Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for January, 2023


    Tuesday, January 24th, 2023
    Irish George I secretaire cabinet. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £22,950

    An important Irish George I walnut and featherbanded, sycamore, cedar and marquetry ‘architectural’ secretaire cabinet c1725, possibly by John Kirkhoffer, comes up at Bonhams in London next month. It is among the highlights at The Connoiseur’s Library sale in Knightsbridge on February 7 and 8 and estimated at £20,000-£30,000. This is one of a group of four similar walnut and marquetry secretaire cabinets, dated circa 1720, which all appear in the 2007 seminal work on Irish furniture by Desmond Fitzgerald, Knight of Glin and James Peill. The authors re-affirm that such walnut cabinets are of Irish origin.

    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. The Kirkhoffer family of Protestant immigrants made it to the counties of Kerry and Limerick before ultimately settling in Dublin. There is some confusion as to the exact identity of this particular John Kirkhoffer. One was recorded as leasing premises for cabinet making in 1736, others are documented as cabinet makers active in Dublin in the 18th century.


    Monday, January 23rd, 2023
    George Hardie original artwork Led Zeppelin album cover. Couresy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2022. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $47,880

    George Hardie’s original album cover artwork for the 1976 Led Zeppelin soundtrack to the film The Song Remains the Same comes up at Christie’s Exceptional Sale in New York on January 27. The acrylic, ink and graphite front and back covers on illustration board are estimated at $50,000-80,000. The sale of extraordinary objects includes furniture, silver and decorative arts. Among the lots on offer are The Arizona Spike made in 1869 of steel clad in gold and silver to commemorate the completion of the world’s first transcontinental railroad and an Ascot Trophy sponsored by Tsar Nicholas II.

    UPDATE: The Arizona Spike made $2.2 million, the Ascot Trophy made $302,400.


    Sunday, January 22nd, 2023
    Nano Reid, 1910-1981 – BOYNE FISHING I. UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,200 AT HAMMER

    This oil on board by Nano Reid is from the current art and design online auction by de Veres in Dublin. Lot 10 is estimated at 2,000-4,000. All viewing and bidding for this auction of 136 lots is online. The auction continues until January 25.


    Saturday, January 21st, 2023
    A selection of vintage designer items from Wendy’s Way of Life

    The going looks good at Limerick Racecourse this weekend. Hibernian Antique Fairs hit Limerick Racecourse have once again hit the home turf. The racecourse has proven an ideal venue for dealers from all over the country and the public alike. This January event is the biggest yet. A particularly large display of jewellery from vintage to high end with traders from Ireland and Northern Ireland, including a number of members of the Irish Antique Dealers Association, is on display. Prices at Wendy’s Way of Life, a new dealer whose wares have proved very popular, range from €50-€400. Or how about passenger chairs from the RMS Celtic with ran aground off Roches Point in 1928.  Dealer Norman Allison will offer a pair of original condition chairs with no repairs or faults on cast iron bases bolted to the floor. Among a number of new dealers Jim Halpin of the Listowel Military and Historical Museum will be showing and selling for the first time.  This is a fair to savour at leisure, full of quirky, rare and unusual items of interest to all sorts of collectors. There will be antique furniture, Irish art, glass, silver, jewellery, vintage fashion, coins, banknotes, militaria and a large selection of collectibles to be seen and enjoyed.


    Saturday, January 21st, 2023
    How Did You Get there? He Asked in Amazement by Jack B Yeats. UPDATE: THIS MADE 9,000 AT HAMMER

    There is nothing new about celebrity donkeys in Irish fiction.  Long before Jenny the Donkey from The Banshees of Inisherin stole the show at this years Golden Globes in Hollywood The Turf Cutter’s Donkey was a favourite of generations of Irish children.  Written by Patricia Lynch (1898-1972) and first published in 1934 The Turf Cutter’s Donkey came complete with lovingly evoked illustrations of the Irish landscape by Jack B Yeats.  Lot 15 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s sizzling online sale of Irish art which runs until January 30 is an illustration by Yeats of the Turf Cutter’s Donkey which has never before been on the auction market. The sale boasts no less than five watercolours by Yeats, three of them from the tale of mystery and adventure by Patricia Lynch. It follows the exploits of Seamus and Eileen, turf cutters children from a whitewashed cottage befriended by a donkey who leads them into a series of extraordinary adventures. Leading the three illustrations from the work is The Turf Cutter’s Donkey, estimated at €15,000-€25,000. How did you get there? He asked in amazement is estimated at €5,000-€7,000 and Look at the Showdown by the Red Rock is estimated at €8,000-€12,000.  Other works by Yeats, The Derelict (1910) and The Pannier Market (1906) are estimated respectively at €10,000-€15,000 and €15,000-€25,000.

    There will be much interest in Two Pears, a 1977 oil on canvas by William Scott estimated at €50,000-€70,000.  Scott remains the most internationally celebrated  Ulster painter of the 20th century and a work of this calibre is likely to generate significant competitive bidding.   Among the other artists with a strong following featured in this sale are  Donald Teskey, John Shinnors, Hughie O’Donoghue, Mainie Jellett and James Arthur O’Connor. The catalogue is online and viewing gets underway in Skibbereen on January 26.

    (See post on for January 12, 2023)


    Friday, January 20th, 2023
    Vintage black wool hat with pearls and gold tone pin

    You can find all kinds of everything at the National Antique and Vintage Fair at Limerick Racecourse this weekend. Like this vintage hat which Elly Henry, who specialises in antique and vintage clothing, accessories and jewellery, will bring to the fair. There will be antique furniture, jewellery, art, vintage collectibles, coins, bank notes, even a wooden toboggan. Limerick Racecourse has proven to be a great venue for this event, which promises to be a major crowd puller.


    Wednesday, January 18th, 2023
    The Atallah Cross

    The Attallah Cross, a unique piece of jewellery, said to have been favoured by Princess Diana, sold for £163,800 / $197,453 to Kim Kardashian at Sotheby’s Royal and Noble sale in London. There were four bidders in action before the lot was bought by a representative for Ms. Kardashian at more than double its pre-auction estimate.

    (See post on for December 22, 2022)


    Wednesday, January 18th, 2023
    HUGH DOUGLAS HAMILTON (1739–1808) – George Clavering Cowper, 3rd Earl Cowper

    A recently discovered full-length pastel portrait by Hugh Douglas Hamilton, the most celebrated Irish portraitist of the Grand Tour, has been acquired by the Cleveland Museum of Art. The portrait had remained in the sitter’s family and is preserved in remarkable condition. The full-length pastel was a type developed during the 18th century and appealed to English tourists on the Grand Tour to Italy. The earl, a cultural paragon and a patron of artists and composers, spent most of his adult life in Florence, where he sat for Hugh Douglas Hamilton.  Cowper championed the music of Handel, sponsoring performances of his works in Florence for the first time, patronised a stream of artists, including Johan Zoffany from whom he acquired the Niccolini-Cowper Madonna and Small Cowper Madonna both by Raphael and both now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington. He sponsored a number of scientists including Alessandro Volta’s work on electromagnetism.

    Hugh Douglas Hamilton lived in Florence for two years, studying in the Uffizi and producing portraits of Grand Tourists as well as members of the resident British community. His portrait of Cowper is undoubtedly the masterpiece from his time in the city,


    Wednesday, January 18th, 2023
    ANTOINE WATTEAU (1684-1721) – Le Pèlerinage a l’Ile de Cythère. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $1,860,000

    Le Pèlerinage a l’Ile de Cythère, a rediscovery of a major addition to the small canon of paintings by the French master, Antoine Watteau. comes up at Christie’s Old Masters sale in New York on January 25. Larger in scale than most of Watteau’s paintings the oil on canvas provides a crucial, previously unknown stage in the creation of the artist’s most celebrated masterpiece The Embarkation to Cythera in the Louvre. 

    The picture was catalogued in detail in a number of 18th-century collections and clearly identified as a work by Watteau. During the 19th century the attribution was lost. It has now been reattributed. Contemporaneous attributions are further supported by extensive scientific examination which has revealed that the painting was created using Watteau’s distinctive methods with materials consistent in age and type with his work. The work is to be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné by Alan Wintermute.


    Tuesday, January 17th, 2023
    James Coleman – Still Life, 2013-2016 (yellow version) Video Installation
    © James Coleman; Courtesy of James Coleman and Marian Goodman Gallery

    A video installation Still Life, 2013-2016 (yellow version), by Roscommon born James Coleman has just opened at the National Gallery of Ireland. A pioneer of lens-based installation art Coleman works primarily in film and slide projection. On view until next October 8 in the Sir Hugh Lane Room it offers a silent, large-scale projection of an uprooted poppy against a black background. One year after its acquisition in February 2022 this is the first display of the work at the Gallery and its first appearance in Ireland. Coleman is recognised internationally for his influence on late-twentieth century conceptual art and represented Ireland at the 1973 Paris Biennale.