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  • Archive for April, 2012


    Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

    A gilt-bronze-mounted amaranth, tulipwood, bois satiné, parquetry and oak, Goût Grec Secrétaire à Abbatant, stamped Joseph Twice, Louis XVI, circa 1770. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £385,250.

    Neo-classical and Empire furniture and a collection of 18th century scagliola will be a feature of a sale at Sotheby’s  in London on May 3.  The auction of property from the London homes of Prince and Princess Henry de La Tour d’Auvergne Lauraguais also comprises Old Master paintings, silver, objets de vertu, and drawings and books from the library of designer and architect Emilio Terry, a member of the 1930’s Parisian avant-garde.  Renowned for his magnificent library at Château de Rochecotte, the sale presents part of Emilio Terry’s collection of architectural books and livres d’artistes.

    The furniture highlight is a magnificent gilt-bronze mounted amaranth and tulip wood secrétaire by Joseph, circa 1770, which, with its very strong neo-classical outline, represents the pinnacle of Le Goût Grec style.  There is an identical secrétaire at the Getty Museum in Malibu.  It is estimated at £150,000-300,000.

    One of a pair of Italian Scagliola Panels by Enrico Hugford within carved giltwood and ebonised frames, mid 18th-Century, (£20,000-30,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS LOT SOLD FOR £91,250.

    Sotheby’s say the sale will present he greatest collection of 18th century scagliola ever to come to market. Developed in 17th century Tuscany as an alternative to the costly marble inlays of pietra dura, scagliola is an extraordinarily complex technique, often used to produce decorative effects resembling inlays in marble and semi-precious stones.  Princess Anne de La Tour d’Auvergne Lauraguais commented: “It was my father, Prince Henry, who inspired me to study the art of scagliola”.  In turn he had been inspired by his uncle, Emilio Terry.  “In my father’s opinion, scagliola had a refinement of colour, texture and sensuality softened as if dimmed by a veil of fog, not like pietre dure which could be bright and almost screaming with colour. Scagliola is a man-made stone, not meant to be used outside, but to live with…. I followed his advice and am indebted to him for giving me a life-long love for the art of scagliola.”

    Highlights from Emilio Terry’s library include a near complete set of the first Paris edition, 1800-1807, of Giovanni Battista and Francesco Piranesi’s works, (29 works in 27 volumes) estimated at £150,000-£240,000. Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s prints of Rome contributed considerably to the growth of the Neo-classical movement in art and architecture.

    UPDATE:  THE sale brought in £4,372,178, well above the pre-sale estimate of £1.73 – 2.62.


    Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

    Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957) Stormy Seas pen and ink (6,000-8,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,000.

    Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Martha Graham, Letter to the World (The Kick) 1986 unique screenprint on Lennox Museum board. (10,000-14,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    Irish landscapes, figurative and abstract, feature at the Morgan O’Driscoll art sale at the Radisson Hotel in Cork on April 30.   There are figurative works by Percy French and James Humbert Craig and more abstracted works on the same theme by Sean McSweeney and John Shinnors.  The auction offers a pen and ink by Jack Butler Yeats entitled Stormy Seas and an Andy Warhol unique screenprint among more than 280 lots.  The catalogue is on-line.  Here is a small selection:


    UPDATE: The auction was 68 per cent sold and realised around 275,000.

    John Shinnors (b.1950) Kite Over Carraroe oil on linen on panel (7,000-10,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    James Humbert Craig RHA RUA (1878-1944) Leenane, Connemara (6,000-9,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 9,800

    Percy French (1854-1920) Bog Scene watercolour (5,000-7,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 7,600.

    Sean McSweeney HRHA (b.1935) Bogland (6,000-8,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.


    Saturday, April 21st, 2012

    FROM Robert Boyle, father of modern chemistry to Gulliver’s Travels author Dean Swift to James Joyce the Ricardi Moore Collection offers much of huge interest to book collectors. The 18th century gentleman’s library from Barne Park in Co. Tipperary is to be sold by Mealy’s on April 24.  More than 880 lots including many rarities will be offered at the Berkeley Court Hotel in Dublin.  Richard Moore (1716-1771), founder of the library at Barne Park, was High Sheriff of Tipperary in 1744 and  represented the borough of Kells in parliament from 1757 to 1768. His eldest son Thomas succeeded him and maintained his fathers interest, adding a number of books inscribed with his name.  The collection, though not particularly large, is impressive in its wide ranging interests and scholarly content.  This is the first of two days of sales by Mealy’s Rare Books (see post on for April 13).  The catalogue is on-line. Here is a small selection:

    A 1760 edition of the works of Dr. Jonathan Swift (600-800). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,100

    Rare Composite Atlas, maps after De la Rochette, d’Anville, Kitchen & others, dated c. 1778-1810 (4,000-6,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS LOT SOLD FOR 2,500.

    Five Important Documents Relating to County Kildare 1569: Signed by The Earl of Kildare. (750-1,250). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,400

    A first American edition of Finnegan’s Wake,1939, (550-750). UPDATE: THIS MADE 600

    A 1692 edition of Boyle's General History of Air (1,800-2,200). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 6,500


    Friday, April 20th, 2012

    Large Qing Dynasty "Immortal" brushpot. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE £1,553,250

    A Qing Dynasty jade brushpot discovered during a valuation sweep is a highlight of Sotheby’s sale of fine Chinese ceramics and works on art in London on May 16.  The Qianlong period white and russet jade “immortal” brushpot is notable for its large size and carved scenes from the land of immortals.  It is estimated at £250,000-350,000. An Imperial green jade dragon seal displays features which suggest it was originally produced in the 18th century and re-carved during the Guangxu reign for the Empress Dowager Cixi (1834-1908).  Cixi’s seals express prestige and power. It is estimated at £300,000-400,000.

    Imperial green jade Dragon seal. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE £313,250.

    The 341 lots sale comprises two collections, the Jersey Jades which belonged to the Earl and Countess of Jersey and Qing monochromes from a private European collection. Robin Bradlow of Sotheby’s remarked: “We have curated this sale to offer some of the finest examples of Chinese ceramics and works of art available to the market today. The marvellous collection includes rare and important Ímperial ceramics, beautiful jades, Imperial seals and Qing monochrome wares – many with outstanding provenances”.

    The auction is expected to realise more than £6.5 million.

    UPDATE:  The sale brought in a total of £12.9 million.



    Friday, April 20th, 2012

    QI BAISHI (1863-1957) Pigeons and Apples, courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2012. (Click to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE HK$5,060,000.

    Chinese classical works by Ming master calligraphers and painters from Dong Qichang to Qi Baishi will feature among rare works at Christie’s Hong Kong Spring sales on May 28 and 29.  More than 600 lots valued at over r HK$400 million -US$53 million – will come under the hammer at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.  Christie’s say the sale will offer paintings and calligraphy from the Ming and Qing periods to the present day, accentuated with private collections from Asia, Europe and the United States.

    SHAO MI (1594-1642) Landscapes after Old Masters courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2012. (Click to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE HK$5,060,000 US$ 651,728

    DONG QICHANG (1555-1636) Poems in Running Script Calligraphy, courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2012. (Click to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE HK$ 57,780,000 US$ 7,442,064

    An ink on paper handscroll entitled Poems in Running Script Calligraphy by Dong Qichang is estimated at HK$5-7million/ US$650,000-904,000.  It features work by the poet Li Bai.  This handscroll was previously in the Imperial Qing court. There are outstanding works by Zhang Daqian including the 1969 work Mist Clearing Over Pine Covered Peaks, a scroll in ink and colour on paper (HK$12-15 million/ US$1.543 -1.93 million).  Other highlights include Landscapes after Old Masters by Shao Mi (1594-1642) and Pigeons and Apples by Qi Baishi (1863-1957). Standing Horse by Xu Beihong (1895-1953), regarded as a pioneer who painted Chinese subject matter with the techniques and perspectives of Western realism, is from the collection of General Zhang Fakui.

    XU BEIHONG (1895-1953) Standing Horse courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2012. (Click to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE HK$2,180,000.

    ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983) Mist Clearing Over Pine Covered Peaks courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2012. (Click to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MAKE HK$29,780,000


    Friday, April 20th, 2012

    GRACEFUL interiors and Ireland’s lost treasures is the focus of an exhibition of watercolours and drawings by Jeremy Williams at Matthews Auction Rooms, Capel St., Dublin until April 28.  Entitled The Knight’s Dream it focuses on the last great cause of the late Knight of Glin, Desmond Fitzgerald, the the reinstatement of Russborough House as the ultimate Irish Palladian synthesis of architecture, sculpture, painting and landscaping. There is work relating to other restoration projects undertaken by the Irish Georgian Society including reception rooms in Dublin, staircases, exteriors, rustic retreats, restoration and re-creation.

    The Knight’s intended reinstatement of the seven principal interiors of Russborough was based on the visit by John Preston Neale in 1825. Neale included Russborough in his 1827 volume of his guide to country houses of Great Britain and Ireland, in which he briefly catalogued the collection, room by room. This inventory coupled with c1860 internal photographs allowed Aidan O’Boyle to reconstruct the original picture hang  of the Milltown collection at Russborough published in an edition of Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies in 2011.

    The artwork by Jeremy Williams on the left is the Music Room at Russborough looking north east.


    Wednesday, April 18th, 2012


    Charles Stewart Parnell original photograph c1880 (200-300). UPDATE: THIS MADE 650

    Whyte’s “History, Literature and Collectibles” auction in Dublin on April 21 comprises objects from three millennia. There are examples of Celtic gold ring money from 1200 B.C., numerous items on Irish history, a telegram about the sinking of the Titanic (see post on antiquesandartireland.comfor April 3, 2012) and memorabilia relating to the visit of President John Kennedy to Ireland in June of 1963.  Here is a small selection. The catalogue is on-line.

    UPDATE: AROUND 80 per cent of lots were sold for a total of 350,000.  The Titanic telegram failed to find a buyer.

    19th Century silhouette of Father Theobald Mathew in Cork City (400-600). UPDATE: THIS MADE 400

    Scarce example of dated Youghal delft (500-700). UPDATE: THIS MADE 500

    1961-63: John F Kennedy press photographs collection including Irish visit, this image taken in Ireland in 1963 with President de Valera and Taoiseach Sean Lemass. (200-300). UPDATE: THIS COLLECTION MADE 700


    Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

    J.M.W. Turner, R.A. (1775-1851) Storm at Sea (£150,000-250,000), courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2012. (Click to enlarge).

    The Golden Age of British watercolours will be celebrated at a single owner sale at Christie’s  in London in July.  The collection and stock of W/S Fine Art and Andrew Wyld (1949 – 2011) will be offered in two parts, at King St. on July 10 and at South Kensington on July 18.  The sale of around 400 lots is expected to realise between £1.5 million and £2 million.

    The Golden Age encompasses the great age of landscape watercolour painting in Britain from 1750 to 1850. Wyld was a connoisseur renowed for his discerning eye with a gallery in Mayfair.  The sale represents a roll call of artists of the Golden Age, including John Constable, David Cox, John Robert Cozens, Peter de Wint, Thomas Gainsborough, and J.M.W Turner. The crowning glory of any collection is a work by Turner. Storm at Sea appears to be the first idea for Turner’s major oil painting Staffa, Fingal’s Cave exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1832.  Another highlight is Cozens Rome from the Villa Mellini, a precursor of the Romantic movement in British art. A number of works by George Romney include an oil portrait A Mother and Child Reading.

    The sale will offer vibrant and immediate topographical views of regions from London and its environs, to East Anglia, Yorkshire and Northumberland to Scotland and Wales.  It encompasses views of France, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Greece and Turkey.  Estimates range between £500 and £250,000.

    John Robert Cozens (1752-1799) Rome from the Villa Mellini Watercolour (£100,000 –150,000), courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2012. (Click to enlarge).

    George Romney (1734-1802) A Mother and Child Reading (£100,000-150,000), courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2012. (Click to enlarge).




    Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

    In Dublin there will be an auction of antique and vintage jewellery, silverware and paintings at O’Reilly’s of Francis St. on April 25.  It will feature around 480 lots, including a magnificent antique diamond and sapphire cluster pendant, solitaire rings, earrings and bracelets.  Among the silver is a limited edition Irish circular bowl with gold decoration depicting The Tain designed by Louis le Brocquy.  The catalogue is on-line.  Here is a small selection (click on any image to enlarge).

    An Edwardian diamond and sapphire cluster pendant c1910, 18,000-22,000.

    An 18 carat gold panel bracelet set with sapphires signed Brevetto, 1,200-1,400.

    LOUIS LE BROCQUY HRHA, B. 1916, Limited edition, Irish circular silver bowl, 600-800.

    This nine carat gold bracelet is estimated at 450-550.



    Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

    Oscar Wilde's inscription on The Importance of Being Earnest A Trivial Comedy for Serious People. London: Leonard Smithers and Co. 1899 ($80,000-120,000). (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR $362,250.

    A dedicated first edition Japanese Vellum copy of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest A Trivial Comedy for Serious People comes up at Sotheby’s, New York on April 20.  It was given to Robert Ross, a profoundly important figure in Wilde’s personal and professional life first as a lover, then as a close friend, ardent supporter and finally literary executor.  It is inscribed by Wilde to Ross as follows:  “To the Mirror of Perfect Friendship: Robbie: whose name I have written on the portal of this little play. Oscar. Feb ’99”.

    Upon hearing of his arrest for ‘indecent acts’ Ross broke into Wilde’s flat to rescue potentially incriminating papers before the police arrived. At the trail Ross managed to get a space on the route to the witness stand. And it was Ross who Wilde’s increasingly stunned and bewildered wife Constance would contact when her husband disappeared. This copy is a true rarity. Only 12 Japanese Vellum copies were made. Six are known and only one has appeared at auction in the past 30 years. It will feature in the sale of the library of Jaques Levy, who acquired it in 1946. It is estimated at $80,000-100,000.


    UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR $362,250. The book was purchased by New York bookseller James Cummins.