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


    Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

    Dunecht House.

    Cowdray Park.

    THE largest country house sale of the year will present about 1,200 lots from both Cowdray Park, home of Lord Cowdray (above right), and from Dunecht House, the Scottish home of Lord Cowdray’s brother, the Hon. Charles Pearson (above left).  The Christie’s sale is expected to realise about £5 million and estimates range from £50 to £500,000.

    The sale takes place at Cowdray Park in west Sussex over three days from September 13-15.

    Andrew Waters, Head of Private Collection and Country House Sales, Christie’s said: “Weetman Pearson, 1st Viscount Cowdray and his wife Annie, Lady Cowdray were among the most prolific and discerning British collectors of the early 20th century, coupling their considerable wealth with a taste for beautiful pictures, objects and works of art”.

    Many of the works were acquired by Weetman Dickinson Pearson (1856-1927) and his son, Weetman Harold Miller Pearson. Weetman Pearson, 1st Viscount Cowdray, developed his family firm, S. Pearson and Son Ltd., from a small company in Bradford into one of the most successful business empires of the 20th century. In 1889 he won the contract to drain Mexico City by means of a Grand Canal and, having gained the friendship of President Porfirio Diàz, Pearson developed vast oil fields in Mexico. He was for ten years Liberal MP for Colchester. Due to regular absences he was often referred to as ‘the Member for Mexico’. When he died in 1927 an American newspaper described him as ‘one of the greatest pioneers ever sent out of Britain. Pearson PLC exists today as a global media and education company and the largest book publisher in the world.

    (See posts for August 10 and August 6)


    Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

    This pair of c1900 Chinese cinnabar lacquer vases are at Christie's Interiors, South Kensington on August 23. The estimate is £600-£1,000. UPDATE: THEY MADE £1,625

    This c1770 George III card table at Christie's Interiors on August 23 is estimated at £1,000-£1,500. UPDATE: THIS MADE £1,250.

    A George II silver cup and cover, Dublin c1750 at Christie's. The maker's mark is indistinct. It is estimated at £2,000-£3,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE £2,500

    Pageant by Eithne Jordan, A.R.H.A. (B. 1954) is estimated at £300-£500 at Christie's. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £668.


    Monday, August 15th, 2011

    Ark by David Quinn at Taylor Galleries, Dublin. (Click on image to enlarge)

    AN exhibition of new work by the Irish artist David Quinn runs at the Taylor Galleries, Kildare St., Dublin from August 18 to September 3.  The work in this show – which is entitled Murmur – represents a kind of visual diary of the painter’s past year.
    David Quinn has exhibited in Ireland and abroad since 1995. He received a fellowship at Ballinglen Arts Foundation and completed residencies at Roundstone Arts Week and at Mountjoy Prison as part of the Arts Council’s Artists in Prisons Scheme.  His work is in the collections of Bank of Ireland, ESB, the OPW, PJ Carroll & Co. and AIB Corporate Banking


    Sunday, August 14th, 2011

    Altocumulus, an acrylic on paper by Tim Goulding from his west Cork show. (Click on image to enlarge)

    THE artist Tim Goulding is at the Catherine Hammond Gallery in Glengarriff in west Cork until September 12. The show is entitled Clouds and features work from 2010 and 2011.  The artist is quoted saying:  “Most of us construct clouds, be they confusions or castles in the air. The sky has adamantly no opinion of these.”

    Tim Goulding's Evening Sky. (click on image to enlarge)

    Born in Dublin in 1945 Tim Goulding has lived and worked on the Beara Peninsula in west Cork since 1969. He is a member of Aosdana, the group established by the Irish Arts Council to honour artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland.


    Friday, August 12th, 2011
    ‘ Holocaust’ by Leon Schwarz-Abrys 1905-1990 at Limerick Auction Rooms.  UPDATE: This sold for 2,000 at hammer.

    This work by the Hungarian born French based artist Leon Schwarz-Abrys (1905-1990) entitled Holocaust is lot number 183 at the Limerick Auction Rooms sale on Sunday, August 14.  It is unusual for a work by this artist to turn up in Ireland.

    The Expressionist painter and writer , who took part in the Salon des Independents in Paris in 1939, is collected in France and in America.  His life was saved by virtue of the fact that he  was interned at the Psychiatric Hospital of Saint Anne in the Second World War.  He had a studio in Montmarte at 11 rue Nicolet.  His vision, as in this ruined landscape, is often tragic.  He painted many portraits of mentally ill patients.

    Holocaust, an oil on board, is estimated at 2,000-3,000.  The sale features 405 lots including furniture, art and collectibles.


    Friday, August 12th, 2011

    Le Petit Cafe by Mark O'Neill from The Lee Gallery on-line. (click on image to enlarge).

    THE Lee Gallery used to inhabit a prominent location on Lavitt’s Quay in Cork city centre.  It is gone from the street, not from the business.

    Even though the business of selling art is slow in the current climate the Lee Gallery continues to maintain an on-line presence.  The work on the left, Le Petit Cafe, is by the artist Mark O’Neill.  It is available from The Lee Gallery on-line.

    Sad to report on a day when Cork city has been voted one of the top ten European cities to visit  this gallery is just one of a number of art galleries in the city which has closed in the recession.


    Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

    This Elizabethan Revival oak four poster bed c1920 from the Cowdray Park sale. (Click on image to enlarge)

    A.E.D.G. Stirling Brown (British, fl. 1920-1929) “Starshot” – A polo pony in the grounds at Cowdray. (Click on image to enlarge)

    THIS extraordinary Elizabethan Revival four poster bed features at Christie’s three day sale at Cowdray Park in West Sussex from September 13-15 next.  Made around 1920 it is a copy of the original carved oak bed made for Rothamsted Manor, Hertfordshire.  It was almost certainly commissioned by Weetman Harold Miller Pearson, 2nd Viscount Cowdray, for The Silver Bedroom at Cowdray.

    It is estimated at £10,000-£15,000.

    The image on the right shows the polo pony Starshot.  It is by the British artist A.E.D.G. Stirling Brown.  The estimate on this is £1,000-£1,500.

    The three day sale at Cowdray Park will include more than 1,000 lots with estimates from £100 to £250,000.

    (See post for August 6)


    Monday, August 8th, 2011
    Filming for the BBC Antiques Road Trip will take place at the Ashgrove Auction Rooms in Co. Laois on Tuesday August 16.  Antique specialists Thomas Plant and Mark Hales will get a small budget and vintage transportation at the start of their week in Ireland. Thus equipped they will source antiques around Ireland.  The idea then is to grow their kitty by selling the items they have acquired at the sale at Ashgrove Auction Rooms on August 16.  The programme will be aired in the autumn.
    The sale on August 16 at 4.30 p.m. features over 1,000 lots including silver, plate, jewellery, ceramics, glass, books, stamps, clocks, art, lighting, mirrors, antique furniture and ephemera.

    This early 19th century cutlery box on later stand is at the Ashgrove Auction Rooms sale on August 16. It is estimated at 700-900.

    A colour printed poster showing photographic portraits of De Valera and nine members of the first Fianna Fail cabinet against a stylised four leaf clover Celtic motif border. Dublin: Irish Press, 1933. It is estimated at 300-500. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.


    Saturday, August 6th, 2011

    Self-portrait by William Orpen. (Click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE A HAMMER PRICE OF £115,000.

    This self portrait by Sir William Orpen is a highlight of Christie’sthree day auction at Cowdray Park, West Sussex, next month.  Famous for his portraits of others (his portrait of Gardenia St. George with Riding Crop sold for £1.98 million at Sotheby’s Irish sale in 2001) Orpen made a number of self-portraits.   He scowls from the frame in The Dead Ptarmigan in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland.
    Self-portrait seated in black was purchased directly from the artist by Mrs. Gertrude Kinnell as a gift for her sister Annie, 1st Viscountess Cowdray, in 1927. It is estimated at £150,000-250,000. The three day sale at Cowdray Park from September 13-15 will offer over 1,000 lots.  Estimates range from £100 to over £250,000 and the sale is expected to realise more than £4 million. It will include works from Cowdray Park, known as the home of polo, and from Dunecht, the Scottish home of Lord Cowdray’s brother, Charles Pearson. On offer is a diverse selection of furniture, art, tapestries, arms, armour, porcelain, glass, textiles, books, manuscripts, silver, clocks, carpets and Oriental art and porcelain


    Friday, August 5th, 2011

    This 18th century Irish desk is at Christie's Interiors, South Kensington on August 9. UPDATE: THIS MADE £3,250

    Homeward Bound by Charles Grierson at Christie's. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    Among the lots of particular Irish interest at Christie’s Interiors sale in South Kensington, London on August 9 are this Irish desk a painting by the Cork born artist Charles Grierson.

    The mid 18th century Irish George II mahogany kneehole desk is estimated at £1,500-£2,500. The moulded top is above a secretaire drawer above ten further short drawers.

    The artist Charles MacIver Grierson was born at Queenstown in Cork in 1864.  He graduated from the Cork School of Art (now the Crawford) in 1881.  He was apprenticed to the architect William Henry Hill before attending the School of Art.  He susquently settled in London where he studied at Heatherley’s Life School and practiced as an artist. He died in London in 1939.  Homeward Bound, a pencil and watercolour which is indistinctly dated from the 1890’s, is estimated at £600-£800.