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    Monday, May 16th, 2016
    Yellow by Monica Dunne on the Sherkin trail.

    Yellow by Monica Dunne on the Sherkin trail.

    Sherkin Island off the coast of west Cork is to be the venue for an art trail on May 21-22.  The graduate exhibition of final BA art students on the island is a biennial event that in the summers of 2012 and 2014 drew more than 1,000 people to an island with a population of 100. The trail offers an opportunity to view the freshest of contemporary art in a stunning scenic location in 13 indoor and outdoor locations throughout Sherkin.  The work of 17 graduating students ranges in media as diverse as painting, drawing, photography, film, multi-media, digital work, installation, sound projection, sculpture and site specific work.  Ferries will run regularly from the pier at Baltimore.

    It will be on view at the Dublin Institute of Technology degree show in Grangegorman, Dublin from June 2-11 and at Uileann, the west Cork arts centre in Skibbereen from September 10 to October 15.  The BA (tons) Visual Arts Programme based on Sherkin Island is accredited, managed and delivered  by the Dublin School of Creative Arts, Dubin Institute of Technology in partnership with Sherkin Island Development Society and Uileann.  It is partly funded by Cork County Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.


    Sunday, May 15th, 2016
    A view of St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula.

    A view of St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula.

    A rare 1830 1st edition of Marquis Leon de Laborde’s (1807-1869) voyages into the Arab world is the most expensively estimated lot at the Fine Period Interiors sale at James Adam in Dublin on May 22.  For at least ten years these were the only graphic representation of Petra available in the western world.

    Laborde and his travelling companion Louis de Bellefonds set off for Petra from Cairo via Mount Sinai and St. Catherine’s Monastery dressed as Bedouin.  The book, which contains an introductory essay and plates on views and maps, is estimated at 10,000-15,000.  Illustrated is a view of St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula.



    Saturday, May 14th, 2016
    The Royal Squadron visiting Cork harbour by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson  at Woodwards (40,000-60,000).

    The Royal Squadron visiting Cork harbour by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson at Woodwards (40,000-60,000).

    A visit from the White Squadron to Cork Harbour in 1843 is recalled at Woodward’s auction on May 21.  The sale will include a depiction of the event by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson estimated at 40,000-60,000.  The ships are the Caledonian, the Camperdoiun and the St. Vincent. The painting is subtitled An event in the history of Ireland, two admirals in command of three first rate ships in the Cove of Cork.

    The visit coincided with the 13th annual meeting of the British Association in Cork  The Admiral of the White Squadron was Sir Charles Rowley and the white flag on St. Vincent indicates that this was his flagship. The second Admiral was Sir William Bowles, rear admiral of the Blue Squadron.   The work was exhibited at the RHA in 1844 and failed to sell. It was bought for £25 at the Art Union exhibition of 1845.
    The sale will include original drawings by William Harrington for Seamus Murphy’s Stone Mad (1,000-1,500) and Harrington’s paintings of Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera (4,000-5,000).  There is an abstract by Patrick Hennessy, a view of Kinsale by Arthur Maderson and two Cork scenes by Kevin Sanquest as well as furniture, garden furniture and collectibles.


    Saturday, May 14th, 2016
    A remarkable painting of the busy interior of Queen’s Old Castle in 1848 by Robert Lowe Stopford (1813-1898) at Mealy’s sale at Lotabeg in Cork on May 24 offers a rare glimpse of normal life at the height of the famine.  This remarkable piece of pictorial Cork history shows people shopping, discussing purchases and interacting with each other in a most ordinary way at a most extraordinarily tragic time.  Now the site of Argos on the Grand Parade the Queen’s Old Castle was, for over 100 years, one of the busiest department stores in Cork. From 1879 to 1902 it was managed by John S. Hart, whose son Vincent went on to own Lotabeg. The contents of this fine old Cork residence are being sold by Vincent’s descendants.  Stopford’s watercolour is Lot 1 in a sale of 763 lots and estimated at 1,500-2,500.
    Estimates range from under 100 euro to 150,000 for Sir Peter Lely’s portrait of the 1st Duke of Ormonde.  One of the finest pieces of furniture is an Irish William IV circular dining table with an estimate of 20,000-30,000.

    (See posts on for May 1 and April 27, 2016)

    Robert Lowe Stopford's watercolour of the interior of the Queen's Old Castle, Cork in 1848.

    Robert Lowe Stopford’s watercolour of the interior of the Queen’s Old Castle, Cork in 1848.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,600 AT HAMMER

    A circular William IV dining table

    A Irish circular William IV dining table.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 26,000 AT HAMMER


    Friday, May 13th, 2016

    The current online Irish art auction at Morgan O’Driscoll runs until May 23.  The 365 lots are available to view online or at Mr. O’Driscoll’s offices in Skibbereen on May 19, 20 and 23.  Here is a small selection:

    Peter Collis RHA (1929-2012) Still Life (1994) (2,000-3,000)

    Peter Collis RHA (1929-2012)
    Still Life (1994) (2,000-3,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    John Skelton Snr (1923-2009) Launching the Currach (800-1,200)

    John Skelton Snr (1923-2009)
    Launching the Currach (800-1,200)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,100 AT HAMMER

    Kenneth Webb RWA FRSA RUA (b.1927) Connemara Bog (4,000-6,000)

    Kenneth Webb RWA FRSA RUA (b.1927)
    Wild Flowers, Erlough (3,000-5,000)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 3,200 AT HAMMER

    Cecil Maguire RHA RUA (b.1930) The Morning of Horse Fair (2003) (4,000-6,000)

    Cecil Maguire RHA RUA (b.1930)
    The Morning of Horse Fair (2003) (4,000-6,000) UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 3,000 AT HAMMER


    Friday, May 13th, 2016
    Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma) ($8-12 million). Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2016.

    Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
    Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma) ($8-12 million). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2016.

    There was a world record for Frida Kahlo at Christie’s in New York last night when Dos desnudos en el bisque (La tierra misma) sold for $8,005,000 at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale.  This was a record for any Latin American artist at auction.

    The top lot of the sale was Monet’s Le bassin aux nympheas which made $27,045,000. Modigliani’s Jeune Femme a la rose (Margherita) made $12,765,000 and Au Petit Gennevilliers by Monet sold for $11,365,000.  The sale total was $141,532,000 in an auction where 44 of the 51 lots offered found buyers.

    The sale attracted registered bidders from 36 countries, with strong bidding from Asia, Europe and the United States.

    Brooke Lampley, Head of Impressionist & Modern Art at Christie’s New Yorkremarked: The strong outcome of tonight’s sale is the result of confidence and enthusiasm in the market at the tail end of a successful week. This was a tightly edited sale that united rare and blue-chip works at a variety of price levels. Bidders competed vigorously for works by Barbara Hepworth, Francis Picabia, Paul Klee, Hermann Max Pechstein, and Marc Chagall. We saw Asian bidding for a wide range of artists at a variety of price points. It was gratifying to witness a sophisticated and intelligent market at work. We are particularly proud of the result achieved for Frida Kahlo’s Dos desnudos en el bosque, which set the world auction record for the artist and became the highest price for any work by a Latin American artist. Tonight’s results bring our running total to $620.7 million”.

    (See post on for April 19, 2016)


    Thursday, May 12th, 2016
    SIR JOHN LAVERY (1856-1941) - MRS. OSLER

    SIR JOHN LAVERY (1856-1941) – MRS. OSLER

    A 1929 portrait by Sir John Lavery entitled Mrs. Osler comes up at Sotheby’s sale of 19th century European art in New York on May 18. In a catalogue note Professor Kenneth McConkey observes that the intimate interior and casual pose of the sitter epitomises the liberation that came with the Jazz Age.

    Before the Great War it would have been inconceivable to show a woman other than a courtesan lounging on a sofa with the abandon of the sitter.  The interior is interesting too.  Despite the growth of modernist decor after 1925 classical rococo room decoration signified high style and remained very much in vogue.

    This portrait was painted at the Osler’s villa in Cap d’Antibes.  On the recommendation of his painting pupil Winston Churchill, Lavery had replaced Tangier with the Cote d’Azur as a regular winter respite.  The estimate on the portrait, the property of a Canadian private collector, is $300,000-500,000.

    UPDATE:  This failed to sell.


    Thursday, May 12th, 2016

    alice in wonderlandAN 1865 edition of Alice in Wonderland is estimated by Christie’s in New York at $2-3 million.  It will come up at a stand-alone sale on June 16 immediately after the Books & Manuscripts auction, at Rockefeller Plaza. This copy of the first issue of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of ten surviving copies still in original red cloth, only two of which are in private hands, the other described as “heavily worn.”

    In 1862 Charles Dodgson (alias Lewis Carroll), along with a friend The Rev Robinson Duckworth, took the three daughters of Dean Liddell of Christ Church, Oxford, Lorina, Alice and Edith, on a trip on the Thames during which he related the first parts of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground., the precursor to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  On their return Alice asked him to write down the story. Working with renowned illustrator John Tenniel of Punch magazine, Lewis Carroll developed the elements of the story into this book. Three years later during June 1865 the first edition was printed with the intention to have Macmillan & Co. of London publish it on 4 July 1865. Lewis Carroll requested 50 advance copies to give away. A few days later Carroll heard from Tenniel that he was “entirely dissatisfied with the printing of the pictures.”  Carroll withdrew the entire edition of 2000 and asked for the advance copies he had sent to be returned.

    Surviving copies of the 1865 edition are excessively rare. There are only 22 known with 16 in institutional libraries. Only six remain in private hands. This work will be previewed in London from May 21-25, in San Francisco from June 2-4 and Los Angeles from June 6-9.


    Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
    Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) Untitled Acrylic on canvas Painted in 1982 © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / ARS, New York 2016.

    Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) Untitled
    © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / ARS, New York 2016.

    An untitled 1982 acrylic on canvas by Jean Michel Basquiat was the top lot at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary art evening sale in New York on May 10. Bought by a collector in Asia it made $57,285,000 in a 60 lot auction which realized $318,388,000.  The sale was 87% sold by lot and 91% by value.

    Mark Rothko’s No. 17 painted in 1957 made $32.6 million: Clyfford Still’s PH-234 made $28.1 million and an enamel on aluminum by Christopher Wool painted in 1992 sold for $13.6 million.  Others in the top ten were Agnes Martin, Joan Mitchell, Richard Prince, Robert Ryman, Cy Twombly and Roy Lichtenstein.

    There were six new world auction records for artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Agnes Martin, Mike Kelley, Richard Prince, Kerry James Marshall and Barry X Ball. The results bring the week’s running total to at Christie’s to $396.5 million, which includes the price achieved by the May 8 evening auction of Bound to Fail. Registered bidders from 39 countries took part, with strong bidding from Asia, Europe and the United States.

    Sara Friedlander, Vice President, Head of Evening Sale, Post-War and Contemporary Art, stated“We built our sales this season to reflect the macro environment, providing an ideal balance that suits an array of collecting tastes. Tonight’s success is the result of a tightly edited sale with top quality works, which were extremely fresh to the marketplace. 84% of the lots had never been sold at auction, and of the 10 works that had been sold, only 4 had been offered over the past 10 years”.

    Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, remarked: “We are very proud of the record price achieved for Basquiat’s monumental portrait of the artist as devil at a time when top collectors are pursuing works of the very highest quality. This painting drew intense competition that dispelled questions of a market contraction”.


    Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
    Maurice de Vlaminck - Sous-boix

    Maurice de Vlaminck – Sous-bois sold for $16,378,000

    There was a new world record for Rodin at Sotheby’s sale of Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in New York on May 9.  L’Eternel printemps – a white marble rendering of a passionate couple – sold for $20.4 million.  There was spirited bidding for other masterpieces in a sale which brought in $144.5 million.

    Auguste Rodin - L’Éternel Printemps

    Auguste Rodin – L’Éternel Printemps

    Sous-Bois by Maurice de Vlaminck sold for $16,378,000, Paul Signac’s Maisons du Port made $10,666,000, Claude Monet’s Maree Basses aux petites Dalles sold for $9,822,000 and Camille a l’Ombre by the same artist sold for $9,434,000.

    (See post on for April 21, 2016)