Palace in Brussels is considered the masterpiece of pioneering Viennese architect Josef Hoffman.  Built between 1905-1911 and considered one of the most refined and luxurious private houses of the 20th century it had a dedicated Salon Africain which contained the 30 pieces to come to auction.  This was the first residential project of the Wiener Werkstatte co-founded by Hoffman in 1903 and its interior includes mosaic friezes designed by Gustav Klimt and work by Koloman Moser and Franz Metzner. Though not open to the public the building became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.


    Thursday, July 26th, 2018

    ‘Herding the Horses’ by Patrick Hennessy

    Paintings from the collection of the late playwright Brian Friel and his wife Anne will come up at the James Adam sale of important Irish art in Dublin on September 27.  Proceeds from the 23 works will be donated to the Peter McVerry Trust which aims to reduce homelessness and the harm caused by drug abuse.  The collection is expected to generate at least 100,000 for the charity.

    Artists in the collection include Patrick Hennessy, Sean MacSweeney, Tony O’Malley, Norah McGuinness and Patrick Scott.


    Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

    PICASSO – Fillette à la corbeille fleurie from the Rockefeller collection sold for $115 million.

    Christie’s continues to lead the art market this year.  Continued global demand helped drive a 26% rise in overall sales to almost £3 billion in the first half of the year.  Auction sell through rates across all bands rose to 84%.  Auction sales increased by 20% to £2.65 billion, private sales were up 135% to £287 million and online only auction sales rose 40% to £27.7 million.

    There were 55 lots sold for over $10 million and online sales attracted the largest number of new buyers.  The Luxury group continues to draw the highest percentage of new clients at 29% and Asian clients spent 10% more in this category in 2018.  Decorative arts was the second highest entry point for new clients at 19%.

    Collections achieved strong results across the board: the celebration of the Cobra movement was 100% sold at the new venue in Amsterdam; masterpieces by Richard Diebenkorn were sold to benefit the Zucker family foundation for $46 million in New York  and the Tisch collection sold for £107 million.

    American clients accounted for 45% of spend in the first half of 2018, Asian clients for 24% and EMERI clients for 31%.  The collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller achieved the highest total for a private collection and was 100% sold.  At $835,111,344 this was the most significant charitable auction ever.

    Christie’s say the outlook for the rest of the year is good.

    Monday, July 23rd, 2018

    A Mitchell’s “Cruiskeen Lawn” 1890’s pub mirror is among the prime lots at Victor Mee’s sale of pub memorabilia and collectibles at Cloverhill, Belturbet, Co. Cavan on July 24.  From John Sweeney’s pub in Ballyshannon it is one of only three such mirrors known in Ireland.  It will be accompanied by a bottle of whisky from the same period.  John Sweeney’s collection dates, which is to be auctioned, back through his family for three generations.  His grandfather bought The Commercial Hotel in Ballyshannon in 1902.

    This original very old specially selected glass whisky dispenser sold for 8,000 at hammer.

    A bottle of Cruiskeen Lawn whiskey from the 1890’s  UPDATE: THIS MADE 6,000 AT HAMMER

    Rare 1890’s Mitchell’s “Cruiskeen Lawn” mirror  UPDATE:THIS MADE 11,500 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, July 21st, 2018

    A custom made gown worn by Raquel Welch while performing “I’m a Woman” on Cher, CBS, 1975-1976 ($3,000-5,000).

    The glamour of transatlantic liner voyages will combine with the allure of Hollywood when the Queen Mary II sails from Southampton to New York on August 19.  On board will be an exhibition of Hollywood fashion from the collection of legendary designer Bob Mackie to be sold by Julien’s Auctions next November.

    Cher, Carol Burnett, Diana Ross and Raquel Welsh are among the women he has designed for.  From his award winning wardrobe as show costume designer for the first Carol Burnett Show during its 11 year run to his longtime collaboration with Cher and her dazzling, boundary pushing wardrobe for television, concert tours and show stopping public appearances, the nine time Emmy award winning designer, three time Academy Award nominee and the Television Academy Hall of Fame inductee has spent a distinguished career of designing for women who dare to be noticed.
    His unprecedented career achievements have been honored by the fashion industry and the arts in numerous awards including: the TDF Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 for theatrical costume design; the “Charlie” (Chaplin) Award for Fashion Arts by the Hollywood Arts Council in 2008; a Design Legend Award and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Otis College of Art and Design in 2011 where Mackie has mentored students for over two decades and the Chicago History Museum with the Designer of Excellence Award in 2016.
    The 1999 retrospective titled Unmistakably Mackie at the Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology was one of the most highly attended exhibitions in New York City history.
    Today’s biggest stars and celebrities continue to be dressed by Mackie and his brand continues to flourish with his QVC Wearable Art Collection as well as his designs for Cher in her Classic Cher concert series in 2017 and the wardrobe for The Cher Show, set to open on Broadway next autumn.  Julien’s will hold a live and online auction of the collection on November 17.


    Thursday, July 12th, 2018

    Tate’s chocolate mink swing coat

    Property from the collection of Sharon Tate will be offered by Julien’s auctions in Los Angeles on November 17.  The actress and model’s life and style embodied the essence of the swinging 60’s.  Her most famous role and acclaimed performance came as Jennifer North in the 1967 cult classic film Valley of the Dolls, which earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best New Actress. Her final film role was in The 13 Chairs, also known as 12+1, which was released posthumously in 1969.

    Highlights include a custom made chocolate slubbed silk dress attributed to William Travilla and worn by Tate while being interviewed on the 1968 documentary The New Cinema ($5,000-$7,000); a black floral lace Christian Dior mini dress worn to the London premiere of Roman Polanski’s Cul-de-Sac in 1966 ($15,000-$30,000); The chocolate sheer silk Alba gown worn at The Golden Globe Awards with Roman Polanski in 1968 ($4,000-$6,000); The ivory silk moiré mini wedding dress worn at her London wedding at the Chelsea Registry Office to Roman Polanski in 1968 ($25,000-$50,000); The green knit mini dress designed by Betsey Johnson for Paraphernalia worn at the Paris 1967 premiere of The Fearless Vampire Killers ($1,000-$2,000) and Tate’s chocolate mink swing coat designed by “Fuhrman’s Beverly Hills” with asymmetrical collar and fur puffs for buttons ($20,000-$40,000)


    Thursday, July 12th, 2018

    A  mid 19th century nickel cased eight day chronometer timepiece by Dent of Cockspur St., London was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s two day auction in Castlecomer this week.  It made a hammer price of 25,000 in a sale of 900 lots that brought in more than 420,000.  The auction was over 80% sold.  An ethnographic possibly Native American lot modelled as a grotesque figure spread on torso, with hollowed and shape box on back, highlighted with painted faces made 22,000 at hammer.

    A three stone diamond ring sold for 20,000, a set of 27 Malton views of Dublin made 11,000, a George III freedom box made 7,000 and a 1963 Morris Minor saloon made 6,100. An 18th century Irish Penal chalice made 4,000.

    Ethnographic possibly Native American piece made 22,000 at hammer.

    This chronometer made 25,000 at hammer.


    Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

    A new auction record was set for any book illustration at Sotheby’s in London today when the original map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood by E.H. Shepard sold for £430,000. Possibly the most famous map in children’s literature, this charming sketch from 1926 was unseen for nearly half a century ahead of the sale. It was offered with an estimate of £100,000-150,000.

    Featuring on the opening end-papers of the original book the sketch introduces readers to the delightful imagination of Christopher Robin and his woodland friends. Exactly 40 years later the map played a starring role in the landmark Disney film – Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Tree – where it was brought to life as an animation in the film’s opening sequence. The previous record for any book illustration was £314,500, set at Sotheby’s in December 2014 for the original illustration for Poohsticks. 


    Sunday, July 8th, 2018
    Antique silver,  Oriental and European porcelain, taxidermy, a 19th century pony and trap and a 1963 Morris Minor, garden furniture, old military uniforms, art including a private Irish collection of engravings and drawings by a range of artists including Durer, Van Dyck and Tiepolo and Lady Kildare’s writing desk from Carton are all included on day one of Fonsie Mealy’s two day summer auction in Castlecomer on July 10 and 11.
    The sale on day two features a pair of oak armchairs to a design by Pugin, a stained glass window depicting St. Patrick, 18th century portraits, an Edwardian dolls house in the Tudor style and a Victorian rocking horse, and an interesting selection of art and antique furniture.  A total of 900 lots will come under the hammer, 500 on Tuesday.  The sale comprises lots from a number of houses including Morristown Lattin, Naas, Albert House, Co. Sligo, and Irish American collection and Spire Hall, Portarlington, home of the Odlum family.
    The Tickell Cup, a massive two handled trophy cup made in London in 1899 on an Irish silver stand with three engraved races from Dublin in the same year is estimated at 4,000-6,000.  Lot 281 is a staged specimen of a brown bear cub holding a carved pillar, lot 430 is a cast iron model of a Phoenix from the Royal Phoenix Iron Works, Parkgate St., Dublin (1,500-2,000) and lots 676, the dolls house is estimated at 150-250.
    There is an Irish Penal chalice and a George III freedom box.  A three stone diamond ring with an intense yellow centre stone (20,000-30,000) and three Victorian diamond studded star brooch pendants (5,000-7,000) will are jewellery feature lots and Irish furniture is well represented.  There is a 19th century High Sheriff of Ireland uniform from the Mansfield family of Morristown Lattin (400-600) and uniform jackets including the Kildare Militia. A Kingsbury Motor Blue Bird toy model car is estimated at 180-220.

    Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the land and water speed record using blue birds in the 1920’s and ’30’s. His son Donald also broke land and water speed records and died in 1967 during a speed attempt on Coniston Water.  The catalogue is online.

    Lady Kildare’s writing desk from Carton  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,400

    A stuffed bear cub  UPDATE: THIS MADE 580

    A Phoenix  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,200 AT HAMMER

    The Tickell Cup  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,600 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, July 7th, 2018
    Louis le Brocquy, Sean McSweeney, Markey Robinson, Peter Curling, Felim Egan, Edward Delaney and Brian Ballard are among the familiar names at Whyte’s summer auction in Dublin at 6 pm on July 9.  There will be nearly 300 lots with estimates from a little as 100 euro making this sale a great opportunity for emerging collectors.

    Lot 63 is the 2009 Obama inauguration poster by Shepard Fairey signed by the artist and estimated at 500-700.  Ceili Dancers by Oisin Kelly, less than six inches high and on a Connemara marble base, is estimated at just 300-500.  For this sale Whyte’s has changed its live  bidding platform.  There will be no extra charge for live bidding on the auction if it is done through Whyte’s.  Those who have already registered with the firm will have to do so again to avail of this. Third party auction platforms like Invaluable or The Saleroom will charge the customer 3% to 5% plus VAT.  The catalogue is online.

    2009 Obama inauguration poster  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 850 AT HAMMER

    Ceili Dancers by Oisin Kelly  UPDATE: THIS MADE 640 AT HAMMER