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  • RELICS OF THE COLD WAR HIT AUCTION BLOCK AT JULIEN’S

    October 26th, 2020

    More than 400 artefacts used by American astronauts, Cuban revolutionaries and Soviet spies will come under the hammer at Julien’s Auctions in Hollywood next year. The Cold War Relics Auction on February 13, 2021 will feature the entire collection from the KGB Espionage Museum in New York City. Lots on offer include clandestine operative cameras, counter-intelligence detectors, morse code machines, airplane radars, voice recorders and official government documents. Highlights include a gun designed to look like a tube of lipstick ($800-$1,200), a secret hotel-room listening device or “bug” from 1964 ($300-$500); a Soviet version of the Enigma code cipher machine known as the Fialka ($8,000-$12,000) and a replica of the deadly syringe umbrella believed to have been used to carry out the assassination of Bulgarian author Georgie Markov on a London street in 1978 ($2,000-$3,000).

    This collection was procured by historian, collector and museum curator, Julius Urbaitis, who worked as the consultant for the 2019 Emmy and Golden Globe award winning HBO series, Chernobyl.

    A gun designed to look like a tube of lipstick

    TWO DAY ONLINE SALE BY VICTOR MEE

    October 26th, 2020

    The Palace Collection is the title of a two day online only sale by the Co. Cavan auctioneer Victor Mee on October 28 and 29.   Lot 642 is a 17th century North Italian coffer on stand from Waterford Castle, lot 330 is a French giltwood and gesso side table with marble top. There is a collection of books by John Millington Synge from the Synge family home and an Irish mahogany coffer once owned by the Synge family.  Lot 772 is a 19th century revenue officials probing tool in a leather case. This was designed to find illicit poitin in haystacks.

    North Italian coffer

    AMERICAN ABSTRACTION AT SOTHEBY’S ON OCTOBER 28

    October 25th, 2020

    THE story of American abstraction in these two works by Clyfford Still and Brice Marden at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening sale in New York on October 28.

    IRISH AND INTERNTIONAL ART AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL ONLINE SALE

    October 25th, 2020

    The Irish and International art online auction by Morgan O’Driscoll on October 27 has aroused significant interest at home and abroad.  The international selection, headed by Warhol’s portraits of Mohammed Ali, is strong and includes work by Banksy, Bridget Riley, Howard Hodgkin, Ai Weiwei, Damien Hirst, Sol Lewitt and others. With 176 lots in total there is a good representation of leading Irish artists including Sean Scully, Louis le Brocquy, Jack Butler Yeats, William Crozier, John Butler Yeats, Sir William Orpen, Mainie Jellett, Kenneth Webb, Barry Castle, Tony O’Malley, Patrick Graham, Pauline Bewick and many more. There is sculpture by John Behan,  Sandra Bell,  Orla de Bri, F.E. McWilliam and others.

    BANKSY (20TH/21ST CENTURY) BRITISH – Morons (Sepia), 2007 (20,000-30,000).

    IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN ART IN NEW YORK

    October 25th, 2020

    Painted in a fever of activity Fleurs dans un verre by Vincent van Gogh will highlight Sotheby’s evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in New York on October 28.  This is one of about 70 canvases completed by van Gogh in the 70 days before his suicide in the village of  Auvers. It is estimated at $14-18 million.  The online auction will feature works from the Brooklyn Museum including a Monet and Surrealist art by Man Ray, Giorgio de Chirico and Rene Magritte.  The evening of exciting sales will kick off with a Contemporary Art sale highlighted by a 1958 Mark Rothko which pre-empts his celebrated Seagram Building murals now at the Tate in London.  Untitled (Black on Maroon) is estimated at $25-$35 million.

    Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) – Fleurs dans un verre

    IRELAND V NAZI GERMANY AT DALYMOUNT PARK IN 1936

    October 24th, 2020

    IN an era of fake news and false cures it is well to be reminded that perspectives change and judgement is fairest when not delivered with 20:20 hindsight. One lot at Mullen’s Collectors Cabinet sale in Laurel Park, Bray on October 31 pairs the Swastika decorated Nazi German flag with the Irish tricolour and recalls a day of straight arm salutes at Dalymount Park in Dublin in 1936. Hitler had been Chancellor for three years, Germany had already violated the Treaty of Versailles, a concentration camp had just opened near Berlin.  But Auschwitz, Belsen and the attempted implementation of Final Solution were all in the future, German finances were strong, Berlin had hosted the Olympic Games. When Ireland defeated Germany by five goals to two at Dalymount Park the Nazi party was popular and there was little inkling of the darkness soon to descend on Europe and the world.  The visitors were feted.

    Mullens auction includes the collection of Christy Rooney from The Liberties, a lifelong Manchester United and Ireland supporter. Nearly 4,000 programmes will be offered in 64 lots with estimates from €60-€700. Among them is one of the most sought after Irish programmes, the Ireland v Germany match of 1936.  Lot 471 is estimated at €600-€800.  A 1986 facsimile of the Book of Kells is estimated at €5,000-€7,000.  Lot 455 is the Broadcast Favourite gold medal awarded to Count John McCormack by the American Radio Exposition Company in 1925. This  is estimated at €2,000-€3,000.  There are 1916 Rising and Irish War of Independence medals, books including an 1849 post office directory and calendar, militaria including swords and percussion pistols, and a large selection of collectible items including film posters.  There is an added poignancy to lot 448, the 1964 Goldfinger poster as Margaret Nolan, the actress whose gold painted body featured in the film, has just died of cancer aged 76 and Honor Blackman, who played Pussy Galore, died earlier this year.

    IRELAND BY WILLIAM CROZIER AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL SALE

    October 23rd, 2020

    Ireland by William Crozier (1930-2011) is from Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish and International art evening auction online on Tuesday, October 27. A Dublin viewing planned for this weekend had to be postponed due to the latest Covid-19 government restrictions but the sale will go ahead. This small work is signed and titled verso and is estimated at 1,500-2,500. There are 176 lots in the sale, which is headed by Andy Warhol’s portraits of Mohammed Ali.

    CHRISTIE’S LIVE STREAMED LONDON TO PARIS AUCTION MAKES £90.2 MILLION

    October 23rd, 2020

    The live streamed London to Paris auction at Christie’s achieved £90.2 million last evening. Peter Doig’s Boiler House led the evening sale series when it sold for £13.8 million. David Hockney’s Portrait of Sir David Webster, sold to raise funds for London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, made £12.8 million. The Paris avant garde section was led by Pierre Soulages, whose Peinture 162 x 130 cm, 9 juillet 1961  sold for €5,392,500. Over 190,000 viewers tuned into the sales through Facebook, You Tube, Christies.com and Christie’s Live.

    PETER DOIG (B. 1959) – Boiler House

    SHINNORS AT DREWEATTS SALE MAKES £40,000

    October 22nd, 2020

    A large John Shinnors work from 1998 made a hammer price of £40,000 at Dreweatts saleroom in Newbury, Berkshire, today. Rising Kite, Clare Island Cycle from a corporate collection in the UK had been estimated at £10,000-15,000. It was one of the highlights at Dreweatts auction of modern and contemporary art. The auctioneers hailed the painting as: “a seminal example of Shinnor’s bold expressive style”. Represented by Taylor Galleries in Dublin the work of the Limerick artist is held by numerous public and private collections such as the Arts Council of Ireland, Ulster Museum, Belfast, Limerick City Art Gallery and the National Self Portrait Collection. 

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for October 11, 2020)

    John Shinnors – Rising Kite, Clare Island Cycle (143.5 x 284.5cm (56¼ x 112 inches)

    A STANDING STONE IN THE PARK FUNDRAISER

    October 22nd, 2020

    A timed online fundraising auction of work donated by Irish artists runs at Whyte’s until October 27. The Imogen Stuart Standing Stone fundraiser of 47 lots is for a piece of public sculpture at Otranto Park near Sandycove in Dublin. German by birth Imogen Stuart, now 92, is one of Ireland’s most respected artists and a Saoi of Aosdana (people of the Arts in Ireland). One of her most recent larger projects is a design for a granite sculpture, a ‘standing stone’ twelve feet in height and weighing between seven and eight tonnes. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has agreed to contribute to the erection of the sculpture and to maintain it once completed. But such a large piece of stone will be very expensive to quarry and carve, transport and install. A sum of probably more than 50,000 is needed and artists have donated work for the fundraiser for this project.

    Imogen Stuart RHA – The Good Shepherd. Design for sculpture for the Church of the Good Shepherd Churchtown Co Dublin