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


    Monday, September 19th, 2011

    JACK B YEATS RHA (1871-1957), A Fair Day, Mayo. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR ONE MILLION EURO.

    THIS 1925 oil by Jack B. Yeats, once lent by the artist to Éamon De Valera for his office in Suffolk Place, Dublin, is the top lot at the James Adam art auction in Dublin on Wednesday, September 28 at 6 p.m.  A Fair Day, Mayo last changed hands in 1944 when it was purchased at the Dawson Gallery for £250. The work is estimated at 500,000-800,000 now.

    In 1944 it was bought by J.P. Reihill senior, then resident at Deepwell in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. It has been in the Reihill family ever since. It has featured in a number of exhibitions, most notably Images of Yeats in Monte Carlo in 1990. Altogether there are 212 lots in the Adams sale.


    UPDATE:  This made one million euro at hammer to become the highest priced painting ever sold at auction in Ireland.


    Sunday, September 18th, 2011

    The Killarney table at Woodwards. UPDATE: IT MADE 6,000.

    A Killarney wood centre table is a feature lot at Woodwards sale in Cork on September 21.  It is estimated at 8,000-12,000.

    Detail from the Killarney table at Woodwards.


    The sale features a selection of Georgian, Regency, Victorian and Edwardian furniture. Artists whose work will feature include  Kenneth Webb, Elizabeth Brophy, Arthur Armstrong, Francis Danby, Robert Taylor Carson, Maurice Desmond, Somhairle MacCana and Marshall Hutson.


    Thursday, September 15th, 2011

    This English School portrait of a lady, circa 1595-1605, was the top lot.

    THE three day Cowdray Park sale by Christie’s in West Sussex realised £7.9 million  against pre-sale estimate of £5 million. The top lot was an English School portrait of a lady, circa 1595-1605.  The subject was traditionally identified as Queen Elizabeth I but is more probably Catherine Carey, Countess of Nottingham.  It made £325,250.

    The sale was 93% sold by lot and a total of 1,122 lots found buyers. Winning bidders came from 34 countries, with 72% from the UK.  Internet bidding represented 22% of registered bidders.

    Andrew Waters, Head of Private Collection and Country House Sales, London; and Gemma Sudlow, Specialist:: “ Christie’s has a long and distinguished history of important country house sales stretching back over 200 years; this week illustrated the global appeal of the traditional British country house sale in the 21st century”.

    Nine works from Cowdray Park, headed by Thomas Gainsborough’s full-length portrait of Mrs William Villebois which sold for a record  £6,537,250, made a collective total of  £10,974,000 at Christie’s in London in July.

    See posts on for September 14 and August 17.


    Thursday, September 15th, 2011

    THE 46th annual Irish Antique Dealers’ Association Fair runs at the R.D.S. Dublin from September 22 – 25.  It offers  an opportunity to see exceptional pieces showcased by 50 exhibitors to everyone from the seasoned collector to the first time buyer.

    The fair features furniture, rare books, prints, jewellery, glass, silverware, porcelain, paintings and sculpture.  There will be a lecture series and displays on restoration and conservation.

    Opening times are from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on September 22, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday September 23, which includes Culture Night in Ireland,  11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on September 24 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 25.  Here are some desirable items from the fair to whet the appetite:

    An Edwardian 4.69 carat natural Sapphire ring at John Farrington.

    Mark Maguire is showing a pair of English Regency rosewood and brass inlaid games tables. Made c1820 they are priced at 18,800.

    A 19th century marble figure "Portica" signed J. Nelson, height 40 inches from Michael Connell Antiques.

    An antique Victorian Irish silver butter tub at Danker Antiques made in Dublin in 1891 by Samuel Le Bas.

    An antique gold turquoise and diamond brooch c1880 at Courtville Antiques.

    One of Four Humourous Dental Prints by Tim Bobbin 1708 -1786. Published 1773' AT GEORGE STACPOOLE.

    An unheated Sri Lankan sapphire ring 7.89 carats at Weldons.


    Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

    More than 700 lots will come under the hammer at Whyte’s History, Literature and Collectibles sale in Dublin on September 24. There are historic artefacts, manuscripts, rare books, posters, militaria and sports memorabilia.  Among the more unusual items is an Irish round tower made with matchsticks by Martin McGuinness, now Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, when he was a Republican prisoner at Portlaoise in 1974.

    There are copies of The Hostage (300-400) and The Borstal Boy (1,200-1,500) signed and inscribed by Brendan Behan and more than 140 lots of Irish coins and banknotes.

    The entire catalogue is on-line.  Here is a sample of what is on offer:

    A 1914 All Ireland football final Kerry v Wexford programme. The match was a draw, Kerry won the replay. The referee was Harry Boland, subsequently killed in the Irish Civil War. (1,000-1,500). Click to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,500

    1794: John Rocque map of the Kingdom of Ireland (estimate 500-700). (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE 800

    An Irish round tower made by Martin McGuinness, now Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, while a prisoner in Portlaoise in 1974. On a wooden base inscribed "To Fr. Jimmy from Martin Portlaoise Jail 1974". Martin McGuinness spent time in Portlaoise Prison after he was convicted of being a member of the I.R.A. in February 1974 by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin. It is estimated at 1,000-1,500. UPDATE: MARTIN MCGUINNESS IS NOW A CANDIDATE IN THE IRISH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WHICH WILL BE HELD ON OCTOBER 27. UPDATE 2: This made 6,200.



    Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

    ORPEN'S Self-Portrait.

    A self-portrait by Sir William Orpen made a hammer price of £115,250 at the first day of the three day Cowdray Park sale in west Sussex on September 13.  The oil on canvas, entitled Self Portrait: Hand and Gloves Resting on Cane  had been estimated by Christie’s at £150,000-250,000.  It had been acquired  from the artist by Mrs. Gertrude Kinnell, sister of Annie, later 1st Viscountess Cowdray, as a gift in 1927.

    Many of the items in the first day of the sale made way over the estimate.  Christie’s had estimated that the three day sale would realise around £5 million, but as it turned out the first day brought in £5.7 million.  One possible reason for this is the Downton Abbey effect. Most of the items in the auction were collected between 1909 and 1929, the exact period in which the hugely successful television series is set.

    (See posts for August 6, 10 and 17)



    Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

    Copley's Portrait of Alice Hooper.

    A 1763 painting by an American artist whose parents were from Ireland has just been acquired by the Milwaukee Art Museum in Wisconsin.  John Singleton Copley’s (1738–1815) portrait of Alice Hooper is a masterpiece, even though he was only 25 when he painted it. Copley is recognized as one of the great American artists of the day—and one of the first native-born painters to achieve success both at home and abroad.  The painting was featured on this website last December.

    Alice Hooper was the seventeen-year-old daughter of the wealthiest man in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Robert “King” Hooper. He commissioned the work to mark his daughter’s engagement to Jacob Fowle, Jr. The Hoopers were happy with the result and it secured Copley’s success. There were nine additional commissions for members of Alice’s immediate and extended families and Copley became famous for his portraits of Colonial New England.

    The portrait was a highlight of the Winter Antiques Show in New York earlier this year where it was featured by the Hirschl & Adler Galleries. John Singleton Copley’s father, Richard, came from Limerick, his mother Mary was a Singleton from Co. Clare. Boston’s Copley Square and Copley Plaza bear his name.

    The Milwaukee Art Museum is, in 2011, celebrating the 10th anniversary of its iconic Quadracci Pavilion, Santiago Calatrava’s first completed commission in the US. It has featured in Hollywood films, tv ads and shows and was named Time Magazine’s “Best Design of 2001.”

    (See post for December 28, 2010).


    Monday, September 12th, 2011

    The Green Fool by Patrick Kavanagh. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A first American edition of The Green Fool by Patrick Kavanagh (1904-67), one of Ireland’s best loved poets, features at a book sale in  Tralee on September 24.  Published by Harper and Brothers, New York,  the autobiography captures the essence of Irish rural life of the period.  It was controversial too. One passage refers to  visit  to the home of Oliver St. John Gogarty and meeting a woman who he took to be either a wife or mistress. Gogarty sued and was awarded £100 damages by the court and the book was withdrawn from circulation.

    Patrick Kavanagh was born on 21 October 1904, in Mucker townland, Inniskeen parish, Co. Monaghan, the son of James Kavanagh, a small farmer with sixteen acres who was also a cobbler, and Bridget Quinn. He attended Kednaminsha National School from 1909 to 1916 and worked on the family farm after leaving school. His earliest poems were printed by the Dundalk Democrat and Weekly Independent, in 1928. Three  more were printed by George Russell in The Irish Statesman during 1929-30. In 1931 he walked to Dublin to meet Russell, who introduced him to Frank O’Connor. “Ploughman” and Other Poems was published by Macmillan in 1936; soon after he moved to London in search of literary work but returned to Ireland when he failed to make a living.  Yet when The Irish Times compiled a list of favourite Irish poems in 2000 it included ten by Kavanagh in the top fifty. This was exceeded only by Yeats.

    The sale at Kerry Auction Rooms, Moyderwell, Tralee, on September 24 includes the collection of  the late Eleanor Scanlan of Listowel, closely associated with Writers’ Week. There are first editions by Irish authors in book English and Irish, with many signed by the author.


    Monday, September 12th, 2011

    Boy's Head by Lucien Freud. It made £3,177,250.

    Boy’s Head dating from 1952 by Lucian Freud (1922-2011) will headline Sotheby’s Contempoary Art evening auction in London on October 13.  The work, from a seminal early period of the artist’s oeuvre, depicts Charlie Lumley, one of Freud’s most immediately recognisable subjects.

    An oil on canvas, it transmits a remarkable psychological intensity.  From a private collection it is estimated to make £3-4 million.

    UPDATE:  It made £3,177,250.


    Monday, September 12th, 2011

    Golconda Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond.Jadeite Cabochon and Diamond Necklace (est. $1.1 - 1.5 million)

    A rare Fancy Vivid Pink diamond from Golconda, the earliest known source of diamonds in the world, will lead Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite in Hong Kong on October 5.  Diamonds from the ancient mine of Golconda include the emerald cut 9.27 carat Golconda Pink, estimated at $13-19 million US dollars. The  Type IIa classification of this stone ranks it among the less than 2% of the world’s gem diamonds virtually free of nitrogen in their chemical composition.

    The 359 lot auction includes rare jewellery associated with the Mogul Kingdom.  It includes diamonds, natural pearls and jadeite of superb quality and is expected to realise around $85 US dollars.


    The Golconda Pink went unsold.