Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Saturday, June 19th, 2021

    The global search for collectors of rare precious objects marks one way in which the auction world has adapted very quickly to changed circumstances. In 2021 there is nothing particularly unusual about the fact that an Irish firm –James Adam – has already held a Paris preview for a sale of Fine Asian Art due to take place in Dublin on June 29 and 30.The Paris view is not entirely unconnected to the fact that Adams has created its own Asian department and appointed Thibault Duval as its Dublin based head.  M Duval was latterly head of the Asian Art Department at Drouot in Paris.  This appointment marks a recognition of sorts that if major auction houses in Ireland are to survive and prosper in the 21st century they must open out to the new global realities and view Brexit as an opportunity rather than a threat.

    Qing Dynasty russet and white jade group

    A company like Sheppards in Durrow, Co. Laois with a track record of breaking records for Asian objects and then breaking them again has amply demonstrated that if you can produce the goods the buyers will come.

    Adams has some interesting goods to offer in its sale on Tuesday and Wednesday week.  Notable consignments include a collection of rare Chinese antiques from the estate of Carlos Alfredo Tornquist Altgelt (1885-1953), a hound scroll painting inscribed with the signature of Jesuit painter Giuseppe Castiglione, also known as Lang Shining, from the collection of Juan Carlos Katzenstein (1925-2018) who served as Ambassador to the Holy See and a wooden ruyi scepter from  the collection of Nadezhda, widow of the Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov.  There is a famous portrait of Madame Rimsky-Korsakov by Franz Xaver Winterhalter in the collection of the Orsay Museum. In Chinese Buddhism a ruyi can be a ceremonial scepter or a talisman symbolising power and good fortune in Chinese folklore.

    Chinese School scroll by Giuseppe Castiglioni known as Lang Shining (1688-1766

    There are Chinese jades last seen at auction at Drouot in 1925 and a jade horse formerly in the collection of Baron Pierre DeMenasce who contributed to an exhibition at the V & A Museum in 1975. A collection of Chinese Republican Period porcelains and an 18th century Meiping vase will feature among the 550 lots on offer.


    Saturday, June 19th, 2021

    A live online art auction by Hegarty’s of Bandon in Co. Cork gets underway at 2 p.m. on June 20.  Around 150 lots of Irish and international art will come under the hammer.  Among the artists featured are Graham Knuttell, John Butler Yeats, Ivan Sutton, Gladys Maccabe, Frank Egginton, George Gillespie, Con Campbell, Maurice Canning Wilks, Lorna Millar, John Kingerlee, Douglas Alexander, Patrick Murphy, Marie Carroll and John Ormsby.

     In the gold of the evening, Glengarriff by Michael McCarthy


    Friday, June 18th, 2021

    The wonderful Barney Eastwood Collection of Important Sporting and Irish Pictures comes up at Christie’s in London on July 9. The 30 lots range from 19th century sporting pictures through to defining representations of Munnings’ oeuvre, to an extraordinary group of Yeats’ illustrating key periods of his work. Other leading examples of Irish Art are included in the sale, with works by Walter Frederick Osborne, Sir William Orpen, Roderic O’Conor, Paul Henry, Sir John Lavery, and Gerard Dillon. The collection, which he started in the 1970’s, represent his deep interest in equestrian painting and Irish Art.

    Barney Eastwood, known to his friends and family as ‘BJ’, was born in Northern Ireland in 1932. A talented Gaelic football player he was a member of the Co. Tyrone team which won the All Ireland Minor Championship in 1948. Both horse and greyhound racing were significant sporting passions throughout his lifetime, and together with his great friend and erstwhile business partner Alfie McLean, he had many successful runners over the years.

    Charles Cator, deputy chairman, Christie’s International, commented: B.J. Eastwood was a very private man and the collection was intensely personal, acquired not for show or prestige but for the enjoyment of himself, his family and those close to him – it was the least ostentatious way of collecting and it was from the heart.’

    A SUMMER DAY BY JACK B. YEATS (£500,000-800,000)


    Friday, June 18th, 2021

    Sunny Day, Connemara by Paul Henry comes up at de Veres sale of Outstanding Irish Art and Sculpture in Dublin. It dates to around 1932 and is estimated at 70,000-100,000. There are major works by Jack Yeats, Paul Henry, Roderic O’Conor, Louis le Brocquy, John Shinnors, Basil Blackshaw on offer and a variety of sculpture with work by F.E McWilliam, Patrick O’Reilly, John Behan, Ana Duncan and many more. The art is on view at Kildare St., the sculpture in the garden at the Merrion Hotel. Timed online bidding begins to close at 6 pm on June 22.

    (See post on for June 12, 2021)

    Paul Henry RHA, 1877-1958


    Thursday, June 17th, 2021

    Tempest, a dramatic work by the Limerick artist Donald Teskey, comes up as Lot 14 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online sale of Important Irish Art which runs to June 28. This large canvas, depicting a wave crashing on a rocky sea shore, is one of Teskey’s most dramatic works and was exhibited at the Hunt Museum in 2016.

    Born in Rathkeale, Co. Limerick in 1956, Donald Teskey studied at the Limerick School of Art from 1974 to 1978. Two years later, his first one person exhibition was held at the Lincoln Gallery in Dublin. In 1984 he was one of the artists selected by Lucy Lippard for the international touring exhibition Divisions, Crossroads, Turns of Mind. After a decade-long gap, and following an inspirational period at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, in 1996. Teskey began to focus on rural rather than urban subjects, painting landscapes rather than the human figure. His style of painting became more expressionistic. Based in Dublin, Teskey was elected a member of the RHA in 2003 and Aosdána in 2006.

    Donald Teskey RHA (b.1956)
    Tempest (2016) (20,000-30,000)


    Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

    Lucian Freud’s 2002 portrait of David Hockney will make its auction debut at Sotheby’s in London on June 29. Painted at the height of Freud’s career, this portrait of David Hockney provides a fascinating window into the narrative of a long episodic friendship that had started forty years earlier. During the spring and summer of 2002 the two titans of British art came together in a private exchange between artist and sitter. After more than a hundred hours of sittings, the result was one of the most masterful peer-to-peer portraits ever committed onto canvas. It will be a highlight at Sotheby’s British Art Evening Sale: Modern/Contemporary when it will be offered with an estimate of £8,000,000-12,000,000.

    Lucian Freud – David Hockney, oil on canvas, 2002. (£8-12 million) Copyright Sothebys


    Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

    This Irish School portrait of Robert Rochfort (1661-1727) features the Great Irish Mace, which represented the authority of the English King in the Irish House of Parliament. The portrait is lot 2453 at Matthews four day online sale from June 19-22. The Great Irish Mace, over five feet in length, had finely chased floral designs with rose of thistle and fleur-de-lis motifs. Matthews attribute the portrait to George Morphy (1655-1715). King James II is believed to have melted down the mace to help pay his war debts.

    Portrait Robert Rochfort (1661-1727).
    Attorney General of Ireland and Speaker in the Irish House of Commons 1692-1703


    Monday, June 14th, 2021

    Interior by Sir William Orpen comes up as Lot 268 at Sotheby’s Modern and Post War British Art day sale in London on June 23. One of a group of exceptional interior paintings begun at 21 Fitzroy St., London in 1899-1901 it is estimated at £40,000-60,000.


    Saturday, June 12th, 2021

    Scarecrow Portaits – no less than 18 canvases painted by John Shinnors as a single work of art  –  comes up as Lot 46 at de Veres timed sale of Outstanding Irish Art and Sculpture in Dublin on June 22. These are no ordinary scarecrows.  Each one acts as a stage for the use of dark and light.  In a catalogue note the art historian John P. O’Sullivan points to their eerie and nightmarish quality and draws a comparison to the eyeless Sydney Nolan paintings of Ned Kelly. Shinnors traces his scarecrow motif back to summers in rural Co. Clare and an alarming childhood encounter with a scarecrow which he associated then with stories of the banshee.  Each piece is individually signed and numbered and measures a hefty 36″ x 36″. First exhibited at Limerick City Gallery of Art in 2002 the work is estimated at €70,000-€100,000.
    This is a quality art auction with major work by Jack Yeats, Paul Henry, Roderic O’Conor, Louis le Brocquy, Basil Blackshaw and others.  The O’Conor is a large colourful still life, there is a horse painting by Yeats along with one of the artist looking out from the attic of his house in Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Square. There is delight at de Veres at the quality secured for this auction. They are  looking forward to welcoming viewers back to Kildare St. from next Thursday and to the Merrion Hotel, where the sculpture is displayed.  Interest in sculpture has grown enormously in recent years in Ireland and the display of lots at The Merrion Hotel garden will include work by Patrick O’Reilly, Ian Pollock, Ana Duncan, F.E. McWilliam, Anthony Scott, Catherine Greene, Killian Schurmann, Orla de Bri and John Behan.  There are smaller pieces by sculptors like Sandra Bell, Vivienne Roche and Melanie le Brocquy.  The catalogue, which is online, displays a wonderful and not to be missed selection of contemporary Irish art.

    Scarecrow Portraits by John Shinnors 


    Friday, June 11th, 2021

    A major exhibition of the work of Willie Doherty, twice Turner Prize nominee and Northern Ireland’s foremost contemporary artist, has just opened at the Ulster Museum in Belfast. WILLIE DOHERTY WHERE offers an overview of his career in photography and time-based media.

    In the aftermath of Brexit, and in the centenary year of the partition of Ireland, the exhibition focuses on the theme of borders, both real and imagined, a subject which has dominated Doherty’s practice for over four decades. Collectively, the works in the exhibition reveal the numerous complex political, social and psychological implications of borders, both in Northern Ireland and further afield such as Mexico. The exhibition, which runs until September 12, was previously shown in Modena, Italy as part of the British Council’s UK/Italy season.

    Willie Doherty – Remains