Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Archive for February, 2024


    Thursday, February 29th, 2024
    Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) – Le toit bleu or Ferme au Pouldu Painted in 1890. Courtesy Ordovas

    Gauguin and the Contemporary Landscape, an exhibition of five paintings exploring the enduring influence and appeal of nature on artists working over a century apart, opens today at Ordovas at Savile Row in London. At the centre of the exhibition is a rural scene by Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) painted in Brittany in 1890. It is shown alongside works by two contemporary artists who have also redefined landscape painting: Peter Doig (b. 1959) and Mamma Andersson (b. 1962). These include a monumental and rarely seen cabin painting considered to be one of Doig’s finest works of the 1990s which is shown in public for the first time in 25 years, and a large-scale composition painted earlier this year by Andersson.

    Peter Doig (b.1959) – Camp Forestia (Care Taker) Painted in 1996 © Peter Doig. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2024. Courtesy Ordovas 

    Le toit bleu or Ferme au Pouldu was painted by Paul Gauguin in 1890 after he had escaped the booming urban culture of Paris to explore relatively remote, seemingly uncivilised areas of Brittany, becoming the most prominent painter of the Pont-Aven school. Camp Forestia (Care Taker) was painted just over a century later in 1996 by Peter Doig, one of the most important British painters living today, and an artist who has redefined the genre of landscaping painting. Measuring almost 2 x 3 metres, it is the largest in a series of works by the artist depicting the clubhouse of a nudist colony, Camp Forestia, located on Tiger Mountain in Washington State.

    Mamma Andersson (b.1962) – Cauldron of Morning. Painted in 2023
    © Mamma Andersson. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner 

    Stubbornly Waiting is a new composition painted earlier this year by Swedish artist Mamma Andersson, one of the foremost landscape painters working today. Also measuring almost 3 x 2 metres, this painting exemplifies the artist’s approach to landscape painting which recalls late nineteenth-century romanticism while also embracing a contemporary interest in layered, psychological compositions. These scenes draw inspiration from a wide range of archival photographic source materials, filmic imagery, theatre sets, and period interiors, as well as the sparse topography of northern Sweden, where she grew up. The London exhibition runs until April 26.


    Wednesday, February 28th, 2024

    Connemara Bouquet by Kenneth Webb is among the top lots at Morgan O’Driscoll’s current Off the Wall online auction which runs until March 4. It is estimated at €3,000-€5,000. This auction offers a wide selection of affordable art from artists including Norman McCaig, Margaret Egan, Cecil Maguire, Mr. Brainwash, Majella O’Neill Collins, Arthur Maderson, Maurice Wilks, Pauline Bewick, Alicia Boyle and sculptors including Oisin Kelly, Michael Foley and Ray Delaney. The catalogue is online.


    Wednesday, February 28th, 2024

    This large oil by Arthur Maderson comes up at Dolan’s timed online Irish art, whiskeys and antiques auction which runs online until March 4. There is art by Mark O’Neill, Charles Lamb, Patrick Hennessy, Cecil Maguire, Graham Knuttel, Harry Kernoff, John Brobel, Arthur Armstrong, Elizabeth Brophy, Peter Curling, Susan Cronin and many more artists along with a selection of Very Rare Midleton Whiskeys as well as coins, stamps and collectibles like a Victorian doll’s house modelled as a school house (900-1,200). The Maderson is estimated at 18,000-22,000.

    A Victorian Doll’s House modelled as a school house. UPDATE: THIS MADE 750


    Monday, February 26th, 2024

    An 1806 Irish halfpenny was the top lot at Noonan’s sale of British trade tokens, tickets and passes. It made a hammer price of £5,500 over a top estimate of £1,000. It went to a collector in Ireland. The final part of the Irish Tokens from the Collection of the late Barry Woodside achieved a hammer total of £17,895 with two notable examples being a farthing from Newcastle, County Limerick, engraved Florence O’Connell, Irish Woollen Warehouse, Bridge St. which made £2,600 at hammer of a top estimate of £200 and a token saying George Lynch, Elephant House, Lr. Sackville Street Portmanteau Manufacturer which made £2,200 against a top estimate of £100. They went to Irish collectors. An 18th century token from Munster with a bust of Bryen Boiromhe, King of Munster made £1,400 against an estimate of £300-400. It was bought by a collector in the USA.


    Monday, February 26th, 2024
    Lord Doneraile’s boxed ordnance survey map of Waterford. UPDATE: THIS MADE 240 AT HAMMER

    A 19th century Ordnance Survey map of Waterford from the collection of Doneraile Court and a 19th century Killarney davenport are among the lots at Hegarty’s online sale in Bandon from 5 pm on February 28. Lord Doneraile’s maps were most likely used for hunting. The auction offers a selection of antique furniture, art, jewellery and collectibles including a pair of c1740 Irish silver candlesticks by Thomas Walker of Dublin.


    Sunday, February 25th, 2024
     A 19th century Strahan dining table. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    From a 15 foot long dining table by Robert Strahan and a resin cast of a pair of Irish elk antlers and skull to a 19th century spinning wheel, an antique divers helmet and  pairs of Art Nouveau glass panels the online interiors sale by Victor Mee over two evenings on February 27-28 is brimful of interest.  Just under 1,000 lots will come under the hammer at auctions beginning each day at 5.30 pm. The Strahan table with five leaves is from a Victorian house on Temple Road, Dublin and estimated at €4,000-€8,000.  There are cast iron dogs, peat buckets, side tables, a decorative gilt sunburst mirror, easy chairs,  a Dior advertising figure with black gloves, Tiffany style lamps, a Chesterfield settee in an online catalogue that features antique furniture, art, carpets and furnishings for a decorative interior.

    A gilt sunburst mirror  UPDATE: THIS MADE 300 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, February 25th, 2024
    A  c1790 commode. UPDATE: THIS MADE 850 AT HAMMER

    Along with a great selection of highly desirable lots in categories from antique furniture, art and collectibles the At Home sale at James Adam in Dublin on February 27 comes with a message of sustainability. The venerable auctioneering firm is setting out in 2024 to highlight how the purchase of antique furniture and furnishings at auction contributes to sustainability.  Each year in Ireland the Environmental Protection Agency calculates that 1.2 million re-usable bulky items, mostly furniture, are consigned to landfill. Not unlike fast fashion the constant production and consumption of new items contributes to a rapidly growing waste problem.

    In an attempt to counter this trend Adams is encouraging those of us who love antique furniture to spread the message that sustainability starts at home and help new buyers appreciate the benefits of acquiring affordable, well made quality items that are built to last. A selection of stylish and affordable furniture is on the catalogue for this auction. A c1790 George III demi lune commode veneered in flame mahogany is estimated at €1,000-€1,500.  Walnut was the most prized wood for furniture making from the end of the 17th century to the middle of the 18th century.  The attractive grain and colour of the wood is well demonstrated in lot 327, a Georgian walnut side table with distinctive cabriole legs, hinged top and compartmented interior.  This piece is estimated at €1,000-€1,500.

    19th century oak Welsh dresser. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,300 AT HAMMER

    The catalogue cover lot is a riverbank scene at Veneux les Sablons by the French artist Pierre Eugene Montezin (1874-1946) who once remarked to the critic Louis Vauxcelles that: “The subjects of the landscape painter are less in front of the artist’s eyes than in his heart”.  In 1932 Montezin received the Medal of Honour at the Salon des Artistes Francais and he was an office of the Legion d’Honneur.  The painting is estimated at €5,000-€7,000. The proceeds from the sale of another painting, a 19th century Breton market scene, will be donated to the Irish Cancer Society.  The artist is unknown and the work is estimated at €1,000-€1,500. The auction kicks off with a selection of garden statuary, campagna urns, plant holders, patio furniture and a circular millstone mounted on a granite base as a table.  There is a selection of lighting, rugs, chairs and and collectibles. 

    A millstone mounted on a granite base as a table UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,200 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, February 24th, 2024
    Rembrandt van Rijn – The Laughing Man c. 1629-1630 COURTESY MAURITSHUIS, THE HAGUE

    Turning Heads: Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer opens today at the National Gallery of Ireland. Featuring works by Dutch and Flemish artists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the show explores tronies – intriguing paintings of heads. The exhibition features artists’ portrayals of the human face, its morphology, expression, and lighting around it. These works are to small and playful paintings of heads which became very popular in the early seventeenth century. Turning Heads traces the emergence of this historical art phenomenon from the sixteenth century to its heyday through the work of iconic artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Johannes Vermeer.

    Highlights include Vermeer’s Girl with the Red Hat, c. 1669, the artist’s smallest recorded painting. The work is filled with beautiful colourful details, and a highly sensitive use of light that reflects his fascination with optics. Rembrandt’s The Laughing Man, c. 1629-1630 is an example of how artists studied their own faces to apprehend its morphology and diverse expressions. Here, Rembrandt’s likeness can be seen in the grinning character of his painting. Rubens worked with a variety of models to study their features from different angles and with great observation. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp and the National Gallery of Ireland and it will run until May 26.


    Friday, February 23rd, 2024
    Francis Bacon –  Study of George Dyer UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £6.8 MILLION

    Francis Bacon’s last intimately scaled portrait of his lover George Dyer shortly before his tragic death comes up at Sotheby’s in London on March 6. Acquired directly from the Marlborough Gallery in London in 1970, the year it was painted the portrait is charged with extraordinary intimacy and framed within a seductive dark background. The depiction of Dyer – at the time, the love of Bacon’s life – was selected by the artist for inclusion in his major retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris held in the autumn of 1971. The work was briefly seen in 1993, when it was included in an exhibition of the artist’s small portrait studies at the Marlborough Gallery, after which it went back onto its owners wall until now. It is estimated at £5 – £7 million.

    The major retrospective of Bacon’s work at the Grand Palais was of great personal significance to Bacon as it marked only the first time after Picasso – Bacon’s artist hero – that a living artist had been afforded a one-man show at the prestigious venue. The monumental occasion celebrating the artist’s already stellar career was, however, marred by an event which would leave Bacon grief-stricken: barely thirty-six hours before the opening, Dyer was found dead from an overdose of sleeping pills, exacerbated by alcohol abuse, in the hotel suite the pair shared. Despite suffering from numbing shock and a despairing guilt, Bacon continued with the opening apparently unabated, though the shadow Dyer cast over Bacon would linger for the rest of his life.

    The Dyer portrait leads a powerful and arresting group of twentieth-century artworks from a distinguished private collection at Sotheby’s in London this March.. Assembled with unfaltering energy and focus over some sixty years, the paintings, sculpture and drawings that comprise the collection are linked by a common thread – an unwavering interest in the human form by artists at the peak of their powers who sought to convey the emotions and forces that govern and dictate the human condition. Art by Chaïm Soutine, Jean Dubuffet, Henry Moore, Henri Matisse, Edouard Vuillard and Henri Hayden will be presented in Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary evening and day auctions on March 6 and 7. A further selection of works from this collection will be offered across a range of sales in London up until June. They were sourced principally in the late 1960s and the 1970s, chiefly from the leading London galleries of the moment such as Marlborough, Alex Reid & Lefevre, Waddington, Crane Kalman and Redfern.


    Thursday, February 22nd, 2024
    NANO REID (1905-1981) – Men of Drogheda. UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,200 AT HAMMER

    Men of Drogheda by Nano Reid kicks off Morgan O’Driscoll’s current Irish art online auction which runs until February 26. Estimated at €1,000-€1,500 it has already attracted nine bids and exceeded the top estimate. Last July another watercolour by Reid, Sailing on the Boyne, made a hammer price of €48,000 at a Morgan O’Driscoll sale. The auction of 225 lots offers a wide variety of artists including Kenneth Webb, John Behan, James Humbert Craig, Moyra Barry, Markey Robinson, Graham Knuttel, Sandra Bell, Basil Blackshaw, Evie Hone, Dan O’Neill, Maurice Wilks, Mainie Jellett, Frank McKelvey, Brigid Ganly and Constance Gore-Booth.