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    SEAN SCULLY (B.1945) – Raval Rojo (2004)

    The most expensive painting sold in Ireland in 2023 was Sean Scully’s Raval Rojo. It made a hammer price of €580,000 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish and International online art sale last April. At Whyte’s total sales were just under €6 million, there was a new world record for a work on paper by Harry Clarke at James Adam and in 2023 Bonhams recorded the best every turnover in their 230 year history. Sotheby’s continued their Irish sales in Paris, along with London and Christie’s reported projected global sales for art and luxury goods in 2023 of €5.8 billion and say their is a promising pipeline of consignments already in motion for 2024.

    As we leave 2023 behind there is every reason to be optimistic about the coming year in the art, luxury and collectible end of things. At Christie’s last year there was a strong influx of new buyers (35%) and a growing participation of Millennials and Generation Z. Much of this is driven by popular culture. Think Freddie Mercury at Sotheby’s and Lady Diana’s dress at Julien’s.

    Whyte’s achieved the highest prices in Ireland in 2023 for Jack Yeats (€290,00), Sir John Lavery (€230,000) and Paul Henry (€155,000) – excluding buyers’ premium and VAT. A Seán Keating painting, The Goose Girl, made €62,000 in December. Adams sold over €500,000 worth of paintings by Paul Henry and Harry Clarke’s The Colloquy of Monos and Una, a 1923 illustration for Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination, made a record €70,000 and joined the collection of the Crawford Gallery in Cork, where it is now on display.

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