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    BONO’S GRETSCH IRISH FALCON ELECTRIC GUITAR AT BONHAMS

    Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

    THE GRETSCH “IRISH FALCON” ELECTRIC GUITAR SIGNED BY U2

    A Gretsch “Irish Falcon” electric guitar signed by U2 from Bono’s personal collection comes up at Bonham’s in New York on March 27.

    At Bono’s request, Gretsch built only ten “Irish Falcon” guitars to be used in U2’s Elevation Tour  in 2001. This is one of the earliest such prototypes. The Irish Falcon has become Bono’s signature instrument for performing.

    In 2003, MusiCares charity recognized Bono as their Person of the Year and held a tribute in his honor in New York. This guitar, signed by all four members of U2, was auctioned to benefit MusiCares that night.

    The electric guitar, with laminated maple hollow single cutaway body and evergreen finish, comes with gold sparkle binding, maple neck and fretboard with mother-of-pearl humpback inlays.
    It is signed “Bono 2007,” “Edge,” “Adam Clayton,” “Larry Mullen, Jr.” in silver permanent marker and estimated at US$180,000-220,000.

    THE LARGEST FLAWLESS PINK DIAMOND EVER GRADED AT SOTHEBY’S

    Monday, March 20th, 2017

    The Pink Star.  UPDATE: IT MADE US$71.2 MILLION.

    The Pink Star will lead Sotheby’s sales of magnificent jewels and jadeite in Hong Kong on April 4.   At 59.60 carats this oval mixed-cut pink diamond is the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded. It is estimated at more than US$60 million.

    The Pink Star has received the highest colour and clarity grades from the GIA for pink diamonds and has been found to be part of the rare subgroup comprising less than 2% of all gem diamonds – known as Type IIa: stones in this group are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical transparency. Mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999, the 132.5-carat rough diamond was meticulously cut and polished over a period of two years and transformed into this stunning gemstone.

    David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, said: “At a time of unprecedented demand for the finest in coloured diamonds, I am delighted to be bringing this magnificent stone back to the market.  The extraordinary size of this 59.60-carat diamond, paired with its richness of colour, surpasses any known pink diamond recorded in history.”

    QUEK Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman, Asia, and Chairman International Jewellery, Asia, said: “Over the years Sotheby’s Hong Kong has played host to many outstanding stones and sales; including the 118.28-carat oval D-colour flawless diamond sold in Oct 2013, the still-current world auction record for any white diamond, as well as the fancy vivid blue 10.10-carat De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 which set a record for any jewel sold at auction in Asia in April 2016. The market for the world’s finest diamonds and gem stones remains buoyant.”

    At 59.60 carats, The Pink Star is more than twice the size of the Graff Pink’ – the 24.78-carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond which currently holds the world auction record for any pink diamond. Sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2010 for US$46.2 million the Graff Pink marked an auction record for any diamond or gemstone at the time.

    UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR US$71.2 MILLION, THE HIGHEST PRICE FOR ANY WORK EVER SOLD AT AUCTION IN ASIA.  IT WAS BOUGHT BY HONG KONG JEWELLER CHOW TAI FOOK AND RENAMED THE CTF PINK.

    A NOBEL PRIZE FOR SALE AT CHRISTIE’S

    Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

    The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Alfonso Garcia Robles in 1982 for his pioneering work in nuclear disarmament comes up at Christie’s in New York on April 28.  It will be included in The Exceptional Sale and is estimated at $400,000-600,oo0. Garcia Robles was the driving force behind the Treaty of Tlatelolco, opened for signing 50 years ago on February 14, 1967, and significant for keeping Latin America and the Caribbean nuclear-free to this day. The Nobel Peace Prize medal is 18 carat gold and 2.5 inches diameter.

    “We are thrilled and honored to be offering this tangible symbol of mankind’s struggle for peace,” remarks Becky MacGuire, specialist of The Exceptional Sale. “In 1962 Alfonso Garcia Robles watched the Cuban missile crisis unfold a mere 1,500 miles off Mexico, and he resolved to put an end to the horrific nuclear threat for his beloved country and the entire region. His unwavering dedication to the cause of disarmament resulted in the ground-breaking Treaty that did end that threat. The Nobel Peace Prize honoring Garcia Robles reminds us of the very best in humanity, just as great, transformative works of art do.”

    LUGGALA ON THE MARKET

    Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

    Luggala

    Luggala, one of Ireland’s most famous homes used to film scenes in Braveheart and Excalibur, is on the market for 28 million. It is being sold by the honourable Garech Browne, the great, great, great grandson of Arthur Guinness. The Gothic  house beside Lough Tay  in Co. Wicklow was built in 1787 by the banking La Touche family and modelled on Strawberry Hill in London.  It was bought by Ernest Guinness in 1937 who gave it to his daughter Oonagh as a wedding present. It is on 5,000 acres.  There are seven bedrooms plus lodges around the estate with another 20 bedrooms.

    Home to Garech Browne (77) the founder of Claddagh Records, for the past 47 years it was overhauled in 1996 with a six million euro makeover.  He is selling up as his wife lives in Singapore.  Over 2 million worth of art and furniture from Luggala and other Guinness estates was auctioned in 2006.

    Another Irish stately home, Westport House, has just changed hands.  (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for January 27, 2017)

    NEW OWNERS FOR WESTPORT HOUSE

    Friday, January 27th, 2017

    Westport House

    One of the best known stately homes in Ireland, Westport House, has been sold to the Hughes family, which operates the Hotel Westport in Co. Mayo.  They say they are committed to ensuring the property is given the attention and care it deserves. They plan to spent 50 million on refurbishment and upgrading works. Mayo County Council has acquired 40 acres of the estate. The purchase price was not disclosed. Westport House had been on the market with NAMA with a price tag of 10 million.

    The original house was built in the 1650s by Colonel John Browne on the foundation of Grace O’Malley’s Castle. He married O’Malley’s great great granddaughter, Maude Burke. The current house which dates largely to the 18th century was designed by Richard Cassells who also designed Leinster House and Carton. It was completed by the renowned English architect James Wyatt, who also planned the layout of Westport town. It has been the ancestral home of the Browne family for generations and was the first stately home in Ireland to open to the public in 1960.  Since then it has welcomed more than four million visitors.

    In an attempt to save the house for the family the late 11th Marquess of Sligo, Jeremy Brown, sold a life-size masterpiece in terracotta by Aimé-Jules Dalou for £362,500 at Sotheby’s in London in 2014.  Boulonnaise allaitant son enfant (A Young Mother from Boulogne feeding her Child) was acquired directly from the artist in 1876 by George John Browne, 3rd Marquess of Sligo. It went to the National Gallery of Canada in Ottowa. Jeremy Browne had said: ‘We hope that the proceeds raised through its sale will secure the future of one of Ireland’s best-loved attractions for generations to come.”

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for May 2, May 21 and December 19, 2014)

    KILMAINHAM GAOL AUTOGRAPH BOOKS GO ON LINE

    Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

    A collection of autograph books owned by prisoners at the time of the Easter Rising is now available online.   The Kilmainham Gaol autograph collection contains over 12,000 names.  The  Office of Public Work says the website offers a fascinating insight into the lives of prisoners during the 1916-18 period. According to Niall Bergin of Kilmainham Gaol Museum the autograph books are the most requested items to view in the museum’s archive.

    The collection, which covers a variety of different prisons and places of incarceration, features poems, portraits, political statements and signatures. The museums collection contains 12,000 names of those who were incarcerated from 1916 to 1923. The website will be expanded in future to include additional autograph books.

    CERRUTI TO TAKE OVER AS CHRISTIE’S CEO FROM JANUARY

    Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
    Patricia Barizet and Guillaume Cerruti.  Christie's London, 14 December 2016 © Christie’s 2016

    Patricia Barizet and Guillaume Cerruti. Christie’s London, 14 December 2016 © Christie’s 2016

    The Board of Christie’s has appointed Guillaume Cerutti as Chief Executive Officer effective from January 1.  Currently President of Christie’s Europe, Middle East, Russia and India (EMERI) operations he is a respected authority in the art world. He has operated for over a decade as a senior executive in the art auction world and within the cultural industry for over twenty years. François Pinault assumes the role of Chairman of the Board and Patricia Barbizet is appointed Vice Chairman.

    Patricia Barbizet commented: “As we conclude a successful year, the time is right to adapt our structure and further enhance the tremendous work we have done to make the company more efficient, creative and collaborative. I believe Guillaume’s experience and deep knowledge of the art world will bring Christie’s one more step forward. Christie’s is a key asset for its shareholder.  Alongside Mr. Pinault, as CEO of Artemis, I will remain closely involved as we continue to expand Christie’s global reach and introduce more best-in-class services for today’s collectors.”

    Guillaume Cerutti said: “It is a great honour to take forward the company’s strategic initiatives and continue the successful work that have been implemented under Patricia’s tutorship. At year-end, Christie’s continues to lead the market globally, and is poised for continued success. I will rely on Christie’s exceptional talents to build and adapt the company for the future.”

    François Pinault said: Two years ago I asked Patricia to take the helm of Christie’s and adapt the organisation to the new challenges of the art industry and market. During these two years, she has worked tirelessly on the key milestones we had established to capitalise upon Christie’s leadership. She has led the company to a point where it is appropriate to pass the baton to Guillaume Cerutti. It will now be for him to push this advantage even further. Patricia and I will provide Guillaume our continuous support so Christie’s can thrive for the greatest benefit of its clients, its specialist community, its employees and all art connoisseurs.”

    FINE JEWELLERY AND WATCHES AT JAMES ADAM

    Friday, December 2nd, 2016

    Fine jewellery and watches will come under  the hammer at James Adam in Dublin on November 6 at 6 p.m.  There are diamond rings, bracelets, brooches, clips, earrings and a selection of lots, many with affordable estimates.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    A FINE DIAMOND BRACELET, BY GRAFF (45,000-50,000)

    A FINE DIAMOND BRACELET, BY GRAFF (45,000-50,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A RUBY, DIAMOND AND SAPPHIRE BRACELET, CIRCA 1965 (9,000-11,000)

    A RUBY, DIAMOND AND SAPPHIRE BRACELET, CIRCA 1965 (9,000-11,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 9,000 AT HAMMER

    AN EMERALD, SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND NECKLACE (3,000-5,000)

    AN EMERALD, SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND NECKLACE (3,000-5,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER

    A SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND CLUSTER RING (3,000-4,000)

    A SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND CLUSTER RING (3,000-4,000) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A PAIR OF AMETHYST AND DIAMOND PENDENT EARRINGS (1,200-1,400)

    A PAIR OF AMETHYST AND DIAMOND PENDENT EARRINGS (1,200-1,400)  UPDATE: THESE MADE 1.500 AT HAMMER

    A diamond single stone rings (19,000-24,000)

    A diamond single stone ring (19,000-24,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    PREVIOUSLY OWNED 102 YEAR OLD CAR ANYONE?

    Friday, October 28th, 2016
    The 1914 Talbot Invincible

    The 1914 Talbot Invincible  UPDATE: THIS MADE 35,000 AT HAMMER

    A 102 year Talbot Invincible that – if restored – would not be out of place on the set of Downton Abbey comes up at Fonsie Mealy’s Chatsworth fine art sale in Castlecomer on November 15 and 16.  In need of much tender loving care the vintage 4CB is one of only 350 known models of its type made.  Only a handful of survivors are known in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Found in a barn the registration number is C.R. 1351.  This was issued  by the County Borough of Southampton to  Brigadier General D. Brady. He registered it in Ireland on January 1, 1927. The original Irish tax book as well as the “Instruction Handbook” are included in the lot. It is estimated at 17,000-22,000.

    FINE JEWELLERY AND WATCHES AT JAMES ADAM

    Sunday, October 16th, 2016

    Fine jewellery and watches will come under the hammer in a sale of 168 lots at James Adam on October 18.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    A SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND CLUSTER RING (22,000-26,000)

    A BURMESE SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND CLUSTER RING (22,000-26,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A CHALCEDONY AND DIAMOND NECKLACE, BY MARGHERITA BURGENER (3,500-4,500)

    A CHALCEDONY AND DIAMOND NECKLACE, BY MARGHERITA BURGENER (3,500-4,500) UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,000 AT HAMMER

    A lady's gold plated quartz wristwatch by Hermes (250-450)

    A lady’s gold plated quartz wristwatch by Hermes (250-450)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 450 AT HAMMER