Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for October, 2010


    Sunday, October 10th, 2010

    Three bottles, unopened, shaped like the World Cup from Italia '90. (click on image to enlarge)

    An reader named Chris Oglesby is seeking a value for an unusual item which could be categorised as a collectable.  It is a three bottle wine collection made for the 1990 World Cup, Italia ’90.
    The bottles are still in their original packaging, unopened and untouched.  Each one is shaped like a World Cup trophy.  If anyone can help they can get in touch with Chris at


    Thursday, October 7th, 2010

    THE Crosby Garrett Helmet sold at Christies for £1.28 million.

    An exceptional survival from Roman Britain, discovered by metal detector in Cumbria in May 2010,  made £2,281,250 at an antiquities sale at Christie’s, South Kensington, London on October 7.  The Crosby Garrett Helmet, dating from the late 1st-2nd Century A.D., is an extraordinary example of Roman metalwork at its zenith.  No less than six bidders chased it, three on the telephone, two in the room and one via the internet from California. It was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder.

    This is one of only three Roman Cavalry Parade helmets complete with face-masks to have been discovered in Britain.  The Ribchester Helmet, found in 1796, is in the British Museum and the Newstead Helmet, fond c1905, is in the Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh.


    Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

    This Irish wine cistern sold for 55,000.

    THE top lot at the James Adam Country House Collections sale at Slane Castle was an unusual George III Irish oval gilt brass bound wine cistern.  It made 55,0000 in a sale which realised over one million euro.

    The riding crop of the Empress Sisi made 37,000 (see post for September 21).  The Empress of Austria’s riding crop had been estimated at 3,000-5,000.  The underbidder was Viennese and the crop, with its pommel in the shape of an Imperial Crown, was sold to a buyer in the Channel Islands.

    Lot 173, a pair of 19th century large Mei-Ping shaped vases made 42,000 over an estimate of 600-800.  A William Moore side table made 20,000 and a George II Irish carved mahogany side table with Kilkenny marble top made 27,000.

    The folio by Catherine Gage of The Birds of Rathlin made 13,500 and the aggregate total for a series of eleven wash and ink artworks by Caroline Hamilton (1771-1861) was 23,000.

    James Adam managing director James O’Halloran said he was very happy with the result.


    Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

    The Monkey Table, a Japanese lacquered table, was purchased at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 by the Bachelor Duke of Devonshire. It made £22,500 over an estimate of £3,000-£5,000. (click on image to enlarge)

    IT took just four hours today for the three day auction at Chatsworth in Derbyshire to surpass the pre-sale estimate for the entire sale.  At barely one sixth of the way through the total realised stood at £3 million against a pre-sale estimate of £2.5 million for the entire auction. (see post for July 14 on

    The scene in the marquee. (click to enlarge)I

    The top lot was a George II carved white marble chimneypiece designed by William Kent c1735 which made £565,250 against a pre-sale estimate of £200,000-300,000. Around 400 people attended at the sale on day one with another 1,000 bidding via telephone, over the internet or through absentee bids.  The sale comprises about 20,000 objects in 1,400 lots.

    THE first day of the sale brought in £4.4 milion.  Among the fittings from Devonshire House in Piccadilly, London were five chimneypieces designed by William Kent, each of which sold well. The highest price of the day went to the chimneypiece from the saloon at Devonshire House, which sold for £565,250.  The Kent designed chimneypiece for the ballroom made  £457,250, a George II grey veined white marble chimneypiece, made £265,250, a George III Mahogany and crossbanded five pedestal dining table c1790, made £205,250 and a George III gilt bronze mounted library bookcase with a concealed door through which the Prince Regent (later George IV) would pass to visit Mrs Fitzherbert made £145,250. Bidding was from around the world.

    The 541 lot second day session realised £1,385,158, bringing the total for the two days to  £5,801,583.  Highest prices were achieved by a mid 18th century Italian carved giltwood console table, which sold for £109,250, a George IV gilt-bronze free standing nine light candelabrum c1820 which made  £67,250 and a Regency State dining table c1815-1820 which made £70,850. The sale continues on  Thursday, October 7.
    UPDATE:  The total for the three day sale reached £6,485,282

    Middleton makes 27,000 at Whyte’s

    Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

    Coastal Landscape with Trees and Cottage by Colin Middleton made 27,000 at Whyte's in Dublin.

    Byzantine Madonna, 1934 by Harry Kernoff made 7,400 at Whyte's.

    Colin Middleton’s Coastal Landscape with Trees and Cottage, 1937 was the top lot at the Whyte’s Irish and British art sale in Dublin on October 4.

    The sale realised 360,000 and around 60 per cent of the 263 lots on offer found buyers.  A collection of works by Jack B. Yeats from a sketchbook made up the first 40 lots.  All found buyers and brought new purchasers to the salesroom.


    Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

    Henri Matisse’s Back IV (Nu de Dos, 4eme état), a monumental bronze from the most celebrated and ambitious sculptural series of the artist’s career, will lead the Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on November 3. Matisse’s Back series of four life-sized relief sculptures is featured in major museums collections around the world, including the Tate Gallery in London, MOMA in New York, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

    The upcoming sale marks the first time that any of these colossal bronzes has appeared at auction.  Christie’s expects Back IV, the final, definitive statement in this sequence of progressively abstracted female figures, to fetch $25,000,000-35,000,000.  Of the twelve bronze casts that were made of this culminating relief, the work to be offered is one of only two examples remaining in private hands. As the most starkly refined and highly architectural of the Back reliefs, Back IV divides the female form into three nearly symmetrical zones, with the woman’s head, hair and spine fused into a startlingly stripped-down columnar figure at center of the work.


    Monday, October 4th, 2010

    The rare emerald cut pink diamond. (click on image to enlarge)

    An exceptionally rare 24.78 carat fancy intense pink diamond of the purest hue is to be sold at Sotheby’s in Geneva on November 16.  The market for coloured diamonds is extremely strong and they are the most sought after gemstones in the world’s auction rooms today.

    This emerald cut stone carries a type IIa classification which comprises less than 2% of all of the world’ diamonds.   Though graded VVS2 quality the Gemological Institute of America say the stone may be internally flawless after repolishing.  It was purchased directly from Mr. Harry Winston 60 years ago and has not been on the open market since.

    David Bennett, Sotheby’s International Jewellery department chairman, Europe and the Middle East, said: “This stone is one of the most desirable diamonds I have ever seen. What makes it so immensely rare is the combination of its exceptional colour and purity with the classic emerald-cut”. It is estimated at $27-38 million Swiss Francs. about 20-25 million euro.
    UPDATE:  IT MADE 45,442,5000 Swiss Francs, or 33.7 million euro


    Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

    A look at the Adams Country House Collections Sale at Slane by

    Here are some prices achieved by some of the pieces featured on the film. The slope front bureau made 340, the Irish armchair made 520,  the inlaid chest behind the armchair made 11,500, the talboy made 3,500, the William Moore pier table made 20,000, the Killarney work table made 4,800,  the Japanned cabinet on its carved giltwood stand made 8,400, the Old Bridge bureau made 18,000, the Irish double sided tea table made 8,500 and the wine cistern made 55,000.  The Spode dessert service sold for 1,200,  the Ziegler carpet sold for 17,000, the hunt table made 5,500 and the Irish sideboard made 8,200.