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  • Archive for November, 2021

    ZURICH PORTRAIT PRIZE WINNER ANNOUNCED AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY

    Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

    This portrait of a mother practicing healing methods on her son is the winner of the National Gallery of Ireland’s Zurich Portrait Prize. Me Ma Healing Me by Salvatore of Lucan was announced this evening at a virtual ceremony. As well as a prize of €15,000, the artist, who is half Bangladeshi and half Irish, will receive a commission worth €5,000 to produce a new work for the National Portrait Collection. Salvatore of Lucan (b. 1994) creates large-scale works in an attempt to communicate a sense of the world he inhabits. Exploring home, identity and relationships, he creates expansive domestic scenes where the familiar approaches the magical. This is his third inclusion in the Zurich Portrait Prize. The artist explained:  “My mother practices sound healing and Reiki, and anytime I’m at home and feeling unwell, she offers to practice on me. I am a distant son and can be sceptical about some of the hippy stuff, but when her hands hover above me, I do feel my mother’s love, and am aware that she is trying to heal me. In making the painting I was inspired by the kind of uncanny, suspended feeling one finds in the alchemist paintings of Leonora Carrington.”

    Vanessa Jones and Tom McLean received highly commended prizes to the sum of €1,500 for their respective portraits, Cabbage Baby (self-portrait) and Note to Self. The judges were artist Eamonn Doyle, Róisín Kennedy, art critic and lecturer/assistant professor in the School of Art History & Cultural Policy, UCD and Seán Kissane, Curator at IMMA.

    An exhibition featuring the winning portrait alongside 23 other shortlisted works runs at the National Gallery of Ireland until next April 3 alongside the Zurich Young Portrait Prize exhibition of 20 shortlisted portraits. Both exhibitions will travel to Crawford Art Gallery in Cork in 2022. The overall winner of the Young Portrait Prize was Della Cowper-Gray, who is aged 14.

    ORIGINAL COPY OF THE IRISH PROCLAMATION MAKES €130,000

    Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

    AN original copy of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic sold for a hammer price of €130,000 at Matthews online sale from Kells, Co. Meath this evening.  Originally the leaders of the 1916 Rising planned to print about 2,000. Only 500 or so were actually produced. A scarcity of paper (the paper used was of the poorest quality, supplied by Saggart Mills), and the metal-type employed,affected its layout and design.
    The printed copies were run-off a dilapidated Summit Wharfdale Stop Cylinder Press operated by three men: Christopher Brady, the printer, and two compositors, Michael Molly and Liam O Brien.  Most were destroyed when the British Army stormed Liberty Hall. The few that remained were pasted up on walls in and around Dublin on Easter Monday morning. Most of these were destroyed soon after being posted. In is now believed that only about 20 or so intact copies survived, with about three in private hands. This particular copy last changed hands at the Adams Independence sale of 2006 when it made a hammer price of €200,000.

    ENJOY YOUR DREAMS AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL’S ART AUCTION

    Tuesday, November 30th, 2021
    MR. BRAINWASH – Everyday Life (2020). UPDATE: THIS MADE 10,000 AT HAMMER

    Everyday Life by Mr. Brainwash comes up as lot 76 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Important Irish Art auction this evening. The unique screenprint with spray, acrylic and paint on wove paper is estimated at 8,000-12,000. Mr. Brainwash is a French born Los Angeles based street artist who, in 2009, designed the cover for Madonna’s Celebration album. Though this is an auction of mainly Irish art and artists there are some international artists like Damien Hirst and Robert Indiana featured. The sale kicks off at 6.30 pm.

    YEATS MAKES €1.4 MILLION AT HAMMER AT WHYTE’S

    Monday, November 29th, 2021

    Shouting, an epic large scale work by Jack B. Yeats, made a hammer price of €1.4 million at Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin tonight. With fees and VAT this amounted to €1.74 million. It had been estimated at €1.5 million – €2 million, making it the most expensively estimated Irish artwork to come to sale in Ireland. Painted in 1950 this visionary work, painted late in his career, is considered to be one of his finest achievements. It ranks as one of the most expensive Yeats paintings ever sold. At the sale of the Ernie O’Malley Collection at Whyte’s in Dublin in 2019 Reverie  and Evening in Spring, both by Yeats, made €1.4 and €1.3 million respectively. In 2001 The Whistle of a Jacket made £1.4 million (€1.65 million) at Christie’s in London and The Wild Ones by Yeats made £1.2  million (€1.42   million) at Sotheby’s in 1999. The winter selling season of Irish art has proved to be spectacular so far.  Sales at Sotheby’s, de Veres and Bonhams last week achieved an aggregate of around €7 million.  With 50 in room bidders, 500 on-line bidders and about 60 telephone bidders Whyte’s added another €2.5 million to that total with 85% of lots sold. There were new world records for Grace Henry and Graham Knuttel.  With big sales at Morgan O’Driscoll on November 30 and at James Adam in Dublin on December 8 in the offing the winter selling season for Irish art is set to surpass €10 million easily. Irish women artists fared particularly well at Whyte’s. The Fortune Teller by Grace Henry made €37,000 at hammer over a top estimate of €7,000; A Cove in Lake Garda by Letitia Hamilton made €17,000 over a top estimate of €12,000 and The Stringagh (Co. Meath) by Nano Reid made €12,000 over a top estimate of €8,000.

    JACK B YEATS SHOUTING

    RARE COPY OF AMERICAN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AT FONSIE MEALY

    Sunday, November 28th, 2021
    An engraved facsimile copy of the American Declaration of Independence at Fonsie Mealy

    An original engraved facsimile copy of the American Declaration of Independence comes up at Fonsie Mealy’s Christmas Book and Collectors sale in Dublin on December 7 and 8. It was issued by Order of Congress in 1823 when it was noted that the ink on the original document was fading. The limited edition of 200 copies on fine parchment was executed by engraver William J. Stone.  The copy at Fonsie Mealy’s has direct provenance by family descent to Charles O’Connor, the Irish American  Democratic lawyer who in 1872 became the first catholic to be nominated for the US Presidency.  It is estimated at €20,000-€30,000.

    OSBORNE’S HURDY GURDY PLAYER AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL

    Sunday, November 28th, 2021
    WALTER FREDERICK OSBORNE (1859-1903) – The Hurdy-Gurdy Player. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    THIS c1887 work by Walter Osborne is lot 25 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s current sale of Important Irish Art which runs to the evening of November 30. It is possible that this work was painted in Newbury, Berkshire as Orpen spent much of the 1880’s dividing his time between Ireland and England. In 1887 he was in Berkshire and Hampshire. It is estimated at 40,000-60,000.

    AN ORPEN AT DOLAN’S TIMED ONLINE AUCTION

    Sunday, November 28th, 2021
    SIR WILLIAM ORPEN – THE ROSCOMMON FUSILIER. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Among the lots at Dolans auction on November 29 are a drawing by Sir William Orpen of The Roscommon Fusilier. The drawing depicts a young woman, with hand on hip, wearing a militia uniform, complete with military hat and plume. It is sketched on ‘Metropolitan School of Art, Kildare Street, Dublin’ paper. Orpen taught there in the early years of the 20th century. The sitter was Vera Hone and it is estimated at 9,000-12,500. A charcoal study of The Men of Aran by Sean Keating is estimated at 16,000-20,000. UPDATE: THE KEATING MADE €16,000 AT HAMMER.

    The timed online sale features a selection of fine Irish whiskeys as well as antique furniture, silver and rugs.

    THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN MEDALS OF ONE OF THE FEW

    Saturday, November 27th, 2021

    Before settling in Rosscarbery in 1971 the late Anthony Bartley was one of the few to whom so much was owed by so many. The medals of the Battle of Britain fighter ace, once married to the Hollywood actress Deborah Kerr, are to be sold by Dix Noonan Webb in London on December 8. Squadron Leader Bartley, one of the founder members of 92 Squadron, is credited with at least 12 victories, eight damaged, a number of probables and possibles, and countless unclaimed.He cut his teeth over the beaches of Dunkirk, shooting down two enemy aircraft after his first dogfight on May 23, 1940.

    On September 15, 1940 at the height of the Battle of Britain he survived against the odds.  His description of what happened that day makes exciting reading. ‘I heard a cannon shell explode behind my armour-plated seat back, a bullet whizzed through my helmet, grazing the top of my head and shattering my gun sight, while others punctured my oil and glycol tanks. A 109 flashed by. Fumes then started to fill my cockpit, and I knew without doubt that I had had it, so I threw open my hood, undid my straps and started to climb over the side. As I braced myself to bale out, I saw my enemy preparing for another attack, and knew it meant suicide to jump with him around. Escaping airmen over their own territory were fair game in some combatants’ log book, and a friend of mine had been shot down in his parachute. So, I decided to bluff it out, climbed back into my aircraft, and turned on my attacker.My ruse worked; he didn’t know how hard he’d hit me, but he did know that a Spitfire could turn inside a Messerschmitt, and I fired a random burst to remind him, whereupon he fled for home. By this time I was too low to jump, so I headed for a field and prayed. At a hundred feet, my engine blew up, and I was blinded by oil. I hit the ground, was catapulted out, and landed in a haystack, unharmed”.   The seven medals he was awarded come up with an estimate of £100,000-£140,000.
    After moving to Hollywood he formed European American Productions. He wrote and produced television films for Fireside Theatre, MCA and Douglas Fairbanks Presents.  He moved to Rosscarbery in 1971 with his second wife Victoria.  Born in India Bartley’s father was Sir Charles Bartley, an Irish judge who served in the Calcutta High Court.

    THE 1947 WEDDING BETWEEN ANTHONY BARTLEY AND DEBORAH KERR. image courtesy Dix Noonan Webb

    IMPORTANT IRISH ART AT WHYTE’S SALE NOW ON VIEW AT RDS

    Saturday, November 27th, 2021
    JACK B YEATS – SHOUTING UPDATE: THIS MADE €1.4 MILLION AT HAMMER

    Viewing gets underway at the RDS today for Whyte’s sale of Important Irish art on November 29. The most expensively estimated Irish artwork ever to come to auction is the leading lot at the sale. Shouting, an epic large scale work by Jack B Yeats, is estimated at €1.5 million – €2 million.  Painted in 1950 it was described by Hilary Pyle, author of the Yeats Catalogue Raisonne, as one of the artists finest achievements in these late visionary paintings.  With three boisterous companions, a seaman, a jockey and a ballad singer, on an open bogland it brings together diverse memories and motifs from earlier paintings and illustrations.

    There is art by  Dan O’Neill, Grace Henry, Percy French, Letitia Hamilton, Cecil Maguire, Patrick Collins, Louis le Brocquy, Evie Hone, Tony O’Malley and John Shinnors among the 154 lots on offer.  The catalogue is online.

    Meantime bidding on Morgan O’Driscoll’s current online auction of Irish art runs until next Tuesday at 6.30 pm.  The sale is on view in Skibbereen today and on Monday and Tuesday. There is art by Donald Teskey, Cecil Maguire, Yeats, Arthur Maderson, Kenneth Webb and many more.

    THE MIDNIGHT COURT AS SEEN BY PAULINE BEWICK

    Friday, November 26th, 2021
    PAULINE BEWICK RHA (b.1953), “PUT INTO ACTION AND FILL US WITH GLEE. THE PUNISHMENT SET BY THE QUEEN OF CRAGLEE”,

    This limited edition print by Pauline Bewick comes up at Hegarty’s timed online art auction which runs from November24 to November 28. It is from her series The Midnight Court and numbered 39/250. The estimate is 650-850. UPDATE: THIS WAS BID TO 550 AND WAS WITHDRAWN