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  • Archive for December, 2018

    CANALETTO AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF IRELAND

    Saturday, December 15th, 2018

    Forget Ireland in winter. A chance to lose yourself in 18th century Venice in summer is now available at the National Gallery of Ireland where Canaletto and the Art of Venice is on view until March 24. Many iconic landmarks like the Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal feature in this show of nearly 100 works by Canaletto and contemporaries including Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Francesco Zuccarelli and Giovanni Batista Piazzetta.
    The colour, drama and energy of Venice is conveyed through paintings, drawings and prints. A highpoint is the display of all twelve of Canaletto’s Grand Canal series. The works have been lent by Queen Elizabeth II from the Royal Collection, one of the most important collections in the world. Most of them were acquired by George III directly from Joseph Smith, British Consul in Venice, a passionate collector and support of Venetian artists and Canaletto’s most enthusiastic patron. The show is curated by Anne Hodge of the National Gallery of Ireland.

    Canaletto (1697-1768) – A Regatta on the Grand Canal, c1733-34 Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018

    Canaletto (1697–1768) The Bacino di San Marco on Ascension Day c1733-4 Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018.

    NEW WORLD RECORD FOR TIFFANY AT CHRISTIE’S IN NEW YORK

    Friday, December 14th, 2018

    There was a new world auction record to Tiffany Studios at Christie’s Design auction in New York when a rare Pond Lily lamp made $3.3 million.  The lamp dates to c1903.  The sale totalled $8.4 million and was sold 84% by lot and 96% by value.

    A three part centrepiece by Francois Xavier Lalanne made $250,000 over a top estiamte of $150,000 and an urn by Frank Lloyd Wright made $567,500.

    A single owner French Art Nouveau glass sale Masterpieces in Glass: The Nakamoto Collection brought in $2.7 million. The top lot of this auciton was a Lys vase by Émile Gallé which sold for $444,500.  This is the second highest press ever achieved for Galle.

    VARIETY AT ADAMS AT HOME AUCTION

    Thursday, December 13th, 2018

    There is a wide variety of lots, from silver and porcelain to jewellery, antique furniture, art and collectibles at the James Adam At Home sale in Dublin on December 16.  The sale is at 11.30 a.m.  There is a timed online sale, At Home Part II which starts at 2 p.m.  Catalogues for both sales are online. Here is a small selection:

    A REGENCY INLAID ROSEWOOD RECTANGULAR DOUBLE DROP LEAF SOFA TABLE, (1,000-1,500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,000 AT HAMMER

    AN IRISH 19TH CENTURY DESSERT DISH, by Herbert Cooper, Molesworth Street, Dublin (100-200)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    DESMOND CARRICK RHA (1928-2012)
    Figures walking the promenade (400-600)  UPDATE; THIS MADE 480 AT HAMMER

    A NAPOLEON III CORAL PARURE (800-1,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 800 AT HAMMER

    THE ANIMAL AND THE ARTIST

    Sunday, December 9th, 2018
    Sly White Fox and Four Sheep by John Shinnors sold for 6.600 at Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art last week.  Adult Reading at Artist’s Bedtime, which has just been published by Gandon Editions, recounts how the renowned Limerick artist was first inspired to paint animals.
    It happened one afternoon years ago when he went to do some plein air painting by the river.  He had walked through a field of cows and, though absorbed in what he was doing, felt a presence behind him. He turned to find almost the whole herd of friesians had gathered, jockeying for position, as if to judge the work.  “It then dawned on me that I was painting the wrong thing. whistling I quietly turned the easel about and put up a new canvas board  It was as if I really observed them for the 1st time”.

    THE KEY TO ULYSSES AT SOTHEBY’S BOOK SALE

    Saturday, December 8th, 2018

    The key to the Eccles St. home of Leopold Bloom.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £7,500

    A key created by James Joyce to help his friends keep track of Ulysses comes up at Sotheby’s book sale in London on December 10.  Seven copies were produced in total as the author ever wanted it to be shared too widely. In his words ‘If I give it all up immediately, I’d lose my immortality. I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant”.  However by 1930 it has been seen so widely that Joyce allowed its publication.  Another lot in the sale is the latchkey to Leopold Bloom’s fictional home at 7 Eccles Street, Dublin. In Ulysses, Bloom’s missing latchkey has been interpreted in Freudian terms as a symbol of his loss of potency, and in political terms as a synecdoche of Irish dispossession before Independence, but given Joyce’s careful mapping of Dublin in the novel it is also a key to a real front door – the home of one of Joyce’s friends. The key was rescued by a Joyce scholar when the house was demolished in the 1960s. The house’s front door was also reclaimed and is now exhibited at Dublin’s James Joyce Centre.

    A little more background on the story of the key in Ulysses – Bloom leaves his latchkey behind in the pocket of yesterday’s trousers when he departs from his home at the beginning of his day’s odyssey. He had reminded himself several times to pick up the key before going out, and his annoyance at his own forgetfulness recurs several times in the novel. Finally, when Bloom staggers home in the early hours of the morning with Stephen Dedalus , he puts his hand in his empty pocket to retrieve his key, so he has to hop the fence and come in by the back door.

    Sotheby’s specialist Gabriel Heaton said: “So our sale has two keys to Ulysses. One is a secret that was never kept but has guided generations of students through the novel; the other once unlocked a front door that now opens onto a brick wall. The very fact that these items still attract such interest shows that Joyce’s immortality is safe enough, and one cannot help but think that Joyce himself would have taken great pleasure in the appearance at auction of his fictional hero’s lost key.”

    The current example is one of three copies of the definitive English schema to precede the novel’s publication, the other two being for the translator Valery Larbaud and the publisher Sylvia Beach.   The online sale runs December 10.

    UPDATE:  The schema sold for £47,500, the key for £7,500.

    AFFORDABLE ART ONLINE AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL

    Friday, December 7th, 2018

    A sale of affordable art by Morgan O’Driscoll runs online until the evening of December 10. There are 395 lots. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    J.P. Rooney – The Emerald Cove (700-1,000)  UPDATE: THIS  MADE 900 AT HAMMER

    ELIZABETH BROPHY (20TH/21ST CENTURY)A Flower for the Little Lady (700-1,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 950 AT HAMMER

    ANTHONY ROBERT KLITZ (1917-2000) Merchant’s Arch, Temple Bar (300-500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 460 AT HAMMER

    Neil Shawcross RHA RUA (b.1940)
    Still Life on Windowsill (2009) (!,000-1,500) UPDATE: THIS  MADE 950 AT HAMMER

    EINSTEIN’S GOD LETTER ACHIEVES WORLD AUCTION RECORD

    Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

    The Einstein letter

    There was a world auction record for an Einstein letter when The God Letter sold for $2.89 million at Christie’s in New York.  In the handwritten letter the physicist expresses doubts about the existence of God.  There was a four minute bidding battle between two telephone clients at the sale.

    Other results in the Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts included $81,250 for a collection of original printing blocks for the first editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection realised $162,500 and the rare true first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone which achieved a world auction record for Harry Potter and more than doubled the high estimate to sell for $162,500.

    JAMES JOYCE’S PINCE NEZ MAKE 17,000 AT FONSIE MEALY SALE

    Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

    An original pair of pince-nez glasses owned by James Joyce sold for a hammer price of 17,000 at Fonsie Mealy’s rare book and memorabilia sale in Dublin today.  The pair, complete with, gilt fittings and chain and in a velvet lined morocco case from a Dublin optician, was from the collection of Joyce’s friend Thomas Pugh.  By tradition these are Joyce’s own glasses used when writing Ulysses. In good condition they are familiar from many photographs, including his passport.

    A letter written to Thomas Pugh by James Joyce in 1934, from the Grand Hotel Britannique, Spa, Belgique made 14,000 at hammer.  In it Joyce requested Pugh to visit him when next in Paris and also asks if Pugh knows of any illustrated weekly published in Dublin around 1904 for the use of Henri Matisse, who was working on designs for a new de luxe edition of Ulysses. (Pugh supplied the illustrations but the illustrations by Matisse are drawn entirely from Greek myth).

    A first edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, published by Jonathan Cape in 1953, sold for 9,500 at hammer.

    IRISH ART AT JAMES ADAM IN DUBLIN

    Sunday, December 2nd, 2018
    THIS has been the best year ever on the Irish art market in terms of turnover and it continues on its merry way in the final run up to Christmas.  The James Adam sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin next Wednesday evening offers a selection that includes leading lots by Oisin Kelly, Roderic O’Conor, Gerard Dillon, Augustus John, Michael Farrell, Erskine Nicholl, Louis le Brocquy and Henry Moore.
    The top estimate in this auction is for Oisin Kelly’s bronze Children of Lir cast in 1983 at the Dublin Art Foundry as an issue of two.  It is from the original maquette for Kelly’s large scale bronze at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin dedicated by Taoiseach Jack Lynch in 1971. The other copy is on display outside the Taoiseach’s office at Government Buildings. This one is estimated at 30,000-50,000.
    A bronze relief of a mother and child and reclining figure by Henry Moore is estimated at 12,000-16,000.  The catalogue cover lot is another sculpture, F.E. MacWilliam’s Peace B from his Banners series (8,000-12,000) and there is sculpture by Rowan Gillespie, Rory Breslin, Imogen Stuart, Robin Buick, Edward Delaney, Eamon O’Doherty, Selma McCormack and James McIntyre.

    Paintings range from a self portrait by Augustus John (20,000-30,000) to an interior still life by Patrick Hennessy (7,000-10,000) and a seated model by Roderic O’Conor (30,000-40,000) to Battersea Boy by Louis le  Brocquy (10,000-15,000). There is a bright Malaga work by William Crozier (5,000-8,000) and a photo realist painting by John Doherty of part of two houses at Eyeries in west Cork (5,000-7,000).  There are landscapes, portraits and studies by artists ranging from Gerard Dillon, Peter Collis, Dan O’Neill, George Campbell, Peter Curling and William Conor to Percy French, Edwin Hayes, James Arthur O’Connor and William Sadler.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    Oisin Kelly RHA (1915-1981) Children of Lir  UPDATE: THIS MADE 36,000 AT HAMMER

    Patrick Hennessy RHA (1915-1980) Interior, Still Life with a Vase of Flowers on a Chair  UPDATE: THIS MADE 6,000 AT HAMMER

    John Doherty – Eyeries, west Cork  UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,600 AT HAMMER

    Howard Helmich (1845-1907) – Reluctant Pupil  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,200 AT HAMMER

    ISAAC NEWTON TREATISE FROM 1711 AT FONSIE MEALY BOOK SALE

    Saturday, December 1st, 2018
    A rare Isaac Newton volume from 1711, sporting medals, original photographs and drawings will all be included in Fonsie Mealy’s rare books and manuscripts auction in Dublin next Tuesday.  There are first editions ranging from Charlotte Bronte to Ian Fleming, James Joyce’s pince nez and a 19th century transcript of The Annals of Clonmacnoise in this auction of 964 lots.
    The most important lot is Newton’s Analysis per Quantitatum series estimated at 8,000-12,000.  There is an original manuscript account of the Fall of Constantinople by Leonard of Chios c1453 and the earliest manuscript association of W B Yeats and Maud Gonne.  There are statistical surveys, books on botany, antiquities, art, poetry, travel, genealogy, literature in a selection with an across the board appeal.  There is an All Ireland Football Championship medal from 1905 and Galway’s first All Ireland Hurling Championship medal from 1923.  The venue for the auction is The Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for November 29, 2018)

    Newton volume  UPDATE: THIS MADE 26,000 AT HAMMER

    All Ireland Football Championship 1905 medal  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,000 AT HAMMER