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


    Tuesday, October 31st, 2023

    This 2021 unique Carrara marble sculpture by Eilis O’Connell entitled Thornmorph (maquette) is from Hardware / Software at the Solomon Gallery in Dublin until November 18. Working with materials like steel, bronze, stone and bio resins O’Connell explores material properties to make organic forms carved or constructed by hand.  The title of this solo show – borrowed from Jack Burnham’s 1974 publication Great Western Salt Works:  Essay’s on the meaning of Post-Formulist Art – refers to the dual aspects of an artist’s practice, physical and conceptual. The abstract watercolours on display mirror the sculpture. With an exhibition history that includes the Venice and Sao Paulo Biennales, the Guggenheim in Venice and E1027, the home designed by Eileen Gray in the South of France, O’Connell is one of our most internationally recognised contemporary artists,


    Monday, October 30th, 2023
    A five piece Camaleonda sofa by Mario Bellini UPDATE: THIS MADE 12,000 AT HAMMER

    Legendary designers like Eileen Gray, Niels Otto Moller, Arne Vodder, Mario Bellini, Finn Juhl and Angelo Lelli and a curated selection of artists from Dorothy Cross, Nathalie du Pasquier, Sinead ni Mhaonaigh to John Shinnors, John Boyd and Guggi feature at Adams autumn Mid-Century Modern timed online sale which runs until November 7. Design highlights in a selection that includes tables, chairs, lighting, mirrors, cabinets, glassware and desks include a five piece “Camaleonda” sofa by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia, one of the first truly modular sofa designs (€10,000-€15,000), and the Transat chair by Eileen Gray (€2,000-€3,000).  Art highlights include Road to Carraroe by John Shinnors (€15,000-€20,000), Untitled by the French born Milan based artist and designer Nathalie de Pasquier (€4,000-€6,000) and Brompton V by the English expressionist abstract artist Albert Irvin (1922-2015).  Viewing from this sale of 20th century design and contemporary art gets underway at Adams next Friday (November 3) and the catalogue is online.

    Untitled (B12) by Nathalie du Pasquier UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,500 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, October 29th, 2023
    A signed handwritten letter by Michael Collins. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    With everything from a signed January 1922 letter written by Michael Collins to a set of ten armorial side chairs from Fota House, a Killarney wood library table and an Egyptian New Kingdom amulet the Gentleman’s Library sale at Sheppards in Durrow on November 7 and 8 is brimful of interest. It offers an exceptional array of fine library furniture, lighting, early Irish cartography, Irish and European art, Pre-Colombian art, sculpture, Egyptian and Roman artefacts, vintage wine, rare whiskeys and books including a collection of 84 broadsides by Jack B Yeats and recently discovered manuscript letters from Michael Collins and Padraig Pearse.

    The Collins letter, written on Gresham Hotel embossed note paper, is dated 2/1/1922 and estimated at €4,000-€6,000. Dated  27/6/12 the letter signed by Padraig Pearse is estimated at €3,000-€5,000. A fine Killarney wood arbutus library table is estimated at €15,000-€25,000 and a set of 10 Fota House Armorial side chairs has an estimate of €8,000-€12,000.

    A set of ten Fota House armorial side chairs. UPDATE: THESE MADE 7,500 AT HAMMER

    Any library would be set off by a 19th century hide upholstered roll back settee or an Edwardian brass and hide upholstered club fender, each estimated at €1,400-€1,800. A George III Irish breakfront bookcase and an 18th century carved giltwood console table are each estimated at €4,000-€6,000.There is a selection of early Irish cartography in the form of four c1610 engraved and hand coloured maps of Munster, Leinster, Ulster and Connaught by John Speed.  Each one is estimated at €500-€800. An Extensive landscape with travellers and cattle by James Arthur O’Connor has an estimate of €25,000-€35,000 and an untitled oil on envelope laid on board by John Constable is estimated at €15,000-€20,000. Art by George Barret, Hugh Douglas Hamilton and Dan O’Neill is among the highlights. Lots on offer from around the world include an Egyptian New Kingdom faience amulet (€3,000-€5,000), a 16th century Peruvian ceramic character ewer (€500-€800), a  Roman bronze mask (€800-€1,200) and a c1680 Flemish tapestry (€2,000-€3,000).  Silver includes two bright cut Limerick serving spoons by Maurice Fitzgerald (€3,000-€5,000) and an 1893 Russian Imperial silver and rock crystal urn (€800-€1,200).  The wine selection includes a 2010 case of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and there is a bottle of Midleton Very Rare Whiskey from 2000.  The sale will be on view in Durrow from November 4 and the catalogue is online.

    A Killarney library table. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Saturday, October 28th, 2023
    François-Xavier Lalanne – Oiseau d’argent c1990 UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR €76,200

    Highlights of the Karpidas collection to be sold at Sotheby’s in Paris next Monday and Tuesday include stellar works by Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Marlene Dumas, Damien Hirst, George Baselitz, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and Nan Goldin. Manchester born Karpidas is an international collector who has surrounded herself with artists for decades. Her home on the Greek island of Hydra has long been a getaway for artists, collectors and curators. There will be an evening sale on October 30 and a day sale on October 31.


    Friday, October 27th, 2023
    The Lissadell Mirror. UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER

    Styled The Lissadell Mirror’ this early to mid 19th century gilt overmantel was purchased directly from the Gore-Booth family. Dating to 1840-60 it comes up as lot 523 at Sean Eacrett’s sale of fine art, antiques and collectibles in Ballybrittas, Co. Laois on November 2. It is estimated at €3,000-€5,000. The catalogue, with over 1,000 lots, is online.

    An old photo with the mirror in situ at Lissadell


    Thursday, October 26th, 2023
    EILEEN MEAGHER (20TH/21ST CENTURY) – Connemara Landscape (1988). UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,400 AT HAMMER

    Connemara Landscape, a small oil on canvas by Eileen Meagher, comes up as lot 12 in Morgan O’Driscoll’s off the wall online art auction which runs until October 31. The sale offers an affordable collection with lithographs and prints by William Crozier, Damien Hirst, Paul Henry, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Miro, pencil drawings, watercolours and oils by a wide range of popular Irish and international artists. The catalogue is online.


    Tuesday, October 24th, 2023
    Part of the latest street mural in Cork, on Harley’s Street, by James Earley, Tony Byrne, and Cian Walker

    Artists James Earley, Tony Byrne, and Cian Walker have combined to produce a new street mural for Cork city on Harley’s St. It is part of the Ardu Street Project, now in its fourth year and follows the completion of a new collaborative mural commemorating Tomás MacCurtain on Coburg Street by artists Shane O’Driscoll and Peter Martin last month. On Harley’s St. the artists set out to create a work that alludes to the River Lee, its movement and its importance to the trade of Cork, and Ireland as a whole. Utilising earthy tones offset by more vivid and vibrant colours the piece pays homage to the history of the county and its energy in moving forward as a city of cosmopolitan modernity. Hard-edged geometric shapes make reference to the urban elements of Cork City, in combination with more organic forms that suggest links to the sediment of the river and the more rural areas of the county. There are visual cues hidden within the composition, abstractions on the logos of Dunlop and Ford, for example, the water from the image on the county flag, alongside less oblique references such as the use of Cork marble. Harley’s St. runs between MacCurtain St. and Patrick’s Quay.

    Ardú Street Art was established in Cork during lockdown of October 2020, originally bringing seven of Ireland’s most renowned street artists – Deirdre Breen, Maser, James Earley, Peter Martin, Shane O’Driscoll, Aches, and Garreth Joyce – to create large scale murals at key Cork city-centre locations. Thanks to phenomenal community engagement and support, the event returned in 2021 with four more walls unveiled by Shane O’Malley, Friz, Conor Harrington, and Asbestos and again in 2022, with artists Claire Prouvost, Kitsune Jolene, and VENTS137. These fourteen inspiring pieces add greatly to the cultural landscape of the city centre. They’ve been shared widely across online platforms and praised internationally in the likes of Travel US Magazine and the Brooklyn Street Art website.


    Tuesday, October 24th, 2023
    1913 (9 December) Pádraig Pearse’s membership card for The Irish Volunteers

    Padraig Pearse’s 1913 membership card for The Irish Volunteers is the top lot at Whyte’s History sale on November 11. The rarity of this treasure is reflected in an estimate of €150,000-250,000. It is inscribed in Pearse’s own hand in indelible pencil: Pádraic Mac Piarais Sgoil Éanna and numbered 100. The card was gifted by Pearse’s mother Margaret to Micheál Mac Ruaidhrí, thence to his daughter Brid who gifted it to the family of the present owner.

    Micheál Mac Ruaidhrí was a mentor and confidant to Padraig Pearse. Dubbed ‘the greatest seanchaí of our time’ by the scholar and patriot Eoin MacNeill, and known to Professor Douglas Hyde, Ireland’s first President, as ‘The Mayo Poet’ because of the musical quality of his Irish he was born in Mayo in 1860. Mac Ruaidhri suffered from poor eyesight and as a result spent just two days in school, preferring instead to occupy his days with the elders of his area. In the process he amassed and retained a vast knowledge of folklore, sagas, history, song and music, all of which he dearly loved, whilst also gaining a genuine love for and understanding of the soil.

    As a young man Micheál went to Dublin and worked as a gardener at Stradbrook Estate, Blackrock, before striking up a relationship with the revolutionary and educationalist Patrick Pearse. From the foundation in 1908 of Pearse’s Cullenswood School in Ranelagh, Dublin, Micheaál taught practical gardening and horticulture and in 1910, he, together with his bride, the former Alice Wallace, relocated with Pearse to the Hermitage in Rathfarnham, the site of the future and much celebrated Scoil Eanna -‘St. Endas.’ The Hermitage was to be the site of a new school for boys based on the ancient Irish custom of fosterage, while Cullenswood became a girls school which Pearse named Scoil Íde. St. Enda’s influence on the 1916 Rising is evident by the list of those participants who taught at or attended the school. In addition to Mac Ruaidhri and his assistant Patrick Donnelly and the patriot Pearse brothers, Patrick and Willie, other revolutionaries such as Thomas MacDonagh, Eamon Ceannt, Con Colbert and Fergus de Burca also taught there, as did the writers Padraic Colum and Standish O Grady. Desmond Ryan who fought in the GPO and and Joseph Sweeney who was a sniper on the roof of the GPO were among the sixteen St. Enda’s pupils who participated in the 1916 Rising.

    Mac Ruaidhri was in the G.P.O. Dublin, with Pearse on Easter Monday 1916, and stood beside Pearse as he read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. Due to his bad eyesight and the fact that he was 56 years of age at the time, he was ordered back to St. Enda’s by Pearse with instructions to destroy or hide secret documents. Following the suppression of the 1916 Rebellion, Mac Ruaidhrí was arrested and imprisoned in Frongoch Prison, Wales: at the time he was the oldest prisoner in the gaol and spent his days teaching Irish and history to the other rebel inmates. On his release he returned to St. Enda’s and resumed his career as gardener. After the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1922, a treaty he disagreed with, MacRuaidhri took no further part in politics and concentrated instead on his writing and folklore collecting. Those who sought out his wisdom and knowledge included Eamon De Valera, Dr.Douglas Hyde and Micheál Ó Tiomaindhe (Michael Timoney 1870-1940). Micheál MacRuaidhrí died in May, 1936 aged 76 at his home, St Enda’s Lodge, was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.


    Sunday, October 22nd, 2023
    The Ivy Bench by Sasha Sykes at de Veres. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,800 AT HAMMER

    The sale of classic 20th century design furniture and Irish art at de Veres in Dublin on October 24 offers some cutting edge Irish design alongside a selection of major international designers like Mies van der Rohe, Ingmar Relling, Marceel Breuer, Charles and Ray Eames, Rolf Benz and Ligne Roset.  The Ivy Bench by Irish sculptural furniture maker Sasha Sykes is an acrylic and resin piece from an artist who explores the material language of the natural world and is influenced by the Irish landscape.  The most expensively estimated lot, at 70,000-100,000, is a west of Ireland painting by Paul Henry of the Maam Valley.



    Saturday, October 21st, 2023
    Portrait of Kathleen Behan by Sarah Henrietta Purser (1848-1943), Courtesy National Gallery of Ireland

    Sarah Purser: Private Worlds opens today at the National Gallery of Ireland.  The exhibition explores the private worlds of her female sitters.  There are two portraits of Kathleen Behan (nee Kearney and mother of Brendan) who was one of her favourite sitters.  A highlly accomplished portraitist these pensive, introspective works capture the character of her sitters without leaning into sentimentality. Purser was, in 1924, the first women member elected to the RHA and a founding member of the Friends of the National Collections, Ireland.  The exhibition continues until February 25