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  • Archive for October, 2017


    Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

    Fernand Leger – Contraste de forms, oil on burlap, Painted in 1913

    One of the most important canvasses by Fernand Léger to be offered at auction comes up at Christie’s in New York on November 13.  Contraste de forms, an oil on burlap painted in 1913,  was originally acquired from Léger at the end of 1913 by his dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler.

    It was bought in 1956 from Galerie Rosengart in Lucerne by Ludmilla and Hans Arnhold, an international banker and art collector. Mr. Arnhold later bequeathed the painting to their daughter and son-in law, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen. Mr. Kellen was longtime CEO of  investment banking firm, Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, Inc. (now First Eagle Holdings, Inc.).  He and his wife were passionate collectors and distinguished philanthropists.

    The Kellens were deeply captivated by Léger and his work, often visiting the Musée National Fernand-Léger in Biot, France, with their children and eventually their grandchildren. Contraste de formes was a highlight of their collection and enriched their New York home for over 40 years. This is the first time it has appeared at auction. Proceeds will go towards the foundation’s philanthropic mission.

    Conor Jordan, deputy chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, remarked: “This is pure painting seen in its most exciting form, bursting with visual and intellectual ideas. The Kellen Foundation’s Contraste de formes, among the greatest Léger’s still in private hands, has a startling intensity. Executed just months before the First World War, Contraste de formes with its groundbreaking abstract conception and its thrillingly preserved physical state, is without question a major work of Modern Art. Standing at the threshold of 20th century art, this picture marks a departure from the purely figurative, leading the way for abstract art.”


    Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

    A late 19th century Chinese dish with modelled nuts and seeds.

    One of the more unusual lots at R.J. Keighery’s sale at the City Auction Rooms in Waterford on October 23 is a late 19th century Chinese dish of nuts and seeds.  The finely modelled group of eight Yixing nuts and seeds carry means like fertility and good luck.  Keighery’s say they are from the colleciton of the late Alvin Wilson of Hong Kong and Oxford and estimate the lot at 450-550.

    The sale will feature pub mirrors and signs, a collection of vintage model cars, porcelain, jewellery. antique furniture and a Waterford Crystal claret decanter.


    Monday, October 16th, 2017

    Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen ‘Coiled Corset’ Courtesy of Chris Moore  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $807,000

    Original jewellery pieces for Alexander McQueen from the personal archive of London based designer Shaun Leane will come up at Sotheby’s in New York on December 4.  They span his runway collections from autumn/winter 1996 to spring/summer 2008.  The sale will feature over 45 bespoke pieces produced for beacons of the fashion industry, including Alexander McQueen and Givenchy, as well as style icons Daphne Guinness, Isabella Blow, Kate Moss and Sarah Jessica Parker.  The selection on offer, including 30 pieces for McQueen,  encapsulate the dynamism and diversity of Leane’s creative vision with works ranging from $2,000 to $400,000.

    Among the highlights are the Coiled Corset for the Overlook Collection of 1999-2000. Inspired by the cult film The Shining it comprises 97 aluminium coils bent to fit the shape of the model. The corset is engraved with the names of Shaun Leane and Alexander McQueen. Leane’s jewellery is in the permanent collections of major museums include the Met in New York and the V and A in London.

    A quote from McQueen as follows accompanies Sotheby’s press release:  “Shaun has been a close friend and companion for many years. He captures the feeling of my work and the aesthetic of the time we live in…full of structure and finesse, crafted to perfection.”

    UPDATE:  The Personal Archive of Shaun Leane totaled $2.6 million, outshining the sale’s high estimate of $2 million. The dedicated auction of over 40 works created by British jewellery designer Shaun Leane offered collectors and enthusiasts a unique opportunity to acquire pieces of fashion history – many of which debuted in Alexander McQueen’s runway.


    Saturday, October 14th, 2017
    Affordable artwork by Robert Ballagh, Pauline Bewick, Barrie Cooke, Edward Delaney and Sir William Orpen will feature at Whyte’s autumn art sale in Dublin on October 23.  The auction will offer a range of 270 affordable works of Irish and international artists with estimates from 100 to 1,000.  The first 38 lots are from the collection of the late Judge Desmond Windle.

    Others among those whose work will be offered are Elizabeth Rivers, Sean Scully, Patsy Dan and Ruari Rodgers, Patrick Pye, Brian Bourke, Graham Knuttel, Cecil King and Louis le Brocquy.  The sale takes place at Freemason’s Hall, Molesworth St. at 6 pm on October 23.

    William Conor OBE RHA RUA ROI (1881-1968) FULL HOUSE, 1910 (500-700)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 420 AT HAMMER

    Daniel O’Neill (1920-1974) LANDSCAPE STUDIES (SET OF THREE ) (400-500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 460 at HAMMER

    Patrick Pye RHA (b.1929) PROVINCIAL TOWN (500-700)  UDATE: THIS MADE 480 AT HAMMER

    Edward Delaney RHA (1930-2009) CATTLE SHELTERING, 1979 (300-500)  UPDATE: THISMADE 340 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, October 14th, 2017

    Winged Figure by William Crozier

    The Edge of the Landscape, the William Crozier exhibition on view at the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen in July and August, has just opened at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin.

    Best-known in Ireland for the lyrical landscapes made close to his home in West Cork from the mid-1980s, this exhibition of 30 works presents William Crozier’s early work, inspired by the Existentialist movement.

    The show, which runs to next April, is supported by the Crozier Circle: Mareta and Conor Doyle, Celtic Ross Hotel, Kelly’s Resort Hotel and other donors.


    Friday, October 13th, 2017


    The James Adam Country House Collections sale at Townley Hall near Drogheda this week grossed over two million. The timed internet auction worked very well and grossed just over 50,000.

    There were bidders from the US, Hong Kong, Germany, Holland, the UK and Ireland north and south.

    Hammer prices for the top lots were as follows:  George Barrets Mountainous Wooded River Landscape (200,000);  a giltwood pier mirror by John and Francis Booker (50,000); a c1750 Irish armorial side table (40,000):  Wooded landscape with figure by Solomon Delane (38,000); a pair of massive mid 19th century porcelain vases (33,000); a Ming revival blue and white moon flask, Yongzheng (32,000); an Irish Regency four pillar dining table (28,000); Games Still Life by Raoul Hynckes (26,000): George III giltwood overmantle mirror (25,000) and Portrait of a Lady by Sir Francis Grant (22,000).

    (See posts on for October 8 and October 5, 2017)


    Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

    The Raj Pink

    The Raj Pink, the world’s largest known fancy intense pink diamond at 37.3 carats, comes up at Sotheby’s sale of mangificent and noble jewels in Geneva on November 15.

    The rough diamond which yielded the stone was studied for over a year after its discovery in 2015. A master cutter crafted it into a sparkling cushion modified brilliant cut stone.  The Raj Pink was named by the current owner, who wishes to remain anonymous. It is based on the Sanskrit word for King.  The estimate of $20-30 million.


    Monday, October 9th, 2017

    EUGÈNE DELACROIX (FRENCH, 1798-1863), Le 28 juillet – la liberté guidant le peuple, 1830,

    Le 28 juillet – la liberté guidant le peuple, 1830 by Eugène Delacroix will lead Christie’s Classic Week 19th Century European & Orientalist Art auction in London on December 14.. This autographed painting is the only known sketch in oil that fully outlines the intended final composition for Delacroix’s masterpiece La liberté guidant le peuple, in the collection of the Louvre in Paris. It is estimated at £700,000-1,000,000.

    Providing a rare insight into Delacroix’s creative process, the fast and fluid lines of the final composition takes form with the figure of Liberty at the centre, surrounded by the fallen men who populate the primary plane. A pivotal figure, looking up in hope and admiration, is present to the left in both the preparatory and the final painting.

    Arne Everwijn, Head of Sale, 19th Century European & Orientalist Art, London, said: “La Liberté guidant le people is one of the most iconic works in art history and we are extremely excited to present the only known oil sketch of Delacroix’s masterpiece to collectors this December, during Christie’s Classic Week. The fluidity of the sketch and the use of sharp diagonal lines exemplifies the artistic mastery of Delacroix, portraying the dynamism and movement for which the final composition is known.”


    Sunday, October 8th, 2017
    A particularly fine landscape by George Barret, a mirror by John and Francis Booker, an Irish armorial side table, a Killarney davenport and a Brussels tapestry are among the top lots at the annual James Adam Country House Collections sale in Co. Louth on October 10.
    The highest estimated lot of A Mountainous Wooded River Landscape and Waterfall and Three Figures by George Barret (c1728-1784) is estimated at 200,000. Adams say it was most likely painted in Ireland before Barret’s move to London in 1763. An Irish Georgian giltwood pier mirror by the Booker Brothers still has its makers label attached and is estimated at 50,000. An Irish armorial side table dates to about 1850 and has an estimate of 20,000, as has a large Killarney davenport.
    A Wooded Landscape by Solomon Delane (1727-1812) is possibly of Tuscany and estimated at 40,000. There is a portrait of Frederick the Great of Prussia (3,000) and the 17th/18th Brussels tapesty of the Baptism of Clovis, often referred to as the first Christian King of France,  is large and estimated at 10,000.  A pair of compact George II giltwood mirrors attributed to Benjamin Goodison is estimated at 6,000.  The same model of mirror was illustrated in Buckingham Palace in a 1927 edition of Country Life.

    There is a Victorian sideboard from the Cornish house where Daphne du Maurier lived for decades and inspired her novel Rebecca. It is estimated at 10,000. There is a similar estimate on a Great Irish Deer set of antlers.  The auction is at Townley Hall near Drogheda. A section of nearly 200 lots at the end of the catalogue is being offered online and by written bids only.  These include the Moyne collection of miniatures, antiquarian prints and books. They will come up at a timed internet auction which will run to 6 p.m. on October 11.

    George Barret (c.1728-1784) A Mountainous Wooded River Landscape with Waterfall and Three Figures UPDATE: THS MADE 200,000 AT HAMMER

    A giltwood pier mirror by John and Francis Booker  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 50,000 AT HAMMER

    A Killarney marquetry davenport  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A Victorian sideboard from the Cornish house Daphne du Maurier lived in which inspired her novel Rebecca.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 11,000 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, October 7th, 2017

    Classic 20th century and contemporary design furniture will come under the hammer at de Veres in Dublin on October 15.  Lots on offer range from Danish and Italian design furniture from the 1960’s to the contemporary Nomos table designed by Sir Norman Foster which is estimated at 1,400-1,800. The auction will feature work from designers including Arne Vodder,  Osvaldo Borsani and Philippe Starck.  Estimates for a selection that includes tables, chairs, sideboards, lamps, cocktail cabinets, Murano glass and mirrors are reasonable.

    There is Irish art by Louis le Brocquy, Hughie O’Donoghue, Robert Ballagh, Patrick Scott, Felim Egan, Robert Ballagh and others among the 140 lots on offer.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    French 1970’s rosewood lipstick floor mirror (600-900) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Eden by Louis le Brocquy (20,000-30,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 29,000 AT HAMMER