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


    Monday, July 31st, 2023
    René Magritte – La Valse Hésitation (1955). UPDATE: THIS MADE €11,177,000

    René Magritte’s Masked Apples will make their auction debut at Sotheby’s in Paris on October 19 with an estimate of €10-15 million. This is the highest ever estimate for a work of art at Sotheby’s in France. La Valse hésitation depicts two masked apples shrouded in night-time shadows, against the backdrop of a bright blue sky peppered with Magritte’s characteristic clouds. The motif was conceived in the early 1950s, at the same moment as his most important series – L’Empire des Lumières – was similarly seeking to capture the paradox of day meeting night.

    The painting has not been seen in public since 1979, where it was the subject of an exhibition at the Galerie Isy Brachot, and has since been treasured in three private collections in the artist’s homeland of Belgium. It is coming to the open market for the first time. The apple is central to Magritte’s oeuvre – and the countless iterations he inspired in popular culture. Here, the apple – an intimate object familiar from the centuries-old artistic tradition of the still life and harking back to the Garden of Eden – is transformed into a mysterious, anthropomorphic character. With the addition of a simple mask, without any facial features, Magritte opens to the door to countless possibilities.

    Sotheby’s Paris Modernités auction on 19 October will present works by artists from the emergence of the European avant-garde to the Post-War period, showcasing the modernist movements across Europe and the overlapping dialogues within this rich artistic moment.


    Sunday, July 30th, 2023
    A rare Persse’s of Galway mirror. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A rare Persse’s Galway Whisky mirror from the Nun’s Island Distillery as supplied to the House of Commons comes up as lot 282 at Victor Mee’s sale of pub memorabilia, advertising and collectibles on August 1.    With an estimate of €8,000-€16,000 this is the top lot of the auction. The mirror is in its original oak frame. A Good Luck Jack metal Guinness keg from the O’Conor Don pub with a framed photo of Jack Charlton with the same keg is estimated at €600-€1,200,  a mahogany bell box in working order has an estimate of  €500-€1,000 and an oversized Player’s Please tobacco advertising card is estimated at €800-€1,000.  Collectibles include a 1950’s telephone exchange with headset, a chrome and glass Art Deco counter cabinet, a bronze three legged pot and an alloy sign asking people to Please Drive Slowly Through Blarney.  The catalogue is online.

    A Good Luck Jack Guinness keg. UPDATE: THIS MADE 650 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, July 29th, 2023
    An Irish George IV secretaire, possibly Cork, at Fonsie Mealy. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,400 AT HAMMER

    A unique collection of bog oak artefacts, a rare complete set of 1791 Views of the City of Dublin after James Malton, an 18th century Chinoiserie lacquered two door cabinet on stand, a George II giltwood wall mirror and an important pair of percussion duelling pistols by  H.W. Mortimer, London are among the top lots at Fonsie Mealys three day sale in Castlecomer on August 1, 2 and 3. This auction is brimful of interest and offers a diverse and eclectic selection of 1,292 lots of  antiques and collectibles.

    Rainbow No. 5 by Patrick Scott, woven by V’soske Joyce  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER

    There is antique furniture, paintings, Irish and international art, silver, plate, militaria from a private collection in Northern Ireland, jewellery, ceramics, clocks, glassware, carpets, garden furniture, advertising signs and other collectibles. Among them is an Irish George IV mahogany breakfront secretaire, possibly made in Cork, which came from the Presentation Order at Blackrock, Cork. The estimate is €2,000-€3,000. Rainbow No. 5 is the title of a Patrick Scott tapestry with V’soske Joyce label commissioned for the Kilkenny Design Centre.  It is one of two tapestries by the late artist in the sale commissioned by Kilkenny Design. Each is estimated at €1,500-€2,000.

    One of the more unusual lots is a collection of 108 rare Irish bog oak artefacts by Cornelius Goggin (1850-1914) and other carvers.  There is a jewellery casket, a two panel tea caddy, a book slide, candlesticks, an Irish round tower, boxes, photograph frames and harps all profusely carved.  The lot is estimated at €8,000-€12,000, as is the Chinoiserie cabinet and the George II mirror mentioned above.  The most expensively estimated lot is the complete set of 24 engraved plates of Dublin views after James Malton (€10,000-€15,000).  A selection of signed prints by L.S. Lowery, Paul Henry and James Humbert Craig will be available at more affordable estimates.

    A pair of early 19th century Cork water jugs. UPDATE: THESE MADE 850 AT HAMMER

    A fine pair of early 19th century Cork water jugs by The Terrace Glassworks which operated more than 200 years at South Terrace in the city centre have a hobnailed centre panel and partially serrated edges.  The estimate is €250-€350.  A c1689 portrait of Sir Maurice Eustace, Lord Chancellor of Ireland after the Restoration of Charles II who gave his name to Eustace St. in Dublin city centre, is from the circle of James Gandy and estimated at €4,000-€6,000.  A rarity of a different sort is a polychrome mask from Papua, New Guinea, probably Sepik River (€200-€300).  This is one of a number of lots of ethnographic art.

    A polychrome mask from Papua, New Guinea. UPDATE: THIS MADE 110 AT HAMMER

    The militaria section includes pistols, swords of various types, spears, daggers, pikeheads, bayonets, sabres and even a percussion pocket knife pistol.  The top lot is the cased pair of duelling pistols by Mortimer (€6,000-€8,000).  There is a selection of clocks, garnitures and longcase clocks, lot 726 is a six tier Delft tulipiere of pyramid form (€800-€1,200) and the sale offers a collection of Chinese cloisonne ware.Among numerous lots of interest is a solid silver limited edition Christ of St. John of the Cross by Salvador Dali (€3,000-€5,000), a 16th century Spanish School  carved polychrome and parcel gilt of St. Michael and the Devil (€4,000-€6,000), an Irish sofa table by Williams and Gibton with lion paw feet (€800-€1,500), a set of 24 19th century dining chairs from the Presentation Order, Blackrock, Cork (€2,500-€3,200) and a massive composition sandstone urn (€1,500-€2,500). The catalogue is online and the auction will be on view in Castlecomer from 1 pm to 6 pm tomorrow (July 30) and from 10.30 am to 6 pm next Monday.


    Friday, July 28th, 2023
    PETER CURLING (B.1955) – July Course Study, Newmarket. UPDATE: THIS MADE 7,000 AT HAMMER

    July Course Study, Newmarket, an oil on canvas by Peter Curling, comes up as lot 15 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish art online auction which runs until the evening of July 31. The estimate is 8,000-12,000. There is art by Jack Butler Yeats, John Behan, May Guinness, Brian Ballard, Orla de Bri and many other artists on offer. The sale is now on view in Skibbereen and the catalogue is online.


    Thursday, July 27th, 2023
    REV. C.B GIBSON – History of the County and City of Cork
    published by Thomas Newby, London 1861. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    This 1861 History of the County and City of Cork is the most expensively estimated lot at the James Adam timed online only Books and Works on Paper sale which runs until August 1. The first volume begins with an account of the rivalry of the MacCarthy and O’Brien Gaelic clans, the 12th century Norman conquest and the creation of the Earldom of Desmond, centuries of Gaelic rebellion and the defeat of the Gaelic Irish at the Battle of Kinsale. The second volume covers the 17th century Civil War, the Cromwellian invasion, the Williamite Wars and the 1798 rebellion. The remainder of the second volume describes the government of the county Cork , its baronies and parishes, their histories, notable family dynasties and residences. The estimate is €1,000-2,000.

    The catalogue is online. Viewing gets underway in Dublin today at Adams warehouse in Rathcoole for which the postcode is D24 DY77.


    Wednesday, July 26th, 2023
    Salvador Dali, Spanish (1904-1989) – Cristo de San Juan de la Cruz. UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,500 AT HAMMER

    Among numerous unusual and highly collectible lots at Fonsie Mealy’s three days sale in Castlecomer on August 1, 2 and 3 is this limited edition solid silver piece by Salvador Dali (lot 882). Christ of St. John of the Cross is in its original presentation case and is about nine inches high. The signed piece dates to around 1974 and is number 103 from an edition of 250. The estimate is €3,000-5,000. The catalogue for this sale of 1,292 lots is online and it will be on view in Castlecomer on July 30 and 31.

    Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí at the Kelvingrove Gallery in Glasgow is one of the best-loved works in Glasgow Museums’ entire collection, for both tourists and Glaswegians alike.


    Tuesday, July 25th, 2023
    DONALD TESKEY (B.1956) – Kilcummin Head, Co. Mayo (2020). UPDATE: THIS MADE 36,000 AT HAMMER

    This 2020 work by Donald Teskey comes up as lot 6 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s current online Irish art auction. The online catalogue features work by Evie Hone, John Behan, Jack Butler Yeats, Nano Reid, Orla de Bri, Cecil King, Sir William Orpen and many other Irish artists. The sale runs until the evening of Monday, July 31 and will be on view in Skibbereen, west Cork from July 27. Kilcummin Head by Teskey is estimated at €15,000-€25,000.


    Monday, July 24th, 2023

    A blockbuster exhibition of Andy Warhol’s paintings, prints, photographs, films and installations opens at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin in October and will run until next January. Five years in the making it will include more than 250 works on loan from museums and private collections and from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.  Work on show will range from iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans, Flowers, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy and Chairman Mau to self-portraits, skulls, electric chairs and avant garde films along with his immersive Silver Clouds sculpture.Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn became the most expensive 20th Century artwork ever sold at auction when it made $195 million at Christie’s in New York last year.


    Sunday, July 23rd, 2023
    La Vita Nuova by Dante illustrated by Phoebe Anna Traquair.

    A rare copy of La Vita Nuova by Dante illustrated by the Dublin born artist Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852-1936) is available at London booksellers Peter Harrington with a price tag of £1,500 (€1,748).  The first edition is one of 150 copies of a finely printed photographic reproduction of Traquair’s illuminated manuscript.  A key figure in the Arts and Crafts movement Traquairs best known work is Mansfield Place Church, which has been described as Edinburgh’s Sistine Chapel.


    Saturday, July 22nd, 2023

    Inspired by Sinead O’Connor Nothing Compares 2 U is the title of this artwork by Jack Coulter on display at Sotheby’s first ever selling exhibition in Dublin.  New artworks by the renowned 29 year old Belfast artist who is best known for his paintings of extreme visceral quality are on display in a show titled A Song For You.  Coulter has synaesthesia, a neurological condition whereby he experiences sound as colour, and is inspired by songs of artists like Sinead O’Connor, Harry Styles (who collects his work), The Corrs, Blondie and many others. At the Cadogan Hall in London in 2018 he painted Mendlessohn’s Violin Concerto live with the London Chamber Orchestra at a performance that was streamed worldwide. Other synesthete artists include David Hockney and Joan Mitchell. A debut exhibition by the artist at Sotheby’s in London last November appealed to buyers right around the world, including some celebrities, and was a huge success.  The exhibition is on display at Sotheby’s, Molesworth St., Dublin until August 4 and available there to view and purchase online until  August 31.