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  • Archive for December, 2018


    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


    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.


    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.


    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


    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 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