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


    Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

    THERE will be three days of auctions in Durrow, Co. Laois on February 26, 27 and 28.  Sheppards will offer more than 1,600 lots from The Horsburgh Estate in Co. Kildare and other clients.   The catalogue is on line. Here is a small selection.   You can click on any image to enlarge it.

    UPDATE:  The three day auction was 79% sold; there was a great buzz in the saleroom and buyers from 16 countries including China and New Zealand participated on the internet.

    Large Chinese bronze Buddha, Qing period or earlier (20,000-40,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 80,000 AND WAS THE TOP LOT OF THE AUCTION.

    Mildred Anne Butler – Ducks on a pond at Kilmurry, watercolour (5,000-8,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 12,000

    Pair of Regency period mahogany and ebony inlaid wine cellarettes, circa 1810 (15,000-25,000). UPDATE: SOLD FOR 11,500

    One of a pair of nineteenth-century period ormolu mounted marquetry bow-front pier cabinets, each with a breccia marble top (8,000-12,000). UPDATE: WITHDRAWN AT 6,500 

    A 19th century ormolu wall–mounted clock, by Paul Sormani (1817 – 1870) Paris (3,000-5,000). UPDATE: SOLD FOR 10,000

    Pair of 19th century porcelain parrots (400-600)  UPDATE: SOLD FOR 1,600.


    Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

    An interior view of East Grove House showing some of the contents to be auctioned at Lynes and Lynes. (Click on image to enlarge).

    East Grove from the water. (Click on image to enlarge).

    The entire contents of East Grove House at East Ferry, Co. Cork are to be auctioned by Lynes and Lynes in Carrigtwohill on March 2.  Around 400 lots will be offered comprising of antique and later furniture, bronzes, portraits, engravings and modern paintings.

    Beautifully located on a quiet inlet near Cobh in Cork Harbour East Grove was built in the early 1800’s by the Bagwell family.  They retained it until the 1950’s.  Since then it has had various international and Irish owners. Previous owners include former Lehmans ceo Lewis Glucksman and the German Irish group The Kellys.


    Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

    The spectacular interior of the Guest’s apartment at Parc Monceau designed by Emilio Terry. Copyright: Christie’s Images Ltd, 2013

    THE collection of Ambassador and Mrs. Raymond Guest will feature at Christie’s in Paris in April. The US Ambassador to Ireland in the 1960’s, appointed by President Johnson in 1965, was a noted racehorse owner. His winners included Larkspur, who won the Epsom Derby in 1962, and Sir Ivor, who won in 1968. In 1965 he won the Preakness with Tom Rolfe, and his champion jumper L’Escargot won the Grand National in 1975. When he won the National Turf Writers Association’s meritorious service award in 1969 he was cited for bringing Sir Ivor from Ireland to take part in the Washington International at Laurel Race Course in 1968.
    Raymond Guest was an amateur horse racer and a professional polo player. The collection reflects this passion. The highlight of his sporting art is a work by John Frederick Herring Senior (1795-1865) depicting the Bloomsbury, winner of the Derby (€10.000-15.000) and Appaloosa Horse and Spaniel by Thomas Weaver (1774-1843) in 1807 (€6.000-8.000).
    The decoration of the Guest’s estate overlooking Parc Monceau was created by interior designer Emilio Terry in the mid 1960’s.  Caroline Guest,  born Princess Caroline Murat, turned to the Cuban designer noted for renewing classicism with bold invention.  The apartment is untouched since it was put together and will attract interest from connoisseurs around the world. Highlights include two works designed by Emilio Terry: a marble neoclassical fireplace (€8.000-12.000) and a unique magnificent carpet (€20.000-30.000). There is an 18th century royal encoignure by Jean-Henri Riesener for the Château de Compiègne (€20.000-30.000). The collection of around 200 works is expected to realise in the region of €1 million. It will be offered at Christie’s 500 years: Decorative Arts Europe sale in Paris on April 22. Click on any image to enlarge it.

    An encoignure or corner cabinet designed by Jean-Henri Riesener. Copyright: Christie’s Images Ltd, 2013

    Tapis par Emilio Terry (20,000-30,000). Copyright: Christie’s Images Ltd, 2013


    Monday, February 18th, 2013

    The collection of Mark Birley (1930-2007), arbiter of taste and fêted London club owner, at Sotheby’s in London on March 21 features a number of luxurious Irish lots. These include a fine Donegal carpet and some Irish table silver. There is as well a piece of war art from the Irish artist Sir William Orpen and an 18th century Irish cabinet stand. The auction of property from Thurloe Lodge, his home in Kensington for nearly 30 years, will feature over 500 lots and is expected to bring in more than £1.3 million. Estimates are from £50 up.
    The mastermind behind a portfolio of exclusive members-only clubs, including the legendary Annabel’s, Mark’s Club, George’s Bar, Harry’s Bar, and The Bath & Racquets Club, Birley was for more than two decades the innovator of aristocratic nightlife, creating a world where royalty and rock stars partied together in an atmosphere of sophisticated country house glamour. Sotheby’s say this sale reflects his private world and his love of understated luxury.  Here are some pieces of Irish interest (click on any image to enlarge it).

    A 20th century Donegal carpet (£3,000-5,000).

    Irish and English table silver (£150-250).

    Sir William Orpen, ‘The Howitzer in Action’ (£12,000-18,000).


    Friday, February 15th, 2013

    Bidding for the inaugural on-line art auction at de Veres in Dublin until February 26 at 7 p.m. has opened.  It comprises 120 lots at estimates from 50 to 5,000. The sale will be on view at Kildare St. from 9.30 5 p.m. from February 18. Estimates are reasonable and bidders must pre-register to take part. Artists represented include Tony O’Malley, Patrick Collins, Maurice MacGonigal, Robert Ballagh, Sean McSweeney, Barrie Cooke, Maurice Wilks, Felim Egan, Fergus O’Ryan, Neil Shawcross, John Behan and Henry Healy. Most of the art is Irish but there are ten works by Frenchman Remy Hetreau (1913-2007).  The catalogue is on-line.  Here is a small selection, you can click on any image to enlarge it.

    Markey Robinson, (1918-1999) Still Life, Table Top (2,000-3,000).

    Jarlath Daly, Birds, bronze (350-450).

    Charles Tyrrell, b.1950 P13 (1999) (700-1,000).

    Patsy Dan Rogers – East Village, Tory (100-200).

    Barrie Cooke HRHA b.1931 Lytle Island, Lough Arrow, 1971 (watercolour) – 300-500.

    Remy Hetreau (1913-2007) – Still Life – (200-400),


    Friday, February 15th, 2013

    A memorial card seeking prayers for Irishmen executed in 1916. (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 50 AT HAMMER.

    A 1916 letter from the Home Office about an application to visit Terence MacSwiney in prison. (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 450.

    THE centenary of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising is fast approaching. Items relating to those turbulent times are appearing more and more at auction. A collection at Hegarty’s sale in Bandon in west Cork on February 19 features everything from a letter from the Home Office at Whitehall in London on July 21, 1916 regarding a request for a prison visit to a commemorative joint remembrance card requesting prayers for named Irishmen executed by English law in 1916. As Lord Mayor of Cork Terence MacSwiney died on hunger strike in Brixton Prison in October 1920. The collection comprises 30 lots and is estimated to make between 10,000 and 20,000.
    The auction of 250 lots will include antique furniture, Irish silver, jewellery, netsuke, books, clocks and paintings. The catalogue is on-line.

    UPDATE:  The letters made strong prices. A 1916 letter from Terence MacSwiney in prison to Pauline Henley sold for 2,950. A six page letter from Terence MacSwiney’s sister Annie dated August 28, 1920 and detailing his health whilst on hunger strike sold for 2,450.


    Thursday, February 14th, 2013

    The sale at Christie’s with Jussi Pylkannen and the top selling Basquiat. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2013.

    Global bidding helped Christie’s achieve the  highest total for a February evening auction of Post-War & Contemporary Art in London last night. The sale at which the top price was £9,337,250 for Basquiat’s Museum Security (Broadway Meltdown) brought in a total of £81,668,850. There were artists records for Peter Doig (£7,657,250), Pierre Soulanges (£3,289,250), Allen Jones (£2,169,250), Michaelangelo Pistoletto ( £1,273,250) and Wade Guyton (£735,650). A selection of works offered from the collection of Mrs. Ingvild Goetz made £4,286,750 three times the low pre-sale estimate.
    Francis Outred, International Director and Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe: “An exciting night of Christie’s theatre saw Jussi Pylkannen excelling in the face of an unprecedented volume of bidding from around the world. Some works carried up to fourteen phone lines, as the thirst for post-war & contemporary art continues to develop. Five world records were achieved, including for Peter Doig and Pierre Soulages, the new and the old masters in our field, alongside the consistent growth of the market for Basquiat, Bacon, Hockney and Richter”.
    Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (2004) sold for £8,441,250, Francis Bacon’s Man in Blue VI (1954) sold for £4,969,250 (it was bought by the previous owner in 1971 for £31,000), David Hockney’s Great Pyramid at Giza with Broken Head from Thebes sold for £3,513,250, Damien Hirst’s Away from the Flock (Divided) sold for £1,945,250, Peter Doig’s The Architect’s Home in the Ravine (1991) sold for £7,657,250 and Allen Jones’s Table, Chair, Hatstand sold for £2,169,250.

    (See posts on for January 28 and January 7, 2013).


    Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

    Bacon’s Self-Portrait triptych makes £13,761,250. (Click on image to enlarge).

    Francis Bacon’s intimate self-portrait triptych Three Studies for a Self-Portrait sold for £13,761,250 at Sotheby’s London evening auction of Contemporary art tonight.  The top lot in the auction had been estimated at £10-15 million.  The three extraordinary portraits were painted nine years following the suicide of Bacon’s closest companion, George Dyer and collectively represent a life’s worth of retrospect coupled with searing self-analysis. Demonstrating the profound reflection that accompanied Bacon’s entry into old age, this self-portrait preserves the penultimate depiction of the artist’s likeness in this unflinching, intimate triptych format.  It was bought by  German collector, Jurgen Hall who intends to place it on loan to a major international institution.”

    The scene at Sotheby’s during the auction.

    Cheyenne Westphal of Sotheby’s said: “We are extremely pleased with the price achieved tonight for this sublime self-portrait triptych by Francis Bacon. Works of this quality and wall-power continue to attract a truly global spread of bidders. ‘Three Studies for a Self-Portrait’ is a quintessential example of how Bacon distilled the great depths of his emotion in a very particular small-format triptych, which are so sought after by discerning collectors.”

    The auction brought in  £74,364,200, within the estimate of £61.2-84.5 million.  This is the second highest total for a February contemporary sale at Sotheby’s in London.  There were artists records for Adrian Ghenie, Hurvin Anderson and Giuseppe Penone. Buyers came from 14 countries and 14 works sold for over £1 million.

    (See post on for January 9, 2013).


    Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

    William Conor RHA RUA ROI (1881-1968) The Jaunting Cart (15,000-20,000). (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 14,200

    William Conor RHA RUA ROI (1881-1968) The Remnants (20,000-30,000). (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 19,000.

    No less than four works by Belfast artist William Conor go under the hammer at Morgan O’Driscoll’s early evening Irish art auction at Clyde Court Hotel, Landsdowne Road, Dublin on February 18.  They feature among 226 works including a watercolour by Sean Scully entitled Yellow Figure estimated at 30,000-40,000, “Life in the west of Ireland” in pen and ink by Yeats and a west of Ireland beach scene by James Humbert Craig.  The catalogue is on-line. Here is a small selection:

    Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957) Dust Cover for “Life in the West of Ireland” (12,000-15,000). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 10,000

    John Shinnors (b.1950) Cathedral, St. John’s Square (4,000-6,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 3,800

    James Humbert Craig RHA RUA (1878-1944) Mother and Children on the Beach, Dog’s Bay, Roundstone , (15,000-20,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 13,000.

    Mary Fedden RA (1915-2012) Still Life With Jug (12,000-15,000). (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.


    Monday, February 11th, 2013

    A page from the Tom Hales book. (Click to enlarge). UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR 1,950 PLUS FEES.

    Autograph books were a popular feature of Irish Republic prison life in turbulent Irish historicial times during the 1916-1924 period.  This timespan covered the period of the Easter Rising, Irish independence and the Civil War. Books of autographs kept by prisoners were filled with entries and descriptions from fellow prisoners.

    Dating from 1923 the Tom Hales autograph book from The Curragh Camp in Co. Kildare is among the lots at three days of sales at Limerick Auction Rooms this week. Born in 1892 at Knocnacurra, Ballindee, Co. Cork Tom Hales was the youngest of nine children of Robert and Margaret Hales. They were of Church of Ireland stock.  All the Hales brothers were involved in the Irish Volunteers and Tom was O/C of the 3rd (West) Cork Brigade, Old IRA.  The Limerick auctions kick off with collectives, toys and memorabilia on February 14, followed by militaria including this autograph book on February 15 and coins and banknotes on February 16.