Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Archive for July, 2022


    Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
    Catherine McGuinness (b.1934), former Supreme Court Judge and member of the Council of State of Ireland by Miseon Lee © Miseon Lee. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland.

    A new acquisition at the National Gallery of Ireland celebrates the contribution to Irish society by former Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness. A portrait of Justice McGuinness, commissioned by fellow members of the legal community and painted by artist Miseon Lee, is the latest addition to the national portrait collection at the Gallery.  The portrait, on display at the gallery from today, was unveiled in the presence of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.

    Catherine McGuinness (née Ellis) was born in Belfast and educated at Alexandra College, Trinity College Dublin and the King’s Inns. She was called to the Bar in 1977, and to the Inner Bar in 1989. She worked for the Labour Party in the 1960s, but was elected an independent candidate to Seanad Éireann for the Dublin University constituency in 1979, and served a senator until 1987. In 1988 she was appointed to the Council of State by President Patrick Hillery, a position she held until 1990. In 1994, she became the first woman to be appointed as a judge of the Circuit Court, and two years later was elevated to the High Court. In January 2000, she was promoted to the Supreme Court, where she served as a judge until 2006. She was appointed adjunct professor of law at NUIG in 2005, and in the same year became President of the Law Reform Commission, a position she held until 2011.

    In 2009, McGuinness received a Lord Mayor’s Award for her ‘contribution to the lives of children and families through her pioneering work’, and was chosen as one of the People of the Year the following year. McGuinness has served on the Employment Equality Agency, the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, the National Council of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland, and in 2011 was appointed Chairperson of the Campaign for Children. She has given her name to academic fellowships and prizes at the Children’s Rights Alliance, and the University of Limerick.

    Artist Miseon Lee lives and works in Dublin and is a portrait specialist. She has been shortlisted for the annual portrait prize at the National Gallery of Ireland on three occasions and the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London twice. She has shown her work in both solo and group shows in Ireland, the UK and South Korea. Her work was also shortlisted for the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year in 2013, and the Davy Portrait Awards in 2010. She was awarded the James Adam’s Salesroom Award and the Keating/McLaughlin Award for Outstanding Artwork at the RHA in 2010 and 2012 respectively.


    Monday, July 11th, 2022
    Bowfronted chest of drawers at Woodwards. UPDATE: THIS MADE 180 AT HAMMER

    Millennials from around the globe were moved to take part in the fabulous sales of the collections of Hubert de Givenchy at Christie’s in June and there should be much to tempt our Irish millennials at Woodwards sale in Cork on July 16.  It should be possible to pick up a piece of antique furniture for a song at this auction. 

    Estimated at just €300-€400 are a Cork bowfront sideboard, an ormolu mounted bijouterie table, a Georgian bureau bookcase, a set of six dining chairs, a mahogany pedestal office desk and an Edwardian sofa table. A Victorian round work table, a Victorian d-end dining table, a Georgian library table, a Georgian bureau and a three tier dumb waiter are on the market with estimates of just €200-€300.  The catalogue is online.


    Sunday, July 10th, 2022
    Djinn lounge chair by Olivier Mourgue. UPDATE: THIS MADE 400 AT HAMMER

    Anyone travelling by air this summer quickly learns one harsh truth.  Those of us paying the piper do not call the tune.  Which makes one lot at de Veres online art and design auction, which runs until July 12, of great if impractical interest.  It won’t fit in your carry on bag but lot 16 at de Veres is this Djinn lounge chair by Olivier Mourgue for Airborne International.  Just the thing when your flight has been cancelled and you have been abandoned.  The estimate is just €400-€600. There are chairs by Charles and Ray Eames and Ligne Roset, Italian sofas, contemporary tables and antique desks but most of the 146 lots in this sale are artworks.  All of them are at highly affordable prices as this is one of a number of sales by de Veres designed for those who are dipping their toes into the market for the first time.  Among the art lots are a number of mid century set designs by Reginald Grey for theatres like The Gate, The Globe and The Pike.


    Saturday, July 9th, 2022
    Panelled hand painted and gilded gesso French chateau interior. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    In a year when so many projects are behind time and skills are hard to come by the words “hold that building job” are difficult to utter.  It might be just worth the risk for lot 624 at Victor Mee’s upcoming decorative interiors, architectural and pub memorabilia sale.  If your concept of Les Liasons dangereuses revolves around a risky rush of blood at the auction room and your taste runs to gilded French interiors of the 18th century then this is the lot for you.

    On offer is a totally over the top richly gilded panelled room with etched glass panel doors and original fireplace from a chateau near Versailles. The estimate for the lot is €25,000-€35,000 and good luck to anyone prepared to take it on.  Armed with this piece of kit any purchaser would be in a perfect position to utter the words: “welcome to my humble abode” or mutter “a mere bagatelle I picked up at a sale”.  These recreations really do work. There are wonderfully atmospheric French rooms recreated from original panelling at the Metropolitan Museum in New York where you need a pinch to know that you are in the US and not in France. The illustration here includes a pair of life size stone lamp statues on marble bases.  These are a separate lot numbered 715 in a brimful of interest catalogue of 1,124 lots, and the estimate is €2,750-€3,750.

    The stylish mantel piece (note quantity of panels reflected in the mirror).

    Victor Mee is based in Co. Cavan but is an offsite online sale which is on view at Tallbridge Road, Cranagill, Co. Armagh, BT62 8NP in Northern Ireland on July 16 and 17 from 11 am to 4 pm on each day. Among the lots are doors of various types, pediments, dividers,  cast iron radiators, panelling, corbels, gates, lighting, chairs, display units, clocks, mirrors, a crocodile skin, tables, prints, bar fittings, urns, cast iron models of models, a gazebo, a stone fountain and a 19th century carved oak pulpit.


    Friday, July 8th, 2022
    Kieran Crowley – Here it comes. UPDATE: THIS MADE 300 AT HAMMER

    Here it comes by Kieran Crowley is lot 19 at de Veres online art and design auction which runs until July 12. This is an online only affordable sale of 146 lots, ideal for those starting a collection. The oil on board illustrated here is estimated at €300-500.


    Thursday, July 7th, 2022
    One-of-One Ionic Original Disc
    Bob Dylan’s First New Studio Recording Of “Blowin’ In The Wind” Since 1962 © Christie’s Images Limited 2022

    Bob Dylan’s first new studio recording of Blowin in the Wind since 1962 sold for £1,482,000 at Christie’s Exceptional Sale in London today. It was from a special session with multi-Grammy winning producer T Bone Burnett, on the recently announced groundbreaking Ionic Original disc. T Bone Burnett, Founder of NeoFidelity Inc. and multi-Grammy-winning producer commented: “Marshall McLuhan said that a medium surrounds a previous medium and turns the previous medium into an art form, as film did with novels, as television did with film, as the internet has done with television, and as digital has done with analogue.  With Bob Dylan’s new version of “Blowin’ In The Wind”, our first Ionic Original archival analogue disc, we have entered and aim to help develop a music space in the fine arts market.  I trust and hope it will mean as much to whomever acquired it today at Christie’s Exceptional Sale as it does to all of us who made it, and that they will consider it and care for it as a painting or any other singular work of art.” 


    Thursday, July 7th, 2022
    19th century cheval mirror with brass candle holders

    This 19th century mahogany cheval mirror is among the lots from Howth Castle at Sean Eacrett’s online sale from Ballybrittas, Co. Laois on July 9. The sale includes a number of lots from the attics and basements at Howth Castle. The mirror illustrated here, lot 295, is estimated at €300-€500. There are 720 lots in the auction, which includes contents from houses in Kildare, Dublin and Wicklow.


    Tuesday, July 5th, 2022
    Peter Turnerelli (Belfast 1772-1839 London) -Bust of Henry Grattan (1746-1820)

    THIS 1813 marble bust of Henry Grattan sold for £13,860 over a top estimate of £12,000 at Sotheby’s sale of Old Master Sculptures and Early Jewellery in London today. The prime version of Turnerelli’s portrait of Henry Grattan is in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Born in Dublin in 1746 Henry Grattan was a brilliant politician and orator who, in his mid-thirties backed by the Protestant Volunteer movement, declared an independent parliament for Ireland. “Grattan’s Parliament” did not last long and when rebellion broke out in 1798 he was blamed by conservatives for having stirred up resentment against the status quo. He opposed the Act of Union in 1800, but this did not prevent him from later sitting as a MP in London. While he continued his efforts on behalf of Ireland his great days as a parliamentarian were over and he died in 1820.

    The bust is likely to have been acquired by Grattan’s contemporary Charles Kinnaird, 8th Lord Kinnaird. He was a prolific art collector who assembled one of the great Scottish collections of antique statuary and pictures. Many of his paintings, which included works by Rubens, Titian and Poussin, had come from the collection of Philippe Égalité, duc d’Orléans.


    Monday, July 4th, 2022
    Irish George I walnut and featherbanded, sycamore, cedar and marquetry ‘architectural’ secretaire cabinet c1725, possibly by John Kirkhoffer. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    This Irish George I walnut and featherbanded, sycamore, cedar and marquetry ‘architectural’ secretaire cabinet is one of a group of four which feature in Irish Furniture, 2007, Yale University in New Haven and London by Desmond Fitzgerald, Knight of Glin and James Peill. One of these cabinets was originally owned by Dean Swift and the example housed in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London was thought to have been his, but later analysis of an inscription on the cabinet has revealed this not to be the case. This one comes up at Bonhams sale of Decorative Arts Through the Ages in London on July 13 with an estimate of £30,000-£40,000.

    John Kirkhoffer was probably the son of a German Palatine called Franz Ludwig, who arrived in Ireland as a refugee in 1709 after escaping the Rhineland-Palatinate area, which had been subjected to many years of conflict. The Kirkhoffer family of Protestant immigrants made it to Counties Kerry and Limerick before ultimately settling in Dublin. 


    Sunday, July 3rd, 2022
    A gilt console table and other lots from Aidan Foley’s sale

    A 1940 shipwreck off Cape Clear and the Irish record for a specimen river brown trout are recalled at Aidan Foley’s  two day auction at Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare on July 4 and 5.  The trout, weighing 20 lbs, was caught in the River Shannon at Corbally, Limerick in February 1957 by Major Hugh L Place. The sale includes items from the Place family, who had strong connections to the Limerick Steamship Company, which named its ships after locations in Limerick.

    The SS Maigue, travelling from Limerick via Fenit to Liverpool with a cargo of bacon, struck a rock near Cape Clear in January 1940 and was beached at South Harbour.  Badly damaged she was refloated that May, sold for scrap and broken up in Dublin. An unsigned painting of the ship is included in the auction along with a collection of fishing rods by John Enright, Castleconnell owned by Major Place.  Old fishing flies with a 1945 note by Major Place who believed them then to be 100 years old might make an interesting catch. Antique lots in the auction include two console tables, a metal Armada chest, Irish swords by Johnson of Dublin, an Adams style desk and a large club fender. The catalogue for this sale of 1,700 lots is online and the auctions will be live and online.