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


    Thursday, August 24th, 2023

    This presentation copy of The Untilled Field by George Moore to the Liberal British Prime Minister H.H. Asquith is currently with London booksellers Peter Harrington, priced at £500. It is  inscribed on the half-title “To the Right Hon’ble Henry Asquith, with many kind regards, George Moore, October 23 1914”. Like Moore, Asquith was a moderate supporter of Home Rule for Ireland, which may have spurred the presentation of the volume, a major publication in the Celtic Revival.


    Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023
    An Irish white glazed figure of a seated cat, Belleek, 1930s

    This 1930’s Belleek cat is one of a number of Irish lots in the online sales of the Freddie Mercury collection now ongoing at Sotheby’s. The cat is lot 1501 in the Freddie Mercury, a World of His Own sale, Crazy Little Things, which runs until September 11. The white glazed cat is estimated at £50-£60 but such is the popularity of the sale that it will make a lot more. Lot 1587 in the same sale is a large group of mixed European linen damask and cotton. It comprises various large damask linen cloths some with matching napkins, other white work embroidered and pulled-work table cloths, napkins and various other small groups of napkins, tape lace place mats, together with two new unused Irish ‘Fingal’ linen double damask cloths, ‘Celtic’ and ‘Chrysanthemum’ designs, a box of six new ‘Chrysanthemum’ design napkins and a group of 28 new ‘Artraco’ white spotted napkins. The estimate is £400-£600 but again these will sell for a lot more.

    In the live At Home sale in London on September 8 is a c1760 George III giltwood mirror described as possibly Irish. The estimate is £2,000-£3,000.


    Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023
    Memphis Milano Carlton bookcase

    Timeless, the Irish Antique Dealers’ Fair, returns to Dublin’s RDS from September 15-17 with a fascinating blend of contemporary and antique-focused exhibitors. Timeless caters for all ages and tastes. From a rare bookcase beloved and favoured by David Bowie and Karl Lagerfeld to a 400-year-old diamond ring that travelled the Silk Road, unique designs through the ages will be featured as the Fair returns for the 56th time.

    “Each piece is unique and the real joy of Timeless is discovering that something different, the one magical piece that makes a home,” said Garret Weldon, President of the Irish Antique Dealers’ Association. “The best of the past is also best for the future, as our trade is the original sustainable industry and helps the planet through a reduction in manufacturing and waste.

    A 17th century diamond ring, the oldest that has ever been handled by Dublin jeweller JW Weldon, will be spotlighted at the show. The English crafted ring, valued at €3,950, pre-dates the mining era and the stones would have been weathered from the earth and polished rather than cut. The diamonds would have been transported to England via the old Silk Road trade route as there was no shipping route.

    Among many unusual statement items is a rare first edition Memphis Milano Carlton bookcase to be sold in Ireland for the first time by Acquired. Breaking from all traditional materials and rules of design, the Carlton bookcase, valued at €17,000, was in the collections of fashion and rock icons such as David Bowie and Karl Lagerfeld, who were among the first to understand and acknowledge this ground-breaking design.  Designed by Ettore Sottsass for the Memphis Milano group once graced Florence palazzo.

    A 17th century diamond ring.


    Monday, August 21st, 2023

    Frans Hals will be the focus of a blockbuster show at the Rijksmuseum next year.   The Dutch master known for the vitality of his subjects is regarded as one of the most innovative artists of the 17th century. His subjects range from stately regents to cheerful musicians, children and soldiers depicted in a unique, personal style that was utterly original. The first major exhibition devoted to Frans Hals at the Rijksmuseum follows the recent exhibitions on Rembrandt and Vermeer and is the first show on this scale since the 1989-90 exhibition at the Royal Academy, London, The National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem. It will feature 50 of his greatest works, many of loan from international collections, including The Laughing Cavalier from The Wallace Collection in London.  It will be the first time this particular work has been loaned since 1870. Pictured here is The Lute Player c1623 from the collection at The Louvre.  Frans Hals at the Rijksmuseum will run from February 16 – June 9, 2024.


    Sunday, August 20th, 2023
    A decorative 19th century walnut work/dressing table. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A late 19th century walnut combination dressing table and work table is among the antique furniture highlights at Hegarty’s August live online auction which takes place on August 22.  The cabinet, adorned with open fretwork with delicate scrolling and foliate detail, is estimated at €1,000-€1,500. A William IV specimen table is estimated at €2,500-€3,500 and a pair of William IV armchairs have an estimate of €900-€1,000. The sale offers more than 250 lots of art, furniture and collectibles from a private collection in Kinsale.  There is an oil on board by Arthur Maderson titled Autumn Sunlight, a watercolour of Cork Docklands by Norma Healy and  an oil on canvas by Martin Stone, Gorsefire.  An Art Deco inspired Ceylon sapphire and diamond cluster ring is estimated at €6,500-€8,500.


    Saturday, August 19th, 2023
    My Roman Balcony by George Potter UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,000 AT HAMMER

    Art by Donald Teskey, Peter Curling, Elizabeth Cope,  Arthur Maderson, John Doherty,  William Crozier and Norman McCaig from the Ulster Bank Collection will be among the lots to be auctioned for charity by Morgan O’Driscoll on  August 28. Proceeds from the online sale of more than 250 lots donated by Ulster Bank – which has now closed all its branches in the Irish Republic – will be donated to Community Foundation Ireland.  This philanthropic hub strives to achieve equality for all in communities through a network of 5,000 voluntary, community and charitable partners around the country.  The foundation has provided more than €120 million in grant supports to communities since 2000.

    With everything from an abstract screenprint by Cecil King, sculptures by Laurent Mellett and Sandra Bell, an oil on board by Henry Healy (1901-1982)  entitled Near Clifden, Preparing to go to Mass and Ornamental Trees, Fota by Victor Richardson this is a very wide ranging collection catering to a variety of artistic tastes. The sale is significant in many ways.  Before making their way into the Ulster Bank Collection all these works will have been analysed and deemed worthy by art world professionals.  Artworks in a collection like this will have been acquired with the assistance of serious advisors.

    The Liffey and O’Connell Bridge by Elizabeth Cope. UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,600 AT HAMMER

    Even though the art on offer is significant the estimates are wide ranging and  reasonable.  They span a range from €300 euro for 1992 lithograph – West Cork, Morning by William Crozier to €7,500 for Five Musicians, an oil on canvas by John B. Vallelly.Other works on offer include The Garden of the Wreck, 1998 by John Doherty (€1,200-€1,800), Winter Farm by Nancy Wynne-Jones (€1,000-€1,500), Traffic Lights, Athy by Eugene Conway (€700-€1,000), Day’s work done by Peter Curling (€1,200-€1,800), Donegal Landscape by Arthur Armstrong (€1,500-€2,500), Liffey by Peter Pearson (€600-€900), Primary Structure in Grey by Francis Tansey (€1,000-€1,500), Street with Figures by Donald Teskey (€5,000-€7,000), Gathering the Turf by Charles McAuley (€800-€1,200), My Roman Balcony by George Potter (€1,500-€2,500) and Apple Blossom Time by Norman McCaig (€400-€600).

    “This generous gift from Ulster Bank will enable us to impact so many deserving recipients amongst our 5,000 voluntary, community and charitable partners across Ireland. We are hugely appreciative that Community Foundation Ireland has been entrusted to deploy these funds,” Denise Charlton, ceo of Community Foundation Ireland, said. Morgan O’Driscoll remarked that the collection will generate interest from art lovers and collectors alike as well as supporters of the Foundation from across the island of Ireland.   The catalogue is online and there will be viewing in Skibbereen on August 24 and 25 and on August 28.

    Day’s Work Done by Peter Curling. UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,200 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, August 17th, 2023
    Franz Bergman (1898-1963) Bronze painted pheasant. UPDATE: THIS LOT WAS UNSOLD

    A pair of cold painted bronze pheasants by the Viennese Franz Bergman foundry come up at Hegarty’s live online sale in Bandon on August 22. The pair are impressed with the makers mark “B” and each one is numbered. The Bergman was noted for detailed and colourful work and the estimate on the pair is €800-€1,000. The sale of 290 lots includes art, antique furniture and collectibles from a private collection in Kinsale.


    Tuesday, August 15th, 2023
    Council of Trent. Canones et decreta sacrosancti oecumenici et generalis Concilii Tridentini, sub Paulo III, Julio III, et Pio III. Rome, 1564. This volume was bound in Rome in the shop of the “Ruiz Binder,” assumed to be the successor to Maestro Luigi, and working regularly for the Vatican.

    A Renaissance library of magnificent books and bindings will come up at Sotheby’s in New York in October. Bibliotheca Brookeriana, the T. Kimball Brooker Library of Renaissance Books and Bindings is the only library with the theme and concentration of Brooker’s ever assembled outside of Europe. There will be an unprecedented series of eight auctions of treasured texts celebrating the history of western thought and the art of bookmaking. Collector and scholar T. Kimball Brooker diligently assembled a carefully curated, extraordinary library of more than 1,300 sixteenth-century French and Italian books in their original bindings across more than six decades. Estimated to achieve in excess of $25 million, the collection will be presented in a live evening auction in New York this October – marking the first dedicated Books & Manuscripts evening auction in New York in a decade.

    Among the countless treasures is the largest collection of editions from the renowned Aldine Press to come to the market in a century. Numbering approximately 1,000 volumes published roughly from the 1490s to the 1590s, the grouping represents the largest private collection of these revered and highly collectible texts in existence, with other comparable collections held in prominent institutions including University of California, Los Angeles; The Morgan Library & Museum, New York; John Rylands Research Institute and Library in Manchester, England; and
    The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. A series of eight dedicated sales will begin with a live evening sale on October 11 and the first sale dedicated to the Aldine editions on October 12.


    Sunday, August 13th, 2023
     Handwritten manuscript working  lyrics to We are the Champions. UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR £317,500

    Freddie Mercury’s baby grand, the matched wedding rings of Bogie and  Bacall, a first edition of The Great Gatsby from the collection of Charlie Watts and Sir Roger Moore’s Lamborghini skis are among an extraordinary collection of celebrity stuff soon to come up at blockbuster sales in London and Hollywood. Collectibles like these are big business.  With fans everywhere and global auction access online the business is growing exponentially.

    A c1905 Art Nouveau glass vase lamp from the collection of Freddie Mercury. UPDATE: THIS MADE £22,860

    Right now every inch of Sotheby’s 16,000  gallery space at New Bond St. in London is given over to a free exhibition of the world of Freddie Mercury in advance of three auctions on September 6, 7 and 8.  Online Mercury sales already underway will run to September 11, 12 and 13.  On offer are costumes, hand written lyrics, drawings, furniture, decorative and fine art that were part of his life at his London home, Garden Lodge in Kensington.The centre piece of the exhibition is his treasured Yamaha G2 Baby Grand.  More than a decade of hits, from Bohemian Rhapsody to Barcelona, were composed on this treasured piano.  Always kept in pristine condition it is estimated at £2 million – £3 million.  There are handwritten working lyrics for Bohemian Rhapsody, Don’t Stop Me Now and Somebody to Love, costumes relating to promotional videos including a two piece stage outfit comprising catsuit and bolero of ivory satin with winged wrists and lower legs inspired by the God Mercury.

     Henri Matisse – Masque Blanc sur Fond Noir from the collection of Freddie Mercury. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £30,480

    Freddie Mercury was a discriminating collector who loved going to auctions.  In 1980 he acquired Garden Lodge, a Georgian style brick villa, and set about creating a home that was both grand and intimate, richly furnished and entirely of his own making. The auction will include art by Matisse, James Tissot, Picasso and Utagawa Hiroshige, Victorian paintings and works on paper, the finest examples of the glass makers art, exceptional fabrics and fine works collected on trips to Japan.  All are on view at Sotheby’s in an exhibition that will close on September 5, the day that would have been Freddie Mercury’s 77th birthday.

    The matching 14 carat gold wedding rings exchanged by Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in May 1945 at Julien’s. UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR $190,500

    Iconic objects from some of Hollywood’s greatest legends will come up at a sale by Turner Classic Movies and Julien’s Auctions on September 6, 7 and 8.  There is everything from dresses worn by Princess Diana and Audrey Hepburn to a slave costume worn by Princess Leia in Star Wars, Captain Kirk’s Star Fleet command jacket and the 1945 wedding rings of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. James Bond, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Back to the Future and Batman will all feature in a sale celebrating 100 years of Warner Brothers.

    A library of First Edition classics and landmarks from the world of jazz will come up at Christie’s sale of the collection of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts (1941-2021).  The sale is led by a first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby inscribed by the author to the original Gatsby of the story. There are iconic works of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle alongside the best of English and American literature of the 20th century. Charlie Watts: Gentleman, Collector, Rolling Stone will take place in London on September 28.  An online sale will run from September 15-29.  Meantime Bonhams will offer 180 lots from the personal collection of Bond actor and UNICEF ambassador Sir Roger Moore (1927-2017) in London on October 4.  This marks the 50th anniversary year of his first appearance as 007.  There is Bond memorabilia like dinner suits and jackets, collectibles like a Hollywood Walk of Fame plaque and personal items like silk ties and cravats along with a pair of his Lamborghini skis.


    Saturday, August 12th, 2023
    French gilt metal and marquetry cylinder bureau UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    House contents auctions are always brimful of appeal so Sheppards offering  from Knocksaintlour House, Cashel, Co. Tipperary and other clients in Durrow on August 15 is bound to be a draw.  The top lots are a French Empire style marble specimen table (€5,000-€8,000), a French gilt metal marquetry cylinder bureau, a fine Kirman rug and a large 20th century bronze sculpture of a boy and girl on a bench all estimated at €4,000-€6,000.   The selection ranges from a pair of 19th century Marley horses and handlers after Cousteau to a Regency banjo barometer, a designer carved wood log box, a Venetian pier mirror and a pair of ruby glass baskets.  There are tables of various types including card tables, chairs, Tiffany style lamps, desks, centrepieces, conservatory armchairs, some silver, a barograph, compact antique furniture pieces and garden furniture including moulded stone lions, a trough and a blacksmith forged steel gate.

    The sale of 360 lots is on view at the house in Cashel today and tomorrow (August 12 and 13) and the catalogue is online.