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    Sunday, November 19th, 2017

    There is an unusually strong representation of Irish women artists at the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on November 22 at 6 pm.  The catalogue features artists May Guinness, Eva Hamilton, Letitia Hamilton, Evie Hone, Mary Swanzy, Norah McGuinness, Kitty Wilmer O’Brien, Margaret Stokes, Barbara Warren, Stella Steyn, Sarah Purser, Estella Solomons, Mildred Anne Butler, Rita Duffy, Sandra Bell, Melanie le Brocquy, Nancy Wynne Jones, Anne Madden and several others.

    By Merrion Strand by Jack B. Yeats is the most expensively estimated lot (€300,000-500,000).  Night Rider by Basil Blackshaw from the collection of journalist Eamon Mallie has an estimate of €100,000-150,000 and A  Kerry Lake, Dingle Peninsula by Paul Henry is estimated at €60,000-80,000).  Blue and White by William Scott was originally in the collection of architect Michael Scott and The Storm by Mary Swanzy is from the estate of PJ Mara. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    By Merrion Strand (1929) by Jack B. Yeats  UPDATE: THIS MADE 450,000 AT HAMMER

    Blue and White (1964) by William Scott  UPDATE: THIS MADE 33,000 AT HAMMER

    Above the Bay by Norah McGuinness  UPDATE: THIS MADE 36,000 AT HAMMER

    The Storm by Mary Swanzy  UPDATE: THIS MADE 100,000 AT HAMMER

    A Kerry Lake, Dingle Peninsula by Paul Henry  UPDATE: THIS MADE 65,000 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

    Jack Yeats, Pauline Bewick, Brian Ballard, John Kingerlee and Arthur Maderson are among those who feature in an online art auction of affordable Irish art at Morgan O’Driscoll until Monday August 14.  The catalogue, which features 337 lots, is online. Here is a small selection:


    BRIAN BALLARD (B.1943)Tulips in a Blue Jug (2017) (800-1,200)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 550 AT HAMMER

    PAULINE BEWICK (B.1935)Exercising (1974) (1,000-1,500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 900 AT HAMMER



    Sunday, April 9th, 2017

    A 1907 first edition of Synge’s The Aran Islands with drawings by Jack B. Yeats comes up at Sotheby’s in New York on April 24.  The limited edition is one of 150 large paper copies signed by both Synge and Yeats. This classic account of the people of the Aran Islands was important milestone in modern Irish publishing. It was the only book published by Maunsel and Co. to include hand colouring of an artist’s work. It is estimated at $7,000-10,000.

    The signatures of Synge and Yeats

    An illustration by Yeats from the book.


    Monday, February 20th, 2017
    A Donegal landscape by Paul Henry, two le Broquy tapestries, a horse painting by Yeats, and a selection of works by Tony O’Malley with estimates from 1,000 to 15,000 combine to make a varied and interesting selection at Whyte’s Irish and International art auction at the RDS on February 27.
    The sale features work by many important artists of the last two centuries including William Sadler, Walter Osborne, Sir John Lavery, James Humbert Craig, Sean Keating, Gerard Dillon, Colin Middleton, William Scott, Alexander Williams, Daniel MacLise and Percy French.
    Paul Henry’s Lough Altan, Co. Donegal (60,000-80,000) has been in the family of the original purchaser since the 1930’s. Fresh Horses by Yeats dates to c1914 and once belonged to the actor Peter O’Toole. It is estimated at 40,000-60,000. Another famous previous owner was the late Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey, gifted a painting of Clifden by Eva Henrietta Hamilton  a cousin of his wife Joan Hamilton.  It is estimated at 3,000-5,000.

    The auction continues the disposal of the private art collection of George and Maura McClelland which includes a run of O’Malley paintings (lots 78 to 93).  The works by Louis le Brocquy include  a little known life study, Self (30,000-50,000), a Study for Riverrun: Procession (40,000-60,000) and two Aubusson tapestries Cherub 1952 (20,000-30,000) and Tain: Cuchulainn in Spasm 1969 (15,000-18,000) as well as a range of lithographs. Viewing at the RDS gets underway on February 25.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    Lough Altan, Co. Donegal by Paul Henry (1876-1958) (60,000-80,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 58,000 AT HAMMER

    A Woman Swooning: Trio of Soldiers Beyond by Daniel Maclise (1806-1870) (4,000-6,000) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Fresh Horses by Jack B Yeats (1871-1957) (40,000-60,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Early Morning, Bahamas 1979 by Tony O’Malley (1913-2003) (12,000-15,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 16,500 AT HAMMER


    Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

    AN online only sale of Irish art is running at de Veres until February 6.  It comprises 250 lots, many with estimates of below 1,000.  Among the 20th century Irish paintings on offer there is work by  Jack B.Yeats, Nathaniel Hone, Robert Ballagh, Sean McSweeney, Pauline Bewick and Markey Robinson.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection.

    Brian Bourke – Landscape Switzerland 72 (400-600)

    Nathaniel Hone RHA 1831-1917 HARVESTING (300-500)

    Nano Reid 1900-1981 PORTRAIT OF ESTELLA SOLOMONS (800-1,200)

    Pauline Bewick – Amarylis -snow outside (2,000-3,000)



    Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
    Jack B. Yeats - Glory to the Brave Singer (250,000-350,000)

    Jack B. Yeats – Glory to the Brave Singer (250,000-350,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS PASSED AT 230,000

    A great late Yeats work will highlight the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art and Irish historical documents in Dublin on December 7.  Glory to the Brave Singer, which depicts a woman reclining in a landscape pointing towards a songbird, was exhibited at the RHA in 1951, at Victor Waddington’s in Dublin in October 1953 and at the Munster Fine Art Club annual exhibition in Cork in 1956. It was shown several times at Victor Waddington’s gallery in London in the late 1950’s and ’60’s but has rarely been seen in public since becoming part of a private collection in 1971. It is estimated at 250,000-350,000. It is one of four Yeats’ oils in what Adams describe as one of their finest sales in some years.

    There is a small section on Irish historical documents which includes the most expensively estimated lot, the final order of surrender written  by Padraig Pearse at Easter 1916 (1-1.5 million) and two original copies of the Irish Proclamation (each estimated at 250,000-350,000).

    The art sale features lots from the Smurfit Kappa Collection, which includes a self portrait by Sir William Orpen (the catalogue cover lot) and Paul Henry’s Connemara Landscape.  There are important works by traditional Northern painters like Frank McKelvey, James Humbert Craig and Maurice Wilks.  The back cover of the catalogue features one of Roderic O’Conor’s biggest and most ambitious paintings of the female nude. Etude du nu dates to 1914 and is estimated at 50,000-70,000. The sale features work by artists like Sir John Lavery, Joseph Malachy Kavanagh, Aloysius O’Kelly and Nathaniel Hill as well as four paintings by Patrick Hennessy who was the subject of an exhibition at IMMA during the summer.

    There is work by Mildred Anne Butler, Evie Hone, Mainie Jellett, Letitia and Eva Hamilton and Norah McGuinness.  Contemporary artists include Tony O’Malley, Louis le Brocquy, Mark Francis, Donald Teskey and John Doherty.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    UPDATE:   The Pearse surrender letter was unsold.  The sale grossed 1.35 million with 76% of lots sold.

    Louis le Brocquy HRHA (1916-2012) Human Image (Woman) (1997) (40,000-60,000)

    Louis le Brocquy HRHA (1916-2012)
    Human Image (Woman) (1997) (40,000-60,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Roderic O'Conor (1860-1940) Etude de Nu (50,000-70,000)

    Roderic O’Conor (1860-1940)
    Etude de Nu (50,000-70,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Patrick Hennessy RHA (1915-1980) The Bronze Horses of Saint Marks (1953) (15,000-20,000)

    Patrick Hennessy RHA (1915-1980)
    The Bronze Horses of Saint Marks (1953) (15,000-20,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 32,000 AT HAMMER

    Norah McGuinness HRHA (1901-1980) Waterweeds on the Nore (4,000-6,000)

    Norah McGuinness HRHA (1901-1980)
    Waterweeds on the Nore (4,000-6,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,500 AT HAMMER


    Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016
    Caballero by Jack B. Yeats made 135,000 at hammer.

    Caballero by Jack B. Yeats made 135,000 at hammer.

    A Scully for 165,000 at hammer and a Yeats at a hammer price of 135,000 over a top estimate of 120,000 made for a successful night at de Veres sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin this evening. There was much competitive bidding for a sale characterised by strong works.  The Yeats, Caballero from 1949, measures just 14″ x 18″ and was a strong result.  Leo Whelan’s Waiting sold for 60,000 at hammer, A wet day, Cork by John Doherty made a hammer price at the top estimate of 20,000 , an abstract landscape by Mary Swanzy sold for 25,000 at hammer over an estimate of 20,000-30,000, The Night Garden by William Crozier made 13,000 over a top estimate of 10,000 and Camille Souter’s Time of Waiting made 24,500 at hammer over a top estimate of 20,000.

    Woman and a Bridget Reilly by Robert Ballagh made 12,000 over a top estimate of 6,000 and Man and a Tom Wesselman by the same artist made 25,000 over a top estimate of 12,000. A number of works by Patrick Scott made over the top estimate including Gold Painting 12.94 which made 32,000 at hammer over a top estimate of 30,000.  Amng other artists whose hammer prices exceeded the top estimate were Hughie O’Donoghue, Barrie Cooke, Patrick Graham, Neill Shawcross, Kenneth Webb, Liam Belton, Felim Egan and Charles Tyrrell.

    (See post on for November 10, 2016)


    Thursday, November 17th, 2016

    ‘Water Front’, a deeply personal memory from childhood by the Irish artist Jack Butler Yeats, is one of the major works in Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art Sale in London on November 23. It is estimated at £150,000-200,000. Painted in 1947, the picture evokes the world of work and commerce with which Yeats was familiar from his childhood. He spent his early years living with his grandparents in Sligo where the family ran a shipping business. From their clothing, the three figures in the painting are readily identifiable as two seafarers and a farmer. To the left, a ship is moored at the quay, and in the background sit the buildings of a port.

    Another work by Yeats – A Soldier of Fortune (£50,000-80,000) – depicts a nomadic gentleman of the road. It has been suggested that this is a portrayal of Bowsie, a vagrant who appears in several of Yeats novels. Bonhams Head of Irish Art Penny Day commented, “Painted only one year apart, neither of these two paintings by Yeats have previously been offered at auction. They show Yeats exploring the expressive power of color and texture in paint to capture the spirit of the ordinary man.”

    Other Irish works in the sale include Nude Bathing by Roderic O’Conor (£50,000-80,000),  Moonlight – The Bridge by Sir John Lavery (£18,000-25,000), Killary Bay by Paul Henry (£3o,ooo-50,000) and Fresh and Salt by Jack B. Yeats (£30,000-50,000).

    UPDATE: Two works by Yeats, Fresh and Salt and A Soldier of Fortune sold respectively for £36,595 and £65,871, Lavery’s Evening Tangier, Looking towards Algeciras made £23,421, Back Gardens by William John Leech made £10,978 and Killary Bay by Paul Henry made £80,510.

    Jack B. Yeats - Water Front (£150,000-200,000)

    Jack B. Yeats – Water Front (£150,000-200,000) UPDATE: This was unsold

    Roderic O'Conor - Nude Bathing (£50,000-80,000)

    Roderic O’Conor – Nude Bathing (£50,000-80,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
    F. E. McWilliam - Woman Kneeling (100,000-150,000)

    F. E. McWilliam – Woman Kneeling sold for 90,000

    The sale of Irish and International art at Whyte’s in Dublin last night brought in a total of 1.2 million.   Matriach, a cherrywood carving by F.E. McWilliam, was the top lot. It sold for 90,000 at hammer and went to a collector in London.  There were some interesting results in an auction where  83% of lots on offer found buyers from among 100 bidders in the room, 50 telephone bidders and 150 internet buyers.  About 15% of lots, totalling 125,000, were sold on the internet.

    Other top prices were achieved for work by Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957) Singing Under the Canopy of Heaven, 1950, (85,000); Louis le Brocquy HRHA (1916-2012) Travellers, 1948, (58,000); Daniel O’Neill (1920-1974) Figure in a landscape, (45,000); Tony O’Malley HRHA (1913-2003) Morning Light II, Paradise Island, Bahamas,1982, (30,000); Dame Lucie Rie (Austrian/British 1902-1995) Footed Bowl, c.1980, (30,000); Colin Middleton MBE RHA (1910-1983) Children at Play, 1939, (29,000); William John Leech RHA ROI (1881-1968) Bowl of Fruit c.1944, (22,000); Patrick Leonard HRHA (1918-2005) A hot day in Rush, County Dublin, (18,000).


    Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
    Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - Singing Under the Canopy of Heaven (90,000-120,000)

    Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) – Singing Under the Canopy of Heaven (90,000-120,000)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 85,000

    A striking oil by Jack B. Yeats entitled Singing Under the Canopy of Heaven is among the many highlights at Whyte’s sale of Irish and international art sale at the RDS in Dublin on September 26. The work, which dates from 1950, is estimated at 90,000-120,000. It is one of a number of late Yeats paintings which focusses on strolling players and performers in the Irish countryside.   There are from the McClelland Collection in this auction but the Yeats is not one of them. The catalogue lists 180 lots. Here is a small selection.

    (See posts on for September 6 and August 25, 2016)

    Tony O'Malley HRHA (1913-2003) THE NIGHT PAINTER, 1981 - (12,000-15,000)

    Tony O’Malley HRHA (1913-2003) THE NIGHT PAINTER, 1981 – (12,000-15,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 14,000

    Dame Lucie Rie (1902-1995) PORCELAIN BOTTLE, c.1960 (10,000-15,000)

    Dame Lucie Rie (1902-1995) PORCELAIN BOTTLE, c.1960 (10,000-15,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 20,000 AT HAMMER

    Jean Lurçat (French, 1892-1966) LE TAURERGOT, 1949 (4,000-6,000)

    Jean Lurçat (French, 1892-1966) LE TAURERGOT, 1949 (4,000-6,000)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 9,000

    Daniel O'Neill (1920-1974) Figure in a Landscape (30,000-40,000)

    Daniel O’Neill (1920-1974) Figure in a Landscape (30,000-40,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 45,000 AT HAMMER