Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for October, 2019


    Thursday, October 31st, 2019

    This Fancy Deep Blue Diamond ring of 7.03 carats mounted by Moussaieff will lead Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva on November 12.

    (Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2019). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 11.6 MILLION CHF

    It is estimated at 10-14 million Swiss francs. A superb D quality diamond ring of 46.93 carats and internally flawless clarity is estimated at 3.8-4.5 million CHF. The sale offers sought after gemstones including coloured diamonds, pearls, Kashmir sapphires, Burmese rubies and Colombian emeralds. Among the signed jewels and historic pieces is an unusual turquoise and diamond Belle Époque brooch, circa 1910, acquired by Dame Nellie Melba at the peak of her career (CHF 250,000-350,000). In a long list of famous jewellery collectors, Dame Nellie Melba was one of the era’s most prominent icons and a well-established client of Cartier. She was honoured in the late 19th century by the Savoy Hotel’s French chef Auguste Escoffier with the creation of the Peach Melba.

    Belle Époque brooch, circa 1910, acquired by Dame Nellie Melba (Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2019). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR CHF 212,500


    Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

    Sales of American Art at Christie’s in New York will range from American Modernism and Illustration to the Hudson River School and art of the American West. Highlights include Andrew Wyeth’s Oliver’s Cap ($3,000,000 – 5,000,000) from the Collection of Ron and Diane Disney Miller, Norman Rockwell’s Harvest Moon ($1,000,000-1,500,000) from The Collection of Richard L. Weisman, and Georgia O’Keeffe’s Pink Spotted Lillies  ($1,200,000-1,800,000) from The James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection.

    The American Art sale on November 20 is comprised of 94 lots and the American Art online auction, comprised of 128 lots, is open for bidding November 14-20.

    A strong group of 19th century works features a rare Civil War oil painting Sounding Reveille by Winslow Homer from 1871, which has recently been on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art ($1,200,000-1,800,000). 

    Andrew Wyeth – Oliver’s Cap (courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2019)


    Saturday, October 26th, 2019

    A marble portrait bust of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, 1st Baron Ashford, by John Henry Foley comes up at Bonhams in London on November 27.  A grandson of Arthur Guinness he was responsible for making the Guinness brand a household name in Ireland and overseas during the 19th century. In 1855 Guinness became the wealthiest man in Ireland and was elected the first Lord Mayor of Dublin under the reformed corporation.  John Henry Foley RA, RHA (1818-1874) depicted Guinness in the classical robes of a Roman dignitary symbolising his wealth and standing  Foley is best known for his heroic and monumental statues, including that of Daniel O’Connell on O’Connell Street, Oliver Goldsmith and Edmund Burke on the grounds of Trinity College, and Henry Grattan on College Green, Dublin.  Sculpted in 1867 the bust is estimated at £20,000-30,000.



    Thursday, October 24th, 2019

    The roots of A Moonlit Breton Landscape lie in the nocturnes Roderic O’Conor created during his first extended visit to Brittany. The moon has risen behind the curtain of trees, half glimpsed through patches of dark cloud whilst down below, in the foreground, a circle of figures seems to engage with a firework display or a lantern procession. Although the setting is rural and no buildings are visible, the subject is most likely observational, possibly painted en plein air, until the fading light demanded that the canvas be brought into the studio for completion.

    The work comes up at Sotheby’s annual Irish art sale in London on November 19. Highlights from the auction are on view at the RHA in Dublin until October 27. In 2018, the first museum show in over 30 years to focus on the painted and graphic work of Roderic O’Conor was held at the National Gallery of Ireland. The painting is estimated at £120,000-180,000.

    Roderic O’Conor – A Moonlit Breton Landscape, oil on canvas, circa 1898-1900. UPDATE: THIS MADE £150,000 AT HAMMER.


    Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

    Paintings, furniture, silver and art from the 44 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin home of one of Ireland’s more successful property developers, the late Paddy Kelly (1942-2011), will come up at Sotheby’s in London on March 18. There will be more than 120 lots on offer. Central to the collection are five paintings by Jack B. Yeats, including The Showground Revisited, painted in 1950 (est. £150,000-250,000 / €170,000-282,000) and Young Men, painted in 1929 (est. £150,000-250,000 / €170,000-282,000), and an exceptional work by William Scott, entitled Deep Blues (est. £300,000-500,000 / €339,000-565,000).

    The entire contents will be available for viewing in Dublin from October 24- 27 and 14 paintings will be public exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy alongside highlights from Sotheby’s forthcoming annual Irish Art sale in London on November 19. The rest of the collection will be on view by appointment at the Fitzwilliam Square house.

    Arabella Bishop, Head of Sotheby’s Dublin Office, commented: “I have known Patrick and his collection for many years. 44 Fitzwilliam Square was a truly stunning setting to showcase the paintings, furniture, and objects which he collected from around the world over a number of decades. In holding a dedicated auction, we are able to celebrate Patrick’s vision and look forward to sharing it with collectors not only in Ireland but internationally.”

    A view of the interior of the townhouse at 44 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin.


    Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

    Conceived in 1913 and cast in 1972 Umberto Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space will come up at Christie’s in New York on November 11. It is the first time in nearly 50 years that one of the artist’s revolutionary sculptures has been offered at auction. The estimate is $3.8-4.5 million.

    Max Carter, International Director, Head of Department, Impressionist and Modern Art, remarked: “In his brief life, Boccioni reimagined time, space and movement. Where other works of art are rooted in the past, Unique Forms of Continuity of Space – Boccioni’s greatest achievement and one of the most important sculptures of the 20th century – was, is and will always be the future.”

    The architect Sir Norman Foster said of this piece that … it resonates across time. It even has a science fiction aspect—you can almost see Darth Vader [in it].” The work stands not only as the culmination of the artist’s pioneering form of Futurist sculpture, but as a powerful visual embodiment of the Futurists’ iconoclastic and revolutionary artistic aims. Boccioni has taken one of the most revered subjects in the Western tradition of art—the human figure—and split it apart before reconstructing it in a complex, abstract structure of dynamic, interlocking facets and graceful planes that penetrate and activate the space surrounding it. Striding boldly forward it presents a new conception of man, as well as sculpture, in the 20th-century: mechanical, forward moving and entirely modern.

    Umberto Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space,


    Monday, October 21st, 2019

    This early 19th century table is one of a number of Irish lots at Sotheby’s Style, Furniture and Ceramics sale in New York on October 24.  The George IV  walnut marble topped table with a light brown marble top is from a private collection in Connecticut.  It is estimated at $20,000-30,000 US dollars.  An mid 18th century Irish George III console table is estimated at $30,000-50,000 and a c1740 walnut and rouge royale marble wine cooler described as possibly Irish has an estimate of $50,000-80,000.  There are a number of lots of Irish silver in the sale including a 1769 beer mug by John Tudor, Dublin ($4,000-6,000), an 18th century salver by John Hamilton, Dublin  ($3,000-5,000), a 1717 octagonal sugar bowl with the makers mark WP ($10,000-20,000) and an octagonal teapot by Mark Twelves, Dubin 1714 ($12,000-18,000).


    Saturday, October 19th, 2019

    The selection of Irish art on offer at the James Adam evening sale in Dublin on October 23 is deeply impressive.  This private collection contains great examples of work by Yeats, Henry, Mainie Jellett, Evie Hone, May Guinness, Mary Swanzy, Nano Reid, Grace Henry, le Brocquy, Barrie Cook, Tony O’Malley and many more.Without resorting to much hyperbole Adams describe the Antoinette and Patrick Murphy collection as the most important single owner collection of Irish art ever to have taken place in Ireland.  They expect the auction of 200 lots to bring in more than a million euro.  Sotheby’s sold the US based Brian P. Burns collection of Irish art for more than £3.3 million in London last year and will offer 12 works from the Murphy collection at sales in London and Paris in the coming months. Patrick and Antoinette Murphy – he is a former chairman of the Arts Council, she opened the Peppercannister Gallery in 1999 – are downsizing.  Adams is impressed with the breadth and depth of their collection where early works by artists like Nathanial Hone were placed alongside contemporary artists like Basil Blackshaw. Estimates vary widely.  One of the highlights of the sale is Mary Swanzy’s White Tower which dates to 1926 and is estimated at 80,000-100,000. The catalogue is online.

    The White Tower by Mary Swanzy UPDATE: THIS MADE 90,000 AT HAMMER


    Friday, October 18th, 2019

    With an arresting catalogue of Irish and International art Morgan O’Driscoll’s evening sale in Dublin on October 21 goes on view at the RDS from today. On the international side the 160 lot catalogue includes work by Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, Robert Motherwell, Georges Braque, Bridget Riley and others. The top Irish lots are The Derelict Ship by Jack Yeats and Seated Woman in a Red Dress by Roderic O’Conor. Each one carries an estimate of 150,000-250,000. The catalogue is online.

    JACK BUTLER YEATS (1871-1957) The Derelict Ship (1946) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

    Works from The Ernie O’Malley Collection, highlighted by five paintings by Jack Butler Yeats, will be offered by Christie’s in association with Whyte’s in Dublin on November 25. Comprised of 100 lots, including early sketches by Yeats and work by the artists Mainie Jellett, Evie Hone, Louis le Brocquy, Colin Middleton and Norah McGuinness, the auction will form an anthology of Irish art from the early 1900s to the 1950s. Ernie O’Malley was IRA commandder who fought in Ireland’s War of Independence and on the anti-Treaty side in the Civil War. He went on to publish two books detailing his experiences. The sale and international exhibitions provide an opportunity to discover his private passion for art and the relationships he developed with artists he encountered in America and Ireland. Highlights will be on view in New York from 23 to 27 October 23-27, in London from November 16-18 November and at the RDS from November 23.

    Jack Butler Yeats, The Enfolding Night (1947,) (€500,000-700,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 520,000 AT HAMMER