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  • MOSAIC MURAL FOR THE GARDEN AT SHEPPARDS

    June 18th, 2024

    This mosaic mural made with hand cut Venetian tiles is lot 433 at Sheppards Glantelwe gardens auction in Durrow on June 25 and 26. It is a large piece and the estimate is €3,000-€5,000. The catalogue for the online and live in Durrow sale of architural ornaments and garden lots is online and viewing gets underway on June 22. More than 600 lots will come under the hammer.

    A TOUCAN OR TWO AT VICTOR MEE AUCTION

    June 16th, 2024

    Guinness for Strength ad by John Gilroy featuring a sculpted man after Henry Moore

    If you frequented Irish pubs in the rare old times the gleaming advertising mirrors that surrounded you then are valuable collectible items now. In terms of cost at auction they trump objects including original artworks by John Gilroy from a valuable Guinness collection which highlights three days of sales by Victor Mee on June 18, 19 and 20.

    The English artist John Gilroy (1898-1985) who worked with S.H. Benson – Britain’s largest advertising agency – created the iconic toucan and what is now instantly recognisable art for Guinness featuring the zoo keeper and animals enjoying the black stuff.  Such is the global reach of this art that you could safely say that Gilroy was here, there and everywhere as well! His colleagues at Bensons included author Dorothy L Sayers, grand daughter of an emigrant from Tipperary, then a copywriter.  

    A framed Guinness toucan with a paintbrush pencil sketch by John Gilroy

    The collection of David Hughes, a brewer at Park Royal in London for 16 years, features among almost 1,500 lots at Victor Mee’s sale. He is the author of several books about Guinness including Gilroy was Good for Guinness and The Lost Art of Guinness. “After a long time in the business it’s a treat to come across a private collection of the calibre and esteem that David’s collection brags” auctioneer Victor Mee remarked. 

    The collection is still growing so Hughes has reluctantly decided to part with some of it. Framed sketches illustrated and signed by Gilroy including a Guinness for Strength ad featuring a sculpted stone man after Henry Moore, a Guinness Toucan with a paintbrush and pencil sketch, a koala on a branch with a Guinness bottle, a sketch of zoo animals running and a 1953 advertising artwork depicting the Guinness sea lion and an ostrich feature.  Estimates for all these sketches range between €200 and €1,200.

    A ruberoid Guinness penguin is estimated at just €40-€60 and other items from the collection include an ashtray with penguin, a 1920’s round cream plastic calendar, a pottery water jug and a grey stone bulldog.

    Rare early 20th century Cork Distilleries advertising mirror

    An early 20th century Paddy Pure Pot Still Ten Years Old Irish Whiskey mirror made by the Dublin glass plate company (€5,000-€8,000), a Schweppes table cordial and cider mirror (€4,000-€8,000) and an early 20th century Hignetts reliable cigarettes dispensing cabinet on reverse painted glass (€4,000-€8,000) are the most expensively estimated lots. These are much sought after by publicans, hoteliers and collectors of memorabilia. 

    A number of other mirrors, a Shell advertising pump and an advertising clock with central mirrored panel are among the top lots. The most expensively estimated Hughes lot is a Guinness Time wall metal advertising sign depicting Gilroy figures of a seal, an ostrich and a man (€2,000-€4,000).  Lot 1252 is a rare advertising showcard for Slattery’s Bacon and Hams, Tralee (€400-€600).  The catalogue is online and the sales begin each day at 5.30 pm.

    A Slattery’s Bacon and Hams Tralee advertising showcard

    GALLOP OVER TO LIMERICK RACECOURSE FOR ANTIQUES AND VINTAGE FAIR

    June 15th, 2024

    A Cork silver freedom box by George Hodder c1760 at the National Antiques Fair in Limerick.

    With everything from a rare Cork silver freedom box and a vintage rocking horse to an eyecatching contemporary photograph of Loop Head, stylish oil lamps and elegant vintage furniture the National antiques, art and vintage fair at Limerick Racecourse today and tomorrow (June 15-16) offers an extraordinary range.  Here you will find antique shops, art galleries, vintage dealers with fine and rare pieces and nostalgic collectibles in a roomy setting with ample easy parking.  Irish art, an array of antique furniture from dealers like Greene’s of Drogheda, Oriental rugs from Annamoe Antiques in Co. Wicklow, hats and handbags from vintage fashion dealer Eily Henry, porcelain, antique glass, a portable HMV gramophone at and a vintage copper Irish Distillers hot whiskey dispenser at the stand of Sean and Breege Cassidy, coins, banknotes, rare books and even a Norwegian ladle at Edwin and Lorna Mercier’s stand combine to make Ireland’s biggest fair an event with something for everyone.

    More than 70 dealers from all round the country will be in attendance.  James Weldon of Dublin will bring the Cork freedom box illustrated above, made in 1760 by George Hodder and a George III Cork coffee pot by John Nicholson to the fair on Sunday, and is unable to attend today.  Opening times on both days are from 11 am to 6 pm.

    A striking photograph of Loop Head by Camille Seaman at the Purple Onion Gallery at the National Antiques Fair in Limerick.

    THE JEWELLERY BOX AT JAMES ADAM NOW ONLINE

    June 14th, 2024

    RETRO GOLD BRACELET, CIRCA 1955

    This retro gold bracelet comes up at Adams online auction, The Jewellery Box, which runs until June 24. The wide hinged band is composed of textured links set in a geometric pattern, enhanced with chased foliate detailing, within triangular-shaped polished and engraved motifs. It is mounted in 18 carat gold with indistinct Italian registry mark and is estimated at €2,200-€2,800. The sale offers a selection of rings, earrings, bracelets, watches and will be on view at Adams in Dublin from June 21. Meantime the catalogue is online.

    FAMINE SHIP (2024) BY JOHN BEHAN AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL

    June 13th, 2024

    JOHN BEHAN (B.1938) – FAMINE SHIP

    This 2024 famine ship by John Behan is lot 109 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish art online auction which runs until June 24. The bronze is estimated at €15,000-€20,000. The auction features work by artists as varied as Letitia M Hamilton and Nano Reid to Patrick Hennessy, Harry Kernoff and Barbara Warren. Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Sean Scully are on the catalogue along with Brian Maguire, Willie McKeown and Felim Egan. The catalogue is online and the sale will be on view in Skibbereen from June 20.

    THE MOST EXPENSIVE PAINTING SOLD IN FRANCE THIS YEAR

    June 12th, 2024

    JEAN SIMÉON CHARDIN (PARIS 1699-1779) – Le Melon entamé (The cut melon)

    Le Melon entamé (1760) by Jean Siméon Chardin made €26,730,000 over a top estimate of €12 million at Christie’s in Paris today to become the most expensive Old Master painting sold in France, the most expensive 18th century French old master in the world and the most expensive work sold in France in 2024. From the Marcille and Rothschild collections it was acquired by a European collector. One of the signal masterpieces of Chardin’s late career, The Cut Melon has for almost two centuries belonged to just two families, the Marcille and the Rothschild dynasties, each of which gathered through succeeding generations the greatest and most celebrated collections of Chardin’s paintings ever assembled. 

    THE MALE FORM AT BONHAMS IN BRUSSELS

    June 12th, 2024

    IAN BRENNAN AND ONE OF HIS PAINTINGS

    Bonhams ground-breaking Male Form sale arrives in Brussels following successful previous auctions on the same theme held in London, New York and Paris. The mission remains unchanged: to challenge a market that has been traditionally centred on the concept of the male gaze – depicting women from a masculine standpoint. It will span centuries and genres, from Antiquities and Old Master Paintings to Sculpture and Decorative Arts, from Contemporary Art to Photography. This year the sale on June 25 features two paintings by the Irish artist Ian Brennan (born 1963). The artist, who trained as a psychotherapist, paints the shadow aspect of the human condition.

    A GUINNESS COLLECTION AMONG THREE DAYS OF SALES AT VICTOR MEE

    June 12th, 2024

    Guinness Time wall metal advertising sign depicting Gilroy figures of the seal, ostrich and man

    This wall metal Guinness Time image from the David Hughes Collection is lot 1143 at three days of sales by Victor Mee on June 18, 19 and 20. Original artworks from his collection are among the highlights of this pub memorabilia and collectibles sale. He was a brewer at Park Royal and is the author of several books about Guinness. The catalogue is online.

    THE NATIONAL ANTIQUES, ART AND VINTAGE FAIR IN LIMERICK

    June 11th, 2024

    Among more than 70 dealers at the National Antiques, Art and Vintage fair at Limerick Racecourse on June 15 and 16 will be Edwin and Lorna Mercer. Among the items they will have on display is a selection of tea strainers, a Georg Jensen serving spoon, tea caddy spoons and Norwegian ladle. There will be dealers in antique furniture, art and more than 15 jewellery dealers along with dealers in porcelain, glass, coins, banknotes, militaria and all sort of collectibles.

    WOODWARDS BELIEVE THIS WORK TO BE AN UNTRACED PAUL HENRY

    June 10th, 2024

     Hillside Cottages, Connemara at Woodwards summer auction in Cork on June 22 is believed by the auctioneers to be an untraced work by Paul Henry – possibly The Wilds of Connemara exhibited at the Fine Art Society in London in 1934 or In the Hills of Connemara exhibited in New York and Boston in 1930. Dr. S.B. Kennedy, the late art historian, curator and author of the definitive work on Henry, reported that a number of Paul Henry’s paintings remained untraced or unidentified. “Paul Henry often made paintings from drawings done perhaps years earlier.  Consequently his pictures can be difficult to date and too he often painted variations on a theme”.  The setting for this one, which the artist painted many times, is a remote group of cottages in the townland of Loughanillaun with the road from Ballynahinch to Clifden hidden in the valley below the mountains.  Framed by Gilberts, Cork in the 1930’s the painting was last at auction at Woodwards around 1964. UPDATE: THIS AUCTION HAS NOW BEEN PUT BACK TO JUNE 29.