Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Sunday, June 4th, 2023

    A landmark rediscovery of the last known pair of portraits by Rembrandt to remain in private hands will highlight Christie’s Old Masters sale in London on July 6.  The subjects are relatives of Rembrandt,  wealthy Leiden plumber Jan Willemsz van der Pluym (c1565-1644) and his wife Jaapgen Carels (1565-1640). Signed and dated 1635 they were acquired at Christie’s by an ancestor of the present owners almost two centuries ago and have remained completely unknown to scholars ever since. They return to auction after an extensive investigation and scientific analysis at the Rijksmuseum.  The portraits remained in the family of the sitters until 1760, when they were sold at auction in Amsterdam. They passed to  the collection of Count Vincent Potocki (c.1740-1825) in Warsaw, before briefly entering the collection of Baron d’Ivry in Paris in 1820 and then James Murray, 1st Baron Glenlyon (1782-1837), who put them up for sale at Christie’s in  June of 1824.  The estimate is £5 million – £8 million (€5.75 million – €9.2 million).


    Saturday, June 3rd, 2023
    One of a pair of weathered stone lions. UPDATE: THIS LOT MADE 2,700 AT HAMMER

    Weathered stone lions, a wake table, a silver cigarette box and a telescopic brass fender with a hide seat are among the many and varied offerings at auction in Ireland in the coming week. Sales by Woodards in Cork, Hegarty’s in Bandon, Sean Eacrett at the Horse and Jockey Hotel in Co. Tipperary and Mullen’s at Laurel Park in Bray will offer much to keep collectors busy. Choices range from  conversation pieces like an Oriental style Carlton House desk to garden furniture, comfortable couches and a variety of collectibles like an unusual pair of Limerick china figures, The Philospher and The Critic, from Rocklow House in Fethard. Top furniture lots at Woodwards online sale in Cork next Saturday (June 10)  include a set of six Cork 11-bar dining chairs, a Georgian walnut chest on chest  and a seven foot long hunt or wake table.  There is a selection of Georgian, Regency and Edwardian pieces among more than 300 lots.  
    The 19th century stone lions come up at the house contents sale by Sean  Eacrett at the Horse and Jockey Hotel in Co. Tipperary next Tuesday (June 6) of contents from Rocklow House, Fethard. In crouched poses they are, at €3,000-€5,000, among the more expensively estimated offerings in a sale of just over 1,000 lots.  There is a selection of Oriental vases, bowls, jars, along with a private collection of Waterford Crystal including limited edition pieces and a highly collectible pair of 19th century oval Irish mirrors with faceted blue and white decorated frames (€2,000-€4,000). An unusual ebonised Carlton House Desk is estimated at €600-€1,000. There are chandeliers, a 160 piece Spode dinner service, Persian runners and rugs, a Donegal carpet and Meissen figures in a sale which is on view at Fethard from noon to 5 pm on today, tomorrow and Monday.

    A George V silver cigarette box at Hegarty’s. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR €80

    A George V silver cigarette box from 1914, engraved with a presentation message in 1934, comes up at Hegarty’s online fine interiors auction next Tuesday (June 6).  The estimate is €300-€400.  Other lots include a triple panel overmantle mirror (€150-€300), a flame mahogany demi lune hall table (€400-€800) and Summer Shade, a colourful oil on canvas by Martin Stone (€700-€900).

    A brass and hide upholstered telescopic fender is among the top lots at Mullen’s timed online auction of 849 lots which runs until 6 pm tomorrow (June 4).  The estimate is €1,800-€2,600. This auction offers more than 300 lots of furniture, Irish, English and European art, lighting and a sextant by Cooke and Co. of Hull in a mahogany case.    Catalogues for all these sales are online.

     An upholstered telescopic club fender at Mullens of Laurel Park


    Thursday, June 1st, 2023
    William Scott CBE, RA, 1913-1989

    This 1976 work by William Scott comes up at de Veres current sale of Outstanding Irish Art and Sculpture, which runs until June 13. The English summer of 1976 was marked by a heatwave that resulted in an abundant harvest in the apple and pear growing area around Scott’s Sommerset studio. A flourishing pear tree growing against the studio wall prompted him to do an extensive series of 17 paintings, collectively called ‘An Orchard of Pears’, throughout the autumn and winter of 1976/77. They were shown at Gallery Kasahara in Osaka, appealing to the Japanese taste for understatement. This painting was the first of these and it is estimated at €150,000-€200,000.

    The pears are carefully placed, huddled around a central point emphasised by the circular plate while simultaneously drawing your eyes away from it. Notice the way the outward tilt of the pears pulls away from the centre, and how the pear at the right edge further unsettles the composition’s stability. Scott is a master of animating empty space by creating subtle visual tension between objects. His genius is that, as a viewer, we’re never conscious of this.


    Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

    Near the Docks, a small oil on panel by Jack B. Yeats, made a hammer price of €110,000 at the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin this evening. An oil on board by Gerard Dillon, Norah and Johnny Conneely restirng, made €95,000 on the hammer, Girl with a Ruff Collar by Dan O’Neill made €40,000, Morning by John Shinnors made €38,000, Portrait of Paddy Moloney by Edward McGuire made €35,000, Gantries on a Sunday, Belfast by Harry Kernoff made €28,000, Peace II by Rowan Gillespie made €28,000, Sleeper in Spare Room by Gerard Dillon made €24,000, Dargle, Moonlight and Ruin by James Arthur O’Connor made €22,000 and Valley Walk II by Donald Teskey made €17,000.


    Sunday, May 28th, 2023
    Paddy Moloney (Piper) by Edward McGuire at Adams. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 35,000 AT HAMMER

    The way Edward McGuire paints portraits, Patrick Hennessy captures the essential essence of a red rose or William Conor evokes atmosphere can be overlooked in art auction catalogues where the big guns dominate. You can’t blame Yeats, Orpen, Henry, le Brocquy et al – all of whom loom large in major Irish art sales at Whyte’s and Adams in Dublin next week – for stealing the attention.  There is a great selection of scorching works by these artists at the upcoming sales. Yeats, in particular, dominates this time around for the sheer number and quality of his works on offer.

    Nevertheless it is heartening to see estimates on the up for artists who, though not exactly overlooked, might have been somewhat eclipsed.  This is a rising market and the tide has lifted many boats. Edward McGuire’s portrait of legendary musician Paddy Moloney dates to 1982 and depicts Moloney seated, uileann pipes in hand, with a faraway look as if waiting to perform.  It is estimated at €20,000-€30,000 at Adams evening sale on May 31. No less arresting is a small 1964 oil on canvas of a bouquet of roses by the Cork artist Patrick Hennessy.  You can practically savour their scent.  It comes up at Whyte’s evening sale on May 29 with an estimate of €3,500-€4,500. With an Indian ink and colour wash William Conor evokes the festive atmosphere of race days of yore like no one else in two works at Adams. These small drawings are each estimated at just €800-€1,200. Art is for everyone and estimates like this show that art auctions – even major sales – can be for everyone too even if the sales in the hundreds of thousands or more grab the headlines.  You don’t need to be a millionaire, you do need to really look and see what is waiting there ready to enhance your home, your life, your world.

    Bouquet of Roses by Patrick Hennessy at Whyte’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,600 AT HAMMER

    If money is no object then a trio of magnificent oils by Yeats at Whyte’s is worthy of the attention of any well heeled collector.  Glory to the Brave Singer is a late visionary work and shows a reclining woman pointing to a songbird. The estimate is €300,000-€400,000.  This sale offers 122 lots with major works by Paul Henry,  Mary Swanzy, Roderic O’Conor, Camille Souter, Louis le Brocquy, Francis Bacon, Sidney Nolan, Patrick Collins, Evie Hone, Tony O’Malley and many more.There are wonderful examples of the best Irish 19th, 20th and 21st century Irish art and sculpture among the 180 lots at Adams.  A 1945 oil on panel by Yeats, Near the Docks, is estimated at €100,000-€150,000 and there are eight works on paper by the artist from a private Irish collection at estimates of from €1,500 to €15,000.  There is art by Gerard Dillon, Daniel O’Neill, William Conor, Colin Middleton and Frank McKelvey, John Shinnors, Hughie O’Donoghue, Philip Flanagan, Basil Blackshaw, Camille Souter, Rowan Gillespie and others in a sale which will appeal to a wide variety of tastes. Both auctions are on view over this weekend and the catalogues are online.

     Le Loing at Sundown by Roderic O’Conor at Whyte’s. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Saturday, May 27th, 2023
    Freedom from the Treadmill by Patrick O’Reilly at Gormley’s exhibition at the Castlemartyr Resort from today until June 18.

    Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Francis Bacon are among the artists featured at Art and Soul at the Castlemartyr Resort in east Cork from today until June 18.  The international art and sculpture fair by Gormley’s features 80 large pieces of outdoor sculpture and installations set throughout the 220 acre grounds plus 100 artworks on display in the hotel. Irish sculptors Patrick O’Reilly, Ian Pollock, Bob Quinn, Sandra Bell, Eamonn Ceannt, John Fitzgerald,Anthony Scott and Orla De Brí will feature. All artworks will be on sale at prices from €1,000 to €450,000.  This is the eighth edition of this event by Gormleys and the first to be held south of Dublin.


    Saturday, May 27th, 2023
    View of Louisdor House and estate in Tobago, 1792 by Sir William Young, who became governor of Tobago in 1807. UPDATE: THIS MADE 12,000 AT HAMMER

    Rare GAA medals, colonial watercolours inherited by the Day family in Co. Cork, a first 1873 edition of The Birds of Great Britain by John Gould from the Birr Castle Estate, George O’Reilly’s collection of records signed by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Roy Rogers and Frankie Laine and a 1936 first limited English edition of Ulysses signed by James Joyce are among the treasures at Fonsie Mealy’s rare book and collectors sale next week. A total of 1,136 lots will come under the hammer at two days of sales at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan on May 30 and 31.  The catalogue is online and there will be viewing on tomorrow and Monday. There is a selection from the library at Birr Castle, the Andrew Sharkey fishing collection and a private collection of Seamus Heaney material.

    Top lots include a 9 carat gold medal to commemorate the first ever All-Ireland Football Championships, 1887 won by Jeremiah Kennedy of Limerick Commercials (€15,000-€20,000) and a group of original watercolours of the West Indies c1792 by Sir William Young (€10,000-€15,000). Inherited by the Day family of Co. Cork they are on the market for the first time in more than 230 years.Sir William Young inherited four plantations in the West Indies and owned 896 enslaved Africans in 1788 at the time of this inheritance. He was opposed to the abolition of the slave trade and preached Christianity to his slaves.  Appointed governor of Tobago in 1807 he was entrusted to supply an in depth report on the condition and treatment of slaves.  At the time of the report the free population of Tobago was around 959 people, there was a 333 strong militia and 16,671 slaves.

    The Frank McPartlin (GPO Garrison) collection of medals and artefacts. UPDATE: THESE MADE 4,200 AT HAMMER


    Friday, May 26th, 2023
    Windbreak by John Morris. UPDATE: THIS MADE 700 AT HAMMER

    Windbreak by John Morris from Morgan O’Driscoll’s current off the wall online art auction which runs until May 30 is a reminder, if one is needed, that beaches can be chilly on sunny days in Ireland. Maybe not so much in the midst of the sunny spell we are all enjoying right now. Lot 14, an oil on board, is estimated at just 400-600. The auction offers a good across the board selection of affordable art. The catalogue is online.


    Thursday, May 25th, 2023

    Glory to the Brave Singer by Jack B. Yeats will lead Whyte’s sale of Irish and International Art in Dublin on May 29. It depicts a woman reclining in the landscape. She raises herself from the ground and extends her right arm in an exaggerated manner pointing towards a songbird which stands on the topmost branch of a tree, its neck extended and its beak open skywards as it fills the air with its music. Her closed eyes convey an expression of complete rapture as she listens to the singing of the thrush.  The estimate is €300,000-€400,000. Included in the sale are major works by Jack Butler Yeats, Paul Henry, Roderic O’Conor, Camille Souter, Mary Swanzy, George (Æ) Russell, Louis le Brocquy, Francis Bacon, Patrick Collins, Sir Sidney Robert Nolan, Arthur Armstrong, Evie Hone and others.
    Viewing is underway at Molesworth St. and the catalogue is online.


    Wednesday, May 24th, 2023
    Mark O’Neill – The Linen Basket. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,900 AT HAMMER

    A timed online auction of Irish art, whiskeys and antiques by Dolan’s runs until May 29. There is a selection of rare Midleton whiskeys, for which demand is very strong. Lot 2 – a numbered Midleton Very Rare 1986, Irish whiskey in its original box – is estimated at €6,000-€8,000. There are Irish Paintings by artists including Sir William Orpen, Cecil Maguire, Arthur Maderson, Charles Harper RHA, Flora Mitchell, John C. Brobbel, Ernest Hayes RHA, Christopher Campbell RHA and others and some antique furniture. The Linen Basket by Mark O’Neill, illustrated here, is estimated at €3,800-€4,500.