Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for April, 2022


    Saturday, April 30th, 2022
    Imperial Safari sofa by Archizoom. UPDATE: THIS MADE 9,500 AT HAMMER

    Titans of modern British, European and American art like Patrick Caulfield, Bridget Riley, Karl Appel, Milton Avery and Lucien Freud and a selection of sleek designer pieces by Italian, French,  Finnish and Danish designers make for a fascinating Mid-Century Modern sale at James Adam in Dublin on May 10. No less than 28 of the 216 lots on offer are from the estate of a deceased Dublin collector with a deep interest in Modern art. A collection like this one offers a variety of once off opportunities with rich pickings for the significant band of Irish collectors with a growing appreciation of this relatively recent period. It provided the catalogue cover lot, Patrick Caulfield’s Coach Lamp from 1994 purchased from the Waddington Galleries in London and now estimated at €40,000-€60,000.

    Coach Lamp (1994) by Patrick Caulfield  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Three Squares in Yellow by Patrick Heron, regarded as one of the finest colourists of the 20th century, dates to 1960 and is estimated at €20,000-€30,000. Two Pines by the American artist Milton Avery, who is to be the focus of an exhibition at the Royal Academy this summer, is a mixed media work with an estimate of €20,000-€30,000 and Lucian Freud contributes an etching titled Head of a Man which dates to 1986/87 and comes with an estimate of €15,000-€20,000. There are paintings and drawings by Karl Appel, Jean Dubuffet, Josef Herman and Max Libermann.  Among the Mod Brit artists on offer are Ben Nicholson, Graham Sutherland, Sir Terry Frost and Matthew Smith.

    A set of  six Les Arc chairs  with leather seats on tubular black frames by Charlotte Perriand (€4,000-€6,000), an Imperial Safari Sofa by Archizoom (€10,000-€15,000), a large rosewood sideboard by Silvio Cavatorta (€4,000-€6,000) and a set of 12 chairs by Charles and Ray Eames with fibreglass shell seats on an aluminium base (€3,000-€5,000) will be of huge interest to collectors of modern furniture. A walnut sideboard by the Italian Gianfranco Frattini dates to 1960 and is estimated at just €3,000-€5,000, a 1950’s wood, brass and metal bench by Bugatti is estimated at €1,500-€2,000 and a c1950 dining table by Finn Juhl is estimated at €2,000-€2,500.  Consoles, wall lights, bar cabinets, mirrors and armchairs from the period are included.Art from other private collections includes works by Stephen McKenna, John Boyd, Colin Martin, William McKeown, Mick Mulcahy, Francis Tansey, Eithne Jordan, Deborah Brown and Graham Gingles.  Collectible graphic works by Francis Bacon, Sean Scully, Mark Geary and William Scott range in estimate from €500 to €5000. The catalogue is online now.


    Friday, April 29th, 2022
    LOUIS LE BROCQUY (1916-2012) – Playboys of the Western World. UPDATE: THIS MADE €1,600 AT HAMMER

    This set of six lithographs framed as one by Louis le Brocquy comes up as lot 15 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s affordable online Irish art auction which is running now. The estimate is 800-1,200. The catalogue, with work by a wide variety of artists, is online now and bidding ends from 6.30 pm on May 3.


    Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

    This draft of the Irish Constitution signed by Eamonn de Valera and others made a hammer price of €7,200 at the Purcell Auctioneers sale of the libraries of Conor Cruise O’Brien, his wife the poet Maire mac an tSaoi and her father Sean MacEntree in Birr today. It was the top lot of the sale. Bunreacht na hEireann. Irish Constitution.(Draft) is signed by Eamonn de Valera, Taoiseach and Minister for External affairs, Sean T. O’Kelly Tanaiste and Minister for Local Government and Public Health, P. J. Ruttledge Minister for Justice, Sean F Lemass Minister for Industry and Commerce, Seamus O’Rian, Minister for Agriculture, Frank Aiken, Minister for Defence, Gearoid O’Beolain, Minister for Lands, Oscar Traynor Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, Tomas O’Deirg, Minister for Education and Sean MacEntee, Minister for Finance whose copy this was. It is inscribed To Dear Lottie and dated 1st July 1937. Included in the lot was a letter from Seán McEntee to Lottie Fairfield outlining how McEntee arranged for the signatures.


    Tuesday, April 26th, 2022
    THE ROCK  (228.31 carats)  and THE RED CROSS DIAMOND (205.07 carats). UPDATE: THE ROCK MADE CHF21,681,000 / $21,894,082 / €20,722,133, THE RED CROSS DIAMOND MADE CHF14,181,250 / $14,320,624 / €13,554,068

    The Rock, the largest white diamond seen throughout auction market history and The Red Cross Diamond will lead Christie’s sale of Magnificent Jewels in Geneva on May 11.  The sale will offer a superb selection of historic and modern jewellery, alongside two diamonds that are each considered among the most exceptional gemstones to ever appear at auction. The Rock is estimated at CHF19 million -30 million (€18.58 million – €29.33 million) and The Red Cross Diamond is expected to fetch as much as €10.05 million. 

    The sale includes exceptional tiaras from the 19th and 20th centuries, among them the Fürstenberg Tiara, a pearl and diamond tiara bearing the mark of the famous Austrian jeweller Gustav Flach. It belonged to H.S.H. The Princess of Fürstenberg, née Countess Irma of Schönborn Buchheim (1867-1948), a member of one of the pre-eminent aristocratic families in the Habsburg Empire.  An important selection of Jewels by JAR showcase Mr. Rosenthal’s superior craftsmanship and passion for innovation and design including a sapphire bracelet of 27.37 carats and a pair of multi-gem ‘disc’ pendent earrings.

    (See posts on for April 12 and March 25, 2022)


    Tuesday, April 26th, 2022
    Sonja Landweer (1933 – 2019) – Lidded pot, 1976. UPDATE: THIS MADE £892.50

    This lidded pot by Sonja Landweer comes up as lot 64 at Bonhams Design sale in London on April 28. It is estimated at £800-£1,200. The sale also includes a vase by Sonja Landweer. The Amsterdam born artist came to Ireland to teach ceramics at the Kilkenny Design Workshops. Her work came to the attention of Irish gallerist David Hendricks, and she held many successful solo exhibitions of her unique ceramics in his Dublin gallery from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. Along with Barrie Cooke she founded the Kilkenny Arts Festival (formerly the Kilkenny Arts Week) and hosted many Irish and international writers, poets, and artists, including Seamus Heaney. In 1995 when accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature, Heaney read his poem To a Dutch Potter in Ireland, inspired by his friendship with Sonja. Her work is held in many public collections including the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, the Princessehof Ceramics Museum in Leeuwarden, the Hildesheim Städtisches Museum in Germany, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Copenhagen, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and the Ulster Museum, Belfast. She was awarded the prix artistique at the Biennale Internationale de Ceramique d’Art at Vallauris, France in 1974 and an honorary award from the National College of Art & Design in Dublin in 1992 


    Monday, April 25th, 2022
    STELLA STEYN (Irish, 1907-1987) – “STILL LIFE”,

    This still live by Stella Steyn comes up as lot 27 at Hegarty’s spring art auction online from Bandon which runs until April 27. It is estimated at 420-520. There are 110 lots in total. Among the artists featured are John Schwatschke, Norman Teeling, Marie Doyle, Marie Carroll, Des Monroe, Douglas Alexander and Peter Knuttel.


    Monday, April 25th, 2022

    Stacks of hay and corn, once a familiar sight  throughout the length and breadth of Ireland, have now virtually disappeared from our landscapes.  This oil on canvas board by Edith Somerville (1858-1949) (one half of the Somerville and Ross writers who created the popular Irish RM books) evokes memories of the way we were, when farming was less mechanised, more labour intensive and more sociable.  The undated west Cork scene entitled Cornstacks, Sandycove, Castlehaven comes up as lot 51 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online evening sale of Irish and International Art on April 26 with an estimate of 1,500-2,500.  This fascinating sale with offerings by everyone from Paul Henry and Frank McKelvey to Keith Haring and Andy Warhol is on view at the Minerva Suite at the RDS in Dublin until today. UPDATE: THIS MADE €4,200 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, April 24th, 2022
     French 18 carat yellow gold Owl Brooch. UPDATE: THIS MADE €1,500 AT HAMMER

    This vintage French owl motif brooch with lapis lazuli, ruby and diamond is lot 13 at Matthews online sale in Kells, Co. Meath on April 26. It is estimated at 1,200-1,500. Diamond solitaire rings, a diamond cluster ring and a diamond line bracelet are among the highlights in a sale that will include executor and part estate clearances and pawnbrokers unredeemed pledges. The catalogue with 619 lots is online and viewing is underway.


    Saturday, April 23rd, 2022
    Meissen monkey orchestra. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Like the most enticing library the sale at James Adam in Dublin on April 26 is enough to set the imagination soaring. Brimful of the most weird, wonderful and  – if you love old and interesting things – fabulous lots the Library Collection lots has it all plus deeply comfortable chairs. The wonder of it is that there is not that much in the way of books. Instead you can happily browse among bookcases, desks, tables, artworks, rugs, stuffed birds, a Black Forest carved hall stand, a carved cathedral clock, tapestries, a Meissen monkey orchestra, an Anglo Indian marble topped side table, globes, mirrors, tiles, busts and an illuminated manuscript carefully tucked away in a selection of 360 eye popping lots.

    The auction kicks off with a pair of 19th century Spanish pine and iron studded finca doors.  Where to place these sun bleached objects in a typical Irish setting?  Time to set your creativity to overdrive.  You won’t need megabucks, the estimate is just €600-€800. There are wonderful collectibles like a c1680-1720 Louis XIV Beauvais tapestry from France (€15,000-€20,000), the aforementioned 21 piece Meissen monkey orchestra  plus conductors stand (€8,000-€12,000), a 19th century Killarney work table (€3,000-€4,000), a giltwood and porcelain mounted Viennese Napoleonic table (€3,000-€5,000)  and a Regency boulle marquetry commode (€10,000-€15,000).    An Irish George IV mahogany bookcase on turned cornice with spiral columns, glazed doors and panelled doors, described as possibly Cork, has an estimate of €6,000-€8,000.

    A mid 19th century illustration of Lisburn UPDATE: THIS MADE €8,000 AT HAMMER

    An illuminated manuscript book in a tooled leather binding presented to James Stannus, Dean or Rogg and Rector of Lisburn in 1867 contains a series of finely detailed drawings including Market Place with Market House and Christchurch Cathedral, the Old Huguenot Church now used as a courthouse and Bleaching Field near the linen mills at Lisburn. The estimate is €4,000-€5,000.Many lots like a coco de mer nut from the Seychelles (€400-€600) are more affordable and might make useful conversation pieces.  Natural history specimens and taxidermy range in price from 300 up, a c1830 French ormolu cathedral clock is estimated at €300-€500 as is a 19th century beech and elmwood reading chair, a collection of 15 books related to Ireland comes with an estimate of €100-€200 and there are tiles, bottles and flasks and some attractive antique furniture at very reasonable estimates. The sale is on view at St. Stephen’s Green from 1 pm to 5 pm today and tomorrow and  from 10 am to 5 pm on Monday. This online catalogue deserves to be closely perused and savoured in a quiet and peaceful corner.  A library would be ideal.


    Friday, April 22nd, 2022
    EMANUEL LEUTZE (1816-1868) – Washington Crossing the Delaware signed ‘E. Leutze’ UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $45 MILLION

    Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, which hung for decades at the White House, will be a highlight at Christie’s 20th Century evening sale in New York on May 12. Painted in 1851 it is one of two extant versions by Leutze.  The other is in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Leutze’s powerful imagining of a key moment in American history has been a cultural phenomenon from the minute it was seen and has been reproduced more than almost any painting in American history. This picture, which defined its era and has had a profound and lasting impact on art history and popular culture. It was commissioned by the original purchaser of the Metropolitan’s painting, the art dealers Goupil, Vibert & Co. They wanted a smaller version that could be more easily reproduced by the engraver, Paul Girardet, as a print.  This painting was also exhibited in its day at major venues in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Thanks to the engraving, within short order the image was everywhere. “Every town and village along that vast stretch of double river-frontage had a best dwelling,” wrote Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi, 1883. “Over middle of mantel, engraving—Washington Crossing the Delaware; on the wall by the door, copy of it done in thunder-and-lightning crewels by one of the young ladies …”. It is estimated at $15-20 million.

    Among the other highlights are Claude Monet’s Parlement, Soleil Couchant, Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, and Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Shades of Red).