Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    February 25th, 2021

    The most significant collection to come to auction for years comes up at various sales at Sotheby’s in New York next May. At the heart of Anne Marion’s collection are masterworks by three of the greatest American artists of the post-War period: Andy Warhol’s iconic Elvis 2 Times, Richard Diebenkorn’s sublime Ocean Park No. 40; and Clyfford Still’s staggering PH-125 (1948-No. 1). All three works are estimated to achieve in excess of $20 million.

    Legendary Texan rancher and businesswoman Anne Marion (1938-2020) was celebrated for her generous support of cultural institutions, critical contributions to education and healthcare, and her passion for the life and traditions of the American Southwest where her family had been rooted for generations. The treasures of her own private collection have remained – until now – largely unknown.  It is estimated in the region of $150 million.

    The great-granddaughter of Captain Samuel Burk Burnett (1849-1922) she was heiress to the historic, world-renowned Four Sixes Ranch in King County, Texas. Samuel took the unusual step of willing the bulk of his estate to his 22-year-old granddaughter, ‘Big Anne’, to be held in trust for her unborn child (the future ‘Little Anne’ Marion), thereby launching the tradition of female leadership of one of Texas’ greatest family businesses. Following her mother’s death in 1980, ‘Little Anne’ took over management of the business and ran it for the next forty years.  She was a trusted board director and benefactor of the Kimbell Art Museum for four decades, and a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

    Hugh Hildesley, who joined Sotheby’s in 1961 and played an integral role in the company’s formative years in the US, was a longstanding colleague of Sotheby’s eminent chairman and auctioneer John L. Marion, Anne’s husband for the last 32 years of her life. He remembers: He remembers: “The sheer scope of Anne’s astounding achievements will prove influential and transformative for generations to come: from her role as President of the Burnett Foundation to founding the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum; donor of the Marion Emergency Care Center in Fort Worth, to tireless Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Anne knew quality when she saw it”.

    Richard Diebenkorn – Ocean Park No. 40


    February 25th, 2021

    A poster for True Grit, the film for which John Wayne won an Oscar, comes up at Fonsie Mealy’s Collectors’ Sale online from Castlecomer on March 3. Directed by Henry Hathaway the film starred John Wayne, Glen Campbell and Kim Darby. The poster is estimated at 120-180 in a sale of collectibles including literature, local and national history, sport and cinema.


    February 24th, 2021

    After a century in the same private collection a painting by Vincent Van Gogh will make its auction debut in Paris in March with an estimate of 5-8 million. Painted in the Spring of 1887 – during Vincent van Gogh’s two-year sojourn in Paris – Scène de rue à Montmartre is from his series depicting the legendary Moulin de la Galette in Montmartre. The work has remained in the same family collection for over 100 years, and despite having been published in seven catalogues, it has never been exhibited until now.  Sotheby’s and Mirabaud Mercier will present it to the public for the first time; with exhibitions to be held in Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Paris ahead of the Impressionist & Modern Art auction on March 25.

    Vincent van Gogh
    Scène de rue à Montmartre (Impasse des deux frères et le Moulin à Poivre), 1887


    February 24th, 2021

    Sir John Lavery’s painting of the Viscountess Castlerosse at Palm Springs. comes up at Christie’s Modern British Art evening sale in London on March 1 with an estimate of £400,000-600,000. With all its connotations of the rich at play in the years between the First and Second World Wars it is redolent of an era long gone. Doris Delavigne married the 6th Earl of Kenmare in 1928. A similar version of the scene sold for €50,000 at de Veres in Dublin in 2014.

    Christie’s list the provenance as: The artist, and by descent to his granddaughter, Lady Ann Sempill.
    Her sale; Christie’s, London, 13 May 1966, lot 77, as ‘Portrait of Lady Castlerosse, seated on a springboard at Palm Springs’.
    Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 22 May 1997, lot 264, as ‘Lady Castlerosse on a diving board’, where purchased by the present owner.

    SIR JOHN LAVERY, R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A. (1856-1941) The Viscountess Castlerosse, Palm Springs (the version sold at de Veres)


    February 24th, 2021

    All lots sold and 72 of the 75 on offer made more than their top estimates at Christie’s Deep Impact: Martian Lunar and Other Rare Meteorites online only sale from New York. It brought in $4,351,750 and attracted bidders from 23 countries across five continents. A slice of the moon, the fourth largest in this world, made $525,000 over a top estimate of $350,000 and a sphere fashioned from a lunar meteorite made $500,000 over a top estimate of $25,000. A 1.7 gram sample of the planet Mars sold for $13,750, worth more than 100 times its weight in gold.

    This stone meteorite made $175,000


    February 23rd, 2021

    Wet Sands at Booterstown by Desmond Carrick (1928-2012) is among the lots at Whyte’s Spring Art sale in Dublin on March 1. It is estimated at 1,000-1,500 in a timed online auction which runs until March 1. Whytes say that this is an ideal sale for new and seasoned collectors. More than 260 with estimates from 50-5,000 will come under the hammer.


    February 21st, 2021

    Restoration specialists will find much to occupy themselves with at a two day  online auction by Doneraile based Aidan Foley next weekend.  A large selection of antique and reproduction furniture, paintings, porcelain and collectibles from Springmount House in Sunday’s Well, Cork will be on offer on February 27.  Some furniture like a Victorian side or hall table, is simply too large for most modern homes.   Most of it is in need of some tender loving care.  A bit of elbow grease will be enough to revive a selection of occasional tables, side tables, a dining table, a set of eight dining chairs, gilt framed overmantle mirrors and various  bureaux.  Other works, such as a fine antique red lacquered boulle bureau plat, an old drum table, a Georgian bureau with astragal glazed doors (one broken pane), an early Victorian card table and a library table will need more specialist intervention.  There is a decidedly continental feel to some of the furniture, like some gilt framed drawing room chairs which were almost certainly imported into this country from mainland Europe several decades ago. A selection of Victorian style gilt framed landscapes, seascapes and townscapes in gilt frames include two smaller townscapes. attributed to Fr. Prout, humorist, literary journalist and author of The Bells of Shandon. A large dark shipboard scene is signed Marstrand, possibly the Danish artist Wilhelm Marstrand (1810-1873).  And there is a print of John Butts View of Cork from Audley Place, painted around 1750. Another lot to attract a different sort of specialist interest is an 07 registration Mercedes 500 SEL with leather interior and 5.5 V8 petrol engine.  According to Mr. Foley it originally cost €180,000. This time round it is estimated at €12,000-€16,000 as lot number 2.   The sales will be live on from 11 am on February 27 and 28.

    Gilt overmantle mirror


    February 20th, 2021

    A particularly rare Irish £10 Ploughman’s note is estimated at £22,000-£26,000 at Dix Noonan Webb’s live and online auction in London on February 24. The Northern Bank note dated May 6, 1929 is being offered by a private collector at a sale of British, Irish and World Banknotes which features the only known example of a £50 note from the Belfast Banking Company Ltd. This note, dated December 7, 1917, is estimated at £8,000-£10,000.

     Founded in 1783 the Bank of Ireland was the first national bank in this country and a £1 note from its Westport branch dating from 1838 is estimated at £9,000-£11,000. Surviving pre-1850 notes are very rare. 

    UPDATE: The Northern Bank Ploughman’s Note sold for £18,000, the Belfast Banking Co. £50 note sold for £10,000 and the Westport note sold for £9,500.

    Rare Ploughman’s Note from the Northern Bank. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £18,000


    February 20th, 2021

    A watercolour of Samuel Beckett by Louis le Brocquy is among the highlights at Gormley’s evening online art auction in Belfast  on February 23).  It is estimated at €19,100-€22,750. A bronze standing Irish wolfhound by Stephen McKeown is estimated at €11,500-€17,000.  There is a print by Damien Hirst, a lithograph by Salvador Dali and work by Maurice Wilks, Charles McAuley, Brian Ballard, Gladys McCabe, Markey Robinson and other well known Irish artists.

    Portrait of Samuel Beckett by Louis le Brocquy UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £16,000


    February 19th, 2021

    A little bit of Ireland in the form of a stone from the Giant’s Causeway comes up at Victor Mee’s online Decorative Interiors sale on March 3 and 4. Stones from the Giant’s Causeway were used for hundreds of years for housebuilding around the north west coast. They can been seen in old stone walls and are regularly found when ancient houses fall down. The three stones coming up as lots 436-438 in this sale were once part of a structure located near the causeway. Each one is estimated at 200-400.

    The Giants Causeway was a commercial quarry from the 1940’s until the 1960’s. A quarry a short distance away with the same stones from the same lava flow was called Craignahulliar. It was worked by Portrush Columnar Basalt Company Ltd until the 1980’s. The basalt columns formed from the same lava flows 60 million years ago, which cooled slowly forming the unusual shapes.