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    Friday, August 17th, 2012


    FRANCIS BACON (Dublin 1909-1992 Madrid) Triptych inspired by Oresteia of Aeschylus, 1981 will be at Gildens Art Gallery.

    The 1981 Bacon Triptych on the left was inspired by Oresteia of Aeschylus, a trilogy of Greek tragedies which concerns the end of the curse on the House of Atreus (King of Mycenae).  The first tragedy is Agamemnon, second is The Libation Bearers where the children of Agamemnon take their revenge. The final is The Eumenides (which also inspired a Triptych by Bacon) where the son of Agamemnon is tourmented by the patricide and matricide he just committed in the second act.  This original lithograph is hand signed in pencil by the artist.

    The Bacon litho is one of a variety of collector’s treasures from the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair at Berkeley Square in London from September 19-23 next.   The Horati clock (below right) was inspired by a picture by Jacques Louis David painted in 1784 depicting the sacrificial oath taken by three Horati brothers, symbols of ancient Roman valour, before their father holding three swords to stand against the Curati. The base plaque depicts the aftermath of battle where only one of the brothers survives amidst his dying brothers and slain enemies.

    LAPADA is the largest UK trade association for professional art and antique dealers. Click on any image to enlarge it.  (See post on antiquesandartireland.comfor July 29, 2012).

    Theo Johns Fine Art will show a recently discovered oil on canvas entitled Young Washerwomen by Jean-Honoré Fragonard (Grasse 1732-1806 Paris).

    ‘NYC II’, acrylic on canvas by the Spanish artist Salvador Monto will be at Lucy B. Campbell Fine Art.

    This museum-quality French Empire ormolu mantel clock depicting the “Oath of the Horati” c1805 after a painting by Jacques Louis David of 1784 will be shown by Richard Price Associates.


    Thursday, August 16th, 2012

    A private collection of vivid 19th century marble sculpture leads Christie’s sale The Opulent Eye – 500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe.  No less than 20 lots from the collection will be included in the auction in London on September 20.  They are expected to realise more than £400,000.

    The group focuses on belle époque marble statuary and genre figures. Highlights include a Belgian art nouveau marble regulateur estimated at £50,000 – 100,000,  (illustrated above centre). The marble long-case clock is attributed to the Symbolist sculptor Egide Rombaux (d.1942) and is carved in bas-relief with a figure of Atropos, one of three fates from Greek mythology who spin the thread of life, measure and cut it. The life-size marble figure of a female nude by Jacques de Braekeleer estimated at £40,000 – 60,000, (illustrated above left) is entitled `De Afwachting (The Expectation)’ and is thought to depict a maiden waiting for her lover, a fisherman, to return from sea. Its pendent, depicting the fisherman’s wife, and known as `The Wait’, is in the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique.  Characteristic of other pieces from the collection is the marble figure of a maiden sipping nector, or wood nymph, by Angelo Bertozzi, which is from the Romantic school of 19th century Italian sculpture estimated at £30,000 – 50,000 (illustrated above right).

    UPDATE:  The Belgian marble figure of a female nude made £51,650; the clock made £61,250, the maiden sipping nectar was unsold. The auction brought in a total including buyer’s premium of £4.85 million.


    Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

    Iconic. The 1966 RML Leyland AEC London Routemaster Double-decker Bus. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd.,2012. (Click on image to enlarge).

    THOSE in a post Olympics withdrawal phase have an opportunity to deal with their symptoms at an auction on September 3.  You can bring a real piece of London home thanks to Christie’s.

    A nostalgic  red 1966 double decker London bus is a  feature lot at the London sale at Christie’s, South Kensington on September 3.  The Leyland route master bus was first registered in 1966.  It seats 72 plus five standing and is in perfect mechanical order. The estimate is £20,000-30,000.

    The sale will also feature Olympic memorabilia.  Now on view at South Kensington it comprises over 150 lots ranging from a 1948 London Olympics poster to the  iconic red London bus.


    (See post on for July 28, 2012).


    Sunday, August 12th, 2012

    A c1900 image of the nun’s parlour at Loreto Convent, Fermoy, Co. Cork. (Click on image to enlarge).

    A c1900 photograph of the interior of Loreto Convent, Fermoy, Co. Cork shows antiques pieces to be auctioned there on August 18. The Lynes and Lynes  no reserves auction of around 400 lots features a number of items seen in this unique photograph.  The large painting on the back wall is of the crucifixion, the harp by Sebastian Erard on the left is lot 104, the mid 19th century chair to the left centre is lot 60, the table at the centre back  is lot 67.  The Victorian pole screens at the back and one of the foot stools to the front will also feature.

    The sale includes a 9′ long Victorian sideboard originally from Castlemartyr, Co. Cork, a longcase clock by Patrick Donegan of Dublin and two harps.  There is good Irish and English silverware and a collection of 19th century Bohemian glass, as well as contents from two kitchens, garden furniture and effects.   The catalogue for the sale, on the premises at Fermoy, is on-line.

    The Loreto sisters have been teaching in Fermoy since the mid 19th century.  The remaining sisters have moved to houses in the community.

    UPDATE:  The oil painting sold for 4,400, the sideboard made 3,200, the longcase clock was the top lot in the sale and sold for 6,300, the harp made 4,500, the mid 19th century chair made 380 and the table featured in the photograph made 880.  Silver and glass sold very well.


    Saturday, August 11th, 2012

    Double Lotus For The Yongzheng Emperor (1723 – 1735), Giuseppe Castiglione (Lang Shining, 1688 – 1766). (Estimate on request).

    An exquisite hanging scroll painting by Italian Jesuit Giuseppi Castiglione is a highlight of Sotheby’s Hong Kong sales from October 5-9.   A celebrated official painter to the Qing Imperial court Castiglione’s works rarely appear on the market.  Born in Milan he took the name Lang Shining while in China. Double Lotus for the Yongzheng Emperor was executed during the Yongzheng period between 1723 and 1735.

    The sales series will feature ceramics, paintings, contemporary Asian art, 20th century Chinese art, contemporary Southeast Asian paintings, jewellery, watches and wines.  It will include selections from You Yi Tang’s private collection of Chinese paintings in Hong Kong with outstanding works by Zhang Daqian throughout his artistic career.  Here is a small selection of images, courtesy of and copyright of Sotheby’s.  You can click on any image to enlarge:

    Zeng Fanzhi (b. 1964) Fire 2007. Oil On Canvas Est: HK$7 – 9 million /US$900,000–1.2 million.  UPDATE: LOT SOLD. 8,420,000 HKD 

    Fu Baoshi (1904 – 1965) Landscape After Shitao 1942. Ink And Colour On Paper.  UPDATE: LOT SOLD. 11,860,000 HKD

    Zhang Daqian (1899 – 1983) Swiss Peaks; Calligraphy in Xingshu 1968. Set Of Two. Est: HK$8 – 12 million / US$1 – 1.5 million.  UPDATE: LOT SOLD. 23,060,000 HKD  

    A Fine And Extremely Rare Pair Of Yellow Ground Famille-Rose Double-Gourd Vases Seal Marks And Period Of Qianlong. Est: HK$40 – 60 million / US$ 5.1 – 7.7 million. 
    LOT SOLD. 107,060,000 HKD  


    Saturday, August 11th, 2012

    Presence II by Bridget Flannery. (Click on image to enlarge).

    Presence II is the title of this mixed media on birch panel by the Irish mid-career artist Bridget Flannery. It is from her solo show now on at the Berkeley Gallery, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny as part of Killkenny Arts Week 2012. These powerful paintings have emerged from the artist’s engagement with an abstract visual language of shape, texture and colour that reflects the natural world of sea, land and sky.

    Bridget Flannery graduated from the Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork in 1981. Since then she has had solo shows in Ireland and Europe, including the RHA Dublin and, most recently, the Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast.


    Saturday, August 11th, 2012

    The refracting telescope from the 1830’s.  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    This classic west of Ireland scene by Phil Higgisson is at Kerry Auction Rooms.

    AN 1830’s refracting telescope will come under the hammer in Tralee on August 14. The fine example of a country house telescope is estimated at 2,500-3,500 at Kerry Auction Rooms, Moyderwell, Tralee  Antique furniture includes a 19th century oak case clock with painted arch dial, a 19th century stick barometer and an early Victorian two drawer side table.

    There is military, Irish hallmarked silver sports medals from the 1940’s, jewellery, collectibles including a wall display signed by Muhammad Ali and five west of Ireland coastal scnes by artist Phil Higgisson.  The catalogue is on-line.


    Friday, August 10th, 2012

    The bow of the Asgard. Image copyright National Museum of Ireland. (Click to enlarge).

    The Asgard sailed into Irish history in 1914 when it arrived in Howth Harbour packed with rifles for the Irish Volunteers.  The conserved 51′ yacht has just gone on permanent display at the National Museum, Collins Barracks, Dublin.  Built in 1905 for Erskine and Molly Childers by renowned Norwegian naval architect Colin Archer, the Howth gun running vessel was later to become Ireland’s first national sail-training vessel.

    English-born Irish nationalist and writer Robert Erskine Childers, his wife and a small crew made the crossing with the rifles to arm the Irish Volunteers in response to the arming of the Ulster Volunteers in the Larne gun-running. The story is intertwined with other episodes of Irish history on display at the museum including ‘The Easter Rising: Understanding 1916’ and ‘Soldiers and Chiefs: Irish Soldiers at Home and Abroad Since 1500’.


    Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

    A number of furniture lots from country houses are to be included in Hegarty’s evening sale in Bandon in west Cork on Tuesday, August 14. It features lots from the 18th century Sunville House on The Square in Bantry and from Annedale House in Co. Leitrim. The catalogue will be on-line.  Meantime here is a small selection:

    A William IV rosewood workbox (500-800).  UPDATE: IT MADE 550

    A Japanese painted scroll (800-1,200). UPDATE: THIS MADE 380.

    A 19th century Chinese ginger jar and cover (700-1,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.


    Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

    Sotheby’s made auction history when Edvard Munch’s The Scream sold for $119.9 million in New York in May – a new world record for any work of art at auction.

    Reduced auction sales and in particular single owner sales led to a decline of 16% in total revenue at Sotheby’s in the first half of 2012.  Figures just released show total revenues of $303.9 million, down 18% over the same period in 2011. For the first six months of 2012 net income amounted to $408.9 million, down 16% on the first half of 2011. Net income in the second quarter of 2012 was $85.4 million, a decrease of 33% for the same period last year.

    The resolution of a labour dispute with New York unionised art handler negatively impacted on the first half results.  Sotheby’s believes that future labour costs have been reset in an attractive and sustainable way.  The decline has been partially offset by reductions in total expenses of $8.5 million, or 3% in the first half year.

    “Our operating results reflect some tremendous successes, but also reflect the challenging global economy, a tough comparison to the best quarter in Sotheby’s history a year ago, and a competitive climate for high-end consignments,” said Bill Ruprecht, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Demand and prices remain strong, especially at the high end of the market, as reflected in our highest ever sale of Impressionist and Modern Art of $373.3 million in May in New York”.  Sotheby’s financial services business grew substantially, he said. Private sales are an increasingly important contributor to revenue stream.  The slowdown in the Asian market is comparable to the economy there, but it continues to be very profitable and a source of “substantial opportunity”.

    “Art appears to remain an attractive asset for collectors and our consignment pipeline for the Autumn season is very active at the moment” Bill Ruprecht said. “We remain confident in the global art market and will, as always, seek opportunities to broaden and extend the breadth and depth of our relationships with our clients.”