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    Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

    THIS Colombian emerald pendant sold for 70,000.

    The jewellery of Hollywood film star Maureen O’Hara attracted competitive bidding at Sheppard’s sale in Durrow today. An 18 carat white gold brilliant cut 8.3 carat diamond ring with baguette diamond shoulders sold for 120,000 at hammer.  A solitaire 5.03 carat diamond ring made a hammer price of 46,000.

    A natural Colombian emerald pendant made 46,000 and a Colombian emerald and brilliant cut diamond bangle sold for 70,000.  Her full length Dior white mink coat made 2,800 at hammer.

    (See post on for November 26)


    Sunday, November 26th, 2017

    Maureen O’Hara’s Christian Dior full length white mink coat comes up at Sheppards sale in Durrow next Wednesday. Trimmed with Arctic fox fur and lined with silk it represents the pinnacle of Hollywood glamour and luxury.  The west Cork collection of the Hollywood actress, who died in 2015, includes diamond rings and  a Colombian emerald pendant and bangle.

    The two day sale next Tuesday and Wednesday also features the collection of former President Mary Robinson  who is downsizing from Massbrook Lodge in Mayo to Dublin.  Viewing in Durrow is from 10 am to 5 pm today, tomorrow and Monday.

    Maureen O’Hara’s Dior mink coat.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,800 AT HAMMER

    An 18 carat white gold brilliant cut diamond ring owned by Maureen O’Hara with a centre diamond of 8.3 carats (100,000-150,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 120,000 AT HAMMER


    Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

    The Art of de Grisogono

    A diamond necklace featuring a flawless 163-carat diamond – the largest of its kind to be auctioned – sold for $33.5 million at Christie’s in Geneva. The colourless diamond was taken from a 404-carat stone found in Angola. The finished piece, made from white gold, diamond and emeralds, was designed by Swiss jewellery maker de Grisogono. It took more than 1,700 hours to make.

    The necklace, named The Art of de Grisogono, sold for $29.5 million plus $4 million premium – exceeding pre-sale predictions of $30 million.  The auction followed a series of public viewings in Hong Kong, London, Dubai and New York.


    Thursday, November 9th, 2017

    Maria Cregan’s manuscript.

    An autograph letter journal by Maria Cregan, with an eyewitness account of the Easter Rising, comes up at Bonhams in London on November 15. Her day to day account opens as follows:  I went with Carrie Slacke and her son Randal to Sugarloaf Mountain for the Easter holiday… At Harcourt Street the first thing I noticed was a wrecked motor car opposite the station and rather many people about but also that there were no trams. I walked towards Stephen’s Green and asked had there been an accident and was told there had been a rising of Sinn Feiners. They had taken the College of Surgeons and the Green, had dug trenches in the green, barricaded the streets with all kinds of vehicles &c and had run up the Republican Flag on the College of Surgeons (this last I could see myself from the corner of Cuffe Street). I asked a man who was standing with a bicycle if I could get through, but he said it was too dangerous and even as he spoke a volley rang out…”

    There are entries made for each day from Tuesday April 25 to Friday May 6, 1916.  The ten pages on thin office style paper, signed and dated Maria J. Cregan, May 6, 1916 carry an estimate of £700-900.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £1,875


    Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

    THE DONNERSMARCK DIAMONDS- image courtesy Sotheby’s

    The Donnersmarck Diamonds, a pair of extraordinary Fancy Intense Yellow diamonds with impeccable aristocratic provenance, will come up at Sotheby’s in Geneva on November 15   Formerly in the collection of the princely family von Donnersmarck they consist of a cushion-shaped diamond weighing 102.54 carats, and a pear-shaped diamond weighing 82.47 carats to be offered as a single lot.  The pair is estimated at $9-14 million.

    David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said: “These stunning diamonds carry with them a fascinating story, full of romance and determination over adversity, which could have inspired some of the greatest novels and operas, from Manon Lescaut to La Traviata. Ten years ago, they were the star of the show when we launched our very first sale dedicated to Noble Jewels here in Geneva. I am delighted to mark a decade of success by presenting these exceptional diamonds once again”.

    The Donnersmarck Diamonds were part of the collection of La Païva, Countess Henckel von Donnersmarck (1819-1884), arguably the most famous of 19th-century French courtesans, whose vertiginous trajectory from modest circumstances in her native Russia to the highest circles of European aristocracy was sensational. Her second husband was Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck (1830-1916), one of Europe’s richest men.  In 1855, shortly after they became a couple, La Païva purchased a building plot on the Champs Elysées. Hotel La Païva was to be one of the most lavish mansions ever built there.  La Païva’s lavish parties and literary gatherings soon became the most talked-about events in Paris, often attended by the likes of Gustave Flaubert, Émile Zola, the artist Eugène Delacroix and even the Emperor himself.  The diamonds remained in the family for more than a century until they came up at Sotheby’s in Geneva in 2007.  They have been in a private collection for the past ten year.


    Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

    The Raj Pink

    The Raj Pink, the world’s largest known fancy intense pink diamond at 37.3 carats, comes up at Sotheby’s sale of mangificent and noble jewels in Geneva on November 15.

    The rough diamond which yielded the stone was studied for over a year after its discovery in 2015. A master cutter crafted it into a sparkling cushion modified brilliant cut stone.  The Raj Pink was named by the current owner, who wishes to remain anonymous. It is based on the Sanskrit word for King.  The estimate of $20-30 million.


    Sunday, August 27th, 2017

    The Design and Crafts Council of Ireland booth featuring seven Irish makers won the best curation award at the Accent on Design Awards at this years NYNOW.   The booth w0wed visitors from throughout the US and more than 80 countries.  The seven brands it featured are Arran Street East, Avoca Woollen Mills, Bunny and Clyde, Field Apothecary, J. Hill’s Standard, Stable of Ireland and Diem Pottery.  Each is featured on, the online platform developed by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.

    Bunny and Clyde nursery and children furniture

    A selection of products form Arran Street East


    Friday, August 4th, 2017

    The Aran jumper. Image courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland.

    An Aran jumper from the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, at Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, is to feature in a new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.  The history and impact of the Aran jumper will be explored in Items: Is Fashion Modern?, alongside a host of well-known fashion designs such an example of the biker jacket from the 1950s; a Wonderbra; a Birkin bag; a 1960s Breton shirt; a pair of Levi’s 501 jeans from the 1940s; and a collection of Little Black Dresses.  The exhibition is due to open in the autumn.

    The jumper is a cream, knitted piece from 1940 made from a heavy, scoured wool. The patterns are different front and back. The centre panel on one side has a diamond stitch and the centre of the other side consists of a trellis openwork pattern with bobbles.  It is currently being prepared by the conservation team at the National Museum of Ireland to be transported to MoMA ahead of the exhibition opening on October 1. According to MoMA, each of the 111 items explored in the exhibition were selected because they have had a “profound impact on the world over the last century”.


    Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

    Handbags by Cartier, Fendi, Dior and Chanel will feature at Dolan’s summer art and antiques auction in Ballyconneely, Connemara on Bank Holiday Monday August 7 and Tuesday August 8.  Viewing for this 500 lot two day sale gets underway on August 3.  The catalogue is online. Here are some handbags.

    A Dior bag

    A Fendi bead bag

    A Fendi suede bag

    Cartier Handbag In Bordeaux Leather (600-800)


    Thursday, July 27th, 2017

    The Lusitania telegraph recovered from the sea bed yesterday.

    The main telegraph machine from the wreck of the Lusitania was recovered yesterday from the seabed off County Cork.  It was brought to the surface in good condition under the supervision of an archaeologist from the Irish National Monuments Service.  It had been relocated by recreational divers, who marked its position on the seabed.

    The Cunarder, the largest ship in the world when built on the Clyde, was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Co Cork on May 7 1915, with the loss of 1,201 lives. It was en route from New York to Liverpool.  The sinking has been cited as factor in the US’s eventual entry into the First World War.

    The wreck, 11 nautical miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, is regarded as a war grave and protected by an Underwater Heritage Order under Ireland’s National Monuments Acts. The owner of wreck Gregg Bemis intends to place the telegraph, and the pedestal successfully recovered last year, on display in a local museum, along with other artefacts he has recovered during earlier dives.