Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    June 1st, 2020

    The pulpit of truth is one of the more unusual lots at part two of Gerard Derry’s retirement online auction by Victor Mee of Co. Cavan on June 6 and 7. The early 20th century hand carved oak pulpit is part of an impressive collection of architectural pieces, garden and decorative interiors and pub memorabilia. It took three years to complete and is estimated at 40,000-80,000. Bids can be left online, in the office via phone or email. The sale is on Easy Live. The pulpit by Louis Mascré was commissioned by Baron and Baroness Crawhez and donated to the Church of Saint Martin in the town of Ransart, Belgium.

    The pulpit of truth


    May 28th, 2020

    The catalogue for Morgan O’Driscoll’s current sale is now online. The sale runs to June 8. It features work by a wide variety of artists from George Russell, Jack B. Yeats, Sean McSweeney and Paul Henry to Pauline Bewick, Dan O’Neill and Mary Feddan.

    Mary Fedden RA (1915-2012) British
    The Vantage Point 200


    May 27th, 2020

    A rare penny struck in Northern Ireland in the 17th Century made a world auction record price of £6,200 in an online sale at Dix Noonan Webb in London on May 26. The Andrew Willoughby penny from Carrickfergus in Co. Antrim was expected to fetch £240-300. The record price for a 17th century British trade token was paid by a collector in the US. It is in very fine condition. The underbidder was from the UK. Dix Noonan Webb will donate 5% of their buyers premium to NHS Charities Together. A total of £24,879 has donated to the charity from the auctions since the lockdown due to COVID-19.

    The rare Northern Ireland penny


    May 27th, 2020

    Works from across Picasso’s entire oeuvre including paintings, drawings, unique ceramics, editions, photographs, and even paint palettes will come under the hammer at an online sale at Sotheby’s from June 8-18. Over sixty lots are from the personal collection of the artist’s granddaughter, Marina Picasso. The sale will be exhibited at Sotheby’s in London with appropriate safety restrictions from June 15-18 and viewing is available by appointment on request prior to those dates.

    Pablo Picasso, Visage au nez noir (A. R. 609), 1969 (£15,000-20,000)


    May 27th, 2020

    Doneraile based Aidan Foley, who quickly moved to an online only model when the pandemic lockdown began in Ireland, will hold a two day sale on May 30 and 31. Around 350 lots are to come under the hammer on each day. He reports that successful online auctions make more work for the auctioneers.  There is more demand for pre-sale reports and afterwards lots have to be packaged and despatched, sometimes crated. One lot from his sale at the beginning of May went to Sri Lanka and buyers and collectors registered from around the globe.

    The upcoming auctions on easy live will include boxed sets of promotional discs sent to RTE’s Lorcan Murray.  Items from his extensive collection of rock and pop memorabilia have already featured at several of Aidan Foley’s auctions and garnered much interest. Another upcoming lot certain to arouse great interest is a pencil sketch of a river scene by John Butler Yeats estimated at €800-1,200. It is from an artists sketch book purchased at a Yeats family dispersal auction.

    Lot 73 is this metal postbox with P and T logo (200-300). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 320 AT HAMMER


    May 26th, 2020

    Irish artists like Liam O’Neill, Kenneth Webb, Colin Middleton and Mildred Ann Butler feature at an online sale by Gormleys Auctions which runs until June 2. Included are Smithfield Market and Castle Street, Dalkey by Liam O’Neill, each estimated at 9,000-11,000.

    Liam O’Neill. – Smithfield Market


    May 26th, 2020

    The spring 2020 edition of the Paris Contemporary Art online sale at Sotheby’s on June 3 offers a selection of works by world-renowned artists at an affordable price-point. It offers an opportunity to acquire artworks by contemporary artists such as Chiharu Shiota, Bernard Frize, Kiki Smith, Robert Combas, KAWS, Sam Francis, Jef Verheyen and many more.

    Francois Barbatre – Corridor No. 3 (2,000-3,000) (1981 – pastel on paper)


    May 24th, 2020

    Covid-19 failed to put a stop to the onward gallop of a fairground carousel at an online auction in Ireland today. The rare late 19th century hand operated carousel in working order with eighteen hand carved and painted horses and two swing boats, complete with hand painted carnival signs, surround and canopy sold for a hammer price of 14,500 at Victor Mee’s online sale. It was day two of the auction of the collection of retired dealer and collector Gerry Derry of Armagh.

    (See post on for May 21, 2020)


    May 24th, 2020

    We’ve all become unhappily accustomed to restrictions on our movement.  One lot at Woodwards first ever online only auction in Cork on May 30 demonstrates that lockdown comes in many forms, and there is nothing new about it.  People can be confined to their own property, then forced to flee in most dramatic circumstances, as happened in Cobh long ago.

    Lot 285 at Woodwards is a detailed painting of The Queens Hotel, Queenstown, Ireland (now the Commodore Hotel, Cobh) by Walter Richards. It dates to the first decade of the last century.  Around that time the hotel, which first opened in 1854, was taken over by Otto Humbert, a naturalised British subject of German birth. The noted hotelier had electricity and phones installed and an American style bar on the ground floor. Fast forward to May 1915. Survivors of the Lusitania were brought ashore at Cobh. Some were billeted in The Queen’s Hotel. Feelings about the killing of 1,200 civilians aboard a passenger liner torpedoed by a German U-boat ran very high. Survivors were horrified to discover the proprietor of the hotel was a German.  The fact that he was blameless, that nothing against him was known, counted for nothing.  A mob surrounded the hotel demanding it be burned to the ground.Otto Humbert and his family were forced to hide in the wine cellar for three days until the rioters dispersed. By then he had prudently decided to leave.  He fled from his own hotel and made it to Liverpool.  There he boarded a ship bound for New York, a fact reported by The New York Times on May 30, 1915.  Many of those who died on the Lusitania are buried at Old Church cemetery in Cobh, just five minutes from the hotel.The sinking propelled America into the First World War and Queenstown into global war headlines. The painting depicts a much more tranquil, Edwardian style, harbour front hotel with attractive red and white awnings.  It is estimated at just €400-500.  A few years earlier, in 1912, some of those who set off on the Titanic spent their last night ashore at this historic hotel with its long history of servicing the liner trade.

    Woodwards will offer 338 lots antique furniture, fine art, silver and collectibles in an online auction which has already aroused much interest. 

    The Queen’s Hotel, Queenstown by Walter Richards. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,500 AT HAMMER


    May 22nd, 2020

    Before television and the internet dominated news and entertainment, popular culture was propagated largely through illustrated magazines. Christie’s is running an online private selling exhibition, The Art of the Cover until June 19. It features some of America’s most loved illustration artists and explores how they created a visual narrative of modern American life in the first decades of the 20th century. Among the 23 lots are works by Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, George Hughes and Joseph Kernan. The price ranges from under $100,000 to over $5 million.

    Garth Montgomery Williams (1912-1996) – Cover for Charlotte’s Web (a pair)