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    le Brocquy’s Procession with Lilies made 320,000 at James Adam in September. (Click on image to enlarge).

    AT James Adam, Ireland’s biggest art auctioneers, the top five artworks of 2012 were by five different artists. This is a welcome change from the days when the Irish art market was dominated by just two artists, Jack B. Yeats and Paul Henry. Adams say that this illustrates the range and diversity of high quality art consigned in 2012.
    The top five Irish artists sold at Adams were, in order: Louis le Brocquy (Procession with Lilies, 320,000); William John Leech, Interior of a Cafe, 200,000); Jack B. Yeats, Good Evening Men, 180,000); Paul Henry, The Bog at Evening 160,000) and Richard Moynan, The Travelling Show, 140,000.
    James O’Halloran of Adams said that Henry and Yeats had fared consistently well in all sales, demonstrating the demand for blue chip artists in todays market. He remarked that yet again this year virtually everything offered with an estimate even 20 per cent too high tended the struggle. “It is vital to get the estimate right”. The sold rate at Adams remained solid throughout 2012 averaging 80%. This is virtually the same as the last three years. “This is a very comforting statistic for us as it indicates a strong level of demand and purchaser participation in our auctions. The total hammer receipts for Irish Art Sales in 2012 is €4.36m. 2011’s figures were skewed massively upwards by the remarkable €1m paid for Yeats’ A Fair Day, Mayo so when that exceptional figure is stripped out our revenues in this sector are just ahead of the last two years’ figures” he said.
    For 2013 Adams remain optimistic about the middle to high end of the Irish art market, but expect that the lower end will continue to struggle.

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