Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    November 13th, 2019

    The William Scott mural being sold by strapped for cash RTE, Ireland’s state broadcaster, comes up at Sotheby’s in London on November 19. Abstract Painting (Radio Telefis Eireann Mural) is lot 25 at Sotheby’s Modern and Post War British Art sale where it is estimated at £150,000-250,000.

    It was commissioned by Ronald Tallon of Scott, Tallon and Walker in 1966. The size was agreed beforehand that it was to be: ‘Height: not less than 5’0” and not more than 6’6”. Width: units of 2’6” not less than 5’)” overall’ and Scott’s resulting work centres on two abstracted forms painted thinly and presented on a grand scale.

    Lot 24, White with Black Predominating by William Scott is from the Patrick and Antoinette Murphy Collection and is estimated at £250,000-350,000. It was bought by the couple after they had seen it at the Trinity College, Dublin exhibition in 1973. He is a former chairman of the Arts Council of Ireland, she set up the Peppercannister Gallery in Dublin.

    William Scott – Abstract Painting (Radio Telefis Eireann Mural)


    November 12th, 2019

    Paul Henry, whose painting Bog Pool is to be offered at Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art in London on November 20, sometimes took a dim view of the world.  In a letter to the work’s owner he wrote ‘Personally I have often thought what is the good of painting little pictures of beautiful things when the world seems so full of ugly thoughts and deeds.” He did, however, concede: “but if these little pictures have brought any beauty and sweetness into some people’s lives their existence has been justified.”

    Bog Pool, estimated at £60,000-80,000 has remained in the same private collection for more than 100 years since its acquisition from the artist in around 1917. The family supported Paul Henry in his early career and a collection of six letters from Paul Henry to them with more observations on his work is included with this work.

    Among the other Irish highlights in the auction are Still Life with Fish, by William Scott (£70,000-100,000). Bacchus by Rowan Gillespie (£15,000-25,000), Nude by Basil Blackshaw (£10,000-15,000), The Smooth Red Rock, by Daniel O’Neill (£8,000-12,000) and Summer Storm by William Crozier (£7,000-10,000).

    Paul Henry R.H.A. (Irish, 1876-1958) Bog Pool


    November 12th, 2019

    Le Seize Septembre by Rene Magritte was the top lot at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in New York last night. It was $19.6 million in an auction which totalled $191.9 million. Buyers participated from 31 countries across five contintents.

    Unique Forms of Continuity in Space by Umberto Boccioni made $16.1 million, an artist record. Femme dans un fauteuil by Picasso made $13.3 million and Jardin et poulailler chez Octave Mirbeau, Les Damps, by Camille Pissarro made $10,2 million.

    Rene Magritte – Le seize Septembre


    November 11th, 2019

    There is an interesting story behind Cork Bowler, an oil on panel by Gabriel Hayes at Sotheby’s Irish Sale in London on November 19.  In a painting dating to c1941 a road bowler is poised, ready to release his steel ball.  Beside him another man stares with considerable concentration down the road.The setting is Lough Gur, Co. Limerick where the artists’ husband Sean P. O’Riordain, an archaeologist and lecturer at UCC, was excavating.  The model for the bowler was the foreman of the excavation, Jock Kiely and the onlooker is Lar Gorey, a local farmer.This is a very rare glimpse indeed of the art of road bowling expressed as pictorial art.  The artist and sculptor Gabriel Hayes (1909-1978) is best remembered for her sculptured panels on the Department of Industry on Kildare St. in Dublin. Remarkably for a woman in Ireland of that era she worked on these panels while suspended in a wooden cage 23 metres above ground level on the street.  Hayes also designed the coins for the new decimal currency introduced in Ireland in 1971. She was taught by Sean Keating at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin and his influence can be seen clearly in the realist tradition of this work. It is from the collection of Eddie Jordan and was previously owned by the Dwyer family of Monkstown, Cork.  It is estimated at £30,000-50,000.Works at Sotheby’s Irish sale this year span the 19th century to the present day from paintings to sculpture.  Many are appearing at auction for the first time.  There is art by Yeats, Orpen, Paul Henry, Nathaniel Hone, Roderic O’Conor, Sir John Lavery and a wide variety of more contemporary artists and sculptors.  Among these are Rowan Gillespie, F.E. MacWilliam, John Behan and Patrick O’Reilly.  Estimates range from £500 to £500,000 for the top Yeats’ in sale, A A Paris of the West.

    Cork Bowler by Gabriel Hayes


    November 10th, 2019

    The 158 lots on offer at the James Adam Mid-Century Modern evening sale in Dublin on November 19 demonstrate the changing habits of Irish auction goers and Irish auction houses. Buyers have largely turned their back on what can be described as ordinary antique furniture and no auctioneer can survive merely by offering this. Diversification has brought Italian made armchairs, glass topped 1950’s coffee tables, Murano glass pieces, furniture by noted designers, Art Deco wall lights, drinks trolleys, chrome side tables and even a pair of pear wood side tables by Pierluigi Ghianda for Christian Dior into the mix on offer at this sale.

    There is art by Mark Francis, Cecil King, Alice Maher, John Burke, Charles Tyrrell, Eilis O’Connell, Albert Irvin, Janet Mullarney, Sonja Landweer, Andy Warhol, Alan Davie, Patrick Graham and Robert Ballagh.  Viewing gets underway in Dublin next Friday.

    Welded steel sculpture by John Burke


    November 9th, 2019

    This 1841 daguerreotype of Maria Edgeworth by an unknown photographer is part of the first photography display at National Gallery of Ireland until February 2.  The growing photography collection is showcased  with works by Irish and international photographers including Erich Hartmann, Amelia Stein, Nevill Johnson, Eamonn Doyle, Inge Morath and Jane Bown.  Over the past 12 months the Gallery has acquired over 100 photographs by Irish and international photographers, ranging from the 19th century to contemporary practice.

    The collection includes both vintage and modern prints and incorporates daguerreotypes, albumen prints, platinum and silver gelatin prints.  In 2018, the Gallery acquired a rare example of a vintage albumen print, dating back to the 1860s, by one of the fore-runners of early photography, Julia Margaret Cameron. The distinctive work features Mary Ryan, an Irish woman who was taken in by Cameron when she was struggling to support herself in England.  Maria Edgeworth was a prolific Ango-Irish writer whose works include Castle Rackrent.  The daguerreotype was the first commercially successful photographic process and this one is from the collection of The National Gallery.


    November 7th, 2019

    A round of applause greeted the sale of a rare Chinese moon flask discovered at a routine valuation at Blarney Castle for a hammer price of 610,000 at Sheppards in Durrow today. It had been estimated at 80,000-120,000. Unusually Sheppards had imposed a special condition of no internet bidding on the piece and registered bidders were required to pay a deposit. The blue and white flask, Bianhu, from a Co. Cork collection was discovered at a valuation by Sheppards at Blarney Castle in September.

    (See post on for September 2, 2019)


    November 7th, 2019

    The most expensively estimated lots at the James Adam Mid Century Modern sale in Dublin on November 19 are all artworks. Linear Access by Mark Francis has an estimate of 15,000-25,000; Mother and Child (screenprint) by Andy Warhol; Mayo Series, Approaching Storm by Patrick Graham; Exposed Painting, Pewter by Callum Innes and Piccadilly by Albert Irvin are all estimated at 10,000-15,000. The evening auction of 158 lots Italian and Danish design furniture, Murano glass and a variety of collectibles.

    MARK FRANCIS (b.1962)
    Linear Axis


    November 6th, 2019

    This pair of Regency patinated bronze pedestals from a private Irish collection come up at Sotheby’s Style Private Collections sale in London on November 12. They are dated to c1810 and were acquired from Harold Caplin of Merrion Antiques around 1960. The estimate is £8,000-12,000.


    November 5th, 2019

    The National Antiques Fair at the South Court Hotel in LImerick on November 9 and 10 justifiably claims to be Ireland’s biggest antiques, art and vintage fair by far.  While other fairs have got smaller this one has got bigger and attracts customers from all over Ireland and beyond.  The closure of so many antique shops accounts for this growth as numerous dealers now find it more economical to trade at fairs rather than maintain a presence on the street.

    While this is a pity there is an upside.  Hibernian Antique Fairs say this fair will be full to the rafters with antique shops and dealers and art dealers and galleries.  Many of these are members of the Irish Antique Dealers Association who exhibit at the RDS fair every September.  Another reason for Limerick’s success is that this is a fair that caters for all tastes and all pockets.  Opening times are from 11 am to 6 pm on each day.

    Weldon’s will offer this Edwardian pear shaped emerald cluster ring priced at 24,500.