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    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

    AN 18TH CENTURY SPORTING GUN FROM FRANCE AT TOWNLEY HALL

    Thursday, October 6th, 2016
    The 18th century French sporting gun

    The 18th century French sporting gun. UPDATE: THIS MADE 10,000 AT HAMMER

    An 18th flintlock sporting gun is one of the more unusual lots at the Country House Collections auction by James Adam at Townley Hall, Drogheda, Co. Louth on October 11.  It was made by a gunmaker who managed to keep his head in revolutionary France.  Nicholas-Noel Boutet was a director of the Versailles Rifle Manufactory. He was son of the Royal Gunsmith and had the title Gunmaker in Ordinary to the King.  But during the Revolution he worked for Napoleon at the State of Arms company.

    The gun, which is estimated at 8,000-12,000 is single stage barrel.  The sighting ridge is engraved with a sunburst with crown and numbered No.38.  There is a carved walnut stock extending fully to the muzzle, with ebon ramrod. The silver mounts are hallmarked and engraved with foliage.  There is a leather cheek piece at the butt.  The catalogue for the sale, which is online, lists 647 lots.

    MARILYN’S SKIN TIGHT DRESS TO TOUR TO KILDARE

    Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
    That dress. The front view.

    That dress. The front view.

    The skin tight flesh coloured dress worn by Marilyn Monroe as she sang “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to JFK  is to be displayed at the Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons in Ireland before being sold by Julien’s Auctions on November 17.  The custom made Jean Louis creation was so tight fitting that Marilyn had to be sewn into it at the last moment. It will be displayed on the mannequin designed to match her body measurement.

    On Saturday, May 19, 1962, at a Democratic fundraiser and early 45th birthday celebration, President John F. Kennedy took his seat in Madison Square Garden at what was to become one of the most iconic moments in entertainment and political history. In front of 15,000 guests, many of them celebrities, actor Peter Lawford made an introduction that would change the course of pop culture and Presidential folklore forever. Under a bright spotlight Marilyn Monroe walked on stage and peeled away her white ermine fur coat, revealing the sheer dress that sparkled with over 2,500 handstitched crystals. Her intimate tone and projection of the words Mr. President stunned the audience. Jacqueline Kennedy was not present. The song lasted just 30 seconds. Sadly this was one of Marilyn’s last public appearances and the last time they met. She died three months later, the president was assassinated the following year.

    The rear view.

    The rear view.

    Prior to the auction, the “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress will go on tour. It is to be shown at MANA Contemporary in New Jersey as part of the Exhibition “Marilyn: Character Not Image” followed by the Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons (MOSI) in Kildare, Ireland from October 29 to November 6 before making its way back to the Julien’s Auctions Gallery in Los Angeles.

    The catalogue cover for the sale show's Marilyn wearing the dress on stage.  Courtesy Julien's Auctions

    The catalogue cover for the sale show’s Marilyn wearing the dress on stage. Courtesy Julien’s Auctions

    “We have had remarkable opportunities to offer unique objects related to Marilyn Monroe in the past,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions. “To be part of the continued interest and excitement around this legend is always thrilling. This dress, this story, this momentous occasion represents a defining moment in history. This auction will remind the world why Marilyn Monroe remains an icon.”

    Three days of live and online auctions from the life and career of Marilyn Monroe and the collection of Lee Strasberg will kick off at Julien’s on November 17.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for June 2, 2010)

    KISSINGER’S PERSONAL LINCOLN CONTINENTAL AT CLASSIC CAR AUCTION

    Thursday, September 1st, 2016
    Henry Kissinger's personal Lincoln Continental.

    Henry Kissinger’s personal Lincoln Continental.

    Henry Kissinger’s personal Lincoln Continental Limousine, complete with bulletproof glass, comes up at the 42nd annual Dan Kruse Classics sale in Austin, Texas on September 10. Kissinger was U.S. Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon and won the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for the Vietnam War accords.  He was instrumental in the signing of a ceasefire agreement which ended the direct conflict but remained controversial over his “peace and honor” strategy which prolonged the war for four years. Kissinger continued to play a pivotal role in American foreign policy under President Ronald Reagan where he was chair of the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America.  Known for his tough, skillful negotiating power he also served under President Bush.

    The 1966 Lincoln Continental Limousine transported numerous diplomats and world leaders throughout Kissinger’s lengthy career in public service. The limousine has blue exterior and black interior.

    BECKETT AND JOYCE – AN EARLY CRITIQUE

    Friday, August 19th, 2016

    beckettA first edition of an early critique by Samuel Beckett with and about James Joyce is available with London rare booksellers Peter Harrington. Published by Shakespeare and Company in 1929 “Our Exagmination Round his Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress” comes with letters of protest by G. V. L. Slingsby and Vladimir Dixon. This is copy 45 of 96 large numbered copies printed on Verge d’Arches. This early critique of Joyce’s final work was published some 10 years prior to the publication of Finnegan’s Wake.  Part of the incentive to publish was apparently to raise funds for the perennially impecunious Joyce. A myth surrounding this work is that one or both of the two letters of protest were written by Joyce himself. However both authors existed – indeed Beach herself commissioned Slingsby. Dixon’s effort was an unsolicited one by a Russian émigré who was to die in Paris in 1929, just as the book was published.

    The critique is priced at £4,750 and is one of a number of plays, novels, essays and inscribed items spanning Beckett’s career now available at Peter Harrington on Dover St. in London.