Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for July, 2018


    Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

    Precious artefacts recovered from Titanic on the seabed are to be returned to Belfast. A group of museums and film maker James Cameron have teamed up to buy the entire Titanic Artefacts Collection.  Last year Premier Exhibitions, the US firm with rights to salvage items from the Titanic wreck, filed for bankruptcy.  Now The Royal Museums Greenwich, National Museums Northern Ireland, Titanic Belfast and Titanic Foundation plan to buy the Titanic Artefacts Collection and its 5,500 pieces and bring them home to Belfast where the ship was built.  The collection includes a piece of the hull and sets of china from the ship.  The plan is backed by The National Geographic Society and Dr Robert Ballard, the oceanographer who discovered the wreck.  It is understood the bid is in the region of £14.5 million.

    The ship sank after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage in 1912, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,500 people.  The last port of call was Queenstown, now Cobh, in Cork Harbour.

    A section of the hull recovered from the seabed



    Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

    An online sale of Irish art runs by Morgan O’Driscoll runs until August 7 at 6.30 p.m.   The catalogue lists 215 works.  Here is a small selection:

    PATRICK O’REILLY (B.1957)Bear with Bell (1,000-1,400)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,200 AT HAMMER

    LOUIS LE BROCQUY (1916-2012)Flight c.1954 (1,500-2,500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,100 AT HAMMER

    RICHARD THOMAS MOYNAN (1856-1906) Girl with a Book and Toys (1893) (3,000-5,000)UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,700 AT HAMMER

    Kenneth Webb – Roundstone Harbour, Connemara (3,000-5,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 7,500 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, July 29th, 2018

    A sketch by Christian Dior for model Oxford, Spring/Summer 1947 collection.

    Excitement is building already about the largest and most comprehensive exhibition ever to be staged in the UK on the House of Dior.  Spanning the years from 1947 to the present day it opens at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London next February.

    Christian Dior:  Designer of Dreams will trace the history and impact of one of the most influential couturiers of the 20th century and the six artistic directors who succeeded him.  The show will present more than 500 objects and over 200 rare haute couture garments.

    In 1947 Dior changed the face of fashion with his New Look which redefined the female silhouette and re-invigorated the post war Parisian fashion industry.


    Friday, July 27th, 2018

    Sean Keating HRA, HRSA (1899-1977) Fear agus ban on Oilean.  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    The catalogue cover lot for Dolan’s two day sale in Ballyconneely, Connemara on Bank Holiday Monday August 6 and on the following day is a cheerful pastel and charcoal portrait by Sean Keating (1889-1977),  Fear agus bean an Oilean is estimated at 25,000-30,000.  Born in Limerick Sean Keating  studied under Sir William Orpen.  He won the Taylor Scholarship in 1914 and went to visit the Aran Islands with Harry Clarke.  This was a turning point in his career and the islands and their inhabitants became the subject of many of his works.  He exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Royal Hibernian Academy and represented Ireland at the New York World Fair of 1939.

    Dolans art and antique auction is to be a marquee sale in Ballyconneely.  Viewing there gets underway at noon on July 29 and continues until the start of the sale at 12.30 pm on August 7.


    Thursday, July 26th, 2018

    Yaka head-rest
    Democratic Republic of Congo ©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2018

    Treasures from The Congo such as a beautiful Yaka head rest will come up at Christie’s Paris on October 30. The 30 works from the collection formed by wealthy Belgian industrialist and art collector Adolphe Stoclet- whose interests included mines in the Belgian Congo – in the opening decades of the 20th century have passed by descent in his family and have not been on the open market. The Yaka head rest is one of the best of its kind to remain in private hands and is estimated at 300,000-500,000.  Also from the Republic of Congo is an important Luba-Shankadi stool (300,000-500,000) and a Kifwebe mask from the Songye (200,000-400,000). There are ten Congolese works of art in ivory including a Yombe statue and a Boa spoon.

    The Stoclet Palace in Brussels is considered the masterpiece of pioneering Viennese architect Josef Hoffman.  Built between 1905-1911 and considered one of the most refined and luxurious private houses of the 20th century it had a dedicated Salon Africain which contained the 30 pieces to come to auction.  This was the first residential project of the Wiener Werkstatte co-founded by Hoffman in 1903 and its interior includes mosaic friezes designed by Gustav Klimt and work by Koloman Moser and Franz Metzner. Though not open to the public the building became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.


    Thursday, July 26th, 2018

    ‘Herding the Horses’ by Patrick Hennessy

    Paintings from the collection of the late playwright Brian Friel and his wife Anne will come up at the James Adam sale of important Irish art in Dublin on September 27.  Proceeds from the 23 works will be donated to the Peter McVerry Trust which aims to reduce homelessness and the harm caused by drug abuse.  The collection is expected to generate at least 100,000 for the charity.

    Artists in the collection include Patrick Hennessy, Sean MacSweeney, Tony O’Malley, Norah McGuinness and Patrick Scott.


    Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

    PICASSO – Fillette à la corbeille fleurie from the Rockefeller collection sold for $115 million.

    Christie’s continues to lead the art market this year.  Continued global demand helped drive a 26% rise in overall sales to almost £3 billion in the first half of the year.  Auction sell through rates across all bands rose to 84%.  Auction sales increased by 20% to £2.65 billion, private sales were up 135% to £287 million and online only auction sales rose 40% to £27.7 million.

    There were 55 lots sold for over $10 million and online sales attracted the largest number of new buyers.  The Luxury group continues to draw the highest percentage of new clients at 29% and Asian clients spent 10% more in this category in 2018.  Decorative arts was the second highest entry point for new clients at 19%.

    Collections achieved strong results across the board: the celebration of the Cobra movement was 100% sold at the new venue in Amsterdam; masterpieces by Richard Diebenkorn were sold to benefit the Zucker family foundation for $46 million in New York  and the Tisch collection sold for £107 million.

    American clients accounted for 45% of spend in the first half of 2018, Asian clients for 24% and EMERI clients for 31%.  The collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller achieved the highest total for a private collection and was 100% sold.  At $835,111,344 this was the most significant charitable auction ever.

    Christie’s say the outlook for the rest of the year is good.


    Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

    The Consecration of St. Mary’s Popes Quay by James Mahony

    Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger is now on show at Uilinn, the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen in County Cork, an epicentre of the famine.   More than 50 artworks from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University – at Hamden, Connecticut between Boston and New York – are on stunning display. It has been seen by tens of thousands of people at Quinnipiac.

    In west Cork the show is accompanied by a diverse programme of performances, talks, lectures and events including artists talks and a reading by Jeremy Irons of The Cummins Letter written by a local JP in 1848 describing the conditions in Reen. Among the artworks is The Consecration of St. Mary’s Popes Quay by James Mahony, the Cork born artist best known for his harrowing depictions of the famine for The Illustrated London News, where he was an artist and reporter.  Dublin auctioneers Whyte’s presented a full sized replica of this work to the Dominicans at St. Mary’s, Cork after they were outbid by the American university when it came to auction in 2015.

    Monday, July 23rd, 2018

    A Mitchell’s “Cruiskeen Lawn” 1890’s pub mirror is among the prime lots at Victor Mee’s sale of pub memorabilia and collectibles at Cloverhill, Belturbet, Co. Cavan on July 24.  From John Sweeney’s pub in Ballyshannon it is one of only three such mirrors known in Ireland.  It will be accompanied by a bottle of whisky from the same period.  John Sweeney’s collection dates, which is to be auctioned, back through his family for three generations.  His grandfather bought The Commercial Hotel in Ballyshannon in 1902.

    This original very old specially selected glass whisky dispenser sold for 8,000 at hammer.

    A bottle of Cruiskeen Lawn whiskey from the 1890’s  UPDATE: THIS MADE 6,000 AT HAMMER

    Rare 1890’s Mitchell’s “Cruiskeen Lawn” mirror  UPDATE:THIS MADE 11,500 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, July 21st, 2018

    A custom made gown worn by Raquel Welch while performing “I’m a Woman” on Cher, CBS, 1975-1976 ($3,000-5,000).

    The glamour of transatlantic liner voyages will combine with the allure of Hollywood when the Queen Mary II sails from Southampton to New York on August 19.  On board will be an exhibition of Hollywood fashion from the collection of legendary designer Bob Mackie to be sold by Julien’s Auctions next November.

    Cher, Carol Burnett, Diana Ross and Raquel Welsh are among the women he has designed for.  From his award winning wardrobe as show costume designer for the first Carol Burnett Show during its 11 year run to his longtime collaboration with Cher and her dazzling, boundary pushing wardrobe for television, concert tours and show stopping public appearances, the nine time Emmy award winning designer, three time Academy Award nominee and the Television Academy Hall of Fame inductee has spent a distinguished career of designing for women who dare to be noticed.
    His unprecedented career achievements have been honored by the fashion industry and the arts in numerous awards including: the TDF Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 for theatrical costume design; the “Charlie” (Chaplin) Award for Fashion Arts by the Hollywood Arts Council in 2008; a Design Legend Award and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Otis College of Art and Design in 2011 where Mackie has mentored students for over two decades and the Chicago History Museum with the Designer of Excellence Award in 2016.
    The 1999 retrospective titled Unmistakably Mackie at the Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology was one of the most highly attended exhibitions in New York City history.
    Today’s biggest stars and celebrities continue to be dressed by Mackie and his brand continues to flourish with his QVC Wearable Art Collection as well as his designs for Cher in her Classic Cher concert series in 2017 and the wardrobe for The Cher Show, set to open on Broadway next autumn.  Julien’s will hold a live and online auction of the collection on November 17.