Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Archive for March, 2021


    Sunday, March 21st, 2021
    Harry Clarke (1889-1931) Bluebeard’s last wife. UPDATE: THIS MADE 165,000 AT HAMMER

    A lost lamented old Cork public interior and a tour de force of Irish stained glass artistry are among the lots on offer at the online James Adam evening sale of important Irish art on March 24. Harry Clarke’s intricate depiction of Bluebeard’s Last Wife is the catalogue cover lot. When she discovered the bodies of his previous wives Bluebeard’s last wife orchestrated his downfall. The vivid miniature in an inlaid cabinet by James Hicks – made up of two glass panels intricately worked together to provide a scene of astounding detail and gruesome foreboding – is estimated at €80,000-€120,000.
    A large 1852 watercolour by James Mahony offers a fascinating interior view of the Benson building on Albert Quay where Cork City Hall now stands. The National Exhibition of the Arts, Manufactures and Products of Ireland  was officially opened here on June 10, 1852 by the Lord Lieutenant Archilbald Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton. Mahony depicts a long line of eminent citizens waiting to be introduced in a detailed work estimated at €6,000-€10,000.  The semi circular wood trusses and large skylights depicted were designed by engineer John Benson, architect for the exhibition. The much loved building  was dismantled and re-erected in Emmet Place where it was used for lectures and exhibitions and known as The Atheneum. It was re-named the Cork Opera House in 1877. Among Benson’s other buildings in Cork are the Firkin Crane, the English Market and St. Patrick’s Bridge. Because they were made of wood nearly all his Cork buildings have been destroyed or lost their original roof trusses.  Survivors include the tower over the main door of the North Cathedral and the old waterworks on the Lee Road. The Belle of Chinatown, a 1943 oil by Jack B. Yeats, is estimated at €120,000-€160,000 while Serving Dinner, an 1890 work by Katherine MacCausland has an estimate of €25,000-€35,000.  There is art by Walter Osborne and Sir John Lavery, Louis le Brocquy and Anne Madden, Hughie O’Donoghue, Michael Farrell and Patrick Collins among 138 lots on offer.

    James Mahony (1810-1879) The official opening of the  National Exhibition of the Art, Manufacturers and Products of Ireland, Cork 1852. UPDATE: THIS MADE 13,000 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, March 20th, 2021

    A virtual art fair with a difference by Hibernian Antique Fairs runs online today and tomorrow.  This is the seventh edition of these lockdown fairs in which dealers post pictures of items priced for sale. What is different this time is that the fair includes the Tralee house contents of the late Mrs. Breda Clifford, forever associated with The Mount Brandon Hotel and an enthusiastic supporter of the regular Tralee antique fairs. Hibernian Antique Fairs organiser Robin O’Donnell will include the collection she amassed in this fair and promises that prices will be affordable and realistic. The collection is offered alongside art, furniture, silver, jewellery and collectibles from dealers around the country.  Here is a link to the fair: It will be live from 9 am to 6 pm today and tomorrow and all next week.

    A walnut credenza


    Friday, March 19th, 2021

    Jack B. Yeats, Paul Henry, Louis le Brocquy, John Shinnors and Donald Teskey are among the artists represented at Whyte’s evening sale of Irish and International Art online from Dublin on March 22. Among the other artists in the auction are John Behan, Michael Canning, James Humbert Craig, William Crozier, Bob Dylan, Tracey Emin, Rowan Gillespie, Damien Hirst, Graham Knuttel, Arthur Maderson, Gladys Maccabe, Dan O’Neill, Liam O’Neill, Thomas Ryan, Cecil French Salkeld, Patrick Scott and Camille Souter. The catalogue is online and bidding is open.

    (See post on for March 14, 2021)

    Paul Henry (1876-1958) – Spring in Wicklow UPDATE: THIS MADE 150,000 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, March 18th, 2021

    In anticipation of a new era for the art world Christie’s will offer major auctions of “20th Century Art” and “21st Century Art” in New York in May. These sales on May 11 (1880-1980) and May 13 (1980’s into the future) will replace the Impressionist and Modern and Post-War and Contemporary sales.  According to Christie’s the new format will underscore the radical nature of the Modern Masters and their lasting impact on the art being created today, it will emphasise the electricity and relevance of the art created over the past 40 years, and make plenty room for the new – both physical and digital. (Last week the auction house sold a digital non fungible token art collage by Beeple for a record $69 million).

    Alexander Rotter, chairman of 20th & 21st Century Art remarked: ‘This time of upheaval has had an enormous impact on the art world. It has impacted the nature of art that is being created today and has altered our understanding on the art of the past. This new format allows us to bring our new found perspective forward to the market in an exciting and dynamic way. We are looking forward to what the future has to bring.’

    By removing art from the context of its assigned movements, Christie’s seeks to make new stylistic connections, approach topics such as race and revolution from a new lens, and create space to amplify voices that have been historically overlooked and undervalued. The sales will create a new platform to elevate masterworks and discover new and extraordinary works.

    Claude Monet – Waterloo Bridge, effet de brouillard courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2021

    Monet’s Waterloo Bridge, effet de brouillard, (estimate in the region of $35 million, will be joined by Andy Warhol’s Nine Multicolored  Marilyns (Reversal Series), 1979-1986 (estimate in the region of $7 million) in the 20th Century Evening Sale. One of the most influential sculptural works of the last 35 years Martin Kippenberger’s Martin, ab in die Ecke und schäm Dich (Martin, Into the Corner, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself) from 1989 is a highlight of the May 13 sale. It is estimated at $10-15 million. 

    Martin Kippenberger –  Martin, ab in die Ecke und schäm Dich (Martin, Into the Corner, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself)  courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2021. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $9,520,000


    Thursday, March 18th, 2021

    AN oil on canvas by Colin Middleton, Sundown, Canalridge, No. 2 sold for a hammer price of £13,000 over a top estimate of £5,000 at Dreweatts in Newbury, Berkshire today. Dated January 1960 it was from a private collection of Irish art including in a sale of Modern and Contemporary Art by the English auctioneers. Kitty Wilmer O’Brien’s Boathaven, Old Head, Louisburg, Co. Mayo made £3,700 at hammer over a top estimate of £1,500, a Markey Robinson of Shawlies in the Village made £2,800 over a top estimate of £2,000, Gallery Visitors by Gladys Maccabe made £1,800 over a top estimate of £1,500 and works by Henry Healy and Sean McSweeney also exceeded the top estimates.

    (See posts on for March 13, 2021 and February 16, 2021)

    Colin Middleton (Irish 1910-1983), Sundown: Carnalridge. No. 2


    Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

    This genre painting by the mostly unknown 19th century artist Mary McGee is redolent of an Ireland that used to be. McGee was a student at the Dublin School of Art and worked predominantly around Drumcondra. Early in her career she exhibited a design for a fan mount at the International Exhibition in London and regularly exhibited at the RHA between 1874 and 1896. Woman Tending Flowers at a Cottage Door is signed and dated 1889 and estimated at 600-800. The oil on canvas is lot 35 at the timed online sale of Important Irish Art at James Adam which runs to March 24.

    Mary A. McGee (fl.1874-1896)
    Woman Tending Flowers at a Cottage Door. UPDATE: THIS MADE 650 AT HAMMER


    Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

    A live online St. Patrick’s Day auction from Kells, Co. Meath by Matthews offers 510 lots of jewellery, gold, watches, silver and collectibles. If you fancy something green there is plenty to choose from, like this emerald and diamond cluster ring estimated at 1,000-1,500. It is lot 37.



    Monday, March 15th, 2021

    A parody by Banksy of actress Demi Moore’s iconic Vanity Fair cover comes up at Sotheby’s livestreamed marquee auction on March 25 with an estimate of £2-3 million. The two-metre-tall canvas was first unveiled in 2006 as the poster image for Banksy’s debut and breakthrough U.S. exhibition, which cemented his status. Titled ‘Barely Legal’, the self-proclaimed “three-day vandalised warehouse extravaganza” took place in an impoverished area of Los Angeles. The location was kept secret until hours before the opening. Advertisements featuring the poster juxtaposed against the Hollywood sign were pasted around the city in the lead up and to promote the show, Banksy also left an inflatable replica of a Guantánamo Bay detainee in Disneyland. During the three-day view the exhibition famously drew 30,000 visitors – among them Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jude Law, Keanu Reeves, Orlando Bloom, Dennis Hopper, Cameron Diaz and Sacha Baron Cohen. The LA Times reported that $5 million worth of art was sold during the opening two hours.

    Banksy –  Original Concept for Barely Legal Poster (After Demi Moore), 2006. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £2,677,000


    Monday, March 15th, 2021

    “So when she saw me, she went crazy about my hair and absolutely wanted to do my portrait with my hair loose”  French art critic Denyse Proutaux explained in a 1931 letter to her partner Phillippe Dyvorne. The resultant re-discovered portrait by Amrita Sher-Gil is the top lot at Christie’s South Asian, Modern and Contemporary Art auction in New York on March 17.  “As it was for a competition and she had very little time, I posed almost non-stop for three days, and that’s why I couldn’t write to you as I had promised you. I’ve never known such an amazing girl, you know Phil?” Proutaux wrote. Amrita Sher-Gil was born in Budapest in 1913 to a Hungarian mother and Indian father. Living between Hungary, France and India she painted people and places with an intensity that remains unparalleled in modern Indian art and was elected as an associate of the Grand Salon in Paris in 1933.  Sher-Gil died unexpectedly in 1941 in Lahore at the age of 28.  Most of her documented work is in the national collection of Modern Art in New Delhi.   Portrait of Denyse is estimated at $1.8-$2.5 million.

    Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941), Portrait of Denyse. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Sunday, March 14th, 2021
    Waiting for the Ferry, low tide by Jack B. Yeats  UPDATE: THIS MADE 135,000 AT HAMMER

    A lone figure stands at the waters edge in Waiting for the Ferry, Low Tide, 1946.  This enigmatic Yeats work is the catalogue cover lot at Whyte’s evening sale of Important Irish and International Art in Dublin on March 22. It was acquired by American sculptor Helen Hooker O’Malley in the same year that she sought a divorce from the Irish revolutionary Ernie O’Malley.  The O’Malleys were important collectors of Yeats in the 1930’s and ’40’s.  His collection, sold by Whyte’s and Christie’s in Dublin in 1919, grossed €5.5 million. She bought it from Leo Smith, who had been co-director of the Waddington Gallery in Dublin before setting up the Dawson Gallery in 1944. Helen gifted it to Liam Redmond, with whom she founded the Dublin Players Theatre in 1944, and it is now estimated at €100,000-€150,000.  Redmond was married to Barbara MacDonagh, daughter of poet Thomas MacDonagh who was executed after the 1916 Rising.

    Share the Feeling by John Behan. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,500 AT HAMMER

    The virtual auction of 153 lots features work by sculptors John Behan and Rowan Gillespie, paintings by Louis le Brocquy, Paul Henry, Patrick Scott, Camille Souter,  William Crozier, James Humbert Craig, Gladys Maccabe, Dan O’Neill and international artists Tracey Emin, Bob Dylan and Damien Hirst.Francis Bacon and Louis le Brocquy met in the 1940’s in London and remained friends until Bacon’s death in 1992.  Bacon penned the introduction to a le Brocquy retrospective in 1966. It was not until 1979 that le Brocquy created an image of Bacon and it was one of the few portraits of people he knew personally.  His oil of canvas Image of Francis Bacon is estimated at €120,000-€150,000.  A watercolour image of Beckett, estimated at €15,000-€20,000, is one of a number of works by le Brocquy in this sale. Spring in Wicklow, a 1920’s landscape by Paul Henry is estimated at €150,000-€200,000. There is much Irish work to choose from with art by Tony O’Malley, Donald Teskey, John Shinnors, William Crozier, John Kingerlee and others. Among these is a still life by Christy Brown with an estimate of €2,000-3,000.A small oil on canvas of ships in moonlight by the noted Dutch artist Johnan Barthold Jongkind (1819-1891) is estimated at €8,000-€12,000. A 2019 lithograph by Tracey Emin (75/200) entitled I Loved my Innocence has an estimate of €3,000-€4,000 and two unnumbered etchings by Damien Hirst from an edition of 68 are each estimated at €1,000-€1,500. Bob Dylan’s are has proved popular in Ireland at past sales and this auction offers three prints by the American singer songwriter at estimates ranging from €1,200 to €5,000.