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


    Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

    This blue and white tureen and cover in the Chinese taste is lot 72 at Adams timed online warehouse clearance sale and is estimated at €50-€80. There is a wide selection of lots at affordable estimates on offer and the catalogue is online. The sale begins to close at 11 am on August 24. UPDATE: THIS MADE 110 AT HAMMER


    Monday, August 22nd, 2022
    A set of 10 c1754-56 chairs attributed to Benjamin Goodison from the Ann and Gordon Getty Collection. © 2022 Visko Hatfield for Christie’s. UPDATE: THESE MADE $529,200

    A magnificent set of 10 chairs, described by Christie’s as the apogee of Kentian design and the ultimate flowering of the Palladian aesthetic, will come to auction in New York on October 20.  They are by no means the most expensive lot from the Ann and Gordon Getty Collection to be sold over four evening and day auctions in New York from October 20 but there is an Irish connection. The c1754-56 chairs attributed to Benjamin Goodison are thought to be after a design by the architect designer William Kent.  The delicately pierced backs and Vitruvian scroll aprons refine the Palladian style promoted by the foremost classical furniture designer of the day.

    It was his friendship with Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork (1694-1753)  that promoted Kent as a painter, architect and designer. Known as the architect earl Boyle is credited with bringing Palladian architecture to Ireland and Britain. Major projects include Burlington House, Piccadilly, London (now home to the Royal Academy), Westminster School, Chiswick House and Northwick Park.  Boyle’s professional skill as an architect was extraordinary as an Anglo-Irish aristocrat. Andrea Palladio’s Four Books of Architecture accompanied him on a tour of the Veneto in 1719.  Back in London he employed the Scottish architect Colen Campbell for Burlington House and William Kent was assigned the interiors. The courtyard prominently sited in Piccadilly was the first major executed statement of Neo-Palladianism. Thanks to the Earl of Cork Palladian architecture with its Roman and Greek influences had arrived in this part of the world. Meantime Kent’s Palladian residences with their fully designed interiors became a template for his contemporaries and subsequent generations.  The chairs are estimated at €490,000-€780,000.

    The Getty dining room in San Francisco © Christie’s Images Limited 2022

    The Ann and Gordon Getty Collection sale will offer almost 1,500 lots from their San Francisco residence, considered one of the finest interiors in the world. There are decorative and fine art masterpieces of unrivalled quality and provenance. The New York sales will be complemented by six online auctions of textiles, handbags and jewellery between October 10-25.Leading lots include  American painting, English and European furniture and Asian works of art. There are Impressionist pictures by  Claude Monet and Edgar Degas and Old Master paintings and drawings by  Bernardo Bellotto and Jean-Antoine Watteau.Beginning in September highlights will be exhibited in Shanghai, London, Los Angeles, Paris and New York. Twelve jewels by JAR from the estate of Ann Getty (who died in 2020) made $5.9 million at a sale of Magnificent Jewels by Christie’s in New York in June.Proceeds will benefit the couples foundation for the arts, which is dedicated to supporting arts and science organisations. Beneficiaries will include the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony, University of San Francisco, Berkeley Geochronology Centre and the Leakey Foundation. 


    Sunday, August 21st, 2022
    Sir John Lavery – Sketch for ‘Pro-Cathedral, Dublin 1922’ (The Requiem Mass for Michael Collins)

    Sir John Lavery’s oil on canvas sketch for the funeral of Michael Collins is a highlight of the Mary and Ben Dunne Collection to be sold later this year. Singing My Dark Rosaleen by Yeat’s is another highlight. The former supermarket tycoon and his wife are downsizing and selling part of their personal collection which includes works by some of Ireland’s most celebrated painters. Works by Frank McKelvey, Dan O’Neill, Gerard Dillon, James Arthur O’Connor, Jack B. Yeats, Mary Swanzy, Roderic O’Conor, Walter Osborne, William John Leech and Sir Wiliam Orpen are among the 39 paintings to be sold. A selling exhibition of these paintings will be held at Gormley’s Dublin galleries from September 8-24 before moving to Belfast for two weeks.


    Sunday, August 21st, 2022

    This Art Deco diamond and ruby target cluster ring is lot 193 at a timed auction by O’Reilly’s of Francis St., Dublin. It is centred by an old cut diamond of 0.45 carats and estimated at €2,000-€2,500.  The sale of fine jewellery, watches and silver gets underway on Wednesday August 24 and runs until next Friday.  There will be an online auction of jewellery and collectibles by John Weldon of Temple Bar, Dublin next August 23.


    Saturday, August 20th, 2022

    The Path to Freedom by Michael Collins published by The Talbot Press comes up at R.J. Keighery’s sale in Waterford next Monday, the 100th anniversary of the murder of Collins at Beal na Blath in Co. Cork on August 22, 1921.  The 1922 book has chapters including “Advance and Use of our Liberties”, “Alternative to the Treaty”, “The Proof of Success”, “Four Historic Years”, “Collapse of the Terror”, “Partition Act’s Failure”, “Why Britain Sought Irish Peace” and “Freedom within Grasp”. Lot 306 is estimated at €80-€120. More than 600 lots of furniture, Irish art, chandeliers, jewellery, silver and collectibles will come under the hammer. The catalogue is online.


    Friday, August 19th, 2022

    This walnut marquetry and gilt mounted credenza is one of the top furniture lots at the James Adam At Home sale in Dublin on September 4. This will be the opening auction of the post summer period at Adams. The 19th century piece with bowed outline has a shaped top with moulded edge, glazed rounded corners and a plinth base. It is estimated at €3,000-€5,000. A pair of French boulle marble topped side cabinets and a side table in the Irish 18th century style carry similar estimates. The most expensively estimated lot in the auction is a sapphire torque necklace. The catalogue is online.

    This sapphire torque necklace is estimated at €7,000-€8,000.


    Thursday, August 18th, 2022
    Indian Mutiny ‘Siege of Lucknow’ V.C. awarded to Mr. Thomas Henry Kavanagh, Bengal Uncovenanted Civil Service. UPDATE: THIS MADE £930,000 – A WORLD RECORD PRICE FOR A V.C.

    The first civilian Victoria Cross of five to be awarded presented to Thomas Henry Kavanagh by Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle – one of only two not in a museum – comes up at Noonan’s in Mayfair on September 14 with an estimate of £300,000-400,000. The famous Indian Mutiny ‘Siege of Lucknow’ Victoria Cross was awarded to Thomas Henry Kavanagh, who was born on July 15, 1821 in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.

    He was employed as a clerk in the Lucknow Office prior to the Siege. In November 1857, he volunteered to leave the safety of the Residency disguised as a Sepoy (an Indian soldier serving under British or other European orders), accompanied by a Brahmin scout.  The pair jostled past armed rebels through the narrow Lucknow streets and talked their way past sentries in the moonlight, crossed deep rivers, tramped through swamps and narrowly avoided capture after startling a farmer who raised the alarm.  On finally reaching a British cavalry outpost Kavanagh delivered Sir James Outram’s vital despatch to Sir Colin Campbell and ably guided his column to the relief of the Residency garrison.

    Oliver Pepys, Auctioneer and Medal Specialist (Associate Director) Noonans explained: “Kavanagh was decorated with the highest honour for undertaking an epic quest to escape the surrounded Residency at night, crossing enemy lines, making contact with the camp of the Commander-in-Chief, and then using his local knowledge to guide the relieving force through the city to the beleaguered garrison by the safest route.”

    “The first of just five civilians to have been awarded the V.C., he was further rewarded with promotion to the gazetted post of Assistant Commissioner of Oude and was presented with his Victoria Cross by Queen Victoria in a special ceremony at Windsor Castle. A tour of England and Ireland further enhanced his celebrity while the publication in 1860 of his account of the Siege, ‘How I won the Victoria Cross’ and Orlando Norrie’s painting of him donning his Indian disguise – one of the truly iconic images of the Defence of Lucknow – ensured that he became a Victorian legend, indeed few histories of the conflict are without an image of ‘Lucknow Kavanagh’.”

    A first edition copy of his book is included with the lot.

    Thomas Henry Kavanagh


    Monday, August 15th, 2022
    Seán Keating – An Allegory, 1924. © Estate of Seán Keating, IVARO Dublin, 2022. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland

    The divisive nature of the Irish Civil War is addressed in this 1924 painting, An Allegory by Sean Keating. The prevailing sense of disquiet and uncertainty is a reflection of Ireland in the wake of the war which raged on this island exactly a century ago. Among the characters featured are the artist, his wife and child.  A new display which opens at the National Gallery on August 20  comprises nine works by Keating and one by William Orpen.  Art on display includes Men of the West, On the Run – War of Independence and Homo Sapiens: An Allegory of Democracy. A number of portraits of nationalist figures such as Erskine Childers, John Devoy and Terence MacSwiney will be on display alongside William Orpen’s monumental painting The Holy Well in which Keating is the central subject.

    This is one of three displays marking the conclusion of the Decade of Centenaries at the National Gallery.  Hughie O’Donoghue Original Sins now on show addresses memory, history and questions of identity. In September an exhibition by Estella Solomons will feature portraits of leading revolutionary and cultural figures of that time.


    Saturday, August 13th, 2022
    An abstract artwork by Michael Hales at Aidan Foley’s sale UPDATE: THIS MADE 500 AT HAMMER

    A small pencil sketch of a country fair by Jack B. Yeats is similar in size to one Aidan Foley sold recently for €2,000 at Sixmilebridge. It comes up among about 180 lots of art at Foley’s sale on August 14 including work by Mark O’Neill, Arthur Maderson, John Morris, Markey Robinson, John Kingerlee and the British born Co. Tipperary based Michael Hales. The appetite for art at auction in Ireland is undiminished and paintings will be to the fore at Foley’s sale at Kilcolgan, Co. Galway and at Hegarty’s in Bandon on August 17. Both sales are online.

    Michael Hales, whose abstract art is gathering a growing band of admirers, has his studio at Emly and cites Bridget Riley, Gerhard Richter and Sean Scully as influences.  His work can be seen as part of a group show at the Kenmare Windows exhibition until August 28 where exhibitors are displayed in the windows of local businesses and Kenmare Butter Market as well as the Carnegie Arts Centre.  He has had various shows around Tipperary, at Cahir, Cashel and Tipperary Town and was recently at the Royal Ulster Academy’s 140th annual exhibition.

    If art is hot the same cannot be said for much of the antique furniture that surfaces at sales like Aidan Foleys.  The auctioneer is offering a mahogany four drawer chest tomorrow that would fit in any house or apartment.  It will, he predicts, go for €100 or less.  Demand for lots like Georgian drop leaf tables, a cross banded Victorian pembroke table, cheval mirrors and rosewood card tables, all of which feature in the sale tomorrow, remains weak even though antique furniture is the ultimate buy for those who want to go green and save the planet. 

    The Mill by Samuel Prout at Hegarty’s UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Noted for the naturalness of his drawing and his play on light and shade the British watercolourist Samuel Prout (1783-1852) is credited with elevating the art of architectural drawing to new heights.  Among his pupils was the critic John Ruskin who once remarked: “Sometimes I tire of Turner but never of Prout”. A definitive collection of over 60 works by Prout as well as by his son Samuel Gillespie Prout (1822-1911) and his nephew John Skinner Prout (1805-1876) will kick off the sale at Hegarty’s on Wednesday. One of the more expensively estimated works by Samuel Prout is The Mill, a watercolour which depicts a house and watermill overlooking a stream. It is estimated at €2,500-€4,500.  There are many less expensively estimated works by the Prout family from €300 up.  A Quayside Scene by Samuel Prout is estimated at €300-€600 and a watercolour of Ratisbon Cathedral (modern day Regensberg) by Samuel Gillespie Prout is estimated at €500-€700. The Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery holds a collection of work by Samuel Prout. Among other lots of note at Hegarty’s is a portrait of a young female  by John Butler Yeats (1839-1922) from the Yeats family collection. It is thought to be of his daughter Lily who often sat for her father and is estimated at €1,000-€2,000. Poppies in Sunlight by Kenneth Webb is estimated at €3,000-€5,000. Kenneth Webb is to be the subject of an exhibition at Gladwell and Patterson, Beauchamp Place, London next month.


    Saturday, August 13th, 2022
    Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londondonerry (Lord Castlereagh), c National Portrait Gallery, London.

    This year marks the 200th anniversary of the death by suicide of Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, an enormously influential and divisive figure, hated in both Ireland and Britain.  The silver inkstand presented by William Pitt to Stewart in 1805 when he became Secretary of State for War and the Colonies is now on display at his home at Mount Stewart, Co. Down. In this role he helped shape the future of Europe at the Congress of Vienna, the coming together of victorious leaders in 1814 after the defeat of Napoleon.  Earlier, in Ireland, he had played an important role suppressing the 1798 Rebellion and the creation of the Act of Union in 1801. 

    In England he supported the repressive measures of 1815 that linked him in the public mind to the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 when the cavalry charged a 60,000 crowd demanding parliamentary reform, killing 15. This event inspired Shelley’s poem, The Masque of Anarchy, in which the second stanza begins:

    I met Murder on the way,

    He had a mask like Castlereagh

    The inkstand remained within the family until it was sold in 2019. It has been acquired by the National Trust which administers the magnificent neo classical Mount Stewart House and Gardens in Northern Ireland. It is part of a new exhibition of Robert Stewart’s life which opened on August 12. Some time after his death Lord Byron penned these lines:

    Posterity will ne’er survey

    A nobler grave than this:

    Here lie the bones of Castlereagh:

    Stop, traveller, and piss