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  • Archive for June, 2012


    Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

    The last intact multi-panelled altarpiece by Lucas Cranach the Elder and three remarkable works by Pieter Brueghel the Younger will feature at Sotheby’s Old Master and British Paintings sale in London on July 4.  The sale comprises 44 works with a combined estimate of more than £26 million.

    There are three large paintings by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, led by the monumental Battle between Carnival and Lent (£4-6 million). Other highlights include two early 16th century masterpieces of the German Renaissance – Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Feilitzsch Altarpiece (£4-6 million) and Hans Baldung Grien’s jewel-like Virgin as Queen of Heaven (£1 – £1.5 million) – as well as Guido Reni’s monumental David with the Head of Goliath (£3-5 million). There are works from the Dutch Golden Age and a spectacular pair of Venetian views by Francesco Guardi (£1.2-1.8 million) which have been unseen for over a century.  UPDATE:  Brueghel’s Battle between Carnival and Lent sold for £4,521,250,, Hans Baldung Grien’s Virgin as Queen of Heaven made £2,113,250, Guido Reni’s David with the head of Goliath was withdrawn and the Guardi views made £1,385,250.

    Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Feilitzsch Altarpiece is estimated at £4 – 6 million. (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £4,297,250.

    Pieter Brueghel the Younger, The Tower of Babel, is estimated at £2-3 million. (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE:  This lot was withdrawn.


    Monday, June 25th, 2012

    The sale at Marshs in Cork on June 30 features Georgian and Victorian furniture as well as silver, plate, porcelain and art.  Among the main lots is a 19th century Louis XV style bonheur du jour with Sevres plaques (3,000-4,000), a Dutch marquetry card table (1,200-1,500), a nest of inlaid Killarney tables (3,000-4,000), a Georgian wine cooler (1,800-2,000) and Regency and Victorian dining tables.  Here are a couple of the prime lots, there is more information on-line: UPDATE:  The Killarney tables made 2,800 and the Georgian wine cooler sold for 1,200.

    A 19th century Louis XV style bonheur du jour at Marshs.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,500 

    A Dutch marquetry fold over card table at Marshs sale in Cork. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.


    Sunday, June 24th, 2012

    The Schreiber Collection of salt glaze ceramics at the Mount Congreve auction. (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE:  THIS LOT SOLD FOR 55,000 AT HAMMER.

    The Schreiber Collection of salt glaze ceramics is one of the more unusual lots at the Mount Congreve sale in Kilmeaden, Co. Wateford on  July 10 and 11.  It was assembled during travels in Europe between 1869 and 1884 by Lady Charlotte Schreiber, a direct ancestor of the Congreves of Mount Congreve.  Much of her collection of china, playing cards and fans was donated to the South Kensington Museum, (now the V and A).  This single lot collection, including the Spanish cabinets specially made for it, remained in the family.  It will be offered with two of her journals.  On the open market for the first time ever it is estimated at 40,000-60,000.

    A Rolls Royce, Phantom VI, registered in 1969 at Mount Congreve auction. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: SOLD FOR 46,000 AT HAMMER.

    Treasures from Mount Congreve will be offered by Mealy’s and Christie’s in a two day marquee sale. Estimates for the 1,100 lots are from 150 euro up.  The catalogue is on-line at  The auction of 120 lots from Mount Congreve at Christie’s in London in May attracted buyers from around the world and brought in £3.4 million sterling.  There is a shell grey saloon type Rolls Royce, Phantom VI, registered in 1969.  It has had only one owner and is estimated at 12,000-18,000.

    Viewing gets underway on Saturday, July 7.


    Friday, June 22nd, 2012

    Walter Osborne. Feeding the Chickens.  UPDATE:  THIS LOT FAILED TO REACH ITS RESERVE AND WAS UNSOLD.


    A masterwork by Walter Osborne will come under the hammer at Bonhams in London on July 11.  Feeding the chickens (1884-85), estimated at £500,000-700,000, was displayed in Dublin last February to mark the opening the Bonhams new offices on Molesworth Street.  It is from a private collection in Ireland and has not been seen on the open market since 1913.

    The painting will feature at Bonhams sale of 19th century paintings, drawings and watercolors at New Bond St. on July 11 at 2 p.m.



    (See post on for February 18, 2012).


    Friday, June 22nd, 2012

    A single-owner collection of 17th, 18th and 19th century Indian temple jewellery is to be sold by Bonhams through private treaty.  Made to honour Hindu gods like Shiva, Krishna and Nandi the 28-piece collection was put together by a Spain-based collector. There are necklaces, hair braids, earrings, pendants, broaches, and solid gold bulls set with jewels. The quality of the gold is higher than the 24-carat gold commonly used in the west.

    Normally these objects would have been stored in a temple treasury and brought out to adorn the gods for festive occasions and holidays. Alice Bailey, Head of Bonhams Indian and Islamic Department said: “The collection is in wonderful condition. Its value lies in the wide variety, good quality and sheer range of temple jewellery.”

    Pendants from the collection. (Click on image to enlarge).

    A kavacham, the Ganesh Armour that protects devotees. (Click on image to enlarge).

    A braided Temple piece. (Click on image to enlarge).



    Friday, June 22nd, 2012

    Valuations on musical instruments will be offered by Sotheby’s at the Carolan Room, National Concert Hall, Dublin on July 2. Head of Musical Instruments at the world renowned auction house Tim Ingles will be in attendance from 12.30 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Since 2003 Mr. Ingles has sold 13 Stradivari’s and seven Guarneri del Gesus. In 2007 he published a compendium of Sotheby’s sales of musical instruments over the previous 30 years entitled Four Centuries of Violin Making.

    Valuations will be five euro per item with proceeds going to the “Health in Harmony” project which helps send musicians to nursing homes and other care settings.  Pianos, harpsichords, woodwind and brass instruments will not be valued on the day. Details of these can be e-mailed to and a valuation will be provided.


    Friday, June 22nd, 2012

    A blind beggar with a boy and a dog (£50,000 – 80,000) from Rembrandt (1606-1669) and his school. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE £133,250

    SALES of Impressionist and Modern art at Christie’s and Sotheby’s in London this week brought in a total of £204,425,300.  Buyer’s from around the world participated and bidding was competitive and determined.  Each of the auction houses will host post war and contemporary art sales next week and Old Master and British paintings  and drawings in the first week of July.

    A group of newly discovered drawings by Rembrandt (1606-1669) and his school will headline Christie’s sale of Old Master and Early British Drawings and Watercolours on July 3, during London’s Master Drawings week.


    Thursday, June 21st, 2012

    Picasso’s Femme assise 1949 was the top lot at Christie’s  Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in London on June 20.  It made £8,553,250 in an auction which realised £92.5 million.  This figure excludes  Renoir’s Baigneuse.  It had been estimated at £12-18 million but was sold privately before the auction for a price that was within the estimate.  The price is not included in the overall results.

    Jay Vincze, International Director and Head of The Impressionist and Modern sale commented:  “Quality, rarity and considered pricing were key to the successful results of this evening’s sale. Nearly every one of the top 10 lots was offered on the open market for the first time in 20 years or more, and in some cases for the first time in up to three generations; these stellar opportunities, coupled with intelligent estimates, attracted determined bidding. There were particularly notable prices for Surrealist works”.

    In total 27 works of art sold for over £1 million and 36 for over $1 million.  There were artist records for Giorgio Morandi and Kurt Schwitters. (See post on for May 31, 2012).

    UPDATE:  Christie’s combined sales of Impressionist and Modern Art in London this week brought in £115,225,300.

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
    Femme assise made £8,553,250 and was the top lot in the auction. Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. (Click to enlarge).

    Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964)
    Natura morta made £1,385,250 a world record for the artist at auction. Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. (Click to enlarge).

    Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948)
    Merzbild 9A Bild mit Damestein (L Merzbild L5) executed in 1919 made £1,273,250, a world record for the artist at auction. Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. (Click to enlarge).


    Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

    Étoile Bleue by Miro sold for a record price at Sotheby’s. (Click on image to enlarge).

    THERE was a record for Joan Miró at Sotheby’s  in London this evening when a 1927 work Peinture (Étoile Bleue) sold for £23,561,250.  This evening’s record price – the highest price for any work of art sold in London thus far this year – coincides with a moment of unprecedented demand for Surrealist art. In the past year there has been records for Dali, Magritte and Paul Delvaux.  The previous record of £16.8 million for a Miro was estabished in London just four months ago.

    Peinture (Étoile Bleue) is from Miró’s seminal dream paintings cycle.  There are examples at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Fondation Beyeler in Basle, the Tate in London and the Metropolitan in New York. The luscious blue palette he used influenced both Yves Klein and Mark Rothko.  The work was pursued by four determined bidders. In 2007 it sold at auction of £8.35 million.

    Helena Newman, Chairman of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department, Europe, said “Peinture (Étoile Bleue) is one of Miró’s most important paintings, effortlessly bridging the transition between figurative and abstract art. His works from this period are supremely modern, timeless and of great universal appeal, making this precisely the type of painting that today’s international collectors are prepared to lock horns over, as they did this evening. ”

    UPDATE: Sotheby’s London sales of  Impressionist & Modern Art this week achieved a combined total of £89.2m, bringing the total for Impressionist & Modern Art worldwide at Sotheby’s so far this year to £449m, a 12% increase on the same period last year.  This is the second highest year-to-date total for worldwide sales of Impressionist & Modern Art in the company’s history.  Bidders from 38 countries participated in the sales this week.


    Saturday, June 16th, 2012

    THE auction of European Sculpture and Works of Art: Medieval to Modern at Sotheby’s in London on July 3 comprises 200 lots estimated to bring in more than £4 million.  Highlights include a mid-13th century aquamanile (an implement for washing hands at the table)  in the shape of a leopard; a plaque identified as a missing section of the Shrine of the Three Kings in Cologne; a c1400  chesspiece representing a Queen; a fragmentary diptych with Scenes from the Life of Christ produced in Germany in the late 14th century; a French Gothic ivory known as the Sulzbach Virgin and Child from the 14th century and a partially glazed and polychromed terracotta of Christ the Redeemer, attributed to Giovanni della Robbia.

    This French Gothic ivory known as the Sulzbach Virgin and Child is estimated at £300,000-500,000. (Click on image to enlarge).

    Christ the Redeemer attributed to Giovanni della Robbia is estimated at £70,000-100,000. (Click on image to enlarge).