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  • AT HOME SALE AT JAMES ADAM IN DUBLIN

    September 5th, 2018

    Around 500 lots will come under the hammer at the James Adam At Home sale in Dublin on September 9.  There is antique furniture, silver, jewellery, art and a variety of collectibles.  The catalogue is online.  Here is a small selection:

    ENDRE KAMPOCZI BALOGH (HUNGARIAN 1911 – 1977)
    Still life, flowers in a vase (700-1,000)  UPDATE: 700

    A VICTORIAN GILTWOOD TRIPLE COMPARTMENTED OVERMANTLE MIRROR (800-1,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A GEORGE III IRISH BRIGHT CUT SILVER CREAM JUG, Dublin 1794, maker’s mark rubbed (200-300)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 200 AT HAMMER

    A GEORGE III MAHOGANY SLOPE FRONT BUREAU, c1800 (500-700)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 550 AT HAMMER

    MARCHMONT WINS HISTORIC HOUSES/SOTHEBY’S RESTORATION AWARD

    September 4th, 2018
    These before and after pictures show the drawing room at Marchmont House in Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders – winners of this years Historic Houses/Sotheby’s restoration award.
    In what is clearly a labour of love the house has been converted by owners Marchmont Farms Ltd.  from a nursing home into a sumptuous family home available for lettings and functions.  Fire doors and green emergency exit signs were thrown out and replaced with an art collection, Georgian mirrors and paintings appropriate to a Palladian house built around 1750.  The five year restoration of one of the finest interiors in Scotland set out to create a splendid but comfortable home with 21st century comforts and preserved historically significant features such as the magnificent plasterwork by Thomas Clayton.  Marchmont is located about 40 miles south from Edinburgh.

    The drawing room after restoration

    The drawing room before restoration.

    JEWELS GIFTED BY CHESTER BEATTY TO LADY POWERSCOURT AT BONHAMS

    September 3rd, 2018

    Lady Powerscourt c1930.

    Jewellery gifted to Lady Powerscourt from Sir Chester Beatty from his personal collection will come up at Bonhams in London on September 26.  The two pieces were gifted in the 1950’s and date to the 1920’s.  They represent the Art Deco vogue for jewels in “exotic” taste.  The first – an Art Deco hardstone seal, gem-set and enamel jewel, is French in origin, dated circa 1925.  This was originally a shoulder ornament and then converted to a bracelet.  It is composed of five chalcedony seals of various colours, each engraved with a Qur’anic script and framed by black enamel. These are connected by black enamel and rose-cut diamond links with emerald and ruby bead highlights. It has a pre-sale estimate of £40,000-60,000.

    The second is an Art Deco neohrite, onyx and diamond pendant by Cartier and is estimated at £20,000-30,000.  The rectangular nephrite plaque is carved with numerous motifs that signify blessings and abundant joy. Its reverse is engraved with Chinese characters literally meaning ‘blessings come from blessings’.  It is suspended from an articulated circular plaque decorated with undulating lines of single-cut diamonds and calibré-cut onyx, mounted in platinum.

    Kieran O’Boyle, Head of Bonhams Ireland, said: “We are honoured to bring these two pieces of jewellery to auction for the first time.  Both pieces offer a glimpse into the history of Chester Beatty and his priceless art collection.”

    An avid collector who travelled extensively throughout his life, he built an impressive and diverse collection of works of art and masterpieces from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa and employed a full-time librarian and several academic advisors to appraise items he wished to purchase.

    Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968) – Ireland’s first honorary citizen – philanthropist and one of the most significant art collectors of the 20th Century, was also one of the world’s leading mining engineers, known as the “King of Copper”. After leaving his native New York in 1912 he lived in London for many years and was an important benefactor of the British Museum.  He retired to Ireland in 1950 and in 1953 went on to set up a purpose-built library in Shrewsbury Road, Dublin, initially for research, but then open to the public.  Upon his death in 1968, his priceless collection was bequeathed to a trust for the benefit of the people of Ireland.  He was granted a State funeral and was buried at Glasnevin Cemetry in Dublin.  Today, situated in the grounds of historic Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty Library is the pre-eminent Irish institution promoting the appreciation and understanding of world cultures and contains some of the finest treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.

    In  1952, he met Lady Powerscourt* and the two quickly struck up a friendship.  Beatty held the highest respect for Lady Powerscourt’s knowledge, judgement and understanding of his collection, which she would ultimately help him catalogue. Sheila Wingfield, Lady Powerscourt (1906-1992), was a poet and a writer. Wealthy and beautiful, she was largely self-taught and fought various obstacles during her lifetime to gain recognition for her work, despite admiration from contemporary writers such as W.B Yeats, Sir John Betjeman and T.S Eliot. Her best-known work, considered her masterpiece, is her 2000-line poem, Beat Drum, Beat Heart (1946), written about World War II.

    An Art Deco Nephrite, Onyx and Diamond Pendant by Cartier

    An Art Deco Hardstone Seal, Gem-Set and Enamel Jewel

    Sir Alfred Chester Beatty c1911.

    RARE CIZHOU SGRAFFIATTO JAR AT CHRISTIE’S ASIAN WEEK SALES IN NEW YORK

    September 1st, 2018

    This very rare large Cizhou sgraffiatto jar dates from the Jin Dynasty (1154-1234) and will feature at a series of auctions at Christie’s to mark Asian Art Week in New York from September 7-14.   It is the top lot in the sale of Masterpieces of Cizhou Ware: the Linyushanren Collection Part IV on September 13.

    The sale will focus on the wide array of ceramics made in the Cizhou kiln from the Northern Song (960-1127) to the Yuan dynasties (14th- 15th century). There are 40 works assembed by a distinguished Japanese collector.   The Linyushanren Collection was formed with a focus on ceramics created mainly during the Song dynasty (AD 960-1279).

    The jar pictured here is accompanied by a Japanese double wood box inscribed by the scholar Fujio Koyama (1900-1975)  and is estimated at $100,000-150,000.  Asian Art Week sales at Christie’s will feature eight auctions and over 900 lots ranging from Chinese archaic bronzes to contemporary Indian painting.

    THE HISTORY OF NOW

    August 30th, 2018

    The art of visionary collector David Teiger is to the sold at Sotheby’s in a sale titled The History of Now.  Sotheby’s will sent the $100 million collection through a series of global sales set to launch with a dedicated evening auction in London this October.  For visionary collector, patron and museum trustee David Teiger, art took precedence over all else. Redefining the meaning of connoisseurship and great collecting, Teiger considered himself a custodian of the work as opposed to its owner. A consummate collector who maintained clarity of vision and purpose over so many styles and decades in a way few collectors could, he built a kaleidoscopic collection daringly ahead of its time.

    The History of Now in London on October 5 will present Teiger’s esteemed private collection. Following his exceptionally generous lifelong support of museums, curators and institutions, proceeds from the series of sales will benefit Teiger Foundation – soon to be one of the world’s largest and most significant contemporary art foundations – set up to support and promote excellence in contemporary art.

    Lisa Dennison, Chairman, Sotheby’s Americas, said: “David’s extraordinary generosity and long tradition of supporting artists, curators, gallerists, and museums was unique. He fully understood the eco-system of the art world, and his patronage extended to a broad range of individuals and institutions in order to empower them to do their best work. His legacy will live on in his Foundation and the initiatives they will sponsor to support Contemporary Art.”

    Peter Doig, Buffalo Station I (1997-8), Estimate in excess of £6million

    Chris Ofili, Afromantics (2000-2), Estimate in excess of £1million

    GET TO THE WORLD’S OLDEST OPERATIONAL LIGHTHOUSE FOR CULTURE NIGHT

    August 30th, 2018

    Hook Lighthouse

    The world’s oldest original operational lighthouse will join the National Culture Night celebrations in Ireland on Friday, September 21. The 846-year-old Hook Lighthouse in Co. Wexford will offer free guided tours of the medieval tower at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm.   Places on these tours must be booked in advance on www.hookheritage.ie

    There will be a 45-minute tour of the medieval tower with insights and stories of times gone by with some help from a number of historical characters along the way. Having climbed the well worn 115 steps of the tower visitors will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the South East coast of Ireland from the balcony at the top of the lighthouse at the entrance to Waterford harbour.  Hook Lighthouse, which with the nearby village of Crooke in Co. Waterford  is said to have given rise to the expression “by hook or by crook” , was built by William Marshal, the Earl of Pembroke, who built Tintern Abbey and Kilkenny Castle.

    ENGLISH CLOCK EXHIBITION AT BONHAMS, LONDON

    August 29th, 2018

    An exhibition of early English clocks at runs at Bonhams, New Bond Street, London from September 3-14.  The main objective is to ignite a new public interest in exquisite clocks. Drawn from two private clock collectors it will also feature third party loans, including contributions from the Science Museum, the Clockmakers’ Company and the Collection of the 5th Lord Harris from Belmont House. The specimens on display are very rarely in the public eye and many are being displayed together almost certainly for the first time.
    Curator Richard Garnier explained: “In researching the exhibition – that displays the early development of the pendulum clock – I’ve discovered that, in England, clock case design and materials pre-dated cabinetmaking of the period. Clocks were the pinnacle of English fashion and featured expensive woods such as ebony and kingwood, leading the way in cabinet making. It seems that the common wisdom – that clock cases followed developments in the furniture trade – is wrong. It was in fact furniture that seems to have been influenced by clocks, as these new mechanical timepieces were the ultimate in designer technology and became leaders in the development of cabinetmaking.”

    GREAT SINGLE OWNER COLLECTION AT CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK

    August 29th, 2018

    The Elizabeth Stafford Collection – the single owner collection of fine and decorative art from which Brancusi’s bronze Portrait of Nancy Cunard which made $71 million in May – comes up at Christie’s New York on November 21. This dedicated collection sale of approximately 290 lots will offer superb French furniture, Old Master paintings and drawings, decorative arts, and Sèvres porcelain.

    Additionally, several highlights from the collection will be offered across the fall sales of Old Masters, European Art and the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening, Day and Works on Paper sales featuring the artists Corot, Claude Lorrain, Monet, Pissarro and Sisley, among others.  A Love Affair with France: The Elizabeth Stafford Collection Christie’s Paris from September 6-10, during the Biennale in Paris, and to Hong Kong from September 28-October 3.

    MASTERPIECE BY JOHN LUKE AT SOTHEBY’S IRISH SALE

    August 27th, 2018

    Pax by John Luke UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £225,000

    Pax by John Luke (1906-1975) comes up at Sotheby’s Irish sale in London on September 11.  It was painted in 1943. When first shown in Belfast at the annual exhibition of the Ulster Academy in 1944 reviewers noted that his characteristic blend of modernism, fantasy and technical precision had a new resolve.

    A major turning point Pax was named for the peace the artist found at Killylea in Co. Armagh. The painting had departed from his work of the 1930’s by fully realising his desire to arrange and represent in a personal and orderly manner the spatial relations of forms and masses. It broke a four year cycle of depression during which he had ceased painting. A small work, measuring just 29.5 by 39 cm it is estimated at 380,000-120,000.  It is from the collection of 16 oils from Pittsburgh based Joseph and Brenda Calihan which is at the core of the sale.

    Highlights from the sale will be on view at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin from August 30 to September 1.

    ORIGINS AT LISMORE CASTLE ARTS

    August 26th, 2018

    Origins, an exhibition from the 2018 undergraduate art shows across Ireland, opens at Lismore Castle Arts today.  Curated by Belfast based Alissa Kleist the three artists selected this year are Jesse James Hallaway (Limerick School of Art and Design), Gary Reilly (NCAD) and Anna O’Riordan (Crawford, Cork). Open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday from noon to 5 pm at St. Carthage Hall the show continues until October 14.

    An artwork by Anna O’Riordan

    An artwork by Anna O’Riordan