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  • Archive for February, 2012


    Saturday, February 18th, 2012

    The Art Deco aquamarine pendant which once belonged to Princess Viktoria Luise. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 5,600

    A pendant and a brooch once belonging to Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II, feature at a sale in Dublin on February 21.  John Weldon Auctioneers of Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar,  will offer an Art Deco style brooch with aquamarine and diamonds set in 14 carat white gold and a brooch set with opals and diamonds.  The pendant is estimated at 3,000-4,000, the brooch at 1,500-2,500.

    An opal and diamond brooch from the collection of Princess Viktoria Luise. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,900

    HRH Viktoria Luise of Pruissa (1892-1980) was the only daughter and last child of Wilhelm II.  She married Prince Ernst Augustus of Hanover in 1913. As the wife of a prince of the House of Hanover she was Princess of Hanover, Princess of Great Britain and Ireland and Duchess of Brunswick and Lunenburg.  Viktoria Luise was the maternal grandmother of Queen Sofia of Spain and the former King Constantine II of the Hellenes. The two pieces in the Dublin sale came from an auction of some of her personal effects in Hanover in 1982.


    Saturday, February 18th, 2012

    Walter Frederick Osborne R.H.A, R.O.I (1859-1903) Feeding the Chickens at Bonhams. (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE: IT WAS UNSOLD.

    A masterwork by Walter Osborne to be offered at Bonhams in London next July will be on display at the official opening the company’s new offices in Dublin on February 24. Feeding the chickens (1884-85) is estimated to fetch £500,000-700,000.  Unseen on the open market since 1913 and from a private collection in Ireland it will be sold as part of the 19th Century Paintings sale on July 11.

    Bonhams Molesworth St. offices.

    Walter Frederick Osborne R.H.A, R.O.I (1859-1903) is regarded as the most important Irish artist of his generation. Feeding the chickens features in a letter to his father while the artist was working at North Littleton, near Stratford on Avon in Warwickshire, in which he writes that he is: “pretty far advanced on a kit-cat of a girl feeding fowl in a sort of farmyard….”  He studied at the Antwerp Academy in 1881 and 1882, and worked in Brittany the following year before returning to Ireland to pursue a career as an artist.  It was in France that he developed his naturalistic style of Impressionist landscape painting for which he was to make such a name for himself.  From the mid 1880’s to 1890 Osborne visited small towns, villages and harbours in England and painted local people tending livestock, feeding chickens and ploughing fields.

    Bonhams has taken and refurbished new space in a Georgian townhouse at 31 Molesworth St., Dublin.  The building, which retains many original features, provides a large ground floor office, a private meeting room for valuations, and first floor exhibition rooms.



    (See post on for January 12, 2012)


    Friday, February 17th, 2012

    Los Angeles by David Hockney (born 1937) made £121,250 at Christie's. Picture courtesy Christies Images Ltd., 2012. (Click on image to enlarge).

    Los Angeles by David Hockney made £121,250 at the Hockney on Paper sale at Christie’s, South Kensington, on February 17.  The pencil, coloured pencil and coloured crayon work on paper, the top lot, had been estimated at £20,000-30,000. It is signed with initials, dated and inscribed Los Angeles 1967/DH. The auction brought in £1,399,400, selling 80% by lot and 85% by value.

    Richard Lloyd, International Head of Department, and Alexandra Gill, Head of Department at Christie’s commented after the sale:  “It is a rare pleasure to be able to curate a single-artist sale and we are thrilled with the results of the ‘Hockney on Paper’ auction which followed an exceptionally well-attended view. Strong bidding was received across all channels with several works selling for many times over their pre-sale estimates. The success of the sale is a testimony to both Christie’s skill at organising these landmark sales and David Hockney’s versatility as a draughtsman.”

    See post on for February 3, 2012.


    Thursday, February 16th, 2012

    Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (768-4), 1992, oil on canvas, 200 by 160cm. made £4,857,250. (Click on image to enlarge).

    The consolidated total for Sotheby’s contemporary art auction February series amounted to  £66,074,225 against a combined pre-sale estimate of £46,942,600-65,621,100.    The February 16 day auction brought in  £15,385,775, the sale on the previous evening made £50,688,450.  Gerhard Richter’s oil on canvas Abstraktes Bild signed, dated 1992 and numbered 768-4 on the reverse, was the top lot of the series. It made £4,857,250.

    Commenting on the results, Olivia Thornton, Sotheby’s deputy director and head of the Contemporary Art day auction, said: “We are extremely pleased with the results achieved for today’s sale which brought a total comfortably within pre-sale expectations of £12.4-17.5 million. Following on from our evening auction last night, Gerhard Richter and Jean-Michel Basquiat dominated the sale once again, demonstrating the unabated demand for their work.”

    See post on for February 15, 2012.


    Thursday, February 16th, 2012

    In Dublin James Adam will conduct what they term an Attic Auction at St. Stephen’s Green on Sunday, February 19 at 11.30 a.m.  The sale of over 400 lots includes about 160 lots of art, 50 lots of silver and plate, more than 60 lots of porcelain, 30 lots of glass, around 100 lots of furniture, some jewellery and collectible items.  Most will be sold without reserve.  The catalogue for the sale in on-line. Here is a small selection:

    JOHN KINGERLEE (b.1936) Crazy Day, Port Magee (1,500-2,500). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    JOHN BURKE (1946-2006) Abstract in Black and Red Painted Steel, 35 high, 53 wide, 40cm deep in three pieces Provenance: From the Estate of the late Charlie Hennessy, Cork. (300-500). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 150

    JOHN BEHAN RHA (b.1938) Bull Etching, 25 x 36cm Signed, inscribed with title, dated '97 and numbered 325/325 (100-200). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 260

    A set of seven early 18th century Chinese Famille Verte soup plates. Provenance: Kilruddery House, Bray (300-500). UPDATE: THESE MADE 320


    Thursday, February 16th, 2012

    Irish art continues to outperform antique furniture on the Irish auction market in 2012.  In the continuing absence of movement on the property market front this continues to be a buyer’s market for furniture. There is value to be had.  Art by Mainie Jellett and Dan O’Neill produced the best results at the sale at Adams Blackrock, Dublin on February 14.  Furniture prices remained low and represented in some cases value that can be described as incredible when compared to what would have been paid in the not too distant past.

    (See post on for February 6)

    Daniel O'Neill (1920-1974) 'Two Women by the Sea' sold for 11,000 at Adams, Blackrock.

    This work by Mainie Jellett (1897 –1944) sold for 23,000 at Adams, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.


    Thursday, February 16th, 2012

    AN exhibition of Modern British Sculptors at Robert Bowman, Duke St., St. James’s, London in March 2012 includes work by Kenneth Armitage, Michael Ayrton, Lynn Chadwick, Jacob Epstein, Elizabeth Frink, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.

    This year marks the 60th anniversary of the 1952 Venice Biennale. That show introduced a new group of young British sculptors who had emerged the in the wake of the older Henry Moore immediately after World War II. Their work was characterised by the spiky, twisted forms famously described by the art critic Herbert Read as the ‘Geometry of Fear’. This  exhibition is an exploration of the period.  Moore’s Reclining Girl (1983, 12.5 cm), is in a bronze edition of nine. Other highlights include Kenneth Armitage’s “Children Playing”, Elizabeth Frink’s “Rolling over horse” and Jacob Epstein’s Portrait of Albert Einstein.  Prices start at £10,000.

    Henry Moore (British 1898-1986) ‘Reclining Girl’ 1983 Bronze Edition of 9 Height: 12.5 cm (5 inches) £48,000. (Click on image to enlarge).

    Dame Elizabeth Frink, RA (English 1930-1993) ‘Rolling Over Horse’, 1976 Height: 16 inches, Edition of 9 £120,000. (Click on image to enlarge).



    Thursday, February 16th, 2012

    A 19th century bog oak inkstand carved as owl is among the more unusual lots at Hegarty’s sale in Bandon, Co. Cork on February 19.   The National Museum of Ireland has a similar owl which bears a maker’s label of Cornelius Goggin, who bore the title “Irish bog oak carver to Her Majesty” (Queen Victoria) in the business of carving bog oak artefacts at 13, Nassau Street Dublin, as early as the 1860’s.

    Bog oak is a black hardwood from the bogs of Ireland used for carving various objects. This piece is over one foot tall and is estimated at 2,000-4,000. More than 350 lots will come under the hammer at this auction.


    UPDATE:  This sold for 1,950.


    Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

    The scene at Sotheby's contemporary evening auction on February 15.

    Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (numbered 768-4) was the top lot at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening auction on February 15.  It made £4,857,250 in a sale which realised £50,688,450 and saw artists records for A.R. Penck and Albert Oehlen.  The auction was sold  90.5% by lot and 94.6% by value and nine works sold for over one million pounds.

    The second highest price was paid for Richter’s Eis of 1981 which made £4,297,250.  Sharing the third highest price the evening, of £ 4,073,250 Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (“Rot”) and Jean Michel-Basquiat’s Orange Sports Figure. A.R. Penck’s Methode, Fertigzuwerden made $325,250 and an untitled work by Albert Oehlen made £445,250. Both prices were artists records.  There were strong prices too for Chinese artist Zao Wou-Ki.  His Abstraction Figuration: 28.12.99 made £1,833,250 while 10.01.91 made £1,609,250.

    Cheyenne Westphal, Sotheby’s chairman of Contemporary Art Europe, said: “We’re extremely pleased with the results of tonight’s sale and the above-estimate total of £50 million which we achieved. We witnessed a huge depth of international bidding right across the auction, with buyers coming from no fewer than 20 countries. Gerhard Richter once again dominated, with all six of his works selling for an aggregate sum of £17.6 million, above the combined estimate for the group of £14.8 million, with four of the pieces falling within the top-ten selling works in the sale.”

    See post on for January 25, 2012.


    Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

    Lucian Freud's Eli 2002 made a world record price for a print by the artist at auction when it sold for £145,250. Picture courtesy of Christie's Images Ltd., 2012. (Click to enlarge).

    There was a world record price for a print by Lucian Freud at Christie’s today.  The top lot at the sale of The Printer’s Proof: Etchings by Lucian Freud from the Studio Prints archive was Eli 2002.  It made  £145,250 against a pre-sale estimate of £50,000-70,000.  Overall the sale realised £1,479,675 and was 86% sold by lot and 91% sold by value.

    Afterwards Richard Lloyd of Christie’s said: “This morning’s highly successful sale was a tribute to Lucian Freud who was not only a painter of immense talent, but also an inspired printmaker. It was likewise a tribute to Marc Balakjian, the master printer who worked with Freud for the last twenty five years and from whose collection the sale came. The auction broke all previous records for Freud’s graphic work, and saw participation from many buyers new to this market. Single-artist sales are a concept in which Christie’s leads the field and we look forward to our second such sale, Hockney on Paper, at South Kensington on Friday 17 February.”

    See post on for January 3, 2012.