In a nod to the recovering Irish economy Sotheby’s will resume stand alone Irish art sales in London on October 21. Highlighting that sale is Nude Girl Reading by Sir William Orpen, described by Sotheby’s as one of his most sensational nudes. Not on the market for 30 years, it is estimated at £300,000-500,000. The work was painted in 1921 and the subject was Orpen’s lover Yvonne Aubicq, daughter of the mayor of Lille. Their affair continued until 1928.
In 1995 Sotheby’s was the first London auction house to hold sales of Irish art. Arabella Bishop, Head of Sotheby’s Ireland, said: “Over the last couple of years, interest has increased and we have seen new collectors, not only from Ireland but internationally, actively buying and bidding in this field. We anticipate that the market for Irish art will continue to gather pace and feel that the moment is right to re-launch an annual dedicated sale. We are also thrilled to be opening our new 1,350 square-foot office in Dublin. This larger space, with excellent private viewing conditions, further cements our commitment to the Irish market.”
In Dublin Sotheby’s will open new premises at 29 Molesworth Street on June 27, a move from the previous location at 16 Molesworth St. Stand alone sales of Irish art have not been held at Sotheby’s since 2011.