Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for January, 2013


    Monday, January 21st, 2013

    Mary Swanzy (1882-1978) Still life of flowers in a vase on a table, a Mediterranean oil on canvas (£5,000-8,000).

    A George III giltwood pier glass circa 1760 (£15,000-25,000).

    AN oil on canvas by the celebrated Irish artist Mary Swanzy (1882-1978) is among the highlights at Christie’s  South Kensington sale of the Ross Hamilton Collection in London on February 27. Encouraged by his mentor David Hicks, Australian-born Ross Hamilton (1942-1992) was one of the first antique dealers to set up shop on Pimlico Road. The collection from the shop, now closed after 40 years of trading, comprises Indian, Chinese, English and European Furniture, Chinese, Japanese and European ceramics and works of art, Old Masters, 19th and 20th century paintings.
    The shop was a success from its foundation and helped the transformation of the area into a renowned part of London for the antiques trade. Mark Boyce joined the Ross Hamilton gallery in 1978. Numerous high profile clients including Rudolf Nureyev, Bill Blass, Richard Gere, Elton John and Princess Lee Radziwell, as well as many internationally respected decorators such as David Millinaric, Jed Johnson, Mark Hampton and Chester Jones. Estimates range from £400 to £40,000 and the collection is expected to bring in more than £750,000.


    Sunday, January 20th, 2013

    A set of six Cork 11-bar dining chairs estimated by Woodwards at 1,000-2,000. UPDATE:  THESE MADE 1,200 AT HAMMER.

    A set of classic Cork 11-bar dining chairs and a Georgian bureau are among the lots on offer at Woodwardson January 23.  This first sale of 2013 at the long established Cork auctioneers features more than 220 lots of Georgian and Edwardian furniture, Irish art and collectibles. Here is a small selection. The catalogue is on-line.

    A large unsigned Irish school oilpainting in an antique frame is estimated at 500-1,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE 120

    A small Georgian mahogany chest of drawers estimated at just 300 – 400. UPDAGTE: THIS MADE 260

    A Georgian inlaid mahogany bureau is estimated at 750 – 1,250.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 400


    Friday, January 18th, 2013

    FABULOUS Meissen will come under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London on May 1. The collection of Sir Gawaine and Lady Baillie is the most important and complete group of 18th century Meissen animals and birds ever to appear at auction. It comprises more than 140 different figures, all created at Meissen during the 1730’s and 1740’s under the legendary Johann Joachim Kändler. With estimates ranging from £1,000 – £150,000, the works will be offered together with a selection of furniture and decorations from the West Sussex House designed by Sir Gawaine and Lady Baillie, their home for over 40 years. In total, the sale is expected to achieve in excess of £1.8 million.
    The collection was started in the 1930s by the Anglo-American heiress Olive, Lady Baillie (grand-daughter of William Whitney), who bought many of the pieces for her home, Leeds Castle, Kent. She passed the passion for Meissen on to her son, Sir Gawaine Baillie, Bt., who with his wife Margot, built it into the most extensive collection of Meissen creatures in private hands.
    Henry House, Sotheby’s Senior Director and Head of Furniture and Decorative Arts department commented: “The sale of Sir Gawaine and Lady Baillie’s collection will be an historic landmark for the Meissen market. Here we have the most comprehensive group of birds and animals, from the most sought after period in the porcelain manufacturer’s history, when the great Johann Kändler was Court Sculptor to Augustus the Strong (1694/7-1733), Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. Most of the figures are extremely rare and several are unpublished. Others, including two remarkably observed guinea fowl were important commissions for the King’s Japanese Palace in Dresden, a fantastic menagerie of porcelain beasts. The auction represents a wonderful opportunity for collectors. ”
    Highlights will be on exhibition at Sotheby’s New York from January 19-31.

    Two Meissen figures of Guinea Fowl circa 1735 modelled by J.J. Kändler (£150,000 – £200,000). (Click on any image to enlarge).

    A pair Of Meissen figures of Bitterns c1735 modelled by J.J. Kändler (£40,000-60,000).

    A pair of Meissen figures of a Lion and Lioness modelled by J.J. Kändler (£40,000-60,000).


    Friday, January 18th, 2013

    The French Impressionist and Modern paintings from the collection of George, 9th Earl of Jersey (1910-1998) at Sotheby’s in London on February 5 and 6 are on the market for the first time in 70 years. It contains outstanding examples of works by Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, Gauguin, Boudin and Dufy. Born into a family already well endowed with great houses and estates and their respective collections of art – the most famous of which was Osterley Park – he sensed that his other properties already had enough Old Masters and wanted to bring the family collection up to date.
    The catalyst to Grandy Jersey’s decision to buy French Impressionism was the influence of his second wife, the American actress Virginia Cherrill, whom he married in 1937. She had enjoyed a glamorous film career, playing opposite Charlie Chaplin in City Lights (1931) and then marrying Cary Grant. She was also a close friend of Edward G. Robinson. Hollywood’s love affair with Impressionist painting embraced moguls, directors and stars, but the most serious collector was Robinson who put together a very fine group of pictures, the pick of which later passed into the Niarchos Collection.
    When filming in London in 1935, Robinson called at the Lefevre Gallery to look at their stock. He established a lasting relationship with them. When Cherrill came to London it is likely that, on Robinson’s recommendation, she directed her new British husband to the same dealers. Sotheby’s say further sales of furniture and works of art from the Collection will take place later in the year.

    CLAUDE MONET (1840 – 1926) LE GIVRE À GIVERNY (£4-6 million). (Click on images to enlarge them).  UPDATE: THIS MADE £8,777,250, A NEW RECORD FOR A SHOWCAPE BY MONET

    PAUL GAUGUIN (1848 – 1903) LA MAISON BLANCHE (£800,000-£1,200,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    ALFRED SISLEY (1839 – 1899) LA TAMISE AVEC HAMPTON CHURCH (£900,000-£1,200.000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE £1,889,250


    Friday, January 18th, 2013

    This c1820 Irish card table is estimated at 1,000-2,000 at Hegarty’s.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 900 AT HAMMER.

    This 19th century walnut library bookcase is estimated at 1,500-2,500.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,250 AT HAMMER.

    The catalogue for Hegarty’s 250 lot auction of antiques and fine art in Bandon on Sunday, January 20 is now on-line.  The sale offers everything from a Victorian brass birdcage and an Art Deco lady’s watch to a pair of Baccaret glass decanters.

    There is furniture, Irish and English silver, porcelain, jewellery, books, letters, collectibles and garden statuary.


    Thursday, January 17th, 2013

    Mark Rothko’s Orange, Red, Yellow made $86,882,500, a world record for contemporary art at auction.

    THE global appeal of art continues to grow according to Christie’s, which recorded annual sales of £3.92 billion in 2012, up 10% on 2011. In 2012 the average number of registered bidders per auction was 53% higher than a decade ago. On-line initiatives are driving greater accessibility and 19% of all registered bidders were new clients. Private sales of £631.3 million increased by 26% and represented the highest annual total in both company and art market history. Bidders came from 136 countries. Christie’s sold 686 works at auction for over $1 million and 49 for over $10 million.

    Significantly the market at more accessible price levels represents the majority of transactions and continues to perform strongly. Post-War and Contemporary art led the categories with record auction sales of £986.5 million. Notable increases were also seen for Impressionist and Modern Art which realised auctions sales of £623.6 million and Old Masters & 19th Century Art which totaled £201.6 million. Mark Rothko’s Orange, Red, Yellow sold for $86,882,500 last May in New York, a world record price for any contemporary work of art sold at auction.
    Steven P. Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Christie’s commented: “Our third straight year of record results is a sign that more people in more places in the world are captivated by art and are seeking to acquire it, and Christie’s has aligned itself with collectors and their needs. More importantly, this trend is apparent at every level of the art market, from under £1,000 to over £50 million, as technological advancements highlight the appeal and the ease of engaging with Christie’s and the works of art we handle”.


    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

    The Qing-dynasty vase features a pierced “reticulated” body painted in a pastel-colored famille rose palette.

    The £51.6 million Chinese vase saga has come to a conclusion after it was sold for less than half this price in a deal brokered by Bonhams. The 18th century Qianlong vase made more than fifty times its estimate at an auction by Bainbridges in Ruislip, London in November of 2010. The bid, from an agent in the room, was made on behalf of a Beijing collector. The money was never paid. It is understood that Bainbridges received an interim fee, though they have not made any public comment, citing a confidentiality clause.
    The vase was found during a routine house clearance in the London suburb of Pinner. Retired solicitor Tony Johnson and his mother Gene, who waited two years for a resolution, have now sold it to another buyer. The price, which was undisclosed, is said to be between £20-25 million. Dealers believe the new owner is an Asian collector.
    A spokesman for the auction house said: “Bonhams is pleased to confirm the sale of the vase for an undisclosed sum, in a private treaty deal.”


    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

    A monumental 1932 portrait of Picasso’s ‘golden muse’ Marie-Therese Walter will lead Sotheby’s evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in London on February 5. Picasso first encountered Marie-Therese in 1927 when she was 17. Their subsequent love affair is one of the most compelling in 20th century art history. This portrait of Marie-Therese is estimated at £25-35 million.
    Claude Monet’s Nymphéas avec reflets de Hautes Herbes is estimated at £12-18 million. There are three works by Egon Schiele from the Leopold Museum in Vienna, an outstanding post war painting by Miro Femme revant de l’evasion of 1945 from the collection of Miriam and Ira D. Wallach estimated at £8-12 million, a selection of works from the collection of the late Earl of Jersey, two pastels by Edgar Degas and a strong offering of German Expressionist art. The auction is expected to bring in more than £103 million.

    UPDATE: The auction brought in a combined total of £121,075,400, the second highest total for an evening sale in this category at Sotheby’s.  A total of 18 lots sold for over £1 million.  The impressionist and modern sale brought in £104.4 million, Surreal works achieved £16,6 million.

    PABLO PICASSO 1881 – 1973 FEMME ASSISE PRÈS D’UNE FENÊTRE (£25-35 million). (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £28,601,250

    CLAUDE MONET 1840 – 1926 NYMPHÉAS AVEC REFLETS DE HAUTES HERBES (£12-18 million). (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE:  THIS MADE £9,001,250.



    Monday, January 14th, 2013

    THIS website has just broken the million hits barrier. The attached image from Google’s Webmaster Tools shows that had one million hits in the month to January 13, 2013.  A big thank you to all readers. (Click on image to enlarge).


    Monday, January 14th, 2013

    Jewish history from antiquity through the 20th century across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas is illustrated in a dedicated sale at Sotheby’s, New York next April 29. A Treasured Legacy: The Michael & Judy Steinhardt Judaica Collection comprises exceptional and rare objects that touch every aspect of Jewish life.
    After an initial exhibition in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries in New York from January 25-31 highlights from the Steinhardt Collection will travel to Moscow and Jerusalem. In addition, Sotheby’s specialists will travel to Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil and cities across the United States and Europe giving illustrated talks about the collection in advance of the sale. (Click on any image to enlarge it).

    The Frankfurt Mishneh Torah, circa 1457-1465 ($4.5/6 million).

    A George I Silver “Lord Mayor’s Dish”, Robert Hill, London ($400,000-600,000).

    An Italian Silver Torah Crown and Pair of Torah Finials, Maker’s Mark CL, Assay Master Zuanne Premuda, Venice, circa 1730 ($500,000-700,000).