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  • LOST IN FIRE, RECOVERED IN VIRTUAL REALITY

    December 5th, 2019

    IRELAND’S national archives, public records lost during a fire at the Four Courts in Dublin as a result of the Civil War in 1922, are to be recreated using virtual reality. Historical, genealogical and administrative records were lost. A new project, Beyond 2022, Ireland’s Virtual Records Treasury, seeks to recreate the lost records. It is led by Trinity College Dublin in partnership with the National Archives of Ireland, the National Archives UK, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Irish Manuscripts Commission.

    Dr. Peter Crooks, Director of Beyond 2022, said: “The Four Courts blaze of 1922 was a national tragedy, but thankfully all is not lost. Beyond 2022 combines virtual reality and big data to recover from the losses of 1922 to a greater extent than ever previously imagined. The scale of copies and duplicates we have identified in other archives is astounding. We are already working with over 35 libraries and archives in Ireland, the UK and US. And this is only the beginning.”

    A virtual reality model of the digitally reconstructed Public Record Office of Ireland will be launched in June 2022 to mark the centenary of the fire.

    THE FOUR COURTS ON FIRE IN 1922

    SCOTT’S RED ON RED THE TOP LOT AT JAMES ADAM

    December 5th, 2019

    Red on Red by William Scott was the top lot at the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on December 4. It made a hammer price of 150,000 over an estimates of 150,000-200,000. A second Scott in the sale, Still Life with Pan and Bowl, failed to find a buyer. Other top lots, with hammer prices in brackets, were: Cottages by a lake by Paul Henry (90,000); Cottages by Water by Paul Henry (70,000); Portrait of J.P. Donleavy by Robert Ballagh (30,000); Moonstruck Youth by Gerard Dillon (28,000); Lake View by Paul Henry (26,000); Horses Exercising, early morning by Basil Blackshaw (22,000); Crouching figure with bowed head by Mary Swanzy (18,500); Boats by William John Leech (18,000); Mother and child by Sir John Lavery (15,000); Clifton, Connemara by George Campbell (15,000); Drover II by Basil Blackshaw (14,000); Still Life by Patrick Swift (14,000); Coastline by Donald Teskey (10,000) and Polo Match, St Moritz by Peter Curling (8,000).

    Red on Red by William Scott

    STAR WARS ONLINE SALE AT SOTHEBY’S

    December 4th, 2019

    A second sale dedicated to ‘Star Wars’ collectibles runs at Sotheby’s until December 13. ‘Star Wars Online’ offers around 100 lots from the acclaimed franchise ahead of the highly-anticipated release of the final film in the sequel trilogy, ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’. As well as original posters, stickers and action figures, the auction will include many early, rare and prized collectibles associated with the film series. The 2015 Star Wars sale at Sotheby’s was a sellout.

    Clive Barker – Bring me the head of Darth Vadar 1999 (£6,000-9,000)

    SUCCESSFUL OLD MASTERS EVENING SALE AT CHRISTIE’S

    December 4th, 2019

    There was a new auction record for the Siennese painter Giovanni di Paolo at Christie’s Old Masters evening sale in London on December 3. Saint Clare rescuing the shipwrecked made £5.3 million in an auction that brought in £24.2 million and attracted bidders from 22 countries across four continents.

    Clementine Sinclair, head of the sale said:  “The Evening sale achieved the highest ever percentage sold by lot for a London Old Masters sale at 86% and was 94% sold by value, making it one of the most successful auctions in recent years. This is a testament to the strength and depth in the market for material that is fresh and well-priced. The sale was led by the two exceptional predella panels by Giovanni di Paolo, recently restituted to the heirs of Harry Fuld, which set a new auction record for the artist and made a combined total of £8.9 million. The sale also included an important group of still lifes, with examples by Ambrosius Bosschaert, Jan Breughel the Elder, Daniel Seghers and Abraham Mignon, which was 100% sold and set a new artist record for a work by Seghers. There was cross category interest and buying, underlining the success of combining Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture.” 

    Giovanni di Paolo (Siena c. 1399-1482) Saint Clare rescuing the shipwrecked

    A SCULLY HIGHLIGHT AT PARIS ART SALE

    December 3rd, 2019

    A Sean Scully work from a private collection in Paris comes up at Sotheby’s Art Contemporain day sale on December 5. The pastel on paper 5.27.91 is estimated at 150,000-200,000 euro. It was previously at the Mayor Rowan Gallery in New York.

    JEWELLERY AND DIAMONDS AT JAMES ADAM

    December 2nd, 2019

    The catalogue for the James Adam evening sale of fine jewellery and watches on December 3 features 246 lots. Estimates range from 250 euro to 200,000 euro, the high estimate for a 6.74 carat rectangular cut diamond ring. A c1925 Art Deco diamond bracelet is estimated at 7,000-8,000, a diamond line bracelet by Boodles has an estimate of 4,000-5,000, a c1885 Faberge diamond and gold brooch is estimated at 3,000-4,000 and a pair of diamond ear studs is estimated at 50,000-60,000.

    A DIAMOND AND CHRYSOPRASE ‘ROSE DE NOëL’ BROOCH, BY VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, CIRCA 1980. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    1831 VIEW OF GOUGANE BARRA

    December 2nd, 2019

    This 1831 view of Gougane Barra in Co. Cork by George Petrie is among the works displayed by Guy Peppiatt. Fine Art during London Art Week the showcase of London’s leading galleries in Mayfair and St. James which runs from December 1-6. The watercolour heightened with touches of body colour is indistinctly signed and dated. 

    ORPEN PORTRAIT OF FIRST WOMAN TO ENTER TOMB OF KING TUT

    December 1st, 2019

    THIS portrait of Lady Evelyn Herbert by Sir William Orpen comes up at Sotheby’s sale of Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite and British Impressionist art in London on December 10.  She was the only daughter of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, accompanied him to Egypt on several occasions and had the distinction of being the first woman to enter the antechamber of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in November 1922.  Despite the supposed Curse of Tutankhamun, fuelled in part by her father’s tragic death in 1923 in Cairo as a result of a mosquito bite, she lived to the ripe old age of 79 and died without incident in January 1980.  The portrait is estimated at £40,000-60,000.

    MAJOR SALES OF IRISH ART COMING UP IN DUBLIN

    November 30th, 2019

    Major evening winter sales of art take place in Dublin at Whyte’s on December 2 and James Adam on December 4. There are two works by William Scott (1913-1989) at Adams purchased from his estate and never before on the market.  Still Life with Pan and Bowl is estimated at 200,000-300,000 and Red on Red has an estimate of 150,000-200,000.  Dated to 1967 this latter work featured in his retrospective at the Tate Gallery in 1972 and is related to the RTE abstract of the same year commissioned for RTE which sold for £187,500 at Sotheby’s in London last week. In sharp contrast to this work Cottages by a Lake by Paul Henry, one of three paintings in this auction by an artist whose work achieves stellar results, is estimated at 80,000-120,000.  There is a portrait of J.P. Dunleavy painted by Robert Ballagh to mark his 60th birthday and The Irish Farm by Margaret Clarke is the original 1930 artwork for the Empire Marketing Board Free State Butter poster. There are some highly affordable artworks with low estimates of up to 600 by artists like Anita Shelbourne RHA, Imogen Stuart, Colin Middleton, Mainie Jellett, Rosamund Praeger, Ronald Ossory Dunlop and Elizabeth Rivers.  If the budget stretches to 1,000 and beyond the choice widens considerable. 

    Whyte’s, which goes on view at the RDS today hot on the heels of the sale of the Ernie O’Malley collection last Monday, offers art by Yeats, le Brocquy, Dan O’Neill, Sir William Orpen and Paul Henry alongside international artists like Andy Warhol and a selection of  19 North American works from the collection of Anglo Irish Banks.  These are from their New York office and are being sold by the special IBRC liquidator.  Why Anglo in their heyday did not avail of the opportunity to hang Irish art in their New York offices is yet another Irish banking mystery. The 238 lots on offer at Whyte’s includes a joyous Bahamas canvas by Tony O’Malley titled Air, Water, Light (40,000-60,000) which was purchased from the  collection of the Bank of Ireland almost a decade ago.  A painting of Glencree, Co. Wicklow by Paul Henry is estimated at 60,000-80,000. Given what Whyte’s describe as an upsurge of interest in the work of Irish women artists there should be plenty of bidders for a selection of paintings by Letitia Hamilton and one by her sister Eva.  A portrait of James Joyce by Louis le Brocquy is estimated at 18,000-22,000 and a 1952 work by Maurice MacGonigal depicts the artists wife and family with dog at Errisberg, Co. Mayo (20,000-30,000). Lot 46, Figures on a staircase, York St., Dublin by Patrick Hennessy was painted in 1942 when the street was the site of a terrace of grand Georgian houses that had become one of the worst tenements in Dublin. They were pulled down in the 1960’s to make way for modern social housing. In this work Hennessy documents some of the grimmest poverty to be found anywhere in the country with large families in single rooms, no sanitation and no privacy. He depicts a woman reading a newspaper on the landing with another woman looking out nervously from her doorway at a time of war. The work is estimated at 8,000-10,000. 

    The Anglo collection was acquired mostly through artists agents and galleries and offers a selection of mostly contemporary North American artists at price guides ranging from 500 to  2,000. Three of the works, in sets of nine, five and three respectively, are more  expensively estimated.  They are Glass Series 2004 by Kermit Berg (4,000-5,000);  Scene Studies 2000 by Carla Arocha (3,000-5,000) and Seething City This is and We Experience by Gabart Farrar (2,000-3,000).

    The Irish Farm by Margaret Clarke at James Adam (12,000-16,000). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD
    Air, Water, Light Bahamas by Tony O’Malley at Whyte’s (40,000-60,000). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A BIG DIAMOND RING AT ADAMS

    November 29th, 2019

    A single stone rectangular cut diamond ring of 6.74 carats is, at 160,000-200,000, the most expensively estimated lot at the James Adam sale of fine jewellery and watches in Dublin on December 3. A pair of diamond ear studs is estimated at 50,000-60,000 and a sapphire and diamond pendant on chain has an estimate of 25,000-30,000. A total of 246 lots will come under the hammer in this evening sale.

    This ring is estimated at 160,000-200,000. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD