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  • Archive for August, 2020

    GILLESPIE’S GALATEA AT BONHAMS IN LONDON

    Monday, August 24th, 2020

    This patinated gold bronze of Galatea by Rowan Gillespie comes up at Bonham’s Modern British and Irish art sale in Knightsbridge, London on September 16. Cast in 1982 it is just over 29 inches high. It is signed, numbered and dated ROWAN 2/9/1982 on the base. It is actually from an edition of three and not nine as described on the base. The original mould was destroyed after the third casting. From a private collection in Norway it is estimated at £8,000-12,000.

    UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £10,167

    SILVER TEA SERVICE RECALLS KERRY CLUB

    Saturday, August 22nd, 2020

    A bygone era in Kerry, when deals were done in smoke filled rooms at the County Kerry Club in Denny St., Tralee, is recalled in a lot coming up at Mullen’s classic and contemporary interiors online sale at Laurel Park, Bray on August 24. Established in the early 1830’s the County Kerry Club, at 9/10 Denny St., numbered Daniel O’Connell and his brother John among its members and offered both dining rooms and accommodation.  Lot 458 is an inscribed silver tea service presented in 1866 by the members to Richard Chute Mason, club secretary.  It is estimated at €2,500-€3,000. Among the other lots on offer is a pair of monumental sandstone garden urns, each over two metres high. Their Irish owners shipped them from their home in Beverly Hills to  the grounds of their home in south Dublin when they returned to live here. They are estimated at €8,000-€12,000.

    Kerry silver tea service. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,800 AT HAMMER

    DEATH OF DESMOND GUINNESS

    Friday, August 21st, 2020

    Desmond Guinness, founder of the Irish Georgian Society, has died aged 88. The Society said on their website: “We are indebted to his legacy in founding the Irish Georgian Society in 1958, together with the late Mariga Guinness. He boldly championed the cause of Ireland’s architectural heritage at a time when it faced great challenges through neglect and the threat of demolition from new development. In spite of hostility in some quarters, through his ardent campaigning, educating and working to save numerous buildings we are surrounded by a rich legacy of historic buildings saved to be celebrated as an integral part of our culture and identity. He has inspired us all and, for the thousands of members and supporters of the Irish Georgian Society in Ireland and around the world, Desmond has truly been a Conservation Hero.”

    He was the second son of author and brewer Bryan Guinness, 2nd Baron Moyne, and Diana Mitford (later Lady Mosley).

    IRISH ART AT SOTHEBY’S IN LONDON

    Thursday, August 20th, 2020

    THE annual Irish Art sale at Sotheby’s on September 9 carries the highest combined pre-sale value since the reintroduction of dedicated Irish art sales in London in 2015. The sale, including property from the collection of Sir Michael Smurfit, comprises 60 lots and is estimated to bring in the region of £3.2 million. There will be public exhibitions at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin from August 27-30 by appointment, and in London from September 4. Among the highlights from outside the 18 works from the Smurfit collection is The Dreamer by Gerard Dillon.

    Gerard Dillon, The Dreamer, oil on board, circa 1956-57. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £378,000

    AGA KHAN’S OUTSTANDING COLLECTION AT CHRISTIE’S PARIS

    Thursday, August 20th, 2020

    A pair of patinated and gilded bronze candleabra by Claude Lalanne are among the modern creations from the remarkable private collection of Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan due to come under the hammer at Christie’s Paris on October 1. Based at Bellerive Castle, Geneva, they have been the discreet patrons of many major philanthropic projects, aimed at preserving cultural and natural sites, from Egyptian temples to the Alps. The Aga Khan’s gathered an outstanding collection from a variety of cultures across the globe, reflecting their essence with this incredibly universal, yet very personal selection of fascinating objects and masterpieces. Each work of art demonstrates the collector’s open-cultural approach, representing a rich cultural history, with century-old objects, alongside works from leading artists and commissioned pieces from artists the couple maintained close friendships with.

    Francois Curiel, Christie’s chairman, Europe said: “The true passion for the arts that united this couple is illustrated in their curation of the collection, and the confrontations and juxtapositions the objects impose on the surrounding objects. The 17th and 18th century furniture interact with pieces by Diego Giacometti, Claude Lalanne or Philippe Hiquily, antique paintings are in dialogue with Picasso’s oeuvre, while Orientalist pieces resonate with works by Isabelle de Borchgrave.”

    A pair of patinated and gilded bronze candelabra by Claude Lalanne (estimated €60,000-80,000 each). UPDATE: THESE MADE 131,250 AND 137,500 RESPECTIVELY

    SCULPTOR PADDY CAMPBELL WINS ITALIAN PRIZE

    Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

    THE Irish sculptor Paddy Campbell has become the first non-Italian winner of the Giotto e l’Angelico prize, awarded annually for contribution to cultural life in the Tuscan region. It was presented to the Dubliner at the original home of Renaissance painter Giotto in the town of Vicchio, renowned as one of the cradles of the Renaissance and also home to artists including Fra Angelico, Cellini, and Cimabue. Paddy Campbell has spent much the last 25 years in Florence. His striking sculpture Life and Death adorns main piazza in Vicchio. It is dedicated to the victims of war crimes committed by Fascist regimes during World War 2, notably in and around Florence and Vicchio.

    Paddy Campbell’s nine metre sculpture Life and Death displayed in the centre of Vicchio

    AT HOME AT JAMES ADAM IN DUBLIN

    Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

    A total of 341 varied lots will come under the hammer at the James Adam At Home sale in Dublin on August 23. There is silver, jewellery, watches, paintings, collectibles and antique furniture including this c1830 Irish rosewood three seater settee in the manner of Mack, Williams and Gibton. The catalogue is online and this will be a live webcast sale with online, room, telephone and absentee bidding.

    IRISH ROSEWOOD AND UPHOLSTERED THREE SEAT SETTEE (1,500-2,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,200 AT HAMMER

    CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY INTERIORS AT MULLEN’S

    Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

    This 19th century gilt brass mounted walnut table is lot 205 at Mullen’s Classic and Contemporary Interiors online auction at Laurel Park, Bray on August 24. Estimated at 800-1,200 it is one of more than ten desks and bureaux in this auction of 637 lots. The auctioneers reckon that these pieces might be of particular interest to those newly working from home. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    TONY CRAGG AT GALERIE THADDEUS ROPAC, PARIS

    Monday, August 17th, 2020

    British born German based Tony Cragg is regarded as one of the world’s most distinguished contemporary sculptors.  A dozen of his works made between 2018 and this year in bronze, wood and steel, will be shown at a Galerie Thaddeus Ropac exhibition in Paris from September 11 to October 16. An online viewing experience of the show will launch simultaneously at www.ropac.net. These new works connote the movement, change and transience of elements caught in the process of transformation.  Overlapping layered structures and convoluted forms give rise to figurative landscapes. The implied motion of the forms is reminiscent of Italian Futurist speed fanatics like Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916) and Giacomo Balla (1871-1958). A Turner Prize winner (in 1988) Cragg considers himself a radical materialist, constantly seeking to explore and expand the possibilities of new materials. In 2007 he received the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture from Japan and was made a knight in 2016. 

    Tony Cragg – Skull, a 2018 sculpture in wood. Photo: Michael Richter

    SILVER DUBLIN THEATRE TOKEN FROM 1796

    Sunday, August 16th, 2020

    This 1796 silver token, a ticket medal to the Private Theatre at Fishamble St. in Dublin, comes up at an online sale at Dix Noonan Webb in London on August 27.  With the robed figures of Tragedy, Comedy and Lyric and in the name of L. Taylor it was made by William Mossop, considered to be the founder of metallic art in Ireland, and speaks to a history of theatre splits here.

    The Private Theatre  – located on the same premises where Handel’s Messiah had its world premiere at the New Music Hall in 1742 – was established in the1790’s as a result of dissatisfaction with the way affairs were conducted at the city’s Theatre Royal, which had opened at Smock Alley in 1662. Under the management of the Earl of Westmeath and Frederick Jones, described as a threatre promoter and gentleman of independent means from Vesington, Co. Meath, it must have involved some talent scouting.  Each subscriber was allowed two silver tickets and could, if qualified, take part in the performance. Lot 219 is from a collection of 81 lots of Irish tokens from a private collection and is estimated at £300-£400.

    UPDATE: THE TOKENS SOLD FOR £750