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  • Archive for February, 2013


    Friday, February 8th, 2013

    A photograph by Lady Clementina Hawarden. None of the images is captioned. (Click to enlarge). UPDATE: THE ARCHIVE MADE £115,250.

    Some of the earliest photographs of Victorian women will come under the hammer at Bonhams on March 19. Taken by Lady Clementina Hawarden, whose passion for photography began in Ireland in 1857, they represent some of the earliest fashion shoots. Using her daughters as models she explored identity, otherness, the doppelgänger and female sexuality. This progressive work by an artist whose images are otherwise not available will be sold in London on March 19 with an estimate of £100,000-150,000.
    On offer is 37 albumen prints, a pair of pencil sketches of her and her husband and 15 associated albumen prints. Born in Scotland in 1822 Clemetina was the third of five children of a British father, Admiral Charles Elphinstone Fleeming (1774-1840), and a Spanish mother, Catalina Paulina Alessandro (1800-1880). In 1845 she married Cornwallis Maude, an Officer in the Life Guards. In 1856 Maude’s father, Viscount Hawarden, died and his title, and considerable wealth, passed to Cornwallis.
    Surviving photographs suggest that Clementina, now Lady Hawarden, began to take photographs on the Hawarden’s Irish estate at Dundrum, Co. Tipperary, from late 1857. Many of these were taken with a stereoscopic camera. The collection contains several Dundrum images which are one of the pair that comprise a stereoscopic image. In 1859 the family acquired a London home at 5 Princes Gardens and from 1862 onwards Lady Hawarden used the entire first floor of the property as a studio. She exhibited, and won silver medals, in the 1863 and 1864 exhibitions of the Photographic Society, and was admired by both Oscar Rejlander, and Lewis Carroll who acquired five images which went into the Gernsheim Collection and are now in Texas. In 1865 Lady Hawarden died, and although her loss was regretted in the photographic journals, her work was soon forgotten.
    In 1939 her granddaughter presented the V&A with 779 photographs, most of which had been roughly torn from their original albums with significant losses to corners. Proper examination, and appreciation of this gift, was delayed by World War Two, and it was not until the 1980s that detailed appraisal and catalogue of the V&A holdings. This comprises almost the entire body of Hawarden’s surviving work apart from the five images now in Texas, and small groups or single images at Bradford, Musée d’Orsay and the Getty. Bonhams say the appearance of the present collection is totally unexpected.



    Thursday, February 7th, 2013

    Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) Après le déjeuner. © Christie’s Images Limited 2013. (Click on image to enlarge).

    René Magritte (1898-1967) La folie des grandeurs (Megalomania). © Christie’s Images Limited 2013. (Click on image to enlarge).

    BERTHE Morisot’s Après le déjeuner became the most expensive work ever by a female artist at auction at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern sale in London last night. Painted in 1881 it had been estimated at £1.5 to £2.5 million. The work was the subject of intense bidding by at least six seriously interested potential buyers before being eventually knocked down for £6,985,250. It was bought by Christie’s New York-based specialist David Kleiweg de Zwaan. He was bidding on behalf of a client on the telephone.
    Among the other records was La folie des grandeurs (Megalomania) by René Magritte. It made £1,721,250 over an estimate of £450,000-650,000, a record for a piece of sculpture by the artist. Bronze with brown patina it is signed, dated and numbered ‘Magritte 1967 1/5’ and inscribed with the foundry mark “Fondera Gi Bi Esse, Verona, Italy”.  It was consigned by the Scheringa Museum of Realist art in Spanbroek, Northern Holland.


    Thursday, February 7th, 2013

    The scene at Christie’s evening sale on February 6.

    Modigliani’s portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne was the top lot at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale on February 6. It made £26,921,250 and is believed to have gone to a Russian buyer. Christie’s Impressionist and Modern and Art of the Surreal evening sales made £136,462,100 over a combined pre-sale estimate of £89.8 to £132.8 million. There were artists records for Berthe Morisot, Renè Magritte (for sculpture), Alberto Magnelli, Kay Sage and Óscar Domínguez. A total of 32 works sold for over £1 million.
    Jay Vincze, international director and head of the sale said: “We were very pleased with the strength and depth of bidding tonight which drove this evening’s auction to achieve both the highest total for a February evening sale at Christie’s London, and our highest sell through rate for an evening sale in this category in London.
    Jeanne Hébuterne (au chapeau) was painted in 1919, the year before the artist died destitute. Hébuterne, his pregnant lover, committed suicide the following day. Berthe Morisot’s “Apres le dejeuner” made £7 million over an upper estimate of £2.5 million, a record for any woman artist at auction. The market for Impressionist and Modern art is recovering, thanks to a supply of quality new to market work.

    (see post on for January 12, 2013).


    Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

    The scene at Sotheby’s during the auction. (Click to enlarge).

    Picasso’s 1932 portrait of Marie-Thérèse, Femme Assise Près D’Une Fenêtre, made £28,601,250 to become the top lot at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern sale in London on February 5. The sale brought in £104,404,900. The Surrealist art sale realised £16,670,500 making a combined total of £121,075,400. This is the second highest total for an evening sale in London. It was exceeded only in 2010 when Giacometti’s Walking Man was the star lot.
    Egon Schiele’s Lovers – self-portrait with Wally from 1914 made £7,881,250, a record for a work on paper by the artist. It was one of three works by Schiele from the Leopold Museum in Vienna sold to settle a restitution claim. They brought a total of £14,011,750 over an estimate of £9-12 million.
    Helena Newman, Chairman, Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art, Europe, commented: “Tonight’s sale – which included museum-quality works and many that have never before appeared at auction, or have been in private collections for many years – drew buyers from across the world. Bidders, both new to the market as well as seasoned buyers, reacted with great enthusiasm, in particular to the selection of Impressionist works that were considered to be the strongest offering in many years.”

    (See posts on for January 16 and 18, 2013).


    Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

    The Cork National Antique and Fine Art fair takes place at Moran’s Silver Springs Hotel over two days on February 9 and 10. It will bring dealers from all over the country including many members of the Irish Antique Dealers Association. There will be furniture, art, silverware, jewellery, porcelain, glass, banknotes and collectible items across all price ranges. The organizer is Robin O’Donnell of Hibernian Antique Fairs. Opening times are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days. Here is a small selection:

    A pair of Cork silver salt cellars at Weldons.

    A handmade Irish chess set by Jacob Blackman at Diana O’Mahony.

    An Art Deco sapphire ring at Weldons.

    A selection of silver and plate at The Cutlery Drawer.


    Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

    Mount Congreve – The Temple from the exhibition by Tony Gunning at Greyfriars Municipal Art Gallery in Waterford. (Click on image to enlarge).

    An exhibition celebrating the gardens at Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford runs at Greyfriars Municipal art gallery in Waterford until March 2.  The artist Tony Gunning was inspired by mass plantings of rhododendrons, camellias, magnolias and azaleas to create large blocks of colour.   The gardens creator Ambrose Congreve died when Mr. Gunning was just three months into the project but bequeathed the gardens to the State.  Negotiations for the transfer are continuing between the Mount Congreve Trust and the Office of Public Works.

    Mount Congreve was the location for Ireland’s house sale of decade by Mealy’s and Christie’s in 2012.


    Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

    Portrait of Ingvild Goetz with Gabriel Orozco’s Invariant Diagram Red (Samurai Tree), 2005 – Photo Thomas Schmidt, Hamburg © Goetz Collection (Click to enlarge)

    Urs Fischer (born 1973) Mr. Toobad (£250,000-350,000). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2013. (Click to enlarge).

    A total of 128 works from the collection of Mrs. Ingvild Goetz – who holds Germany’s largest private collection of Post-War & Contemporary Art – are to be offered at Christie’s in London. They will feature at three auctions, two this month and one in April. Mrs. Goetz’s collection includes almost 5,000 objects which date from the late 1950’s to the present.
    Proceeds will benefit long-term philanthropic projects. Mrs. Goetz has just completed a project to support children in Nepal and she wants to raise awareness of under represented charitable causes, including support for anorexia and the improvement of conditions for asylum seekers.
    The selection to be sold at Christie’s features work by 63 different artists including Christopher Wool, Richard Prince, Urs Fischer and Sherrie Levine. They will be at Christie’s post war and contemporary auctions on February 13 and 14 and at the post war and contemporary sale in South Kensington on April 17.


    Friday, February 1st, 2013

    Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) Head of Dr Solomons Snr (1885-1965), c.1955 Bequeathed, Dr Bethel Eric Robert Solomons, 2012 (c) The Estate of Sir Jacob Epstein.

    A portrait bust by Sir Jacob Epstein of Dr. Bethel Solomons is the newest sculpture acquisition at the National Gallery of Ireland. It is included in a display from the permanent collection now on show in the gallery’s Millennium Wing. More than 40 pieces of sculpture, many of which have not been on public view for some time, can be seen. There are marble and bronze busts and figurative works by Irish and Euorpean artists including: Oisin Kelly (Portrait of Austin Clarke), William J. Leech (Head of May), Seamus Murphy (Frank O’Connor), John Thomas (Daniel Maclise), Peter Turnerelli (Henry Grattan) and busts by Oliver Sheppard of Cathal Brugha, and George William Russell. One of the larger pieces from the collection, Paul Troubetskoy’s life-size statue of George Bernard Shaw, has been placed just outside the Irish galleries in the Millennium Wing.
    Bethel Solomons served as Master of the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin from 1926 to 1933 and later served as President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. He was a founder member and first President of the Liberal Synagogue in Dublin and an Irish international rugby player. His sister Estella Solomons is represented in the Gallery’s collection by several works including a self-portrait.


    Friday, February 1st, 2013

    Affordability is the key to Dolan’s art auction at Clontarf Castle Hotel in Dublin on Sunday, February 3.  The sale features work by a cross section of Irish artists at very reasonable estimates.  The catalogue, which is on-line, lists 188 lots. Here is a small selection:

    Moonlight Cottages by Markey Robinson (1,400-1,600)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,400

    Howth Harbour by Ivan Sutton (1,500-2,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Figure Standing by John Kingerlee (380-480).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 380

    Waterfall I by Henry Morgan (380-450). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Fuschia in Sunlight by Mat Grogan (300-600). UPDATE: THIS MADE 375

    Swan and Woman, a black and white print by Pauline Bewick RHA (150-250).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 375

    Haycocks near Ballyconneely, Connemara by Rosemary Carr ROI (400-600). UPDATE: THIS MADE 700