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


    Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

    A watercolour by Mildred Anne Butler at auction in Tralee.

    A watercolour by Mildred Anne Butler (1858-1941) is a feature lot at the sale at Kerry Auction Rooms, Moyderwell, Tralee on November 13.  Work by this artist , who spent most of her life in Kilmurry, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, is highly popular in Ireland. She became a member of the Royal Academy in 1893 and was associated with the Newlyn School of painters.

    Mildred Anne Butler was a member of the Royal Watercolour Society and was one of the first adademicians elected by the Ulster Academy of Arts.  The work on offer in Kerry, in a mahogany and gilt frame, is estimated at 3,000-5,000.



    Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

    A trio of rare masterpieces by Monet, Kandinsky and Brancusi lead  Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in New York on November 7. Elections and hurricanes notwithstanding the auction is expected to realise more than $250 million. Christie’s say this curated sale of 71 works reflects current collecting trends in the global art market.  There are exceptional examples of Impressionism, German Expressionism, Surrealism, Modernist painting and sculpture.

    Claude Monet’s Impressionist masterpiece Nymphéas (The Water Lilies), painted at Giverny in 1905, was gifted to the not-for- profit Hackley School in New York from the estate of Ethel Strong Allen earlier this year and will be sold to benefit the school. It is estimated at $30-50 million. Wassily Kandinsky’s Expressionist tour-de-force Studie für Improvisation 8, is part of the artist’s pioneering series of 1909 and has the potential to set a new record price for any work by the artist at auction. It is estimated at $20-30 million. Constantin Brancusi’s sculptural masterpiece Une Muse is a pivotal work in plaster from 1912 that was among the first sculptures by the artist ever exhibited for American audiences. It is estimated at $10-15 million.

    “As we head into our major fall auctions, we continue to see an exuberant market that responds to great art and intelligent pricing. Participation in our evening sales is more global than ever, with buyers from growth markets in South America, Asia, and the Middle East now competing with clients from established collecting markets in North America and Europe,” noted Brooke Lampley, Head of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie’s New York. “To answer this growing demand for the finest works from the Impressionist and Modern era, we have assembled an exciting sale that is carefully tailored to what our clients want most right now: rarity, superb quality, impeccable condition, exceptional provenance and exhibition history, and stable long-term value.”

    UPDATE: THE sale total, including Buyer’s Premium amounted to  $204,800,000. A diverse audience of clients from around the world participated.  Sell-through rates of 70% by lot and 80% by value were achieved. Of the 69 works offered, 5 lots sold for over $10 million, 10 for over $5 million and 31 for over $1 million.

    CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926) Nymphéas signed and dated ‘Claude Monet 1905′. Estimate: $30,000,000-50,000,000. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd.  UPDATE: IT MADE $43,762,500

    Wassily Kandinsky’s Studie für Improvisation 8, part of the artist’s pioneering series of 1909 is estimated $20-30 million. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd.  UPDATE: THIS MADE $23,042,500, a new world record for the artist.

    CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI (1867-1957) Une muse plaster Height: 18 in. (45.7 cm.) Executed in 1912 Estimate: $10,000,000-15,000,000. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. UPDATE: THIS MADE $12,402,500


    Thursday, November 1st, 2012

    Pablo Picasso’s Femme à la fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) estimated at $15-20 million is one of the main works in the auction postponed to November 8. UPDATE: THIS MADE  $17,218,500

    HURRICANE Sandy has impacted on Sotheby’s Impressionist an Evening art sale in New York.  The auction house has postponed the sale scheduled for Monday November 5 to Thursday, November 8 at 7 p.m.  Sotheby’s say the revised timeline will give clients and international staff greater flexibility to view the exhibition and participate. Viewing will open tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. as scheduled.

    One of the main works in the postponed sale in Picasso’s Femme à la fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) painted in 1936.  It remained in the artist’s possession until his death in 1973.  The work followed the birth of his daughter Maya the previous fall 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.   The painting has been exhibited in Hong Kong and London prior to the New York auction.

    All Sotheby’s other auctions in New York next week remain as scheduled.  The Impressionist and Modern Art day sale takes place on November 7 and the auction of 19th century European Art takes place on November 8.  Viewing for the Contemporary Art sales will open as scheduled on November 9.


    UPDATE: The sale realised $163,009,000, bringing the total for Sotheby’s November 2012 auctions of Impressionist and Modern art to $203,115,775.