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


    Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

    Mark Rothko No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue), 1954. Sotheby’s Contemporary sale in New York on November 13. ($35-50 million). (Click on image to enlarge).

    Pablo Picasso Femme à la fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) 1936. Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern sale in New York on November 5. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE  $17,218,500

    ROTHKO and Picasso will highlight Sotheby’s art selling season in New York. A seminal large scale masterpiece by Mark Rothko – No.1 (Royal Red and Blue) – will be offered on November 13 and an exuberant example of Pablo Picasso’s acclaimed portraits of his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter – Femme à la fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) – will come under the hammer on November 5.
    This Rothko work was painted in 1954 and was one of eight he hand picked for a landmark solo show that year at the Art Institute of Chicago. This was his first one man show at a major American museum. No.1 (Royal Red and Blue) is estimated at $35-50 million.
    Picasso’s Femme à la fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) was painted in the spring of 1936. The work followed the birth of his daughter Maya the previous autumn with Marie-Thérèse, as well as his separation from his wife Olga and the beginnings of a passionate affair with another important muse, Dora Maar. It is estimated at $15-20 million.


    Thursday, September 20th, 2012

    Yeats, Henry, le Brocquy and the corporate collection of Independent News and Media will feature at the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on September 26.  The catalogue, which is on-line, features more than 220 lots. Here is a small selection. You can click on any image to enlarge it.  (See posts on for September 11 and August 21, 2012).

    Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957) The Boat Builder, 1923 (70,000-100,000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 62,000

    Paul Henry (1876-1858) In the Wicklow Mountains 1933-4 (60,000-80,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 64,000.

    Martin Gale RHA (b.1949) August Storm (5,000-8,000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 7,000

    Flora Mitchell (1890-1973) Kennan & Sons, Fishamble Street. Signed and inscribed ‘No. 20 Fishamble St., Dublin, Handel’s “Messiah” produced here 1742’. (500-700).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 850

    Patrick Hennessy RHA (1915-1980) Heat (4,000-6,000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 7,400

    John Doherty (b.1949) ‘In Passing’ (3,000-4,000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000


    Thursday, September 20th, 2012

    Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997) Ohne Titel (Untitled) (£2,500,000-3,500,000). Image courtesy of Christies Images Ltd., 2012. (Click to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE £3,117,250

    Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997) Ohne Titel (Untitled) c1972. (£30,000-40,000). Image courtesy of Christies Images Ltd., 2012. (Click to enlarge).

    AN important collection of Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997) self-portraits, including thirteen works on paper and the seminal oil on canvas, Ohne Titel (Untitled) will feature at Christie’s in London on October 11 and 12.  From the  1992 series Hand-Painted Pictures the Untitled work illustrated on the left is estimated at £2,500,000-3,500,000. It was exhibited at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris in 1993, Tate Modern, London in 2006, MoCA, Los Angeles and MoMA, New York in 2009. Charismatic and irreverent, Martin Kippenberger is remembered for his conceptual and expressive transformation of the 1980s and 1990s art scene.  Assembled over the course of a twenty-five year friendship the collection belongs to someone who knew the artist well.

    UPDATE: THE  auctions of Post-War & Contemporary Art and The Italian Sale realised a combined total of £41,183,300.  The top price was paid for Martin Kippenberger’s Untitled which made £3,117,25,  a world record price for the artist at auction.


    Thursday, September 20th, 2012

    Here are some more treasures from the LAPADA art an antiques fair now in full swing at Berkeley Square in London. It continues until September 23. LAPADA is the largest UK trade association for professional art and antique dealers. Here are some collector’s items from the fair (click on any image to enlarge it):

    This Regency amboyna centre table in the manner of George is £24,000 at t Lennox Cato Antiques.

    This cabochon ruby and diamond bangle, formerly the property of artist Tamara de Lempicka is at 21st Century Jewels. Attributed to Paul Flato, USA c1940’s it is priced at £47,000.

    Erte (Romain de Tirtoff, 1892 – 1990) design for a Costume Dress: Libra’ 1930, previously in the cllection of West End director and costume designer Alex Shanks, at George Babbington priced at £3,000.

    An 18th century Sheraton sideboard at Freshfords Fine Antiques is priced at £14,500.

    (See posts on for July 29, August 17 and September 14, 2012).


    Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

    Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) Untitled, 1981. Acrylic and oilstick on canvas.
    Estimate in the region of $20 million.

    One of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s ultimate masterpieces is poised to make a record for the artist when it comes up at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary sale in New York on November 14.  Untitled, executed in 1981, has been in the same private collection for almost two decades.  Meantime it has featured prominently in every major Basquiat retrospective.  The painting set a record of $110,000 at auction in 1988.  It is now reckoned to break the latest Basquiat record price of $20.1 million achieved at auction in London last June at Christie’s.

    Loic Gouzer, International Specialist of Post-War and Contemporary Art, declared: “In contrast to most artists, Basquiat created his best paintings at the beginning of his career. Untitled 1981 unites all the elements of energy, freedom and boldness that one looks for in Basquiat. The market has been waiting a long time for a work of this caliber and freshness, therefore we expect it to set a new record for Basquiat, an artist who is in the process of being recognized as a classic of Post-War American Art alongside Warhol, De Kooning and Pollock.”


    Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

    The varied selection of Irish art at the next Morgan O’Driscoll auction at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island, Cork on September 24 at 6.30 p.m. is evident in these images from the sale.  Around 250 lots are on offer and estimates are reasonable.  The catalogue is on-line. (Click on any image to enlarge).

    Markey Robinson (1918-1999) ‘Clown’ gouache on board (700 – 1,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 850.

    Shane Johnson (20th/21st Century) ‘Poolbeg Sunshine’, acrylic on canvas (1,000-1,400).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 850.

    Colin Middleton RUA RHA (1910-1983) ‘Mural IV”. Commissioned by Noel Campbell for Morelli’s icecream parlour on the promenade, Portstewart, Co. Derry, early 1970’s (20,000 – 30,000). UPDATE: THIS WAS WITHDRAWN AT 17,000 AND SOLD AFTER THE AUCTION FOR 22,000.

    Brian Ballard RUA (b.1943) ‘Still Life Daffodils in a Vase’, oil on canvas (800-1,200). UPDATE: THIS MADE 700

    William Conor RHA RUA ROI (1881-1968) ‘Adoration’ crayon (6,000-8,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,600

    Frank McKelvey RHA RUA (1895-1974) ‘Near Crolly, Co. Donegal’, watercolour (1,000-1,400).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 900.

    William Scott OBE RA (1913-1989) ‘Odeon Suite Series’. Limited Edition Print signed & numbered 74/75 (1,750 – 2,500).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,500.


    Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

    This eight-panel screen, circa 1921-23, by Eileen Gray is estimated at $1,500,000-2,500,000. Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2012. (Click to enlarge).

    A magnificent eight panel screen by Eileen Gray (1878-1976) comes up at Christie’s in New York this winter.  It is one of the highlights of the Steven A. Greenberg Collection, Masterpieces of French Art Deco to be auctioned on December 12 and 13.  This museum quality collection chronicles a unique chapter in 20th century design. The focus is one some of the most distinguished artists associated with the historic Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in 1925 –  Jean Dunand, Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, and Jean Dupas. Two important lacquer screens by Eileen Gray, perfect complements in their rarity and stature to the works of these artists, constitute another key facet of the collection.

    Unlike her contemporaries Dunand and Ruhlmann, Eileen Gray never courted publicity, preferring to work for a very small circle of clients. Two key clients were Mme Mathieu Lévy and Mme Jean Henri-Labourdette. The former commissioned Gray to fully refurbish her apartment.  A central feature of the work, executed between 1919 and 1922, was a series of lacquer wall panels with a decoration of fine sweeping and intersecting lines. The Eileen Gray screen illustrated here is one of three variations on a theme with incised linear decoration in a deep brown lacquer ground. It defines a moment where the artist has evolved from the figurative to the abstract, with linear graphics as a constant. It was among the works bought by Mme Labourdette from the artist and remained in her family’s possession until acquired in the 70s by Paris dealer-collector Jean-Claude Brugnot. He sold it at auction in New York where it was bought by Steven Greenberg. The estimate for the piece is $1,500,000-2,500,000.  The auction of around 210 lots is expected to bring in more than $15 million.


    Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

    A selection of antique and vintage jewellery including lots of solitaire diamonds, more than 60 gold sovereigns and some silverware and paintings are included in the sale at O’Reilly’s of Francis St., Dublin on September 26 at 1 p.m.  About 400 lots are to be sold.  The catalogue is on-line.  Meantime here are just a couple to whet the appetite.

    An Edwardian emerald and diamond bracelet with an estimate of 17,000-19,000.  UPDATE: THIS MDE 17,000

    This Art Deco diamond and ruby ring is estimated at 7,500-8,500.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 7,500


    Monday, September 17th, 2012

    Lion Brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels, New York. (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE: THIS MADE $134,500.

    Chinese lacquer furniture, clocks, mirrors, paintings, export porcelain and a lion brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels will feature at Sotheby’s sale of property from Brooke Astor in New York on September 23 and 24. The auction will comprise fine and decorative art from the two homes of the legendary New York society figure and philanthropist, the duplex apartment at 778 Park Avenue (at Park and 73rd) and Holly Hill, her Westchester County Estate. Mrs. Astor, who died in 2007 aged 105, selected a number of charitable organizations to benefit from her estate, including The New York Public Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Pierpont Morgan Library, The Animal Medical Center of New York, and New York City Schools. The lion brooch pictured on the left by Van Cleef & Arpels evokes the iconography of The New York Public Library, an institution she championed for decades. Lot 168 in the sale is an Irish silver rococo style pierced bowl and cover with London marks for 1780 estimated at $1,500-2,000.
    Assembled primarily in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, Mrs. Astor’s collection of jewelry features Van Cleef & Arpels, Verdura, Cartier, Buccellati, David Webb, Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., and Bulgari. Highlights include an emerald and diamond ring set with a 22.84 carat Colombian emerald ($100,000-150,000), an c1965 emerald and diamond necklace ($250,000-350,000) and the fancy coloured diamond, coral and ruby lion brooch ($20,000-30,000).

    UPDATE: THE SALE REALISED $18,828,129.  The high estimate was $9.7 million. A remarkable 95% of the 901-lot auction was sold.

    Mrs. Astor’s emerald ring and necklace.  UPDATE: THE RING MADE $1,202,500, THE NECKLACE MADE $686,500.

    An interior shot of the library at Mrs. Astor’s home at Holly Hill. (Click on image to enlarge).

    An Irish silver rococo style pierced bowl and cover.  UPDATE: IT MADE $6,875.


    Sunday, September 16th, 2012

    This antiquarian topographical view of St. Patrick’s Bridge, Cork by John Fitzgerald is estimated at 1,000-1,500. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR 900

    OLD topographical views are always of interest.  Lynes and Lynes have a rare drawing of St. Patrick’s Bridge in Cork city by John Fitzgerald (1825-1910), the poet, writer and artist known as The Bard of the Lee, at their auction in Carrigtwohill on Saturday, September 22.  Noted for his antiquarian topographical drawings of the houses and bridges around Cork he was composer of The Green Hills of Cork, popularly known as Beautiful City.

    The sale comprises the contents of a period residence at King’s Square, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork as well some Japanese dolls from a house at Fountainstown, Co. Cork.  The 400 lot sale features antique furniture, silver, glassware, porcelain, antique furnishing brasses and artwork. The catalogue is on-line. Here is a small selection:

    An interior view of the house at King’s Square, Mitchelstown. The entire contents will be sold at Lynes and Lynes. (Click on image to enlarge).

    A display cabinet is estimated at 1,000-2,000. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,500

    This Japanese doll is estimated at 100-200.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 60