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  • Archive for June, 2022

    MARVELLOUS MASTERPIECE NOW UNDERWAY IN LONDON

    Thursday, June 30th, 2022
    Important Irish George II mahogany silver table at Rory Rogers Ltd. priced at £115,000

    Sales were brisk at the preview day at Masterpiece, the UK’s leading art fair which opens to the public today and runs until July 6.  The fair, which is normally a fixture on the summer calendar in London, is on again after three years and most people seem delighted to be back. Visitors can view and buy the finest works of art, design, furniture, and jewellery – from antiquity to the present day – secure in the knowlege that everything on display has been vetted.

    This is a slightly slimmed down and possibly less international than usual version, with 127 stands as opposed to 150 in 2019.  There are various reasons for this, TEFAF Maastricht – normally on in March –  is ending today adding to a  busy time of year in the international season.  Brexit has added layers of bureaucracy to the work of most dealers. The London market, post Covid and post Brexit, is coming from behind.  London remains a major global location but there is a sense about the fair that feels more local this year.

    Masterpiece is a marvellous fair. Sandwiched between a 60 million year old Triceratops dinosaur skull, two Ferrari’s and luxury boats you will find antiquities, Old Masters, contemporary art, jewellery, a  three volume first edition of Jane Austen’s Emma inscribed by the author to her friend Anna Sharpe (£375,000 at Peter Harrington), jewellery, silver and design of a very high order. Expect a degree of security, no heavier than usual, but on alert after the jewellery heist at Maastricht earlier in the week.

    ARMED JEWELLERY ROBBERY AT TEFAF MAASTRICHT

    Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

    THERE were dramatic scenes at TEFAF in Maastricht as four men with a sledgehammer broke into a jewellery display and escaped with an unknown quantity of jewellery. No one was hurt but the fair was closed for an hour in consequence. At least one of the raiders is thought to have been armed with a gun. It was one blot on an otherwise unblemished TEFAF fair, which had reported strong sales. TEFAF is normally held in March but was postponed for three months as lockdowns gradually ended. The theft occurred at the stand of upscale London luxury jewellers Symbolic and Chase of Old Bond St. TEFAF runs until June 30.

    Here is a video of the robbery:

    SYMBOLIC AND CHASE

    A €360,000 LACQUERED SCREEN AT ADAMS ASIAN SALE

    Wednesday, June 29th, 2022
    LÊ QU?C L?C (VIETNAM, 1918-1987) – A Mekong river landscape with a village

    Described as rare and important this six fold Mekong river scene by Le Quoc Loc made a hammer price of €360,000 at the James Adam sale of Asian art in Dublin today. This screen is typical of the artist’s work, in the sense that the predominant tones are red and dark brown combined with gilt. It depicts a bird’s eye-view animated landscape, as seen from the top of a hill, crossed by Mekong river arms. The in-depth perspective is created by a succession of grounds. In the first two the artist used a gilt lacquer to depict trees, including palm trees. In the middle on the left, is a traditional thatched houses hamlet. Then come Mekong river arms. The composition may roughly be described as being divided into two parts by a diagonal going from the upper left corner to the lower right corner – thereby creating two triangular shapes – and playing with empty and full. The estimate for the screen was €200,000-€400,000.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for June 25,2022)

    A £10 MILLION GIFT FOR UKRAINE AT CHRISTIE’S SALE

    Tuesday, June 28th, 2022
    Jeff Koons, Balloon Monkey (Magenta) (2006-13, Price Realised: £10,136,500)
     

    Jeff Koons’ seminal sculpture Balloon Monkey (Magenta) (2006-13) sold for £10,136,500 at Christie’s today, raising vital funds for humanitarian aid for Ukraine. Presented for sale by Victor and Olena Pinchuk, proceeds from the sale will be used to assist soldiers and civilians gravely wounded by war who urgently require prosthetics, medical treatment and rehabilitation to recover as much quality of life as possible.

    Representing childhood innocence and joy for both children and adults alike, Balloon Monkey (Magenta) stands as a monumental symbol of hope and solidarity with those men, women and children living in war-torn Ukraine who have suffered terrible loss.

    GILT SINO-TIBETAN FIGURE MAKES €19,000 AT ADAMS

    Tuesday, June 28th, 2022
    STONE-EMBELLISHED GILT COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF AN ELEVEN-HEADED AVALOKITESVARATIBETO CHINESE / SINO-TIBETAN, POSSIBLY 18TH CENTURY

    This mercury gilt and stone embellished figure made a hammer price of €19,000 at the opening day of three days of sales of Asian art at Adams in Dublin today. It was formerly by repute in the collection of  Juan Carlos Katzenstein (1925-2018), Argentinian diplomat and ambassador in Beijing from December 1975 to January 1978, and later to the Holy See (Vatican) and to the Sovereign Order of Malta from 1989 to 1991. The upper estimate was €15,000. The auction kicked off with the sale of a white jade melon and butterfly linked box and cover from an Irish collection for €15,000 over a top estimate of €8,000. A Famille Vert Month cup with Kangxi mark and seal mark reading ‘Shang’ with a top estimate of €2,000 made €33,000 at hammer.

    TEFAF MAKES TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO MAASTRICHT

    Monday, June 27th, 2022
    Greek enthroned goddess – Thebes, c.540 – 520 BC Terracotta

    Charles Ede of London is displaying this terracotta of a Greek goddess from Thebes at TEFAF, Mastricht, which continues until June 30. Collectors, museums, and art lovers returned in force to the opening weekend of the first TEFAF Maastricht to take place since 2020. Sales are reported to have been good. There was strong presence from the museum community with over 100 institutions sending representatives to the fair and reports of robust sales to this audience alongside significant acquisitions by private collectors.  Museums in attendance included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago from the US along with the British Museum, Courtauld Institute of Art, and Ashmolean Museum from the UK.  Other major European institutions visiting included the Musée de Louvre, the Rijksmuseum, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and the national galleries of Denmark, Berlin, Scotland, and Ireland.

    YEATS BY YEATS AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL

    Sunday, June 26th, 2022
    JOHN BUTLER YEATS (1839-1922) – Study of Jack B. Yeats. UPDATE: THIS MADE 700 AT HAMMER

    This pencil drawing study of the artist Jack B Yeats by his father the artist John Butler Yeats is lot 4 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s current online art auction which ends on June 27. Originally from the Yeats family collection, then in a private collection, it is estimated at 700-1,000. The catalogue for the sale is online.

    HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE ONCE OWNED BY MAUREEN O’HARA

    Saturday, June 25th, 2022
    19th century horse drawn coach from the estate of Maureen O’Hara  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A life size bronze sculpture of a horse and jockey, a large cast iron gazebo and a group of large Italianate stone figures are among the leading lots at Sheppards annual Glantelwe gardens sale in Durrow, Co. Laois on June 28 and 29.  These are large garden pieces but the sale of  724 lots of architectural ornaments and garden sculpture offers something for every garden, large or small.

    Conversation pieces include lot 486, a 19th century horse drawn coach complete with carriage lights from the estate of the late Maureen O’Hara. It is estimated at €4,000-€6,000.  Or how about lot 501, two large metal milk churns (€150-€250).  An exercise in imagination might land an appetising spot for these in many gardens.  There are lovely cast iron garden benches, stone sculptures, bronzes, estate entrance gates, troughs, planters, marble sculpture, staddle stones, 19th century urns, pedestals, finials, bollards,  sundials, tree guards, tables, chairs, arches, jardinieres, spheres and fountains.  The sale is on view in Durrow and the catalogue is online.

    THE FABULOUS ARTS OF ASIA AT THREE DAYS OF SALE BY ADAMS

    Saturday, June 25th, 2022
     Lacquered wooden panel of a seated young beauty with flowers by Alix Ayme. UPDATE: THIS MADE 80,000 AT HAMMER

    The fabulous arts of Asia – magnificent, rich, colourful, symbolic, auspicious – will come under the hammer at three days of sales at James Adam in Dublin kicking off next Tuesday.  More than 1,000 lots including newly discovered masterpieces of fine Chinese and Himalayan art will feature in two Asian Spring auctions and one of decorative Asian art. There will be global interest in an auction series which has been already previewed at the Pagoda Fair in Paris. Irish collectors and those dipping their toes into this market for the first time will find plenty of opportunities at sales where estimates range from €80 to €400,000.

    In an era of fakes, knockoffs and forgeries seasoned collectors of Asian art  value provenance very highly.  These auctions are rich in works from well known collections like that of Carlos Alfredo Tornquist Altgelt (1885-1953); Juan Carlos Katzenstein (1925-2018); Jorge Casares of Buenos Aires and Canadian industrialist Baron Sir Duncan Orr-Lewis. The top lot of the auction is a rare six panelled lacquered wood screen of a Mekong River landscape with village by Vietnamese artist Le Quoc Loc (1918-1987). This 1943 panel is estimated at €200,000-€400,000. From snuff bottles to carved animals to screens and vases there is enough jade to make one green with envy.  On day one there are Sino-Tibetan gilt bronze figures, rock crystal censers, blanc de chine porcelain vases, Chinese export porcelain, silver, cloisonne ware, an opium tray, furniture, art and scrolls.

    Le Quoc Loc – Six panelled lacquered wood screen of a Mekong River landscape with village. UPDATE: THIS MADE 360,000 AT HAMMER

    The emphasis on Wednesday is on Vietnam, Indochina, Asian painters and Japan.  There are some Japanese prints along with a selection of art and artefacts headed by the six fold lacquer screen by Le Quoc Loc and a beautiful lacquer panel with a Byzantine inspired gold ground by Alix Ayme (1894-1989), professor at the Indochina Fine Arts College in Hanoi.  The artist, once a pupil of Maurice Denis, was instrumental in the revival of the ancient art of lacquer which she taught in Hanoi. On Thursday the sale of decorative arts is brimful of interest. The Chinese incorporate auspicious symbols in nearly every aspect of life, including arts and culture. All sorts of symbols represent their aspiration for a longer, more prosperous and happier life.  Lot 701 is a Famille Rose eight boys bottle vase.  Three of them are climbing up the vase, and the depiction of five on the shoulders is particularly auspicious as it signifies the saying “wu zi deng ke” referring to the supreme achievement of one family whose five sons passed the civil service examination.  (In my view the most auspicious thing about this is that they did not live next door!).The catalogue is online and viewing is underway at St. Stephen’s Green.

    COUNT JOHN McCORMACK – THE COLLECTOR

    Friday, June 24th, 2022
    Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, R.A. – Vanity

    This 1915 work by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, which comes up at Sotheby’s Modern British auction in London on June 30, was once in the collection of the world renowned Irish tenor Count John McCormack. He was an avid collector of up and coming artists in the early 20th century. The subject is the artist’s wife Anaïs. By 1915, the Brockhursts had moved to Ireland following the outbreak of war. Oliver St John Gogarty took them under their wing, and they were to remain in Ireland until 1919. Brockhurst produced some of his most experimental and exquisite works during this period, and he was friends with and worked alongside Augustus John and his circle. Vanity is estimated at £40,000-£60,000.