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  • SMURFIT ART AT SOTHEBY’S IRISH SALES

    An important group of 17 paintings from the collection of Sir Michael Smurfit is at the core of Sotheby’s sales of Modern British and Irish Art and Irish Art online  in London on November 23.  Then 17 works carry a pre-sale estimate of €1.3 million – €2 million.  Overall Sotheby’s estimate that more than 70  Irish works, from the 19th century to the present day and ranging from paintings to sculpture to ceramics, will make  €3 million – €4.6 million. Sotheby’s has run a global campaign in support of these sales which feature Ireland’s most famous painters, Jack B. Yeats, Sir John Lavery, Sir William Orpen, Paul Henry, Louis le Brocquy and Gerard Dillon as well as contemporary artists like Jack Coulter. Most of these works have emerged from private collections and many are making their first appearance at auction. The most expensively estimated Irish painting in the auction is a 1936 oil on canvas by Yeats entitled A Nor’ Western Town (€412,000-€650,000).  From a private collection in Ireland it was exhibited at a Yeats one man show in London in 1936 and at the National Gallery in 1942. Two Paul Henry’s, Connemara Landscape (€177,000-€236,000) and West of Ireland Landscape (€142,000-€212,000) are from a private US collection.A Welcome and South Pacific, both by Yeats and from the Smurfit collection, are estimated respectively at €177,000-€295,000 and €236,000-€354,000. Other highlights from Smurfit include Morning Tangier by Sir John Lavery and Image of W.B. Yeats by Louis le Brocquy.  An oil on board by Gerard Dillon from a private collection in Northern Ireland is entitled Across from Inishlacken and estimated at €94,500-€142,000.The online sale features a 1949 Yeats entitled The Face of Victory (€83,000-€119,000) and The Newly Married Man by Sean Keaing from 1919 (€71,000-€95,000), both from a UK collection.  The Artist’s Studio by Roderic O’Conor (€95,000-142,000) and Sir William Orpen’s Portrait of Grace (€59,000-€83,000). are both from the Smurfit collection.  On the contemporary side there is a bronze by Rowan Gillespie entitled Are You There? (€47,300-€71,000) and Heaven is a Place on Earth by the Belfast artist Jack Coulter.  Both of these works were made this year.

    Rowan Gillespie – Are You There?  at Sotheby’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE €107,100

    Outstanding Irish art at de Veres will come under the hammer next Tuesday evening.  This is a very good sale with top lots by Paul Henry estimated at €200,000-€300,000 and works by Roderic O’Conor and William Orpen each estimated at €150,000-€250,000. At Bonhams sale of Important British and Irish art at Bond St. in London on November 24 there are important works by William Scott, Paul Henry and John Luke. Bonhams Modern British and Irish art sale in Knightsbridge on Tuesday features a number of Irish artists as well.

    On November 29 Whyte’s may yet steal the show this art selling season with a large scale late Yeats painting.  Shouting, at €1.5 million – €2 million, is the most expensively estimated Irish artwork ever to come to auction.  And James Adam will have a great sale on December 8.

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