Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for August, 2021


    Saturday, August 21st, 2021

    A one off sale of pianos with extraordinary history takes place at Dreweatts in Berkshire on September 23.  Each piano from the collection of David Winston, royal restorer and conservator of pianos to the Queen of England, is a one off with a fascinating backstory. One was bought directly from the iconic liner Mauretania 2, when it was decommissioned in 1965. One was bought in 1946 by concert pianist Madeleine Lioux, wife of the French novelist and politician, Andre Malraux (1901-1976). One features signatures from some of the greatest musicians of the time, including Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941), the pianist and composer who was once Prime Minister of Poland.  David Winston has restored some of the most valuable pianos in the world, including those owned and played by the great classical composers Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt. 

    A Wurlitzer Butterfly Grand. UPDATE: THIS MADE £9,000 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

    There will be style, design and the English country house in abundance at the sale of Jasper Conran: The Collection at Christie’s in September. The auction is to be in two parts, a live sale at Christie’s in London on September 14 and an online sale open for bidding from September 1-21. Providing a remarkable window in to the purity, simplicity and silence of the magical interiors that Jasper Conran created at Flemings Hall; Walpole House, Chiswick; Ven House, Somerset and most recently New Wardour Castle, the collection is a feast for the eyes. It presents a refined contemporary approach to the best of country house style. There will be more than 430 lots of  English Furniture, Old Master Paintings, Chinese and Japanese Works of Art, Indian and Islamic Works of Art, Victorian Paintings, European Furniture and Sculpture. Estimates range from £500 to £500,000.

    Here is a video of the collection:


    Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

    A small oil painting by Canaletto discovered during a routine house valuation at Lewes in Sussex will come under the hammer at Gorringes on September 28. Hidden from public view for more than a century it was purchased in 1920 by the mother of a recently deceased homeowner in Lewes, Sussex. The painting of Dogana da Mar in Venice measures just 18in x 12in and was hanging in her drawing room. Gorringes have valued it at £150,000 and expect much interest. The most recent owner knew that it was by Canaletto but chose not to sell it. Philip Taylor, managing partner at the Lewes-based auction house Gorringes, said he had never come across an original Canaletto during his 50 years in the profession.


    Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

    Coinciding with the 150th anniversary of his birth a landmark exhibition entitled Jack B. Yeats, Painting & Memory opens at the National Gallery of Ireland on September 4. The show of 84 works is drawn from public and private collections in Ireland and abroad and celebrates the work of one of Ireland’s pre-eminent artists. Memories of childhood in Sligo, observations of humanity and his reflections on life and loss feature in many of Yeats’ oil paintings.

    Jack B. Yeats – That We May Never Meet Again, 1954 York Museums Trust / York Art Gallery
    © Estate of Jack B. Yeats, DACS London, IVARO Dublin, 2021

    Meantime the gallery announced today that a new online appreciation course – Yeats: An Artistic Family begins on October 7. Tickets will go on sale on September 1. The eight-week online course with art historian Jessica Fahy explores the artistic production of three generations of the Yeats family. It will take place on Thursday evenings and is suitable for beginners and experts.


    Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

    This Blue John baluster form vase with an estimate of 200-300 made a hammer price of 3,400 at Sheppards sale of Woodfield House, Broadford, Co. Clare today. It is just 13 cms high. The auction continues today and tomorrow live online. The opening session saw competitive bidding for lots like a pair of Chinese Republican vases (2,200 at hammer), a large mahogany peat bucket (2,500), a 19th century gilt framed mirror (2,200), a Regency rosewood sofa table (2,400), a Williams and Gibton centre table (2,200), a Chinese Qing polychrome vase (3,400), an 18th century Irish gilt console table (3,500), an 18th century Irish carved gilt framed mirror (3,400), a large Qing blue and white charger (3,800) and a 19th century Adam side table (2,600).

    THIS Renaissance portrait of a young noble, wearing a suite of sapphire and pearl jewellery and a jewel head dress was the most expensive lot of the opening day. The oil on canvas in a carved giltwood frame made 13,000 at hammer.


    Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

    THE most iconic treasure of early western history – the gun Pat Garrett used to kill Billy the Kid – comes up at Bonhams in Los Angeles on August 27. Sheriff Pat Garrett’s Colt Single Action which he used to kill Billy the Kid on July 14, 1881, at Pete Maxwell’s Ranch, is a relic of one of the most important and well-known stories of the Wild West. Now part of American mythology, Garrett’s friendship with the Kid, their mutual respect, and his subsequent hunt, capture, escape and death have become the stuff of legend.

    Estimated at $2-3 million, this gun is one of the most important and well documented historical firearms and has never appeared at public auction. It is part of a collection of historical firearms belonging to Western Lawmen and Outlaw Legends, along with manuscripts, photographs, and memorabilia. The private collection which features rifles and revolvers from Billy the Kid, Bat Masterson, Wild Bill Hickok, John Wesley Hardin was amassed over five decades by Jim and Theresa Earle. There will be 265 lots in the sale.

    Pat Garrett’s Colt Single Action Army Revolver. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $6,030,313 A WORLD RECORD FOR ANY FIREARM


    Sunday, August 15th, 2021

    Leading international dealers from New York to London to Paris to Mumbai and Tokyo and all points between will take part in the online version of The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF)  online fair. This daddy of all fairs will  run from September 9-13 with no less than 255 world class exhibitors available to everyone at the click of a keyboard. TEFAF is normally held in Maastricht and in New York in latter day pre-pandemic years. Exhibitors are known for the unrivaled quality of the works they present from antiquity to the present day. Organisers say the event will offer exciting new digital features to showcase a rich array of more than 700 works. There will be 12 next exhibitors.Meantime the British Museum, with the support of TEFAF, has announced a project ot restore eight ancient glass vessels severely damaged in the Beirut port explosion last August.  Dating from the Roman and Islamic periods they were on display at the Archaeological Museum at the American University of Beirut, 3.2 kms from the blast. The collaboration will see hundreds of glass fragments pieced together and restored at the conservation laboratories at the British Museum.

    A 1st/2nd century AD marble Head Fragment of a Polykleitan Youth at TEFAF.  Image Courtesy of Kallos Gallery London.


    Saturday, August 14th, 2021

    Big house sales and hidden treasures go hand in hand.  The sale next week by Sheppards of Woodfield House, Broadford, Co. Clare – and from other clients too – is no exception.Lot 400 is an oval portrait of a young girl wearing a white dress and floral turban.  It is by Thomas Hickey, the Dublin born artist who died in Madras in 1824. The work of this widely travelled artist can be found at the National Gallery of Ireland, the Courtauld in London, the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Tate. There are a number of his sketches in the culturally rich city of Srirangapatna near Mysore.In Ireland in 1797 he was commissioned by the State Physician Dr. Robert Emmet to paint a portrait of his son Robert and daughter Mary.  This was the nationalist and patriot Robert Emmet who died on the gallows in 1803 after an impassioned and oft quoted inspirational speech from the dock.  The portrait at Sheppards is estimated at €500-€800.

    Portrait of a young girl by Thomas Hickey (1741-1824). UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,900 AT HAMMER

    The auction of more than 900 lots goes on view in Co. Clare today and it will take place online from Castlecomer on August 17-18.  The catalogue is online and the auction will be divided into four sessions.The selection ranges from a pair of large moulded recumbent stone lions (lot 657) to a 19′ lake boat on a trailer (lot 748).   Highlights include a neatly sized Chippendale style pedestal desk, a George III mahogany breakfront bookcase,  a designer wardrobe and a number of other pieces by Roche Bobois, an 18th century Irish gilt console table, a 19th century bronze figure of Mercury seated and a Waterford Crystal six branch chandelier. The auction kicks off with a George III cased stick barometer.   Among many lots of antique furniture is an attractive Regency sofa table, a pair of French Empire armchairs, a Williams and Gibton circular centre table, a 19th century  Adam side table, a pair of Dutch marquetry armorial chairs, an Edwardian marquetry cabinet, a George III Chippendale silver table, a satinwood waterfall bookcase, an 18th century Irish gilt console table, a Regency library table, a marquetry bow front cabinet and a large mahogany brass bound peat bucket.

    Interior shot of Woodfield House

    There is much to choose from in ceramics from Chinese porcelain to Meissen pieces, a Qing blue and white charger, a Sevres plate, an Ottoman polychrome plaque and an 18th century Chinese blue and white plate.Paintings include a landscape attributed to James Arthur O’Connor, an Italian School renaissance portrait, a half length portrait of a young lady by Hugh Douglas Hamilton, a set of three 19th century lacquered and gilded panels and an 18th century Flemish tapestry.This comprehensive auction offers a good selection of garden furniture and sculptural pieces, wines and jewellery, mirrors, Persian and Oriental rugs and a variety of collectible items.


    Thursday, August 12th, 2021

    This portrait of Jonathan Swift by Francis Bindon has been at Howth Castle since 1735 and will come up at Fonsie Mealy’s sale of contents of the castle on September 8 and 9. A second sale of the library at the castle takes place on September 22 and 23. More than 800 lots will come under the hammer in the fine art and antiques sale.

    Howth Castle has been the home of the St. Lawrence family since the Norman Invasion. Since 1919 the castle has been held by the distaff heirs, the Gaisford-St. Lawrence family. In 2018 the family announced their agreement to sell the castle, demesne and Ireland’s Eye to the Tetrach investment group who intend to develop an hotel and luxury resort.  A seven acre portion has since been sold to Glenveagh homes who plan to build 200 apartments.


    Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

    In a major push to focus on diversity and inclusion MGM Resorts plans to sell its Picasso’s. MGM Resorts and Sotheby’s will present a one of a kind marquee evening sale of Picasso masterworks worth millions live from Bellagio in Las Vegas on October 23. The world renowned entertainment company plans to re-shape its public art portfolio. The unique collaboration between Sotheby’s and MGM represents the first time Sotheby’s has hosted a marquee sale in North America outside its signature New York venue. It will feature a recreated version of the New York saleroom in Las Vegas. The sale will be broadcast around the world via a livestream viewable on

    Featuring 11 works that showcase the range and breadth of Pablo Picasso’s celebrated career, the auction includes a highly curated selection of paintings, works on paper, and ceramics that span more than 50 years of artistic output from 1917 to 1969. The highlight of the collection is  Femme au béret rouge-orange ($20/30 million), one of Picasso’s defining portraits of Marie-Thérèse Walter. The artist’s muse and lover inspired many of his most iconic portraits of the 1930’s.

    Pablo Picasso – Femme au béret rouge-orange
    Painted January 14, 1938 Oil and ripolin on canvas
    © 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. UPDATE: THIS MADE $40,479,000