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    Tony O'Malley's Summer made 41,000 at de Veres. (click on image to enlarge).

    Tony O'Malley's Winter made 44,000 at de Veres. (click on image to enlarge)

    IRISH artist Tony O’Malley (1913-2003) is at last beginning to make waves in the salesrooms.  He has long been admired by collectors and been the subject of important shows in major galleries like the IMMA, which mounted a retrospective, and the Crawford.

    At the time of his death he was considered to be the grand old man of Irish art.  He was the subject of a show at Tate St. Ives, where he lived and worked for 30 years, in 2006.

    Yet at a series of Irish Sales over the years at Christie’s and Sotheby’s this artist did not achieve the sort of saleroom recognition that ought to have been his due.

    That is starting to change, and not before time.  At de Veres in Dublin on Tuesday, June 15 three works by O’Malley were hotly contested.  Winter, Summer and Spring are three oils on board, each one measures 48″ x 48″ and all are all dated to 1985.  Four telephone bidders and three bidders in the room vied for them.  Spring, the first to be sold made 38,000, Summer made 41,000 and Winter made 44,000.

    The top lot was Paul Henry’s Dingle Peninsula from Rossbeigh Beach.  It made 46,000 in a sale which brought in a hammer price of just over 400,000 and achieved a sell rate of around 90 per cent.  Conor Fallon’s steel Heron made 5,200 and John Behan’s bronze Famine Ship made 5,000.

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