Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for July, 2012


    Monday, July 16th, 2012

    A Chinese concentric puzzle ball on stand with figured decoration (750 – 1,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 660

    An unusual Chinese puzzle ball is a feature lot at Woodwards summer sale in Cork on July 18.  With numerous spheres and ornate carved decoration it sits on a circular base.  The estimate for the piece is 750-1,000. There is a collection of 25 Toby Mugs by Royal Doulton along with silver, furniture and collectibles. Collectors will also be interested in a Cork silver spoon by Carden Terry and Jane Williams dating to c1797. It is estimated at 100-150.

    A Royal Doulton Toby jug “The Golfer” (70-150). UPDATE: THS MADE 40

    A Regency inlaid and crossbanded rosewood sofa table (1,000 – 2,000). Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 600


    Friday, July 13th, 2012

    The top lot at the enormously successful two day sale at Mount Congreve was a Regency Carlton House desk. It made 82,000.  Rare antique furniture, Oriental porcelain,

    This Regency Carlton House Desk sold for a hammer price of 82,000 at Mount Congreve. (Click on image to enlarge).

    mirrors, chandeliers and books were among the items that contributed to outstanding results.

    This blue and white baluster vase sold for 23,500 over an estimate of 2,000-3,000. It had been in an upstairs bedroom at Mount Congreve. (Click on image to enlarge).

    Oriental porcelain tended to sell at prices far above professional estimates. Most of the buyers for these pieces bid on the internet from Hong Kong and mainland China, or from England on the telephone.  A blue and white meiping vase estimated at up to 12,000 made 50,000. Traditionally used to display plum blossoms this one was fitted for electricity and sported a faint hairline crack. A pair of Kangxi vases, also adapted for electricity, made 34,000 over a top estimate of 8,000.  These are hammer prices to which approximately 25 per cent in commissions, fees and charges must be added.

    The auction of over 1,100 lots by Mealy’s in association with Christie’s was highly competitive and practically everything sold.  Around 10,000 people attended the viewing over three days.


    Friday, July 13th, 2012

    This ring belonged to Jane Austen. (Click on image to enlarge).

    A gold and gem set ring belonging to Jane Austen made £152,450 at Sotheby’s English Literature sale in London on July 10.  It has been handed down by female descendants of the author  for nearly 200 years.  The price was more than five times the high estimate of £30,000.  No less than eight bidders battled for the turquoise ring, eventually bought by an anonymous private collector on the telephone.  It was on the market for the first time.

    At the Mount Congreve sale in Co. Waterford on the following day an 1833 edition of five volumes of Jane Austen made 2,800 over a top estimate of 800.


    Monday, July 9th, 2012

    This Chinese Yongzheng vase, lot 911, is estimated at 20,000-30,000. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: IT MADE 26,000 AT HAMMER.

    EVERYONE seems to want something of Mount Congreve.  Thousands of people descended on the Co. Waterford big house, venue for Ireland’s largest country house auction in decades, over the weekend.

    Internet bidders from US, Canada, China, Japan, Chile, Russia, throughout Continental Europe as well as Australia, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have already registered to take part.  Competition will be strong for lots rights across the board.

    Mealy’s, who will conduct the sale in association with Christie’s, say that international interest has focused on the prime furniture, the carpets, chandeliers and Oriental items like lot 911, a Chinese Yongzheng vase estimated at 20,000-30,000.  Lot 985, a commode, was reputedly bought in the courtyard of Versailles during the French Revolution and said to have been once owned by Marie Antoinette. It is estimated at 20,000-30,000. Other top lots include a mahogany Carlton House Desk with an estimate of 80,000-100,000 and the Schreiber collection of salt glaze ceramics (40,000-60,000).

    The auction is on July 10 and 11.


    UPDATE: THE  sale brought in 2.25 million at hammer. Up to 13,000 people attended three days of viewing. Everything was sold, many lots at significantly above estimate.

    (See posts on for July 3, May 24, June 24, May 20 and April 16, 2012).


    Monday, July 9th, 2012

    A receipt for dinner at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in 1890. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE:  IT MADE 1,700.

    Social historians will find lots of interest at the Lynes and Lynes sale at Carrigtwohill in July 14.  An insight into well to do life in late Victorian and Edwardian Cork is on offer  through a collection of invoices made out to a Major Newenham of Coolmore, Carrigaline, Co. Cork detailing everything from dinner at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in 1890, purchases of silver and a wedding notice on the then Cork Examiner newspaper and even a dozen tennis balls in 1911 from Elvery’s in Patrick St., Cork. The bill for dinner in 1890 was £10 and the tennis balls bought 21 years later cost 12 shillings and nine pence.

    Furniture on offer includes an Georgian linen press, an early 19th century Cork sideboard, a set of Georgian dining chairs, a Victorian chesterfield couch, a circular dining table, a brass club fender and a Regency sofa table. The catalogue is on line.

    UPDATE:  The Georgian linen press sold for 3,100 at hammer, the Cork sideboard was unsold, the Georgian dining chairs made 600, the chesterfield made 820, the circular dining table sold for 800,  the Regency sofa table made 700 and the book of invoices made 1,700.


    Monday, July 9th, 2012

    HOW about a magnificent diamond and emerald bracelet to beat the recessionary wet summer blues?  As always, there is a snag.  The early 20th century bracelet which features at the next auction at O’Reilly’s of Francis St., Dublin on July 18.  It is estimated at 50,000-60,000.  A fine 8.73 carat emerald ring, certified as of Columbian origin,  has an estimated of 25,000-30,000.  Other lots include an Art Nouveau opal and diamond necklace in its original fitted case (4,000-5,000) and a pair of early Victorian drop earrings set with old cut diamonds.  There is a selection of gold items, watches and diamond line bracelets. The catalogue is on-line. You can click on any image to enlarge it.  UPDATE: THE BRACELET SOLD AFTER THE AUCTION FOR 52,000.

    A very fine 8.73 carat emerald ring; the ring is certified as of Columbian origin (€25,000 – €30,000). UPDATE: THE RING MADE 24,000. THE BRACELET SOLD AFTER THE AUCTION FOR 52,000.

    A pair of early Victorian diamond drop earrings with old cut diamonds (8,000 – €10,000).  UPDATE: THE PAIR MADE 7,000.

    Art Nouveau opal and diamond necklace (4,000 – €5,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.


    Monday, July 9th, 2012

    Three Squash is the title of this work by Mark O’Neill. It will be on offer at the Limerick fair.

    THERE will be more than 70 stands brimful of everything at the National Antique and Art Fair at the South Court Hotel in Limerick on the weekend of July 21-22.  This two day event will bring dealers from all around Ireland, including many members of the Irish Antique Dealers Association, to the mid-west region.  It will feature antique furniture with an emphasis on smaller pieces, art, silver, jewellery, glass, porcelain and a wide choice of collectible items.

    Hibernian Antique Fairs have organised regular fairs throughout Ireland for more than 20 years now.  This is one of their biggest annual events, and is always a crowd puller.   Opening times each day are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.


    Friday, July 6th, 2012

    The scene at Christie’s during the auction.

    There was a world record price for the Leinster dinner service at Christie’s Exceptional Sale in London on July 6.  The grandest and most complete surviving aristocratic dinner service made  £1,721,250, the highest price at auction for any antique English silver dinner service. The Rococo style service was the top lot in a sale of 48 lots which brought in a total of £18,065,650.

    The Brand Cabinet, a George II ivory-mounted padouk medal-cabinet, circa 1743 made £1,217,250.

    The Brand Cabinet, a c1743 George II ivory-mounted padouk medal-cabinet with ivory plaques purchased in Rome by Robert Brand while on the Grand Tour, sold for £1,217,250. The plaques depict figures from Classical mythology like Leda and the Swan. A Louis XV ormolu-mounted Chinese clair-de-lune celadon porcelain vase, the porcelain Qianlong (1736-95), the Ormolu mid-18th century, realised £1,161,250.

    The fourth lot in the sale to sell for over £1 million was the Ogden Mills ‘Armoires à Six Medailles’ which made £1,049,250. They are lavishly decorated with gilt-bronze mounts and scrolling foliate pattern with brass and tortoiseshell ground of première and contre-partie marquetry. The Louis XIV armoire in contre-partie is attributed to André-Charles Boulle, while the late Louis XV in première partie is by Delorme.

    (See post on for July 2, 2012).


    Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

    The 18th-century gilded elephant automaton clock (click on image to enlarge).

    This extraordinary 18th century gilded elephant automaton clock sold for £1.6 million at Sotheby’s in London on July 4. Made for the Asian market by the celebrated English clockmaker Peter Torckler, it was previously owned by the Shah of Persia Naser al-Din (1831–96). The Shah bought it after seeing the remarkable collection of performing clocks owned by Ferdinand de Rothschild at Waddesdon Manor.
    The automaton springs to life every third hour, playing music, waving its tail and trunk and flapping its ears. It was bought by an Asian collector. The c1780 clock had been on display at Sotheby’s, New Bond St., for the past month where it became a popular attraction.

    This pair of gilt-bronze-mounted Sèvres vases made £1,777,250 (click on image to enlarge).

    A pair of gilt bronze mounted Sèvres vases (c1788-1790) was the top lot at Sotheby’s evening sale entitled Treasures, Princely Taste.  They realised £1,777,250.  The 39 lots in the auction brought in £9,507,800.


    Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

    Willem van de Velde the Younger, The Surrender of the Royal Prince during the Four Days’ Battle. (Click on image to enlarge).

    A dramatic composition by Willem Van de Velde, considered the finest marine artist of the Dutch Golden Age, sold for  £5,305,250 at Sotheby’s in London on July 4.  It was the top lot  in the Old  Master & British Paintings Evening Sale.  It had been estimated at  £1.5-2.5 million.   Willem van de Velde the Younger’s The Surrender of the Royal Prince during the Four Days’ Battle is an evocative rendering of the  Dutch naval battle against the English in 1666. In it the artist depicts his own father sketching in a tiny galliot beneath the stern of the English ship “The Royal Prince” as it surrenders.

    The subject – the defeat of the English – marked the high point of Dutch naval history and was considered so important that the precursor of the Rijksmuseum attempted to acquire the work for the nation in 1800 but was outbid.  The work was bought by a private Dutch collector and will return to Holland.  The sale of 44 works realised a total of £32,268,650 against an estimate of £26-40 million.

    (See post on for June 26, 2012).