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  • Archive for February, 2024

    AN IRISH CONSERVATION PROJECT TO FOCUS MINDS AT TEFAF

    Tuesday, February 20th, 2024
    Ludovico Mazzolino – The Crossing of the Red Sea

    The programming schedule for TEFAF Maastricht includes Conversations on Conservation on March 9 at 3 pm. This will focus on the conservation of Ludovico Mazzolino’s (c. 1480–c. 1530) masterpiece, The Crossing of the Red Sea (1521). The National Gallery of Ireland has received funding from TEFAF to restore the work, which has been part of its collection for over a century. The painting, in its current fragile state, cannot be safely displayed. The Crossing of the Red Sea requires extensive conservation efforts. The National Gallery of Ireland will collaborate with experts in Mazzolino’s work to better understand his artistic practice so that this rare large-scale painting can be sensitively restored and made accessible to the visiting public.

    TEFAF will run from March 9-14 at the MECC Maastricht. It will be preceeded by invitation only days on March 7 and 8.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for January 16, 2024).

    A WILLIAM SCOTT HIGHLIGHT AT WHYTE’S ART SALE

    Tuesday, February 20th, 2024
    WILLIAM SCOTT CBE RA (1913-1989) – JUG AND PEAR, 1983

    Jug and Pear, an oil on canvas by William Scott, is among the highlights at Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art on March 11. Signed and dated, and with exhibition labels on the reverse, it is estimated at €120,000-€180,000. The catalogue for the sale is online and it includes work by Paul Henry, Jack Butler Yeats, Lilian Lucy Davidson, Frank McKelvey, Grace Henry, Harry Kernoff, Nano Reid, Norah McGuinness, George Campbell, Daniel O’Neill, Barbara Warren, Patrick Collins, William Scott, Louis le Brocquy, Donald Teskey, Linda Brunker and many more well known artists.

    COLLECTION OF LIMERICK SILVER AT JAMES ADAM

    Sunday, February 18th, 2024
    A c1800 bright cut Limerick silver sauce ladle by  William Fitzgerald 

    Limerick silver is rare and not always easy to come by so there should be much interest in a private collection of Limerick silver spoons at the timed online James Adam At Home sale which runs until February 27. They are from the workshops of makers  William Fitzgerald, George Halloran, Robert O’Shaughnessy, Joseph Johns, Patrick Connell, Samuel John, Maurice Fitzgerald  and William Ward. It is downright unusual to find such a gathering of known makers names from Limerick in one sale.  Lots 72 to 84 carry estimates ranging from €400 to €3,000.  There is also a mid 18th century silver bowl by George Hodder of Cork and a George III silver bowl by James le Bas of Dublin.  The catalogue is online and timed bidding is already underway.

    A set of 12 c1780 teaspoons by Patrick Connell, Limerick

    FONSIE MEALY SALE IS BRIMFUL OF INTEREST

    Saturday, February 17th, 2024
    A pair of Irish Georgian knife boxes 

    With everything from an Edwardian hobby horse and a three piece Art Nouveau mantle clock garniture in red marble to a carved Qing Dynasty hardwood cabinet and a Dublin longcase clock the Making Room sale by Fonsie Mealy at Castlecomer on February 21 is brimful of interest. More than 400 lots will come under the hammer in this annual spring clear out and estimates are reasonable.  There are affordable antiques, decorative furniture, overmantles, mirrors, art, a selection of Nicholas Mosse ware, prints, silver and plate and all sorts of collectibles.

    An Edwardian hobby horse

    Among the more expensively estimated works, at €1,500-€2,000, is an oil on canvas attributed to Andrea Locatelli (1695-1741) of Figures resting by a Capriccio in a Romantic Landscape. With professional cleaning this would add a stylish touch to many interiors.  A George III inlaid mahogany and satinwood secretaire is also estimated at just €1,500-€2,000.

    A Chinese Imperial yellow porcelain dish with five dragons 

    If you want to make the most of the strength, power and success associated with dragons in this Year of the Dragon then this sale jast just the thing.  An early Chinese Imperial yellow porcelain dish with raised enamel features depicting five dragons with four and five claws comes with an estimate of €800-€1,200. The estimate on a pair of Irish Georgian slope front knife boxes with fitted interiors is just €700-€900 – a steal in old God’s time –  and a small 19th century walnut pedestal desk is estimated at just €300-€500. The Qing hardwood cabinet and the Dublin clock are each estimated at €800-€1,200, the Edwardian hobby horse  at €700-€900 and the clock garniture at €500-€700.  Collectors of Irish country furniture will be interested in an unusual set of four provincial hand painted ladder back chairs with straw seats (€150-€200) or a 19th century yew and elm stick kitchen armchair (€250-€350). A  good Victorian figured walnut writing table  is estimated at just €300-€400.  The catalogue is online, there is viewing in Castlecomer Business Park next Monday and Tuesday and the sale will take place at the Avalon House Hotel at noon on Wednesday.

    An unusual set of four hand painted provincial chairs

    BACON’S LANDSCAPE NEAR MALABATA, TANGIER AT CHRISTIE’S

    Friday, February 16th, 2024
    Francis Bacon –  Landscape near Malabata, Tangier (1963)

    Francis Bacon’s Landscape near Malabata, Tangier (1963), a painting that stands as a powerful and passionate memorial to his great love Peter Lacy, will be a highlight at Christie’s 20th/21st Century evening sale in London on March 7. Created in London the year after Lacy’s tragic death in Tangier, the painting depicts the landscape where he was laid to rest. Here, the artist pays tribute to their relationship in a unique image of grief, desire, and longing. Having remained in the same collection for more than 20years, this marks the first time the painting has been offered at auction since 1985 when it set a then world auction record for Francis Bacon. The estimate now is £15 – £20 million. Often exhibited internationally  it was included in the landmark 1971-72 lifetime retrospective at the Grand Palais, Paris, and was most recently exhibited in the Royal Academy’s ‘Francis Bacon: Man and Beast’, in 2022. Francis Bacon met Peter Lacy at the Colony Room in Soho in 1952. Lacy, a former fighter pilot, was a deeply troubled man whose mercurial personality wrote its way into Bacon’s life and art. The two shared deep, complex feelings towards one another.

    ART NOUVEAU GARNITURE AT FONSIE MEALY SALE

    Thursday, February 15th, 2024
    Art Nouveau Garniture

    This French Art Nouveau mantle clock garniture in red Griotte marble comes up as lot 223 at Fonsie Mealy’s Making Room sale in Castlecomer on February 21. The clock has typical Art Nouveau gilt brass mounts around a painted enamel dial with Arabic numerals and striking on a gong and the estimate is €500-€700. A total of 432 lots will come under the hammer, the catalogue is online and viewing gets underway in Castlecomer on February 19.

    LAVERY’S PAINTING OF ROGER CASEMENT’S APPEAL AT AUCTION

    Wednesday, February 14th, 2024
    Sir John Lavery (1856-1941)The Hearing of the Appeal of Sir Roger Casement, a Study

    A  never been seen publicly before on-the-spot sketch by Sir John Lavery of The Hearing of the Appeal of Sir Roger Casement in 1916 comes up at Dreweatts Modern and Contemporary art sale in March 13 with an estimate of £15,000-£25,000. It is a study for Lavery’s grand painting of The Court of Criminal Appeal London, 1916 (Government Art Collection), which is an encapsulation of the high drama surrounding the controversial trial of Roger Casement CMG (1864-1916), hung for his participation in the Irish Nationalist revolt in Dublin in 1916. Casement was an Irish-born high-profile diplomat, working for the British Foreign Office, who became well-known for his humanitarian interests (he was nicknamed the ‘father of twentieth-century human rights investigations’.

    There was huge interest in the case, with many high-profile individuals petitioning to save him from the death penalty. It was partly the discovery of what was known as ‘the black diaries’, detailing Casement’s participation in homosexual activities, that are said to have swayed public opinion. It has never been confirmed if the diaries were fabricated by the British government to diffuse the campaign for a reprieve, or whether they were in fact genuine, but they were circulated widely. As homosexuality was against the law at the time these diary entries had an inevitable effect on public opinion.

    The full-scale painted version of The Hearing of the Appeal of Sir Roger Casement was proposed by the presiding judge, Sir Charles Darling 1st Baron Darling, PC (1849-1936). Having commissioned the artist to paint other portraits of his family and having seen the artist’s other publicly exhibited works, he invited him to capture the court proceedings. The finished final painting of the work was produced in Lavery’s studio and completed in 1931. It remained there until the artist’s death in 1941, when he left it to the nation. It hung firstly in the Royal Courts of Justice and in 1950 at the request of Sergeant Sullivan, who had been part of Casement’s defence team, it was lent to King’s Inn, Dublin. 

    Lavery created the study for the painting in situ in court, with Casement looking straight out towards the jury box. Art historian Kenneth McConkey said: “For those two days Lavery, accompanied by his wife Hazel, sat in the witness box recording the scene in the present sketch. During the painful excursion into a legal precedent deriving from a fourteenth century statute on treason, Lavery’s concentration on the scene before him was intense. Although he made efforts to conceal his industry, the production of the present 10 x 14-inch canvas-board in an awkward space was detected by the press, as well as by the prisoner in the dock facing him.”

    It is accompanied by two portraits by Lavery from the family of Sir Charles Darling, as well as two other works from private sources, The Lieutenant John Clive Darling and a portrait of his mother, Lady Darling. Two other paintings are an atmospheric view from Lavery’s house at Tangier and a vivid oil sketch for his celebrated portrait of Mrs Roger Plowden and Humphrey of 1897.

    A SPECIAL TYPE OF LOVE TOKEN WITH ECHOES OF THE PAST

    Wednesday, February 14th, 2024
    John Hoskins (1590-1665) – Portrait of Dorothy Wheler;  watercolour on vellum 1648

    In our digital age portrait miniatures – once love tokens held close to the heart – have been supplanted by technology. Yet they offer a unique type of  intimate viewing that differs from other more public art forms, and were intended to be handled, held, and worn. So if your thoughts have turned to romance on this St. Valentine’s Day you might consider an upcoming sale at Roseberys in London. Their Old Master, British and European picture sale on February 27 will offer a selection of portrait miniatures. This portrait of Dorothy Wheler in the sale dates to 1648 – the year the sitter got married – and is estimated at £3,000-£5,000.

    PORTRAIT OF BESTSELLING AUTHOR JOINS NATIONAL COLLECTION

    Monday, February 12th, 2024
    Margaret Corcoran (b.1963 Dublin) – The Composition – A Portrait of Marian Keyes

    This portrait of  bestselling author Marian Keyes by  Margaret Corcoran is the latest addition to the national portrait collection at the National Gallery and will go on display in April. Marian Keyes is a multi-award winning author who has sold over 30 million books worldwide throughout her career. Born in Limerick and raised in Cork, Galway, and Dublin, she graduated from University College Dublin with a law degree, and moved to London in 1986. Her first novel, Watermelon, was published in 1995 and since then she has published 15 novels in a total of 37 languages. Her warmth and humour have earned her legions of fans across the world. Keyes uses her light-hearted style to address issues such as addiction and domestic violence, bringing them into popular conversation. She also speaks frankly on her own struggles with addiction and depression.

    Dublin-born Margaret Corcoran studied Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design and the Chelsea School of Art in London. Often intricate and richly-coloured, her work reflects her broad range of interests, from social and art history to colonialism, post-colonialism, and mythology. She has been inspired by a rich range of sources, from art and feminist theories, to the history of political thought. Her work has been displayed in solo and group shows in Ireland and abroad, and features in several prestigious public collections, such as the Office of Public Works and the Arts Council of Ireland.

    The national portrait collection at the National Gallery of Ireland celebrates the most influential figures in Irish history ranging from sport, literature and broadcasting to theatre and social justice.

    ACROBAT ON PYRAMID BY BARRY FLANAGAN AT SOTHEBY’S, PARIS

    Monday, February 12th, 2024
    Barry Flanagan – Acrobat on Pyramid

    Acrobat on Pyramid by Barry Flanagan (1941-2009) is among the highlights at Sotheby’s Contemporary Discoveries auction in Paris. The sale, which focuses on artwork from the 1960’s to today, is open for bidding from today until February 20 and includes pieces by Andy Warhol, Simon Hantaï, Bernar Venet, Zao Wou-Ki, and Olivier Debré. Acrobat on Pyramid is incised with the artists monogram, numbered AC/2 and bears the Dublin Art Foundry mark. Executed in 2000 it is the artist’s proof number 2 from an edition of 8 plus 4 artist’s proofs. The estimate is €100,000-€150,000.