Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Archive for January, 2012


    Monday, January 30th, 2012

    Lucian Freud (1922-2011) Boat, Connemara. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £657,250

    AN Irish Freud, a Sicilian de Stael and a Rothko are among the masterworks to be offered at Christies Post War and Contemporary Art evening sale in London on February 14. Boat, Connemara is a meticulous and emotional drawing executed in 1948 by Lucian Freud.  It is one of two works the artist produced while in Ireland for three weeks in August 1948. The young artist employed a masterly technique of calligraphic patterns, hatching and cross-hatching, reminiscent of old masters’ etchings, with just a hint of colour which contributes to highlight the main subject of his attention. Fresh to the market and unseen for 50 years Christie’s say that this exceptional rediscovery will attract the interest of  discerning collectors.  It is estimated at £200,000-300,000.

    An untitled work Mark Rothko is the first major canvas by the artist at auction in London for a decade. Rendered in a palette of brilliant red vermillion, burnt ochre and white, Untitled comprises two rectangular forms floating within the canvas. Painted in 1955 it is estimated at £9-12 million. An abstract landscape which forms part of the “Agrigente” paintings by Russian born Nicolas de Staël was realised in Provence in August 1953 on his return from a visit to Agrigento, Sicily. It is one of the largest paintings in the series. The thick impasto is applied with a palette knife in a technique honed down by the artist, fully emphasising the large juxtaposed strips of vivid colour. De Staël unusually signed, titled and dated the piece on its reverse, revealing its particular importance. This work is estimated to realise £3.5 million to £5 million.

    (Images credit Christie’s Images Ltd., 2012, click on any to enlarge).

    Nicolas de Staël (1914-1955) Agrigente. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £5,305,250

    Mark Rothko (1903-1970) Untitled. UPDATE: THIS WAS WITHDRAWN PRIOR TO AUCTION.


    Saturday, January 28th, 2012

    Lowry's Industrial Scene at auction in Cork estimated at 60,000-100,000. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS FAILED TO SELL.

    A classical Lowry entitled Industrial Scene features at a 900 lot auction in Cork on January 30.  The painting, which has a nine centimeter tear on the lower left hand side, is from a collection in Co. Limerick. It is in a white frame and signed and dated 1959. It measures 52 x 65 cms and is estimated at 60,000-100,000.

    It will be sold, presumably subject to authentication, at the first ever auction by the newly established Cork Auction Rooms.  The company is a new venture by Tom O’Connell of Kerry Auction Rooms, Moyderwell, Tralee and Michael Watson of Lissardagh Antiques in Cork. They intend to hold monthly auctions in Cork, selling everything from antiques and collectibles to household contents.

    The works by artist Laurence Stephen Lowry, born of Irish parents near Manchester in 1887, are enduringly popular.  His values have continued to soar, even in the current economic quagmire. The Football Match by Lowry made a new world record for £5.6 million at Christie’s in London last May. Bonhams set a record for a work on paper by Lowry in November when Swinbury Station sold for   £121,250.

    UPDATE:  This work aroused considerable interest but failed to sell in the absence of back up authentication paperwork.


    Thursday, January 26th, 2012

    There are 400 lots on offer at Hegarty’s opening sale of 2012 in Bandon, Co. Cork on Sunday January 29.  The sale features a selection of antique furniture, a one owner collection of 70 paintings, 40 items of garden furniture and numerous collectible items.  Here are a couple of furniture lots to whet the collector’s appetite:

    A Victorian rosewood card table, on lion pad feet estimated at 1,500-2,000. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,350

    An Edwardian fan-backed inlaid two-seater window couch estimated at 700-1,000. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE 650


    Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

    Major artists including Richter, Basquiat, Bacon, Freud and Bridget Riley will feature at Sotheby’s Contemporary art evening auction in London on February 15.  The sale is expected to realise more than £35.5 million at hammer.

    Sotheby’s, which achieved a global sales total of  $1.17 billion for contemporary art in 2011, leads the market in this field said Cheyenne Westphal, the company’s chairman for contemporary art, Europe. “Attesting to last year’s successes  the evening auction we have been able to assemble this winter will be led by numerous desireable and fresh to market artworks by internationally collected blue-chip artists”.  Here are some to whet the appetite:

    Gerhard Richter (b1932). Eis (Ice), signed and dated 1981. The work, based on a photograph taken on a solo retreat in Greenland in 1972, captures Richter's struggle with his marriage and the exodus from his troubled life in Dusseldorf to a Polar haven. (£2-3 million). Click to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £5,147,674.

    Gerhard Richter (b.1932) Abstraktes Bild (Rot) signed and dated 1991. For this work the artist employed a squeegee as his primary tool. (£2.5-3.5 million). Click to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £4,073,250.

    Bridget Riley (b.1931) Tabriz, signed and dated 1984. (£250,000 - 350,0000. Click to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £457,250.

    Jean Michael Basquiat (1960-1988) Orange Sports Figure from 1982 (£3-4 million). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £4,073,250



    Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

    Sruthan Pier by Charles Lamb (click on image to enlarge).

    In Northern Ireland Adams Clandeboye  features a Charles Lamb in Connemara exhibition at the Ava Gallery, Clandeboye, Co. Down from today until February 25. There are 38 works on loan from collections and the artist’s family. Lamb was one of that group of Irish artists who, in the 1920’s and 30’s, found their inspiration in the life and in the landscape of the West of Ireland. He is said to have depicted practically every mood and facet of the Connemara scene.  Work on display – from the iconic ‘Hearing the News’ to the impactful harbour scene of ‘Sruthan Pier’ together with portraits of interesting quirky local characters, for example, ‘Turf Cutter’ – demonstrate this range. Born in Portadown this is the first major Lamb exhibition in Northern Ireland since his death in 1964.

    Adam’s David Britton said: “This is a wonderful exhibition that not only conveys Lamb’s love of Connemara but also a great sense of nostalgia for Ireland’s past and its simple traditions.  Connemara in the 1930s and 40s was relatively untouched by the advances of modern society, with few people able to speak English, communities relying on self-provisioning and basic methods of transport, mainly by boat or horse drawn cart. Lamb was a well-known character in Carraroe, where he lived from the 1930s onwards, having built his own house there, and where for many years he ran a summer school.’

    Charles Lamb, The Turf Cutter (click to enlarge).

    Charles Lamb, Reading the News at Ava Gallery, Clandeboye. (Click to enlarge).


    Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

    AN auction of diamond jewellery and silver takes place at O’Reilly’s, Francis St., Dublin on February 1 at 1 p.m.  The sale of 450 lots includes antique solitaires, diamond cluster rings, Art Deco jewellery, watches by Rolex, Jaeger le Coultre, Patek Philippe, antique silver, gold coins and gold jewellery.  Here is a small selection:

    A diamond two stone ring of cross over design mounted in white gold with certified stones; 1.71 ct x 2, F colour, VS2 (30,000 - 35,000). (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A c1930 emerald and diamond cluster ring (2,500-3,000). (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,800

    An Art Deco diamond panel bracelet set throughout with circular cut diamonds, c1930, mounted in platinum (8,000 - 9,000). (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE 8,500

    A George I Irish Silver plain circular bowl by David King (1690 - 1737), Dublin 1724. (4,500 - 5,500). (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Monday, January 23rd, 2012

    Bidders can buy Irish art on-line at the third sale of 124 artworks underway at Morgan O’Driscoll’s.  The internet auction runs until January 30 at 7 p.m.  Heres how it works: from one to 500 euro bids increase by 20 euro, from 500 to 1,000 bids go up by 50 euro and over 1,000 each bid adds 100 euro.

    As an example a 200 euro bid on a lot with an existing bid of 100 euro will come appear on screen as a current bid of 120.  If another bidder comes along bids will be added automatically on behalf of the 200 euro  bidder.   Should 200 euro be exceeded the 200 euro bidder will be notified by e-mail. A bid at 7 p.m. on January 30 will open the lot up for another five minutes, the under-bidder will be notified and a subsequent bid will open the lot for another three minutes.

    A work by Mildred Ann Butler on Morgan O’Driscoll’s first on-line sale which ended on November 7 illustrates what can happen next.  The lot had been bid to 460 at 7 p.m. It was followed by a number of subsequent bids before being sold at 7.25 p.m. for 1,600.  Here are some examples from the current sale, which can be viewed on-line or at Morgan O’Driscoll’s premises in Skibbereen, west Cork:

    Martin Stone (b.1963) 'Ploughing' (300 - 400). UPDATE: THIS MADE 200

    Barrie Castle (1935-2006) 'Woman in a Blair Hat' limited edition print 306/500 (80 - 140). UPDATE: THIS MADE 40

    Debbie Lush (20th/21st Century) 'Passionate Purple Poppy' (250 - 350). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Ivan Sutton (b.1944) 'Anti-Fouling Galway Hooker, Roundstone' (est. 1,400-1,800). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Verojan Yepreman (20th/21st Century) Russian 'A Banquet in Transit' (400 - 600) UPDATE: THIS MADE 320

    Brian Bourke HRHA (b.1936) 'Scots Pine on Limestone' limited edition print 121/220 (150 - 250) UPDATE: THIS MADE 140

    Denis Orme Shaw (20th/21st Century) 'Evening Reflections' watercolour (250 - €350) UPDATE: THIS MADE 340


    Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

    AN early engraving of the City of Cork in good condition is a feature lot at the Lynes and Lynesauction at East Link Business Park, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork on January 28 at noon. It dates from 1750. Early topographical views of cities and town around Ireland are rare and always of interest to collectors.  The sale also features early panoramic engravings of Youghal and Kinsale and a selection of antique furniture.  Here are some of the lots on offer, with estimates in brackets:

    A 1750 engraving of the City of Cork. (Click on image to enlarge) (400-600). UPDATE: THIS MADE 400

    A French painted overmantel mirror. (Click on image to enlarge) (300-500). UPDATE: THIS MADE 280

    A Georgian mahogany fold over card table. (Click on image to enlarge). (1,000-1,500) UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 800.

    A Georgian mahogany book press. (Click on image to enlarge) (600-1,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 600


    Saturday, January 21st, 2012

    Market Day by Arthur George Bell (1849-1916) showing the Nurnberg house of Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) at Dolan's art auction in Cork. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,000

    A Victorian watercolour of the Nuremberg House of Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) features at the Dolan’s Irish art sale in Cork on January 22.  Market Day by Arthur George Bell features the house which was Dürer’s residence between 1509 and 1528.

    The house has since been restored as a museum which includes the large painting and printing workshop from Dürer’s time.

    Arthur George Bell, a British artist, exhibited widely in the late 19th century at galleries including the Royal Academy, the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, the Scottish Academy and the Royal Hibernian Academy.  Market Day, in its original ornate gilt frame, is estimated at 1,000-1,500.


    See post on for January 17, 2012.


    Friday, January 20th, 2012

    Bacon's Portrait of Henrietta Moraes. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £21,321,250

    A rare female nude billed  by Christie’s as Francis Bacon’s most seductive female portrait comes up at the Post War and Contemporary sale in London on February 14.  Portrait of Henrietta Moraes, painted towards the end of 1963, is to be auctioned for the first time.  The sitter, a regular fixture at the artist’s favourite haunt, The Colony Room in Soho, was muse to a number of contemporary artists. Once the lover of Lucian Freud she appeared as his sitter in Girl in a Blanket (1952).

    Christie’s head of post war and contemporary art in Europe Francis Outred said:  “Searing with raw colour and texture, Portrait of Henrietta Moraes is one of the most seductive and sexually charged paintings I have ever encountered by Francis Bacon. The carefully constructed mood through colour is forcefully invaded by the extraordinary swipes of the loaded brush, which create the woman’s voluptuous figure. This juxtaposition of the sheer beauty of colour with the brutal physicality of paint is what makes Bacon’s art so remarkable”.

    The estimate is undisclosed, but is put at around £18 million.