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


    Monday, December 10th, 2012

    Steven Dews painting to commemorate an epic sea battle 200 years on. (Click on image to enlarge).

    A painting of the epic sea battle between H.M.S. Shannon and the U.S.S. Chesapeake during the Anglo-American War of 1812-14 will come up at Bonhams in London 200 years after the event next April. The renowned naval encounter occurred in 1813 after Captain Philip Broke of H.M.S. Shannon came upon the Chesapeake refitting in Boston Harbour and challenged her to come out and fight. Captain James Lawrence brought Chesapeake out into the open sea and after a furious annihilating action lasting just fifteen minutes, was forced to surrender.
    After firing two devastating broadsides Broke led his boarding party onto Chesapeake but was so badly wounded that he had to relinquish his command. Casualties on both sides were extraordinarily high – 48 Americans, including Captain Lawrence, were killed and 96 wounded whilst Shannon suffered 33 dead and 50 wounded. Captain Broke survived to be rewarded with a baronetcy although he never recovered sufficiently to be able to return to active service.
    The oil painting in which the British artist John Steven Dews (born 1949) celebrates the bi-centenary of the battle is estimated to make £60,000-80,000 at Bonhams Marine sale on April 24, 2013 in London. Dews is Britain’s most sought after living marine artist.


    Saturday, December 8th, 2012

    WHYTE’S will hold an art and literature for Christmas sale at the RDS on December 9 at 2 p.m.  There will be more than 450 lots.  Here is a small selection.

    Silver Bird by Edward Delaney (600-800). (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 640 AT HAMMER.

    Breon O’Casey, Dove with Grey Triangles and one other work (600-800). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 580

    Nativity by Evie Hone (400-500). UPDATE: THS SOLD FOR 480

    Off Brandon Creek, Co. Kerry by Liam O’Neill (2,000-3,000). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 2,600


    Saturday, December 8th, 2012

    More than 350 lots will come under the hammer at Hegarty’s evening auction in Bandon, Co. Cork on December  11 next.  The catalogue is on-line. Here is a small selection:

    Victorian mahogany side table with upstand 3 drawers in freeze supported on barley twist pillars (700-900). UPDATE: THIS MADE 675

    Victorian Irish longcase clock in flame mahogany with fine carved hood with 8 day movement striking on the hour by Robert Smith, Belfast (3,000-4,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,600

    “The Vegetable Seller at Cork” attributed to Beatrice Gubbins, with Hendricks Gallery label to back (800-1,200).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR  700

    Irish Regency and rosewood inlaid bracket clock with carrying handle c1820 (700-1.000) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    Victorian walnut inlaid table on bird cage pod (300-400). UPDATE: THIS MADE 240

    Ivory netsuke of a group with stork (300-500). UPDATE: THIS MADE 300.


    Thursday, December 6th, 2012

    A Christmas Irish art auction by Dolan’s takes place at the Pillo Hotel, Galway on December 9. The catalogue is on line. Here is a small selection (you can click on any image to enlarge it).

    The Drawing Room by Norman Teeling (750-850).UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    Galway Hookers, Low Tide, Claddagh by Ivan Sutton (1,500-2,500). UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,300

    Old Town Light by Mark O’Neill (900-1,200). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    Moonlight in Connemara by Markey Robinson (4,500-4,800).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,750 AND WAS THE TOP LOT OF THE AUCTION.

    Artist’s Studio by Mat Grogan (500-600).  UDPATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    One of a set of six limited edition colour prints by Pauline Bewick at Dolan’s in Galway (600-800).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 600.


    Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

    Raphael’s Head of an Apostle sold for £29.7 million at Sothebys in London on December 5.

    Raphael’s Head of an Apostle (c. 1519-20) achieved a record £29.7 million at Sotheby’s in London tonight. This is the second highest price ever achieved for any Old Master work of art. It dramatically surpassed all previous prices achieved not only for any Old Master drawing, but for any Work on Paper sold at auction.
    Following an intense battle between four bidders – both in the auction room and on the phones – which was sustained for 17 minutes and leapt in increments of up to five hundred thousand pounds, the hammer came down on the winning bid cast on the telephone.

    Gregory Rubinstein, Worldwide Head of Old Master Drawings at Sotheby’s, said “If you are lucky, at some point in your career a work like this comes along.  A number of the world’s greatest collectors stepped up tonight in recognition of the genius of Raphael and the extraordinary beauty of this drawing with its exceptional provenance.”

    The Raphael drawing being shown at the auction.

    Executed in black chalk, the drawing from the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth depicts one of the key figures in Raphael’s Transfiguration – one of the greatest of all Renaissance paintings, which now hangs in the Vatican Museum, Rome. When Raphael died, his body was laid out in state in his studio with the Transfiguration hanging at his head. Head of an Apostle, is one of only three drawings of this calibre to have appeared at auction in the last 50 years.

    The Massacre of the Innocents by Sir Peter Paul Rubens which made £49.5 million at Sotheby’s in London in 2002 remains the most expensive Old Master painting ever sold at auction.  Turner’s Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino, sold at Sotheby’s in London in 2010 to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles now shares second place with Raphael as both works made £29.7 million.  In July 2011 Francesco Guardi’s Venice, a View of the Rialto Bridge, Looking North, from the Fondamenta del Carbon made £26.7 million at Sotheby’s in London and is the next on the list of most expensive Old Masters.

    (See post on for September 4, 2012).


    Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

    Jewellery, ceramics, art, collectibles, vintage cars and furniture all feature at Mealy’s two day winter fine and decorative art sale in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny scheduled for December 11 and 12. The auction, at 10.30 a.m. sharp on each day, will also include Oriental and Tribal art, silver, gold, light fittings, glass, whiskey, wine, militaria, carpets, clocks and scientific instruments. The catalogue is on line. Here is a small selection (you can click on any image to enlarge it):

    A pair of carved and jewelled ivory figures attributed to Georg Roth of Hanau, Germany c1900. (4,000-6,000). UPDATE: THE PAIR MADE 6,500.

    “Gun dogs protecting the day’s bag” by John Emms (1843-1912) (2,500-3,500).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,000

    A percussion box lock pocket pistol by G. Wallis (300-500).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 420

    A set of antlers from the Great Irish Deer (6,000-9,000).  UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR 17,000.

    Five gold Kruggerrands, 1975 (4,500-6,000).  UPDATE: THESE MADE 5,500

    Midleton very rare Irish whiskey, the complete set 1984-2011, 28 bottles each in original presentation case (10,000-15,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS SOLD PRIVATELY AFTER THE AUCTION WITH THE PRE-SALE ESTIMATES.

    A heart shaped sapphire and diamond cluster ring (600-900).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 650


    Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

    A bleu electrique Birkin bag by Hermès, 2011 was the top lot at Christie’s vintage couture on-line auction of handbags and shoes. A private bidder in the US paid £22,500 over a pre-sale estimate of £5,000-8,000.  The sale, which ran for two weeks from November 16 to November 30, brought in £255,500 and was 76% sold by lot and 99% by value.
    In a statement afterwards Clare Borthwick, Associate Specialist and Patricia Frost, International Specialist and Director, Vintage Couture and Handbags said: “We are very pleased with the results for the launch of Christie’s Vintage Couture online-only series. The quality craftsmanship and classic silhouette of Hermès bags continues to appeal internationally. Led by an electric blue bag (Lot 13), the bright and unusual colours of the most modern Birkins proved the most popular and commanded the highest prices, more than doubling their pre-sale estimates. Also of note was the price achieved for Chanel’s re-issued 2.55 bag, demonstrating that interest in this market also extends to other brands (Lot 52). Within the shoe offering the top lot was a pair of sandals by Christian Louboutin for Yves Saint Laurent which were limited edition with leather and diamanté ‘YSL’ logo and red soles from 2002 which realised £563 (Lot 51).”
    Bidders were from 36 countries and 55% of those who registered were new to Christie’s. The next on-line only series of vintage couture sales at Christie’s will be held in May 2013.

    This bleu electrique and thalassa epsom leather candy Birkin bag by Hermès, 2011made £22,500.

    These Christian Louboutin sandals for Yves Saint Laurent made £563.

    This silver metallic Chanel bag c2007 made £4,375.


    Monday, December 3rd, 2012

    An internally flawless diamond ring, a 1930’s Patek Phillipe timepiece and an unusual gold bangle will feature at O’Reilly’s last sale of 2012.  It takes place at Francis St., Dublin on Wednesday, December 12 at 1 p.m.  Here is a small selection. The catalogue is on-line.

    A 4.02 carat diamond ring, internally flawless, is estimated at 110,000-120,000.  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    A vintage Patek Philippe man’s wristwatch is estimated at 5,000-6,000.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,000

    This Victorian garnet set necklace is estimated at 900-1,200.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,350

    An Eastern gold bangle is estimated at 1,300-1,500.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,420


    Saturday, December 1st, 2012

    Work by Jack Yeats, Paul Henry, Nathanial Hone, Sean O’Sullivan, James Humbert Craig, Lady Kate Dobbin, Walter Osborne, John Lavery, George Campbell,William Leech, Aloysius O’Kelly, William Scott, Samuel Taylor, Hans Iten, Charles Lamb, Jerome Connor and numerous other artists will come under the hammer at the James Adam evening sale of important Irish art in Dublin on December 4.  The catalogue is on-line.  Here is a small selection (you can click on any image to enlarge it).

    Walter Frederick Osborne RHA ROI (1859-1903) Galway Market Scene (15,000 – 20,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 30,000 AT HAMMER

    William John Leech RHA (1881 – 1968) Lake Geneva, Winter (1911) (20,000 – 30,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 40,000 AT HAMMER.

    Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957) The Belle of Chinatown (1943) (60,000-80,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS WITHDRAWN.

    Richard Thomas Moynan RHA (1856 – 1906) The Travelling Show (1892) (150,000 – 250,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE A HAMMER PRICE OF 140,000.

    Kathleen Fox (1880-1963) Ruins of the Four Courts, (1922) (15,000- 25,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    Nathaniel Hone, RHA (1831-1917) Sketch of Haycocks (800 – 1,200)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,000 AT HAMMER.