Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for March, 2020


    Monday, March 16th, 2020

    ALL auctions at Adams in Dublin have been postponed temporarily. The Collector’s Cabinet auction scheduled for Mullen’s of Laurel Park on March 28 has also been postponed.

    The sale scheduled for Hegarty’s in Bandon on March 22 will go ahead as an online only auction. E-mail the auctioneer for condition reports, absentee bids or telephone bids. The two day sale by Matthews of Oldcastle in Kells on March 21 and 22 will go ahead.

    MIDI” at Hegarty’s online only sale in Bandon. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Monday, March 16th, 2020

    As of now most of the auctions planned in Ireland will go ahead. A couple of have been postponed or re-scheduled but most sales are online and online platforms are open and in business. Mullens of Laurel Park is live on The Saleroom today. The sale of The O’Mahony Collection at Sheppards in Durrow on March 24 will go ahead though in-person viewing and attendance has been suspended.

    A statement from Sheppards said: “Regrettably, due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, and our highest priority being the health and well-being of our employees and clients, Sheppard’s has made the unprecedented and difficult decision to suspend in-person attendance at the O’Mahony Collection preview and auction. Clients may participate remotely in the O’Mahony Collection sale. Sheppard’s offers online and mobile browsing and remote bidding by telephone, online, or proxy bid.”

    Those planning to travel to view or bid at sales should check their auctioneers websites first. Internationally both Bonhams and Sotheby’s have announced that their auctions will continue and Christie’s is working through a re-structuring of its sales schedules.

    A Mughal School illustration at Sheppards. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Sunday, March 15th, 2020

    THE global attention Ireland enjoys on St. Patrick’s Day in normal circumstances is set to continue at  Sotheby’s in London on March 18 despite coronavirus. In a statement Sotheby’s ceo Charles Stewart said: “To the best of our ability, we are going to continue doing what we do best, which is to connect people with the world’s greatest treasures”. He added that Sotheby’s is technologically equipped to operate business in a variety of scenarios.

    The London auction of contents from 44 Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin will go ahead.  The late property developer Patrick Kelly furnished his Dublin home with an array of Irish painting from the 18th to the 20th centuries, Georgian and Regency furniture, silver and decorative arts. An exceptional William Scott entitled Deep Blues and five works by Yeats will highlight an auction which features  highly desirable pieces such as a pair of Irish mirrors and marquetry tables in the style of the great Dublin maker William Moore. The catalogue with 126 lots is online.

    One of a pair of c1740 Irish George II pier glasses 


    Thursday, March 12th, 2020

    TEFAF, The European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht in the Netherlands closed on the evening of March 11 after a visitor tested positive for coronavirus. It had been scheduled to run to March 15. Many other fairs, such as Miart in Milan, are looking at postponement or rescheduling. In Ireland the National Antiques Fair due to be held in Limerick on March 21 and 22 is to be rescheduled to a future date.

    Nanne Dekking, Chairman of the board of trustees at TEFAF said: “Given
    the recent developments in the regions around Maastricht and increasing
    concerns, we no longer feel it is appropriate to continue as planned. We
    want to thank our exhibitors, visitors and staff for their trust and support
    in this unprecedented situation. The TEFAF community has always excelled
    in bringing the best art in the world to Maastricht, we are proud to have
    witnessed how professional and how united our TEFAF family stood during
    this fair and unprecedented circumstances.”

    McGuinness lobster pots at James Adam art sale

    Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

    This painting of Lobster Pots, Brittany by Norah McGuinness is undated but appears to be from the late 1940’s or early ’50’s. T|here are known examples of paintings by McGuiness of the Breton landscape, such as the Les Bigoudenes in the Niland Collection, Sligo which depicts the Breton women wearing traditional tall lace headdresses of the Pays Bigouden region. This painting appeared in an exhibition of McGuinness work at the Leicester Galleries, London, in 1951. Another titled Breton Port which was exhibited in The Irish Exhibition of Living Art, 1950. Lobster Pots is lot 48 at the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on March 25. It is estimated at 15,000-20,000.

    Norah McGuinness HRHA (1901-1980)
    Lobster Pots, Brittany


    Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

    A rare first edition of one of the most popular books ever written, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone inscribed by author J. K. Rowling “to Bryony… the first person ever to see merit in Harry Potter” sold for £118,000 in Bonhams Fine Books, Atlases, Manuscripts & Photographs sale in London today. It had an estimate of £70,000-90,000.

    Bryony Evens was the office manager for the literary agent Christopher Little, when in 1996, she picked up a three-chapter submission from the slush pile and started reading. Instantly hooked, Bryony asked Little to request that the author send the rest of the book. They soon received the full manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by the then unknown J.K. Rowling, and the rest is history.

    Head of Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Department, Matthew Haley, commented: “This unique copy of the highly desirable rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone really was a little piece of Harry Potter history. I’m not surprised that it attracted such interest and achieved such an impressive price”.


    Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

    Memories of the goodwill shown by those working in the Irish theatre towards the arts in general and visual art in particular are contained in a lot at Fonsie Mealy’s Spring Rare Book Sale in Castlecomer on March 11. Lot 608 is a large Irish linen printed handkerchief sold by the Irish players at $1 towards a building for Sir Hugh Lane’s gift of paintings for Ireland. Dated April 1913 it is illustrated with a group scene of players and individual portraits, signed by W.B. Yeats, Lady Augusta Gregory and folded in its original envelope. The lot contains Irish plays by Yeats, Synge, William Boyle and Lady Gregory toured under the direction of Alfred Wareing in the summer of 1906. Consigned by Lady Gregory’s grand daughter Mrs. Catherine Kennedy, it is estimated at 250-350.

    A nephew of Lady Gregory, Sir Hugh Lane established Dublin’s Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, the first known public gallery of modern art in the world. He was among the victims of the Lusitania disaster in 1915.



    Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

    An online auction of affordable Irish art by Morgan O’Driscoll runs to the evening of March 10 between 6.30 and 11.30 p.m. The catalogue, with more than 450 lots, is online.

    LIAM TREACY (1934-2005) Schoolhouse Lane (500-700). UPDATE: THIS MADE 400 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, March 8th, 2020

    Some of the most celebrated Irish artists including Yeats, le Brocquy, Paul Henry, Tony O’Malley, Barrie Cooke, Nathanial Hone, Donald Teskey and many more feature at the evening sale of Irish and International art by Whyte’s in Dublin on March 9. There is a selection of American artists from the defunct Anglo Irish Bank collection, a print from a box set by Banksy and Mastiff from the renowned Polish artist Tadeusz Brzozowski (1918-1987).  The catalogue is online.

    UPDATE: Mastiff by Polish artist Tadeusz Brzozwski was the top lot of the sale. It made 190,000 at hammer. This price equals the world record set in 2017 by Desa Unicom in Warsaw. Rusty Gates by Jack B. Yeats made 120,000 and The Bog Road by Paul Henry made 54,000. The auction grossed €1.1 million with 82% of lots sold.

    Wedding at Joy St., Belfast c1923 by William Conor. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Sunday, March 8th, 2020

    There is history, travel, sporting memorabilia and much more at Fonsie Mealy’s Rare Book sale in Castlecomer on March 11.  The catalogue lists more than 900 lots covering a broad range of interests including literature, history, racing, an 1820 book on zoology from the library at Doneraile Court, folklore, local history and legends, maps, military history, postcards, sporting programmes and a miniature stamped sample of a hurley signed by Ollie Walsh. Travel may be going off the menu right now but the sale boasts a rare travel guide from the last days of the Georgian period.  The first English (1832) edition of Tour in England, Ireland and France in the years 1828-29 by the German nobleman Prince Hermann Ludwig Heinrich von Puckler-Muskau is estimated at €300-400. He observed the manners and customs of the inhabitants and offered anecdotes about distinguished public characters in a series of letters.

    A catalogue for the 1952 All Ireland Hurling Final between Cork and Dublin, the first of the Leesiders three in a row, has an estimate of €80-100. There is an estimate of €3,000-4,000 on a scrapbook of a collection of rugby material from Karl Mullen (1926-2009) regarded as Ireland’s first “professional” captain who won 25 caps between 1947-1952. There are news cuttings and tickets relating to Ireland’s 1948 Grand Slam and the 1950 Lions Tour to Australia and New Zealand, match programmes, action shots and pen pictures.There is about 60 boxed lots for foragers.  The catalogue is online.


    The Karl Mullen rugby archive