Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for June, 2011


    Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

    A summer auction with 539 lots on the catalogue takes place in Skibbereen in west Cork on Sunday June 26.    Auctioneer Morgan O’Driscoll will offer a variety of lots including furniture, art, porcelain, silver, plate and collectibles.

    The venue is Railway House, Bypass Road, Skibbereen.  The sale starts at 4 p.m.  Here is small selection of what is on offer.  The entire catalogue is on-line.

    UPDATE:   Around 84 per cent of lots on offer found buyers at a sale which attracted a good number of people on a warm summer day.

    Brian Ballard RUA (b.1943) 'Poppies and Books' is estimated at 1,700-2,500. UPDATE: IT MADE 1,700

    Two from a set of eight 19th century Hepplewhite dining chairs estimated at 2,500-3,500. UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR 2,200

    Peter Richard Atkinson (1840-1882) 'Two 90 Gun Ships of the Line Entering Cork Harbour' watercolour signed and dated Oct 11th 1860 estimated at 1,000-1,500. UPDATE: IT MADE 1,010

    This Georgian bureau is estimated at 1,000-1,400. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A Victorian club fender estimated at 450-550. UPDATE: THIS MADE 450

    A walnut 19th century sewing table estimated at 500-600. UPDATE: THIS MADE 525


    Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

    Egon Schiele's world record painting entitled Houses with Laundry (Suburb II). (Click on image to enlarge).

    There was a world auction record for Egon Schiele at Sotheby’s on June 22. His Häuser mit bunter Wäsche (Vorstadt II) / Houses with Laundry (Suburb II) made £24,681,250, almost double the previous auction record for the Austrian artist.

    The painting, sold by the Leopold Museum in Vienna, was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder.  Executed in 1914 at the height of Egon Schiele’s short career (he died in 1918 at the age of just 28), the painting is one of the most impressive of the artist’s few monumental cityscapes and is loosely based on motifs drawn from Krumau, the town known to have inspired some of his greatest works. It was this town in Southern Bohemia in which Schiele’s mother was born, and to which Schiele and his lover Valerie (Wally) Neuzil moved in 1911 in order to escape what they perceived as the claustrophobic atmosphere of Vienna.

    Overall, the sale achieved £96,968,000, within the pre-sale estimate of £77 to £111 million. It was  91.4% sold by lot and 98.4% by value. Records were also set for Marc Chagall’s Au-Dessus de la ville, which made £1,833,250, a record for a work on paper by the artist  and Tamara de Lempicka’s  La Dormeuse of 1930 which made  £4,073,250/$6,617,809, a US dollar record for the artist.

    The June Impressionist & Modern Art sale at Sotheby’s made £14,622,250, bringing the total for the June series to £111,590,250.

    See post for May 5.


    Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

    Irish silver at Bonhams.

    A George I/II Irish Provincial silver kitchen pepper pot (lot number 242 in the photograph) by William Newenham, Cork, circa 1720’s, sold for £5,040 inclusive of buyer’s premium at Bonham’s in London on June 22.

    Lot number 241, a George III Irish silver sauce-boat, by Matthew West, Dublin, circa 1775, made £1,440. Lot 243, a George I Irish silver bowl, by Henry Daniell, Dublin 1719, was unsold.  Lot 244, an 18th century Irish Provincial silver cream jug, sponsor’s mark over-striking another, only part of sponsor marks visible; a script “W” possibly for William Reynolds of Cork, also stamped “Sterling”, circa 1750, made £2,640.

    An 18th century Irish Provincial silver hook-end ladle, by Stephen Walsh, stamped twice Walsh and Sterling, Cork, circa 1760 made £2,640;  a George III Irish Provincial silver Old English pattern ladle, by Thomas Burke, stamped twice with maker’s mark and once with Sterling, Limerick circa 1790 made £7,920; a George III Irish silver two-handled tray, by James Scott, and retailed by West, Dublin 1812 made £3,360; a George III Irish silver ewer, probably of London manufacture, sponsor’s/retailer’s mark (?)W over-striking another R(?), probably that of Robert Hennell Dublin 1777 made £2,160; a mid 18th century Irish Provincial silver waiter, stamped thrice with maker’s mark only, IB by Jonathan Buck of Limerick, circa 1745, made £6,960; a set of four Georgian Irish silver cast candlesticks, by James Warren Dublin, no date letter circa 1760 made £5,520 and a rare 18th century Irish silver saffron teapot, maker’s mark W(T), possibly for William Townsend, Dublin, no date letter, second half of 18th century made £1,680.

    See post for June 7.


    Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

    An Irish landscape by John Laporte (click on image to enlarge).

    Ross Castle and the Lakes of Killarney by Paul Sandby. (Click on image to enlarge).

    A folio of 62 Irish landscapes by John Laport (Dublin 1761-1839 London) will be offered at Sotheby’s sale of Old Master and British drawings in London on July 7. It includes views of Belleek near Ballyshannon; Muckross Abbey, Killarney ; Killarney Lake from Innisfallen; Kenmare Church with Landsdown Lodge in the distance; Turk Lake, Killarney; Glenflesk near Killarney; the Brickeen Bridge, Killarney; the Ardtully Bridge on the Rowdy River; Blackwater Bridge; Loch Derg; the Dublin Lighthouse; and others.  Each one is inscribed with a title and two are dated to 1798.  The estimate is £6,000-8,000.

    A bodycolour over pencil drawing by Paul Sandby R.A. of Ross Castle in Killarney features at the same sale.  Sandby was born in Nottingham in 1730 and died in London in 1809.  The work was sold by the Fine Art Society, London in 1957.  It is estimated at £6,000-8,000.


    Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

    Picasso Jeune fille endormie. (Click on image to enlarge)

    An important and rarely-seen masterpiece by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Jeune fille endormie made £13,481,250 at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on June 21.

    The intimate portrait of the artist’s lover Marie-Thérèse Walter,  subject of many of Picasso’s most celebrated pictures, had been expected to realize £9 million to £12 million.

    Having resided in just two private collections since it was painted, Jeune fille endormie was given to the University of Sydney in 2010 by an anonymous donor on condition that it would be sold and that the University would dedicate the proceeds to scientific research. It was acquired by an anonymous bidder.

    The auction brought in £140,019,200 and sold  87% by lot and 80% by value. This is the third highest total for the category at Christie’s in London. Buyers were 54% from Europe, 42% from the Americas and 4% from Asia.

    The top three prices were paid for portraits of three different lovers of Picasso, led by Femme assise, robe bleue, a portrait of Dora Maar, which made £17,961,250 over a top estimate of  £8 million. Buste de Françoise, a 1946 portrait of  Picasso’s lover Françoise Gilot made £10,681,250.

    See post for April 27.


    Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

    SIR ANTHONY VAN DYCK STUDY OF A BEARDED MAN WITH HANDS RAISED. (copyright, Sotheby's, click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: IT made £457,250.

    Another Van Dyck created when the painter was working in the studio of Pieter Paul Rubens will feature at Sotheby’s sale in London on July 6.  (See post for June 10).

    A Bearded Man with Hands Raised was painted around 1616 and is estimated at £200,000-300,000.

    Sotheby’s has identified the model as one whom Van Dyck used for a variety of sketches. In the 2004 catalogue raisonné the painting was known only from the old photograph depicting it prior to cleaning and restoration. It was included under ‘Questionable Attributions’.
    However, all scholars who have viewed the painting since it was consigned to Sotheby’s agree that it is an autograph work by Van Dyck.
    George Gordon, co-chairman Old Master Paintings worldwide at Sotheby’s, said: “This work fits like a glove into Van Dyck’s oeuvre. The painting is a fine example of his working methods at the time he was painting in Rubens’ studio in Antwerp. This is a study of a man who appears in several of the artist’s works. It is a face we recognise from other finished works, with the model depicted in exactly this pose.”
    UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £427,250


    Friday, June 17th, 2011

    IN Dublin James Adam will auction the contents of the superior interior of 24 Fitzwilliam Square on Tuesday, June 21 at 11 a.m.  The sale takes place at the James Adam Salerooms on St. Stephen’s Green. It is on view on Saturday, Sunday and Monday at nearby Fitzwilliam Square.

    See post for June 7.

    UPDATE: Trade buyers were in short supply in a sale which brought in a hammer price of 510,000 against a lower estimate of 700,000.  The most expensive pieces were left unsold, which seems to be a developing trend of the moment in major international antique furniture events. There were some remarkable prices for the less expensively estimated pieces.

    Here is a selection of some of the lots on offer:

    This Directoire games table, purchased from Galerie Saint-Germain, Monte Carlo, 1995, is estimated at 2,000-4,000. Update: this was unsold.

    An Irish George III brass bound mahogany plate bucket is estimated at 800-1,200. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,600.

    A George III terrestrial globe by W & T.M. Bardin, London, estimate 10,000-15,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE 16,000.

    Sir Godfrey Kneller (German, 1646-1723), Portrait of a Young Lady estimated at 25,000-35,000. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    A Lyon and silk damask double bed, headboard and canopy estimated at 3,000-5,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000.

    A Louis XV ormolu mounted kingwood and amaranth commode with rouge marble top is estimated at 1,500-2,000. UPDATE: This made 2,100.


    Thursday, June 16th, 2011

    An aquamarine and diamond spray brooch estimated at 1,500-2,000. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,800.

    This Art Deco diamond target ring is estimated at 18,000-22,000. (click on image to enlarge)  UPDATE:  THIS MADE 16,000 AND WAS THE TOP LOT IN THE SALE.
    These are some lots from the next auction at O’Reilly’s of Francis St., Dublin which takes place on June 22.  The sale features 497 lots (the catalogue is on-line) including  diamond rings, bracelets, an opal and diamond pendant, Art Deco jewellery, antique gold jewellery and coins, watches by Rolex, Cartier, Piaget and Omega. There is also some antique silverware, collectables, furniture and paintings.

    Meanwhile the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum has launched a novel Facebook application for jewellery enthusiasts.  It enables the user to virtually try on 28 pieces from the “Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels” exhibition, on view at the New York museum until July 4.
    They see it as an innovative way to reach new audiences.
    The app, available at, enables the user  to dress a photo with a work from the exhibition. Included are necklaces, brooches, earrings and a tiara worn by Princess Grace of Monaco.


    Thursday, June 16th, 2011

    A late 19th century Irish street scene.

    Ogham Stone at Kilmalkedar Kerry.

    Early Irish group tourists at the Sphinx in Egypt.

    A treasure trove of around 300 early slide  images complete with a magic lantern come under the hammer at Hegarty’s sale in Bandon on June 19 at 4 p.m.  It is from The Old Manse in Dunmanway, home since 1873 to the Methodist clergyman.  Hundreds of slides depict Irish 19th century scenes as well as the pyramids in Egypt and the Holy Land.  There are streetscapes, landscapes and pictures of people, many barefoot. One set of slides llustrate the life and works of John Wesley, founder of the Methodists.  The magic lantern was made by Riley Bros. of Bradford. Hegarty’s estimate the lot at 1,500-2,500.  The sale has over 430 lots including furniture, art, collectibles and jewellery.

    UPDATE:  The magic lantern and slides sold for 4,000. This was the joint top lot in a sale where 80 per cent of lots found buyers.  A three stone diamond ring also made 4,000.

    The magic lantern with some of the boxed images. UPDATE: THE LANTERN AND SLIDES MADE 4,000

    A longcase clock by Sanderson, Dublin at Hegarty's. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    An Oriental cabinet and stand at Hegarty's. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,250


    Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

    Sir Stanley Spencer RA - Sunflower and Dog Worship sold for £5,417,250. (click on image to enlarge). (image copyright Sotheby's).

    THE highest total ever for an auction of Modern British Art was achieved at Sotheby’s this evening.  Just 30 lots brought in the remarkable total of £37,464,300 / $61,224,159, doubling the pre-sale high estimate of £16 / $26 million.  Part I of The Evill/Frost Collection sale surpassed all expectations and established eight auction records.

    The top lot was Stanley Spencer’s Sunflower and Dog Worship, which sold for £5,417,250 over a pre-sale estimate of £1-1.5 million.  No less than five bidders vied for the painting. This broke the record set for the artist earlier at the same sale when Workmen in the House sold for £4,745,250.
    The sale saw the highest price at auction for a Lucian Freud work on paper.  There were new record prices Graham Sutherland, William Roberts, David Jones, Leon Underwood, Edward Burra, John Skeaping and Patrick Heron.
    Sutherlands The Crucifixion made  £713,250, Roberts Discussion in a Cafe made  £373,250, July Change by David Jones made  £32,450,  Sungirl by Leon Underwood made £91,250, Zoot Suits by Edward Burra made  £2,057,250, John Skeaping’s Pouter-Pigeon made £58,850 and Patrick Heron’s The Blue Table with Window made £1,049,250.
    Boat on a Beach, a 1945 work on paper that records a trip Lucian Freud made to the Scilly Isles, sold for £2,617,250.
    See post for March 7, 2011
    UPDATE:  The three-part sale of the Evill/Frost collection brought a combined total of £42,484,639 against a high estimate of £19 million.

    Boy on a Sofa by Lucian Freud made £1,497,250. (click on image to enlarge, copyright Sotheby's)

    Workmen in the House by Sir Stanley Spencer made £4,745,250. (click on image to enlarge, copyright Sotheby's)