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  • Archive for October, 2018


    Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

    Albert Power – Study of Terence MacSwiney

    It looks a bit like a death mask but in fact this 1920 head of Terence MacSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, was sculpted in 1920 shortly before he died on hunger strike in Brixton Prison by Albert Power. It sold for a hammer price of 11,000 at the James Adam Country House Collections sale at Townley Hall.

    Attempts to force feed the Lord Mayor were undertaken in the final days of his strike. Albert Power, whose name is synonymous with Irish nationalist sculpture, visited the Lord Mayor as he was dying in prison.  He fell into a coma on October 20, 1920 and died five days later after 73 days on hunger strike.  Terence MacSwiney is buried in the Republican Plot at St. Finbarr’s Cemetery in Cork.
    Power’s commissions included bronze busts of the new Irish President Arthur Griffiths and the army chief Michael Collins.  He also completed death masks for both men which were added to the Cenotaph on Leinster Lawn at Dail Eireann.


    Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

    The sale of Asian art at James Adam in Dublin on November 3 features Chinese porcelain from a variety of periods and in various colours, Japanese woodblock prints and some lots of furniture and jewellery in a selection of 336 lots. The most expensively estimated lots are a Yongzheng (1723-1735) green chrysanthemum dish (40,000-60,000) and a blue and white bulbous Zhadou with the mark of Zhengde (1506-1521) and a mid 14th century blue and white peony jar, each estimated at 30,000-50,000.

    Yongzheng (1723-1735) green chrysanthemum dish (40,000-60,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 36,000 AT HAMMER

    ARE BLUE AND WHITE PEONY JAR, ‘Guan’ mid 14th century (30,000-50,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 240,000 AT HAMMER


    Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

    The Rolls Royce

    A 1930 Rolls-Royce which once belonged to UK Conservative Rab Butler, who served as Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister (1962-63), Home Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Minister sold for 46,000 at auction today in Co. Laois.  The 3.7 litre Rolls-Royce Continental Sports Saloon was originally built for Elizabeth Courtauld, heir to the industrial textile empire, before passing through her family in 1946 into the ownership of Butler, known as the father of the British educational system.

    He once remarked that the Civil Service, “is a bit like a Rolls-Royce – you know it’s the best machine in the world, but you’re not quite sure what to do with it.”

    The car was purchased in England in 1995 and the engine was rebuilt by Irish Rolls Royce specialist Jim Boland.  It has spent the past 23 years in an Irish shed and is in excellent condition. There was a number of classic cars, including a working 1940s Model T Ford with a Cork registration, which made 10,500. The carvery unit from the former Jurys Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin made 3,000 and a Tullamore whiskey mirror made 2,000.


    Monday, October 29th, 2018
    Major works by some of the world’s most revered and expensive artists will come under the hammer at the big November art sales in New York. With work ranging from a major restituted masterpiece by Egon Schiele to a splash painting that promises to make David Hockney the world’s priciest living artist the sales of Impressionist and Modern and Contemporary and Post War art at Christie’s and Sotheby’s promise to create a splash of their very own.
    Schiele’s masterwork, City in Twilight, the small city II will highlight Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern evening sale on November 12. Painted in 1913 it was purchased in 1928 by a young Jewish widow living in Vienna, Elsa Koditschek. The work was forcibly sold under the Nazi regime and is now offered as the resolution of a private restitution between the present owners and Elsa’s heirs.
    David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures) at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary evening sale on November 15  is estimated in the region of $80 million and is poised to become the most expensive  work by a living artist ever sold at auction.
    Highlights from the Impressionist and Modern evening sale at Christie’s on November 11 range from Claude Monet’s Effet de neige at Giverny and one of 12 extant works of Le basin aux nympheas to Picasso’s Femme au beret orange et au col de fourrure (Marie-Therese).
    Along with Hockney there are  masterpieces by Pisarro, Rothko, Monet, Bacon and Rodin at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary evening sale on November 15.
    Sotheby’s say that their Impressionist and Modern sale on November 12 promises to be among the strongest and boldest in recent history. Works on offer range from a floral composition by Monet to a painterly canvas showcasing Maurice Vlaminck’s Fauve period and Miro’s monumental pastel Figure. Magritte’s painting of Edward James is one of the most important Surrealist portraits to appear at auction in decades and will feature with newly discovered works by Renoir, Morandi and Rembrandt Bugatti.

    The Contemporary Art evening sale at Sotheby’s on November 14 will offer works by Willem de Kooning, Frank Stella, Jeff Koons and many other leading contemporaries.

    Egon Schiele’s City in Twilight, the small city II is at Sotheby’s.  UPDATE: THIS MADE $24.6 million  

    David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures) at Christie’s  UPDATE:THIS MADE $90,312,500

    Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Rusts, Blacks on Plum) 1962 at Christie’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE $35,712,500

    Georgia O’Keeffe, Calla lilies on Red at Sotheby’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE $6.3 MILLION


    Friday, October 26th, 2018

    Bob Dylan’s Fender Telecaster 1952 reissue, Michael Jackson’s Bad Jacket and Bono’s Irish Falcon Gretsch

    Signature guitars from U2, Edge’s 1976 Gibson Explorer electric guitar and two of Bono’s Gretsch guitars – a green Irish Falcon stage and a black Falcon electric guitar – will feature at Julien’s Auctions on November 10.  Julien’s will offer property from the collection of philanthropist and businessman Milton Verret – founder of First National Reserve, First Fidelity Reserve and U.S. Money Reserve, three of the largest gold and silver firms in America – as part of the Icons and Idols Rock n Roll live and online sales over four sessions on November 9 and 10.

    Verret’s collection is to be sold in a philanthropic partnership with MusiCares®, a charity of the Recording Academy™ that provides a wide range of health and human services resources to music people in need.

    Nearly 100 items from Verret’s world renowned collection of some of the most important pieces of rock–n–roll memorabilia will come under the hammer. The all star lineup features historical items from music legends, Prince, Madonna, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bernie Taupin, Aretha Franklin and others.  The venue for the sales is the Hard Rock Cafe, Times Square, New York.

    UPDATE:  Dylan’s Fender Telecaster sold for $76,800, Michael Jackson’s Bad Jacket sold for $298,000 and Bono’s Irish Falcon Gretsch sold for $64,000.


    Friday, October 26th, 2018

    More than 1,000 lots from the last residences of Pierre Bergé will come under the hammer at Sotheby’s in Paris from October 29-31. The sale by Sotheby’s and Pierre Bergé & Associés features a collection of works chosen by Pierre Bergé, many of which were acquired with Yves Saint Laurent.  In the homes he created with Yves Saint Laurent, Bergé surrounded himself with art and decorative objects: four interiors, each with its own identity.  On offer is property from the Paris townhouse at Rue Bonaparte, La Datcha on the estate of Chateau Gabriel in Normandy, Mas Theo in St. Remy and Villa Mabrouka in Tangiers.

    Pierre Bergé was a committed philanthropist and wanted a portion of the proceeds from this auction and from the sale of other items to benefit the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent in Paris and the Fondation Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech.  Here is a small selection:


    Bernard Buffet
    Autoportrait sur fond noir

    Claude Lalanne
    Miroir de Tanger, unique, 1999


    Thursday, October 25th, 2018


    Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park #137, 1985 – a masterpiece from the collection of Mary Tyler Moore and her husband Dr. S. Robert Levine – comes up at Christie’s in New York on November 15. The monumental painting is one of the final works from Diebenkorn’s celebrated Ocean Park series and stands as a majestic example of the entirely new language of painting inspired as much by art historical traditions as by the light and landscape of California. Over eight feet tall, Ocean Park #137 was executed on the largest canvas that Diebenkorn could possibly fit through his studio doors.

    Mary Tyler Moore forged a legendary career with television hits The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and in films such as Thoroughly Modern Millie and Ordinary People. Celebrated for her unforgettable onscreen charisma and trailblazing female characters, the actress is also remembered as a leading advocate for finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.  For more than four decades Moore battled type 1 diabetes. Part of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Mary Tyler Moore and S. Robert Levine, MD Charitable Foundation to continue the couple’s longtime philanthropic mission.  The work is estimated at $18-22 million.


    Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

    Thomas Chippendale – The Brocket Hill Saloon chairs

    Amongst the stellar decorative works of art at TEFAF New York Fall are Thomas Chippendale’s Brocket Hill saloon chairs which once belonged to Sir Elton John.  The re-gilded chairs are being shown at Ronald Phillips.

    Gregg Baker Asian Art will bring a Japanese six fold screen with a panoramic, bird’s-eye view of Buzen and Bungo provinces (modern day Oita and Fukuoka prefectures) in northern Kyushu. It shows a map of the area, part of the Seto Inland Sea and various genre scenes minutely detailing local people’s life in the early 17th century. It dates to c1621-32.

    The fair at the Park Avenue Armory runs from October 27 to October 31 and features 93 of the world’s leading antique dealers.  The variety of collecting areas spans fine and decorative art from antiquity to 1920, as well as rare books and manuscripts, jewellery, portrait miniatures, arms and armoUr.


    Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

    Two major solo exhibitions – Voyages by Irish modernist master Mary Swanzy (1882 – 1978) and Rebuilding the Future by the German artist Wolfgang Tillmans – open at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) on October 26.

    Pre-dating Evie Hone and Mainie Jellett by several years, Mary Swanzy can arguably be identified as Ireland’s first ‘modernist’ painter. However, her experimentation with a wide range of styles, along with her reluctance to participate in large exhibitions led to her being critically side-lined and although one of the most iconic and recognisable of modern Irish artists, there has not been a substantial retrospective of her work since 1968.

    Wolfgang Tillmans has shown his work in previous group exhibitions at IMMA but this is his first solo exhibition at the museum, and his first solo project in Ireland. The exhibition includes new works from the artist who had a major show at Tate Modern last year. Both exhibitions will run until February 17.

    Mary Swanzy / Young Woman with a White Bonnet c.1920 / Oil on Canvas / 99 x 80 cm / Private Collection / Courtesy Pyms Gallery, London

    Wolfgang Tillmans / Elephant Man, 2002 / © Wolfgang Tillmans / courtesy Maureen Paley, London


    Monday, October 22nd, 2018

    Christie’s will offer 22 lots from the estate of legendary physicist Stephen Hawking in an online sale entitled “On the shoulders of giants” which will run from October 31 to November 8.  They range from Hawkings own printed copies of his most important papers including his seminal “Black hole explosions” of 1974 to a selection of medals and awards.  Estimates start as low as £100.

    A copy of his best selling “A Brief History of Time” is signed with his thumbprint and there is a script from one of his appearances on The Simpsons. The last lot of the auction, one of his wheelchairs, will be sold to benefit the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.  Stephen Hawking died last March.  UPDATE: The top lot of the sale is Stephen Hawking’s original dissertation which fetched £584,750. The 22 lots from his estate were 100% sold, realising £1,384,625, 7 times more than the pre-sale estimate. Further highlights include Stephen Hawking’s medals, which achieved £296,750 and one of his iconic wheelchairs which made £296,750 to benefit Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. These 3 lots are the most valuable lots achieved in a Christie’s online auction in 2018.

    A bomber jacket  UPDATE: THIS MADE £40,000