Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Saturday, July 25th, 2015

    An online auction of Irish art by Morgan O’Driscoll continues until August 4 at 6.30 pm.  The sale of 320 lots, including sculpture, includes 29 lots donated by artists to raise funds for the newly opened West Cork Arts Centre.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    Mark O'Neill (b.1963) The Balcony  (1,500-2,000).

    Mark O’Neill (b.1963)
    The Balcony (1,500-2,000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,600

    Kenneth Webb RWA FRSA RUA (b.1927) Coral Strand, Connemara  (2,500-3,500).

    Kenneth Webb RWA FRSA RUA (b.1927)
    Coral Strand, Connemara (2,500-3,500).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,800

    Gerard Dillon (1916-1971) Aran Island Character  (1,500-2,500).

    Gerard Dillon (1916-1971)
    Aran Island Character (1,500-2,500).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,600

    Naked Woman - limited edition litho by Louis le Brocquy (1,750-2,500)

    Naked Woman – limited edition litho by Louis le Brocquy (1,750-2,500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,400


    Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
    Still Life, c. 1959 © Norah McGuinness. Courtesy AIB Collection.

    Still Life, c. 1959 © Norah McGuinness. Courtesy AIB Collection.

    The first major exhibition of Irish art in London for 30 years opens today at The Mall Galleries. Featuring over 70 works from 1900 to the present day it draws on the collections of paintings, photography, tapestry and sculpture from the AIB Collection and the Crawford Gallery in Cork.

    Works by open air painters Aloysius O’Kelly, Sir John Lavery and Roderic O’Conor are represented, together with the ‘Dublin Painters’, Sean Keating, Jack B. Yeats, Paul and Grace Henry. Artists who celebrated the Irish way of life, like Harry Kernoff, as well as other experimenters who embraced new styles and themes, including Mary Swanzy, Mainie Jellett and Norah McGuinness, also feature. The contemporary scene is represented with major works by Louis le Brocquy, Colin Middleton, Sean Scully, photographer Willie Doherty and Royal Academician Hughie O’Donoghue. Younger emerging artists such as Shane Blount and Caroline McCarthy demonstrate the strength and depth of Irish art today.

    The Art of a Nation runs until May 31.


    Friday, April 24th, 2015

    More than 300 lots of art, antiques and collectibles will come under the hammer at Dolan’s Bank Holiday Sunday sale at Kelly’s Hotel in Rosslare, Co. Wexford on May 3. The catalogue is on-line.  Here is a small selection from the art on offer:

    David ffrench le Roy b.1971 SPRING FLOWERS (700-850)

    David ffrench le Roy

    Brian Ballard RUA YELLOW ROSES (950-1,250)

    Brian Ballard RUA
    YELLOW ROSES (950-1,250)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,475

    James le Jeune RHA 1910 - 1983 CHILDREN ON THE BEACH (3,500-4,500)

    James le Jeune RHA
    1910 – 1983
    THE BEACH (3,500-4,500)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 4,600

    Mainie Jellett 1897 - 1944 THE WAVE (4,500-5,000)

    Mainie Jellett
    1897 – 1944
    THE WAVE (4,500-5,000)

    Markey Robinson 1918 - 1999 WATCHING THE BOATS (!,200-1,400).

    Markey Robinson
    1918 – 1999
    WATCHING THE BOATS (!,200-1,400).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,000


    Saturday, October 8th, 2011

    The Old Fenian John O'Leary. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR 2,600.


    This 19th century Irish School portrait of  The Old Fenian John O’Leary (1830-1907) is at Whyte’s Irish art sale in Dublin on Monday, October 10.  O’Leary, who studied both law and medicine, was imprisoned in England during the 19th century for his involvement with the Irish Republican Brotherhood.  The work is estimated at 1,500-2,000.

    In his poem “September 1913” W.B. Yeats laments the death of O’Leary with the line:

    "Romantic Ireland's dead and gone;
    it's with O'Leary in the grave".
    See post for October 3.


    Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

    FROM Shinnors to Scott, Markey to Maderson  the Morgan O’Driscoll Irish art sale in Cork on October 17 has much variety to offer collectors. There are abstracts and still lifes, landscapes, portraits, beaches, horses and cliffs.  Despite the Yeats effect – the impact of the million euro Yeats’ painting at Adams at the end of September on the market for Irish art – the estimates in this sale represent good value.

    The 285 lot auction is at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island, Cork on October 17  at 6.30 p.m.  Here is a small selection from what is on offer. The entire catalogue is on-line:

    UPDATE:  THE sale brought in 212,000 at hammer.  The top lot was Potato Gatherers by Markey Robinson which made 6,400 and there were good prices for works by Mark O’Neill, Kenneth Webb, John Shinnors and Arthur Maderson.

    Sean Scully (b.1945) 'Horizon I' limited edition print 29/40 (2,000 - 2,500). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,900

    John Luke RUA (1906-1975) 'Villiage Scene' watercolour (3,000 - 4,000). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Sean Keating PRHA HRA HRSA (1889-1978) 'Irish Free State Bacon' offset lithograph poster printed in colour Provenance: Commissioned by the Empire Marketing Board in 1929 as part of a campaign to market Irish produce in Britain. (600 - 900) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Pauline Bewick RHA (b.1935) 'Yellow Man in Fig Tree' (8,000 -12,000). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Grace Henry HRHA (1868-1953) 'Old Woman Sewing' (3,000 - 5,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,200

    Brian Ballard RUA (b.1943) 'Tulips and Green Bottle' (1,400-1,800). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,100.

    William Scott OBE RA (1913-1989) 'Pears' (2,000 - 2,500). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Monday, October 3rd, 2011

    In Dublin Whyte’s will offer a selection of 279 modern, contempory and classical paintings, drawings and sculpture with realistic market reserves on Monday October 10.  There is a classical Yeats from 1949, a collection of fifteen works by Markey Robinson, ten by Joseph William Carey, five by Hughie O’Donoghue and even a collection of paintings relating to the visit of Queen Elizabeth 11 to Ireland in May 2011.

    Here is a selection from the sale:  UPDATE: THE YEATS WAS THE TOP LOT IN A SALE WHICH GROSSED OVER 700,000.

    RESCUE MEN, 1949 by Jack Butler Yeats (60,000-80,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 110,000.

    THE THIRD DAY, c.1950 by Nevill Johnson (8,000-10,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    SIX MILE WATER by Basil Blackshaw (8,000-10,000). Click to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 7,500

    LANCASTRIA II, 2000 by Hughie O'Donoghue (6,000-8,000). Click to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    VINCENT IT CAN BE THIS, 1984 by Brian Maguire (800-1,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 850.

    Ruth by Daniel O'Neill (25,000-35,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 37,000.


    Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

    A Fair Day, Mayo by Jack Yeats sold for one million at Adams.

    A Jack Yeats masterpiece made a hammer price of one million euro at the James Adam auction of Irish art this evening to become the most expensive Irish picture to sell at auction this year. This gives an Irish art market a much needed shot in the arm.  The Irish market has lingered in the recessionary despite a strong recovery in the international art market.

    A Fair Day, Mayo which dates to 1925 also became the highest priced painting ever sold at auction in Ireland.  The best of Irish art has made its top prices at the London Irish art sales.

    The painting, which once hung in the office of Eamon de Valera, had been in the same family for 67 years.  It was chased by four bidders. The underbidder was a London agent acting on behalf of an unnamed client. A number of telephone lines were booked in advance of the sale.  There was spirited bidding in the room before the painting eventually wold on the telephone to an anonymous bidder.  Adams believe the picture will stay in Ireland.   A Fair Day, Mayo’, was originally sold for IR£250 to Mr. J. P. Reihill Snr in 1944 by Leo Smith and has remained in the Reihill family ever since.    After it was painted, the artist lent the picture to the leader of the new Fianna Fail party, Eamon de Valera who displayed it in his offices at Suffolk Place in Dublin. The subject is a bustling country fair and probably appealed to de Valera’s vision of Ireland.

    “The 24 x 36” work had never been on the market before, yet had been seen in a number of very prestigious exhibitions including “Images in Yeats” at Monte Carlo in 1990 and at  “The Moderns” at IMMA earlier this year.” A second painting by  Yeats – ‘The Dawn” – also featured in the sale and made 80,000.

    Adams managing director James O’Halloran said: “This picture was one of the largest and most valuable works by Yeats to appear on the market for many years and this evening’s result now proves that the market for Irish art is clearly here in Dublin, with Adam’s.

    See posts for September 19 and September 23.


    Monday, September 19th, 2011

    JACK B YEATS RHA (1871-1957), A Fair Day, Mayo. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR ONE MILLION EURO.

    THIS 1925 oil by Jack B. Yeats, once lent by the artist to Éamon De Valera for his office in Suffolk Place, Dublin, is the top lot at the James Adam art auction in Dublin on Wednesday, September 28 at 6 p.m.  A Fair Day, Mayo last changed hands in 1944 when it was purchased at the Dawson Gallery for £250. The work is estimated at 500,000-800,000 now.

    In 1944 it was bought by J.P. Reihill senior, then resident at Deepwell in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. It has been in the Reihill family ever since. It has featured in a number of exhibitions, most notably Images of Yeats in Monte Carlo in 1990. Altogether there are 212 lots in the Adams sale.


    UPDATE:  This made one million euro at hammer to become the highest priced painting ever sold at auction in Ireland.


    Saturday, August 20th, 2011

    'Grid Studies' is the title of this work by John Kingerlee. It is estimated at 2,000-4,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE 550 AT HAMMER.

    'Sea Shore, Kilcatherine' by John Kingerlee is estimated at 2,500-4,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE 950 AT HAMMER.

    A retrospective no reserve sale from the studio of artist John Kingerlee is to be held by auctioneer Morgan O’Driscoll in Cork on September 18 next.  The Birmingham born (in 1936) artist has been a long term resident of the Beara Peninsula in west Cork.  The sale will cover the period from 1969 to 2010.  Estimates range from 300 to 20,000.
    Morgan O’Driscoll has held several successful no reserve art sales this year.  Public interest has been high and many works sold for under the low estimate. Kingerlee has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally.  He applies layers of pigment to form a thick strata of paint akin to the rocky landscape outside his studio window.  The sale, which features 136 works, is to be held at the CIT Wandesforde Quay Gallery in Cork city centre on September 18 at 4 p.m.

    Headscapes' by John Kingerlee (6,000-9,000). UPDATE: THESE MADE 1,600 AT HAMMER.

    Kilcatherine Landscape' by John Kingerlee (15,000-20,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 9,000 AT HAMMER




    Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
    An exhibition celebrating Irish art and modernism runs at the Ava Gallery at Clandeboye in Northern Ireland from June 16 to September 3.  Comprising 49 paintings and sculptural objects it features work by Jack B.Yeats, William Orpen, Mainie Jellett, Charles Lamb, Colin Middleton, F.E. McWilliam, Evie Hone, John Luke, and Gerard Dillon.

    Gerard Dillon, Tea Break from the exhibition. (Click on image to enlarge)

    William Orpen, Portrait of Dolly Stiles. (click on image to enlarge)

    The show marks the 20th anniversary of the ground-breaking exhibition and book ‘Irish Art & Modernism’ by Dr. B S Kennedy.  This work surveyed the period 1880 until 1950, and was published to accompany an exhibition of the same title held at Dublin’s Hugh Lane Gallery in 1991.
    The Adam’s exhibition at the Ava Gallery looks to recreate the original show, but largely concentrates on the latter half of the period. It focuses on areas including the Pupils of William Orpen; the Traditionalists, including Keating, McCaig and McKelvey; the Dublin Painters, based on the school established by Paul and Grace Henry; the Ulster Unit, featuring Middleton, O’Neill, Luke, Campbell and Dillon; the White Stag Group and the early Living Art Exhibitions, heralded by Le Brocquy, Jellett and McGuinness.
    David Britton, Director, Adam’s & Ava Gallery, said: “We have gone to great efforts to feature almost every artist that was included in the original 1991 exhibition, and in three cases we were able to source the original paintings – Christopher Campbell’s ‘Self Portrait’ of 1950, Charles Lamb’s ‘Hearing the News’, c. 1920-2, and Nick Nicholl’s ‘Contemplation, 1944’. Furthermore a number of works were recently included in the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s (IMMA) ‘The Moderns Exhibition’, including Evie Hone, Paul Henry & Jack B. Yeats. Many of the works we’ve selected weren’t available for exhibition twenty years ago, so we hope this 20th anniversary collection provides further insight to Irish modernism, and perhaps puts the original exhibition into a newer context”.
    Further information is available online at An exhibition catalogue can be downloaded.