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  • Archive for December, 2020

    OPTIMISM AS UNSETTLING YEAR DRAWS TO A CLOSE

    Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

    AS this strange, unsettling year draws to a close auction houses are looking back with relief and forward with optimism. Twelve months ago when 2020 dawned there was little inkling of the pandemic that has since engulfed the globe causing at least 1.8 million deaths and 82 million cases so far. In the art and antiques market online sales and private sales did much to alleviate the pressure caused by the lack of live sales nationally and internationally. Preliminary figures from Christie’s suggest that sales were down 25% to $4.4 billion. Demand remained strong and online sales (up 262% in 2020) and digital innovation are seen as major drivers of future growth. Private sales achieved a record total projected at $1.3 billion. No less than 36% of all buyers were new to Christie’s and 32% of new online only buyers were millennials (23-38 years old).

    CEO Guillaume Cerutti commented: “In 2020, the global pandemic deeply impacted the art market, as it did for almost all industries. We are now looking forward to 2021 with optimism, for two major reasons: global demand for art and objects remains strong with an impressive influx of new clients, especially millennials; and Christie’s has introduced digital innovations that significantly strengthened our business model, providing clients with greater flexibility to transact with us through our live auction, online-only, and private sales platforms.”

    In Ireland lockdowns caused four months of closure in 2020 and a new lockdown for the month of January 2021 has just been announced. At James Adam they reckon that business overall was about two thirds of what would normally have occurred in sectors like Irish Art and jewellery. The level of sales, 16 in categories like vintage wine and spirits, period and mid century furniture, jewellery, watches, art and decorative arts and the Country House Collections sale at Townley Hall, helped to make up some of the shortfall. James O’Halloran reports that sell through rates at Adams were higher in every category with some auctions recording 90% plus. There is a readiness to drive on from this in 2021.

    The Kildare House giltwood chairs made 18,000 at James Adam

    GEORGIAN SIDEBOARD AT ADAMS SINGLE VENDOR SALE

    Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

    This George IV inlaid sideboard with brass gallery comes up with an estimate of 3,000-5,000 at the James Adam auction of contents from Number 1, Wellington Road, Dubin. The former restaurateur Peter White is downsizing and his lifetime collection is on offer at a timed online sale which runs to January 11. The collection of four silver plated domed dish covers under the sideboard is estimated at 600-1,000. UPDATE: THE SIDEBOARD MADE 6,000 AT HAMMER. THE DOMED DISH COVERS SOLD FOR 420

    19th CENTURY DUBLIN WINE EWER AT HEGARTY’S

    Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

    This early 19th century Irish silver wine ewer comes up at Hegarty’s timed New Year online auction. The sale opens in Bandon today and runs until January 5. The selection of lots includes jewellery, art and Persian rugs. The ewer was made in Dublin in 1834 by Robert W Smith and is estimated at 3,200-3,400. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    INAUGURAL ONLINE EDITION OF NEW YORK WINTER SHOW

    Monday, December 28th, 2020

    A dynamic group of leading international dealers will take part in New York’s Winter Show. The inaugural online edition takes place from January 22-31 with VIP preview access from January 19-21. The 60 exhibitors will present a diverse mix of fine and decorative arts from ancient times to the present day. Executive Director Helen Allen said: “We have worked to create a virtual format that is interactive, visually stimulating, and showcases the quality and depth of the objects presented”.

    The online platform allows exhibitors present a gallery exhibition in a three-dimensional virtual space. Visitors will be able to take in the digital presentations as a whole and view close-up, detailed views of each work.
    Exhibitors will curate their selections, featuring up to twenty artworks and objects at a time.

    Aronson of Amsterdam will show fine quality Delftware

    TIMED AUCTION WITH 785 LOTS BY SEAN EACRETT

    Monday, December 28th, 2020

    This group of Beatrix Potter figures by Royal Albert and Beswick is included in Sean Eacrett’s timed New Year auction of antiques, collectibles and film props which runs until January 3. One of a number of lots of Beatrix Potter figures they are estimated at 80-120. There are 785 lots in the sale.

    ANNUAL HOLIDAY AUCTION BY MATTHEWS IN KELLS

    Sunday, December 27th, 2020

    This pair of diamond set oval cut ruby cluster earrings mounted on 14 carat gold comes up at Matthews annual holiday auction in Kells, Co. Meath on December 29 and 30. There are 1,184 lots in this online sale of jewellery, gold, silver and collectibles. The ruby earrings pictured here are lot 51 and estimated at 600-900. UPDATE: THESE MADE 550 AT HAMMER

    HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND REMBRANDT

    Thursday, December 24th, 2020
    Rembrandt Van Rijn (1606–1669) – Landscape with the Rest on the Flight into Egypt, 1647 © National Gallery of Ireland

    This seasonal image by Rembrandt is from the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland. It was purchased in 1883. We wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas.

    MUCH HAPPENING ON LINE DURING TRADITIONAL QUIET TIME

    Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

    The online world of art and antiques in Ireland picked up enormously as 2020 moved from spring to summer and beyond. This is traditionally a very quiet time in the trade but as Ireland moves towards another lockdown and a semi-cancelled Christmas there is much more than usual going on online. One upcoming event is the virtual Mayfair antiques and fine art fair. The fair normally takes place at the London Marriott Hotel on Grosvenor Square. This year it opens online on January 7 and continues until January 10. Among a huge range of objects on offer is this William and Mary veneered burr and figured walnut bureau bookcase. William Cook, who is offering the English made bookcase at £38,500, points to the parquetry and inlaid domed top which would be normally associated with a Dutch cabinet. It shows how continental design influences were arriving in England during the period around 1695 when this was made.

    LE BROCQUY LEADS TIMED ONLINE AUCTION AT ADAMS

    Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

    A Le Brocquy pen, ink and watercolour ‘Red Roses for Me’ leads the James Adam timed online sale of contents from Number 1 Wellington Road, Dublin which is now underway and runs until January 11. The former restaurateur Peter White is downsizing and his lifetime collection is coming under the hammer. The 1946 work – inspired by the
    Sean O’Casey play of the same name about a Dublin Protestant family
    against the backdrop of the 1913 Lockout – is estimated at 8,000-12,000.
    The sale comprises Irish, British and Continental paintings from the early 19th century to the present day, bronzes, prints, furniture, porcelain, silver and domestic effects.

    LOUIS LE BROCQUY HRHA (1916-2012) Red Roses for Me. UPDATE: THIS MADE 10,000 AT HAMMER

    CHURCHILL’S GIFT TO MONTY AT CHRISTIE’S

    Monday, December 21st, 2020

    A painting by Sir Winston Churchill gifted to Field Marshall Montgomery will come up at Christie’s in London next March. Scene at Marrakech is estimated at £300,000-500,000. The painting has remained with the Montgomery family since. It is being offered at auction for the first time. Sir John Lavery, Churchill’s tutor in painting, was one of many friends who encouraged Churchill to visit Morocco and his first trip to the country was during 1935 where he was inspired by the warmth and quality of light that the environment offered. Scene at Marrakech is one of Churchill’s more accomplished works of this subject matter. It will highlight the Modern British Art evening sale on March 1.

    Sir Winston Churchill – Scene at Marrakech