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


    Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

    A timed online only auction of jewellery, watches and silver by O’Reilly’s of Francis St., Dublin is running until April 24 at 1 pm. The catalogue and details of how to bid through are online. This contemporary jewellery suite by Alison Bradley of London is lot 48 and estimated at 800-1,200.

    Contemporary jewellery suite by Alison Bradley, London. UPDATE: THE CLOSING BID ON THIS LOT WAS 800


    Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

    Your name as a character in a Jeffrey Archer novel is up for grabs at auction. Whether as a hero or villain is not specified. This is lot number one at Cheffins charitable auction to support The Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust Covid-19 Fast Response Fund. “I am delighted to be able to support Cheffins in this benevolent auction by offering to name a character in my next book after the highest bidder. But remember, only I’ll decide whether you’re a goodie or a baddie…! Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust is an organisation that is close to my heart as my wife Mary is Vice-President”., the author said. The timed online 40 lots sale, which also includes a private dinner with the Lord and Lady Mayoress at the Mansion House in London for 16 guests, runs to 9 pm on April 24.

    Former Conservative politician, prisoner, international best-selling author and local Cambridgeshire resident, Jeffrey Archer  UPDATE: THE HAMMER PRICE WAS 2,400stg


    Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

    As collectors spend more time online enjoying, learning about, and buying the art and objects they love, Christie’s has significantly expanded its online-only sale offerings across numerous collecting categories, including new themed sales of contemporary art. Among the sales launching globally across the company in April and May are Andy Warhol: Better Days, a fundraising auction to help provide emergency relief to artists throughout the U.S. and HANDPICKED: 100 Works Selected by the Saatchi Gallery.

    Christie’s will open a new batch of online-only sales for bidding on a weekly basis, with each timed auction ranging from 14 to 21 days. The number of sales planned for the second quarter will continue to grow, leveraging the remote sale administration capabilities of Christie’s teams in New York, London, Paris and Hong Kong.

    Newly scheduled sales span 20th Century art, Asian Art, Decorative Arts, Photography, Science and Natural History, as well as Jewels, Watches, and Handbags. In 2019, Christies attracted over 13.3 million visitors worldwide and 41% of new buyers came in through online sales.

    Andy Warhol, Ocean View, 1975 / Andy Warhol and Henry Geldzahler, 1979 / unique Polaroid prints


    Monday, April 20th, 2020

    Damien Hirst has created a new rainbow artwork to show support for the NHS in the current Coronavirus crisis. The work, titled Butterfly Rainbow, is made up of bands of coloured butterfly wings, one of the artist’s best?known motifs.

    A limited edition of the work is also being produced which will be sold with all profits donated to the NHS. The other can be downloaded. Here is a BBC video with Hirst.


    Monday, April 20th, 2020

    A set of four 1826 silver entree dishes and covers coming up at Sotheby’s Style sale online in New York on April 22 are engraved with the Smith-Barry arms of Fota, Co. Cork. The George IV dishes and covers on Sheffield plated warming stands are by John Bridge, London. The bases are by the Matthew Boulton Plate Company. Fota is a regency mansion expanded by architect Sir Richard Morrison (1767-1849) and his son Vetruvius Morrison (1794-1838), now restored and taken over by the Irish Heritage Trust. Sotheby’s catalogue notes that the estate contains famous gardens, a wildlife park, and the Fota Island Resort and Golf Club. The dishes are from the estate of Andrew Hartnagle, a designer of gardens at Doylestown, PA and are estimated at $25,000-35,000.


    The covers are engraved twice with contemporary arms and heraldic castle finials


    Monday, April 20th, 2020

    A hardback edition of Christie’s catalogue for the 1983 Luttrelstown Castle contents auction is among the lots at the online only sale of Irish interest books, journals, periodicals, pamphlets and journals by Purcell Auctioneers of Birr on April 22. It is estimated at 30-50. Among the contents of Luttrelstown was a carpet made for Czar Nicholas I of Russia. David and Victoria Beckham married at Luttrelstown in 1999. There are 598 lots in the sale including a second edition of Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce and Humanity Dick by Shevawn Lynham. The catalogue is online at

    Contents of Luttrellstown Castle Sale 26th to the 28th September. 1983


    Sunday, April 19th, 2020

    Adapt or perish might well be the mantra for an art and antiques market in a state of flux.  Tough times are sending a strong signal to the tough to get going.  The future will be different.  The pandemic has accelerated the movement towards online sales.  Change has come quickly. Locally, nationally and internationally many auctioneers who had previously featured a mix of online and in house sales are adapting fast to a market where the uncertain future is rapidly becoming less short term. Many report that website traffic is busier than ever before.  Those auctioneers who took the plunge immediately after the lockdown have been finding significant success. True, many auctions have been postponed. As of now the schedule of upcoming sales in Ireland is a bit thin.  In a highly varied market place it is not a case of one size fits all.  Some lots lend themselves to online sales better than others. Those that have gone ahead, often in a revised manner, are demonstrating that it can work, in some cases marvellously well. Julien’s achieved spectacular results with their Beatles online only sale.  The top lot at an online auction originally to have taken place at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York was Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics to “Hey Jude”. This sold for $910,000 over an estimate of $160,000-180,000 in an auction which attracted a global audience of registered bidders.

    Contemporary art,  the most speculative segment of the market, has taken a hit in the lockdown.  This proved true at Morgan O’Driscoll’s sale when three works by Jeff Koons failed to find buyers.  Koons is one of the world’s most expensive living artists.  Damien Hirst also failed to sell. Perhaps the time has come to put your faith, and investment money, in Old Masters. Morgan O’Driscoll did have a highly successful sale.  The top lot, Paul Henry’s Celtic Cross in a West of Ireland landscape made €105,000 at hammer.  Other top hammer prices were: George Barret,  Landscape with Figures, €36,000; Gerard Dillon,Shawl, €24,000; Daniel O’Neill, Choosing Flowers, €24,000;  Paul Henry, Mountain Landscape with lake and road €22,000; Tony O’Malley, Clare Island Greys, €19,000;  Louis le Brocquy, William Butler Yeats, €18,000; Hughie O’Donoghue, Medusa Hold €17,000; William Conor, Forty Winks, €14,000; John Shinnors, Roxboro Road bus stop €14,000; Donald Teskey, Longshore IV.  €14,000; Norah McGuinness, The Black Swan, €14,000; Spring Bogland, Ballinaboy by Kenneth Webb €12,000;   Sir John Lavery,  Portrait of William Burton Harris €12,000; Abstract Composition by William Scott €10,500; Patrick O’Reilly, Pegasus, €10,000 and John Behan, Wild Swans at Coole, €9,500.

    Aidan Foley was pleased with two days of online sales at Sixmilebridge and plans more on the May Bank Holiday weekend.  Among his main lots were Spring Evening by Arthur Maderson which made €2,100 at hammer and The Stars Serenade by Annie Robinson which made €1,350.At Matthews 437 lot online sale, which lasted from 6.30 pm until nearly midnight on Tuesday, a Zambian emerald ring made €17,200 at hammer and a sapphire and diamond target ring made €10,000. All of which goes to suggest that those auctioneers who are adapting to the new realities are not perishing.

    Shawl by Gerard Dillon made €24,000 at hammer


    Saturday, April 18th, 2020

    An early 19th century Irish walnut side table from a private collection in Connecticut is one of a number of Irish pieces at an online sale now running at Sotheby’s in New York. It is estimated at $8,000-12,000. Among other Irish offerings at Style: Silver, Furniture, Ceramics at Sotheby’s New York until April 22 are a pair c1835 of William IV giltwood caned armchairs in the manner of James Del Vecchio, Dublin ($6,000-10,000) and a large 1747 silver salver by Thomas Walker, Dublin with the arms of St. Leger with Deane in pretense for St. Leger Aldworth MP.  He assumed the name St. Leger on inheriting the estate of his maternal ancestors and in 1776 became Baron Doneraile of Doneraile ($15,000-20,000). A pair of silver candlesticks by John Walker is estimated at $3,000-5,000. A George IV two handled tray by John Bridge of London bears the arms of the See of Tuam, Killala and Achonry, impaling Trench for the Most Rev. Power Trench,Bishop of Tuam and brother of Richard, 2nd Earl of Clancarty. It is estimated at $12,000-18,000.

    Irish George IV table with a light brown marble top. Update: This was unsold


    Friday, April 17th, 2020

    Seas, Sherkin Island by Majella O’Neill Collins is among the lots at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online auction of affordable Irish art which runs until 6.30 pm on April 20. There is much to choose from in this sale with works by Nano Reid, Arthur Maderson, John Kingerlee, John Butler Yeats, William Crozier, Cecil King, Ciaran Lennon, Gladys McCabe, Barbara Warren and many more. The catalogue is online.

    Majella O’Neill Collins – Seas, Sherkin Island, (2016) (1,000-1,500). UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,400 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

    The work of Kerlin Gallery artists Gerard Byrne, Dorothy Cross, Hannah Fitz, Liam Gillick, Callum Innes, Merlin James, Stephen McKenna, Isabel Nolan, Kathy Prendergast and Daniel Rios Rodriguez is on view at Dallas Art Fair online which runs to April 23. The Dublin gallery is participating in a show that allows visitors explore and collect works from curated exhibitions by selected galleries. The fair’s upcoming 12th edition has been rescheduled to October 1-4.

    Gerard Byrne, Sixteenth beast, 2018