Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for May, 2024


    Friday, May 31st, 2024

    Prince’s original “Cloud 3” electric guitar used in his iconic ’80s-’90s tours from Purple Rain to Diamonds & Pearls, set a new world record for the most expensive Prince guitar ever sold at auction when it made $910,000 at Julien’s Music Icons sale in New York. Bono’s iconic U2 signed 2005 Gretsch G6136i “Irish Falcon” sold for $260,000, Steve Jones’ custom 1974 Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, recently verified as the punk rock icon’s true original and iconic Sex Pistols axe, sold for $390,000, Adam Clayton’s Fender Rose Sparkle Precision bass guitar from the U2 Las Vegas residency sold for $260,000, ans Cliff Williams’ circa 1980s AC/DC teal double cutaway precision style bass guitar with eight mother of pearl inlaid “penis” motifs sold for $22,750.


    Thursday, May 30th, 2024

    Paul Henry RHA RUA (1876-1958) – Mountain Landscape with Cottages c.1926-30

    Paul Henry’s Mountain Landscape with Cottages and Early Morning in the Markets, Quimperlé (1883) by Walter Osborne shared top honours at the sale of Important Irish Art at James Adam in Dublin on May 29. Each made €110,000 at hammer. The Water Steps by Jack Yeats made €100,000 and Crossing the Canal Bridge, from the Tram Top (1927) by Yeats made €90,000.


    Wednesday, May 29th, 2024

    John Henry Foley, RA (1818-1874) – Statues of Oliver Goldsmith and Edmund Burke

    These 51 cm high statues of Oliver Goldsmith and Edmund Burke made a hammer price of €13,000 over an estimate of 4,000-6,000 at Fonsie Mealy’s Chatsworth summer fine art sale in Castlecomer today. They are maquettes for the full-size bronzes erected at the gates of Trinity College Dublin in 1863 and 1868. The original plaster models are in the Birmingham City Art Gallery.  Foley is best known for his statutes of Daniel O’Connell at the O’Connell monument in Dublin and of Prince Albert for the Albert Memorial in London. A 16th century tapestry once in the Rathcormac collection of American actor Hurd Hatfield made 9,500.


    Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

    Louis le Brocquy HRHA, 1916-2012 – Milles Tetes Gris Noir Blanc

    This Aubusson tapestry by Louis le Brocquy, hand made by Tabard Freres & Soeurs, was the top lot at de Veres outstanding Irish art a sculpture auction in Dublin this evening. It made a hammer price of 155,000. A portrait entitled Edith, Gypsy Girl by Sir William Orpen made 100,000, The Overflow of the Canal by Jack B Yeats and an Image of W B Yeats by Le Brocquy each made 70,000, a Still Life by Roderic O’Conor made 60,000, a landscape by John George Mulvany (1766-1838) and Game of Chance by Colin Middleton from the Wilderness series each made 40,000. The auction brought in €1.6 million and was 85% sold.


    Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

    This 19th century band stand originally from the St. Louis Convent in Co. Monaghan made 5,000 at hammer

    A rare 19th century bandstand from the St. Louis Convent in Co. Monaghan made a hammer price of €5,000 on day of Victor Mee’s two day summer garden sale today. It comes complete with cast iron Corinthian columns, timber frame and zinc roof. The guttering, not in the photograph, is included. A good quality wrought iron French greenhouse in the Victorian style made 6,200. A pair of bronze statues of foals and a bronze of a bellowing stag each made 4,000 and a decorated moulded sandstone fountain made €3,900. A set of entrance gates with cast iron gates posts made 3,200 and a pair of 19th century cast recumbent lions made 2,950.


    Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

    An important Irish Provincial 18th Century two handled Loving Cup, by Joseph Johns, Limerick c. 1760’s

    Irish silver made its mark at Fonsie Mealy’s Chatsworth two day summer fine art sale which got underway today. This two handled Limerick loving cup by Joseph Johns made €4,000 at hammer over a top estimate of €2,500. Other hammer prices included the following: an 18th century rococo style Irish silver coffee pot by William Reynolds, Cork (€3,800); An 18th century soup ladle by George Halloran, Limerick (€3,100); a c1770 provincial soup ladle by George Moore, Limerick (€3,000); a c1919 Dublin presentation salver by West (€2,600); a pair of 1770’s basting spoons by Phillip Walshe, Limerick (€2,500); a pair of c1750’s serving spoons by Joseph Johns, Limerick (€2,300); a c1740-50 pair of Irish table spoons by George Moore, Limerick (€2,200); a mid Victorian silver claret jug in the form of an Armada jug by Richard Martin and Ebenezer Hall (€2,100); a c1780’s Irish silver coffee pot by William Thompson and Michael Cormick (€2,000) and an 1841 tea and coffee service by William Hunter (€1,900).

    18th Century Irish rococo Provincial Coffee Pot by William Reynolds, Cork


    Monday, May 27th, 2024

    Discovery by Jack B Yeats made €380,000 at hammer

    Top lots at Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin this evening included: Discovery 1952 by Jack B. Yeats (€380,000 at hammer €473,000 gross); Paul Henry – A Village in the West 1916-17 (€280,000 at hammer); Sir John Lavery’s Miss Alice Fulton at Paisley Lawn Tennis Club 1889 (€95,000 at hammer); Louis le Brocquy – Image of Samuel Beckett 1982 (€100,000); Mary Swanzy – In the Window 1920’s (€90,000 at hammer); The Fourth Estate 1945 by Jack B Yeats (€85,000 at hammer) and William Scott – One Pear 1979 (€60,000 at hammer). The sale grossed over €2 million with 80% of lots sold. It is expected that another 10% will sell by private treaty in post auction sales.

    In the Window by Mary Swanzy made €90,000 at hammer.


    Saturday, May 25th, 2024

    The Fourth Estate (1945) by Yeats at Whytes features the interior of a newsagents shop and a cat sitting on a row of books.  The cat can be taken to represent a reporter on the press gallery. UPDATE: THIS MADE 85,000 AT HAMMER

    IT may not be strictly accurate to compare art sales to buses.  But three of them are arriving one after the other in Dublin next week – at Whyte’s on Monday, de Veres on Tuesday and Adams on Wednesday.  Millions of euro worth of Irish art will come under the hammer in a market that has expanded steadily rather than spectacularly over the years.

    The old stalwarts still tend to hold sway – even more so in times of global uncertainty – and this mirrors the situation of the art market internationally.  The most expensively estimated work in Dublin next week is a 1952 Yeats at Whyte’s entitled Discovery. The estimate is €300,000-€500,000.

    A c1891 still life by Roderic O’Conor – Flowers, Bottle and Two Jugs would, at €120,000-€180,000, have been the highest estimated lot at de Veres, but it has been sold prior to auction and the sale will now be led by an Orpen estimated at €100,000-€150,000.

    Another Yeats, The Water Steps from 1947, will lead the sale at Adams with an estimate of €120,000-€180,000.  Yeats, Osborne, Paul Henry and Sir John Lavery – among the blue chip artists whose work continues to dominate Irish sales – are all represented in Dublin next week. It might create an impression that nothing ever changes but in fact many changes are afoot in an Irish market which is dynamic.  Tastes are evolving and new artists are emerging with access to international cutting edge work in a way that their older counterparts did not.

    Game of Chance by Colin Middleton at de Veres. UPDATE: THIS MADE 40,000 AT HAMMER

    The market evolves more quickly on the international front but there are resemblances.  For instance the six marquee week sales at Christie’s in New York last week brought in more than $640 million (587.46 million).  The highest individual sale total, at $413.3 million (€379.21 million), was the 20th century evening sale led by Andy Warhol’s Flowers which made $35.5 million (€32.59 million) followed by blue chip artists like Van Gogh, David Hockney and Alberto Giacometti in a sale where 15 works made more than $10 million (€9.18 million).

    Next Monday evening Whyte’s will offer a carefully curated sale of 131 lots.  Along with Yeats there are two significant paintings by Paul Henry with works by Louis le Brocquy, F E McWiliam, Mary Swanzy, William Scott, Donald Teskey and Genieve Figgis featuring strongly.

    At de Veres, where Dan O’Neill, William Crozier, Louis le Brocquy, Orla de Bri, Colin Middleton, Stephen McKenna and Harry Kernoff are among the leading artists on offer, there will be over 100 lots in a timed sale closing from 6 pm on Tuesday.

    On Wednesday evening Adams will offer fresh to market work like Early Market, Quimperle by Walter Osborne.  Painted in 1883 it has been in the same family since being acquired directly from the artist and is estimated at €120,000-€160,000. Another painting by Osborne not on the market before is Sheep in a Field, acquired directly by fellow artist Sarah Purser from Osborne (€60,000-€80,000). There is value to be had in quality Irish landscapes from earlier periods. The catalogue includes more contemporary art by Patrick Scott, Sean Keating, John Shinnors, Tony O’Malley, F E McWilliam, Felim Egan, James Dixon, Basil Blackshaw, Martin Mooney and many others.

    Gold Painting by Patrick Scott at Adams. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Saturday, May 25th, 2024

    Dance of Time II becomes the largest sculpture by Salvador Dali ever displayed in Ireland at Gormley’s Art and Soul exhibition which opens today at the Castlemartyr Resort in Cork. The 1.15 metre high bronze with Dali’s melting clock motif is valued at €1,125,000.  The fluidity of time is represented in this sculpture as time not only moving, but dancing in rhythm to the beat of the universe. Over 300 works, including 90 large outdoor sculptures, will be on display throughout the grounds at Castlemartyr. There are works by artists like Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst alongside Irish sculptors like Patrick O’Reilly, Eamonn Ceannt, Ian Pollock and Bob Quinn.  Open daily from 11 am to 7 pm the show runs until June 23.


    Saturday, May 25th, 2024

    An oversized bronze of a crab at Victor Mee. UPDATE: THIS MADE 10,000 AT HAMMER

    The possibilities seem limitless at two day sales by both Fonsie Mealy in Castlecomer and Victor Mee in Belturbet on May 28 and 29. A 16th century tapestry once in the Rathcormac collection of American actor Hurd Hatfield and the advertising mirrors from the old Clancy’s Bar in Cork city centre give some idea of the breadth and scope of Fonsie Mealy’s two day summer fine art auction with 1,200 lots. 

    You could opt instead for a seven foot tall bronze sculpture of a crab (€8,000 – €12,000) or a wrought iron Victorian style conservatory with remotely controlled windows (€15,000-€25,000) at Victor Mee’s annual summer garden sale.

    Fonsie Mealy will offer art by Montague Dawson, Gerard Dillon, Harry Kernoff, Augustus Burke, Dan O’Neill, Sean Keating and others, quality affordable and decorative furniture, Irish Provincial and Dublin silverware, clocks and jewellery.  Lot 723 in this sale is the Ladbrokes Epsom Gold Cup from 1963 (€3,000-€5,000).  The Choice of Hercules, the Flemish tapestry from the Hatfield collection is estimated at  €10,000-€15,000.  The actor was best known for playing the lead in the Oscar winning 1945 film of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

    Among the feature lots at Victor Mee are the Victorian bandstand from the famed St. Louis Convent in Co. Monaghan, a 19th century Carrara marble bath, a cast iron statue of a pig, a pair of majestic moulded sandstone lions, a sandstone fountain, a statue of boxing hares, a tree trunk bench and an Art Nouveau style stone figure of a lady along with an array of planters and gates, piers, pillar caps, steps and exterior lighting.  Full catalogues for both sales are online.

    A mirror advertising Paddy from Clancy’s Bar in Cork at Fonsie Mealy. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,500 AT HAMMER