Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Posts Tagged ‘Whyte’s’


    Monday, May 15th, 2017

    William Scott (1913-1989) – Blue Still Life  UPDATE: THIS MADE 450,000 AT HAMMER

    William Scott’s Blue Still Life will lead Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on May 29.  From the McClelland collection it has been on loan to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) for the past eight years. This large scale work – it measures six feet long by four feet high – has previously been on exhibition at the Tate Gallery in London in 1972, at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York in 1973, at Gallery Moos in Toronto in 1973 and it was with Richard Green at Art Basel in 2008. It is the most valuable work by artist to appear at auction in Ireland.  The estimate is 400,000-600,000.  Scott was born in Scotland of an Irish father and spent most of his childhood in Enniskillen.

    The sale of more than 180 works will be on display at the RDS from May 27.  Top lots include a tapestry – Adam and Eve – by Louis le Brocquy from the McClelland collection, a sculpture in wood by F.E. McWilliam and a large landscape by Paul Henry.  There is work by Yeats, Orpen, William Conor, Frank McKelvey, James Humbert Craig, Percy French, William Leech, Micheal Mac Liammoir, Gerard Dillon, Barrie Cooke, Colin Middleton, Norah McGuinness, Camille Souter, Basil Blackshaw, Tony O’Malley and Gwen O’Dowd. The live and online sale will begin at 6 p.m.


    Monday, May 1st, 2017

    Garryowen champions collar.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 6,600 AT HAMMER

    Garryowen was far from your average red setter.  The champions collar of an animal who was mentioned in James Joyces’ Ulysses, accorded an obituary in the Chicago Tribune and whose portrait is in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland, comes up at the eclectic collector sale at Whyte’s on Molesworth St. in Dublin on May 6.  Suspended with engraved medals representing each of his 37 firsts the collar is estimated at 800-1,200.

    Owned by James Giltrap, Joyce’s uncle, Garryowen began winning shows in the 1880’s.  When he won the Grand Prix de Honeur at the Belgian Kennel Club and Limerick tobacco manufacturers the Spillanes named a new tobacco product Garryowen as a “Setter of quality”. Wearing his champions collar Garryowen appeared on enamel signs throughout the country. Three versions of the sign are in the sale with estimate of 150-400.


    Sunday, March 26th, 2017

    The Spring online sale of Irish art at Whyte’s next April 3 offers art lovers an opportunity to acquire quality artwork from Ireland’s best-known artists at a more a modest price point. Examples from the McClelland Collection are included in the sale.  Estimates range from 100 to 2,000 across 240 lots.  There is work by  Jack Yeats, William Conor, Estella Solomons, Colin Middleton, Tony O’Malley, John Skelton, James Humbert Craig, Frank McKelvey, Maurice Canning Wilks, Thomas Ryan, Patrick Leonard, Markey Robinson, Basil Blackshaw, and others.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    Estella Frances Solomons HRHA (1882-1968) THE ROSSES, COUNTY DONEGAL (400-600) UPDATE: THIS MADE 380 AT HAMMER

    Tony O’Malley HRHA (1913-2003) UNTITLED (STILL LIFE), 1964 (1,000-1,500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 850 AT HAMMER

    Brian Bourke HRHA (b.1936) POLLING, 1966 (600-800)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    William Conor OBE RHA RUA ROI (1881-1968) MILL WORKERS, BELFAST, 1906 (1,000-1,500) UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,050 AT HAMMER

    Patrick Leonard HRHA (1918-2005) SKETCHES [AT THE PUMP] (SET OF THREE) (200-300)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 220 AT HAMMER


    Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

    Harry Kernoff – Up the Workers’ Republic Ireland.

    Up the Workers’ Republic, Ireland is the title of this arresting watercolour by Harry Kernoff RHA (1900-1974) which sold for a hammer price of 1,600 over a top estimate of 1,200 at Whyte’s sales of Irish and International Art in Dublin.  The title of the work appears in nautical code (the International Code of Signals) on the rows of the flags.

    The auction grossed 850,000 with 78% of lots sold.  More than half went for over the top estimate. Over 250 bidders competed in the room, on-line, on the book or on the telephone. In this auction only 20% of lots sold went to internet buyers, which is lower than in previous art sales.

    Auctioneer Ian Whyte said that they are very pleased with this confident start of the 2017 series of art auctions, continuing the trend set in 2016.  Whyte’s will host an internet auction on April 3 and their next sale of Important Irish Art is on May 29.

    (See posts on for February 20 and February 15, 2017)


    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


    Thursday, February 16th, 2017

    Paul Henry RHA (1876-1958) PORTRAIT OF AN ELDERLY LADY, c.1904-1905  UPDATE:THIS WAS UNSOLD)

    This finely drawn Paul Henry charcoal portrait of an elderly lady recalls a period when the artist worked as an illustrator for a newspaper.  It is lot 28 at Whyte’s upcoming sale of Irish and International Art at the RDS, Dublin on February 27.  According to catalogue notes by Dr. S.B. Kennedy it was almost certainly for the weekly journal To-day, founded in 1893 by Jerome K. Jerome. Unsurprisingly the journal had a literary bias and scope for illustration.  Henry worked on a “types” series in 1904-05.  All of these drawings showed his debt to Whistler, his former teacher in Paris, whose funeral he had attended in 1903.

    The “types” series  began with The Unfortunate, a drawing of an elderly pauper reading a paper by the Thames Embankment at dusk.  It was followed by The Grandmother, The Ballad Singer, The Crank and others. The work is estimated at 5,000-7,000.

    Whyte’s sale of 187 lots features work from many major artists of the last two centuries. The catalogue is on line.  Viewing at the RDS gets underway on February 25.


    Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
    THE 1916 Rising Medal awarded posthumously to Joseph Plunkett comes up at Whyte’s Eclectic Collector sale in Dublin on Saturday January 21.  In 1941 Grace, the patriot’s widow, refused to attend a ceremony to receive the medal, probably in protest against the wartime policy of internment of IRA members. Grace Gifford married Joseph Plunkett in the prison chapel at Kilmainham seven hours before his execution, became a prominent republican, opposed the Treaty and was imprisoned by the Irish Free State government.   When the medal was posted to her she threw it in a bin, where it was rescued by a friend, Cathal Gannon.  Grace told him to keep it as she did not want to have it. It is estimated at 40,000-60,000.

    The silk flag of the Costello Volunteers, raised in Mayo and Roscommon in 1779, is a rarity estimated at 20,000-30,000. The sale features 40 lots of early printed maps and charts of Ireland and its coast, a collection Staffordshire figures of Irish nationalists including Tone, O’Connell, Parnell and Gladstone, the George V ministerial box used by Sean Lemass from 1932-39, the 1886 bandleaders mace from the Brian Borhoime Band, Clontarf, a piece of shrapnel recovered from Rathdown Park, Terenure following the bombing by German aircraft in January 1941, gold coins and banknotes among almost 550 lots.

    The 1916 Rising medal awarded to Joseph Plunkett (40,000-60,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 40,000 AT HAMMER

    19th century Staffordshire figure of Daniel O’Connell (300-500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 360 AT HAMMER

    1654 Maps of Ireland by Joan Blaeu, from Theatrum or Novus Atlas. A set of six hand-coloured, engraved maps of Ireland, Ulster; Munster, Connaught (1,500-2,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,400 AT HAMMER

    The 18th century silk flag of the Costello Volunteers (20,000-30,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Saturday, January 14th, 2017
    A replica of an historic painting of The Consecration of St. Mary’s, Pope’s Quay, has been presented by Dublin auctioneer’s Whyte’s to the Cork Dominican church and priory. The original was sold by Whyte’s in September 2015.  It was bought for the collection of Ireland’s Great Hunger  Museum at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut. They paid 19,000 on the hammer for the c1842 work estimated at 8,000-10,000.  St. Mary’s was the disappointed underbidder.
    “We felt very sorry that they didn’t get it” said Ian Whyte. “We got permission from the Famine Museum to create a full sized replica and this was finally completed and framed just before Christmas and we were delighted it arrived at St. Mary’s, where it can be appreciated by the people of Cork and visitors to the city”.
    The work had been presented to Kearns Deane, architect of St. Mary’s and had been passed down through the Deane family. At the time it was auctioned it had not been seen in public since being shown at the RHA in 1842. It depicts the ceremony in the newly built catholic church shortly after Catholic emancipation and includes the figure of Daniel O’Connell in the congregation.  The foundation stone of St. Mary’s was laid in 1832 and it opened in 1839. The Cork artist James Mahony is best known for his harrowing illustrations of the Irish famine for the Illustrated London News.  According to art historian Dr. Julian Campbell his illustrations were admired by, among others, Vincent van Gogh.
    St. Mary’s have placed the painting in the sanctuary and will install overhead lighting to ensure that it can be easily seen and appreciated by all visitors.


    The replica of the work being admired at St. Mary’s by Fr. Gerard Dunne, Prior and Mr. John O’Flynn


    Sunday, January 8th, 2017

    An eyewitness account of the failed French invasion at Bantry dated December 31, 1796 comes up at Whyte’s Eclectic Collector sale in Dublin on January 21.  A three page letter written by Colonel Thomas Balfour of the North Lowland Fencibles to his wife in Orkey reads:  “We have been marched here in consequence of an alarm spread by a French fleet appearing off Bantry Bay … one officer and four seamen … landed and have been made prisoners”.

    “Expedition d’Irlande” was a 15,000 strong invasion force gathered by the French Directory for landing in Ireland in December 1796. The fleet left France on December 15 and the operation was abandoned in Bantry on December 29.  The letter is estimated at 200-300.  The auction will include maps, historical manuscripts, medals, militaria, sports memorabilia, advertising, travel, coins and banknotes.




    Monday, December 19th, 2016
    The big winter Irish art sales – by de Veres, Whytes, Morgan O’Driscoll and James Adam – grossed almost five million euro. This figure suggests that market for Irish art is in a state of rude good health.  The real story is more complex.  Bidding is brisk, turnover is up and the market has its problems. All auctioneers are finding it difficult to source top quality works.  “What incentive is there to sell when you can get no interest on your money” one asked.
    Right now this remains very much a buyer’s market. Prices are deflated and a correction upwards is long overdue.  The view is that this has to happen, the only question is when.  Meantime prices are far from stratospheric across all levels and ranges. Todays art buyer has become both discriminating and picky and there is a price above which they will not venture.
    The market in 2016 was unpredictable and threw up some surprising results.  Adams failed to get their main Yeats away at the latest sale but still grossed 1.35 million with 76% of lots on offer finding buyers. Morgan O’Driscoll capped off what he described as an unbelievable year with a Dublin sale that drew bidders from 12 countries and grossed over a million this month. The September sale at Whyte’s was the most successful since 2008 and a small west of Ireland landscape by Paul Henry made a hammer price of 87,000 at their latest sale. A large pastel by Sean Scully sold for 165,000 at the late November auction by de Veres, which grossed around 1.6 million. And Sean Keating’s Aran Woman and her Children sold for 130,000 at hammer a Mealy’s this month – the first time since 2008 that a Keating sold for a six figure sum. Sell through rates of around 75%-80% are being reported from most sales.

    The Bronze Horses of St. Marks by Patrick Hennessy made a hammer price of 32,000 at James Adam.

    The Bronze Horses of St. Marks by Patrick Hennessy made a hammer price of 32,000 at James Adam.

    Garden at Night by William Crozier sold for a hammer price of 19,000 at Whyte's

    Garden at Night by William Crozier sold for a hammer price of 19,000 at Whyte’s