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    AN EXCEPTIONAL EYE AT CHRISTIE’S PARIS

    Sunday, December 8th, 2019

    Works from an outstanding collector will come up at Christie’s An Exceptional Eye sale in Paris on December 10 and 11. The very private collector grew up in the French coungtryside and his interest in insects and minerals began at a very early age. As an adult, he would go on to collect wonders of the world including butterflies from Indonesia, fossils, meteorites, and an exceptional dinosaur skeleton. Classes in art and culture followed.

    For more than ten years he successfully indulged in the antiquarian profession but his adventurous soul pushed him towards new horizons. This aesthete and scholar was deeply moved by the quality of a marble panel by Léon Indenbaum or a cabinet by Gaston-Etienne Le Bourgeois, both realised for Jacques Doucet in 1913. He was also interested in works by the German expressionists, from August Macke to Egon Schiele, as well as the delicacy of Eileen Gray’s creations.

    Cécile Verdier, President of Christie’s France said: “It is an absolute joy for Christie’s to present this wonderful collection revealing the very private world of this discreet collector. A passionate character with a keen interest in all cultures, he wove very personal threads between the arts, in accordance with his specific tastes and his culture”.

    Jean-Louis Gaillemin, art historian remarked: “The bold presence of a rhinoceros skeleton in the middle of the living room has the effect of shattering the conventional and the customary; this staging, which fosters a surprising and powerful discourse between the objects, reveals the taste and interests of the master of the house”.

    SCOTT’S RED ON RED THE TOP LOT AT JAMES ADAM

    Thursday, December 5th, 2019

    Red on Red by William Scott was the top lot at the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on December 4. It made a hammer price of 150,000 over an estimates of 150,000-200,000. A second Scott in the sale, Still Life with Pan and Bowl, failed to find a buyer. Other top lots, with hammer prices in brackets, were: Cottages by a lake by Paul Henry (90,000); Cottages by Water by Paul Henry (70,000); Portrait of J.P. Donleavy by Robert Ballagh (30,000); Moonstruck Youth by Gerard Dillon (28,000); Lake View by Paul Henry (26,000); Horses Exercising, early morning by Basil Blackshaw (22,000); Crouching figure with bowed head by Mary Swanzy (18,500); Boats by William John Leech (18,000); Mother and child by Sir John Lavery (15,000); Clifton, Connemara by George Campbell (15,000); Drover II by Basil Blackshaw (14,000); Still Life by Patrick Swift (14,000); Coastline by Donald Teskey (10,000) and Polo Match, St Moritz by Peter Curling (8,000).

    Red on Red by William Scott

    SUCCESSFUL OLD MASTERS EVENING SALE AT CHRISTIE’S

    Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

    There was a new auction record for the Siennese painter Giovanni di Paolo at Christie’s Old Masters evening sale in London on December 3. Saint Clare rescuing the shipwrecked made £5.3 million in an auction that brought in £24.2 million and attracted bidders from 22 countries across four continents.

    Clementine Sinclair, head of the sale said:  “The Evening sale achieved the highest ever percentage sold by lot for a London Old Masters sale at 86% and was 94% sold by value, making it one of the most successful auctions in recent years. This is a testament to the strength and depth in the market for material that is fresh and well-priced. The sale was led by the two exceptional predella panels by Giovanni di Paolo, recently restituted to the heirs of Harry Fuld, which set a new auction record for the artist and made a combined total of £8.9 million. The sale also included an important group of still lifes, with examples by Ambrosius Bosschaert, Jan Breughel the Elder, Daniel Seghers and Abraham Mignon, which was 100% sold and set a new artist record for a work by Seghers. There was cross category interest and buying, underlining the success of combining Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture.” 

    Giovanni di Paolo (Siena c. 1399-1482) Saint Clare rescuing the shipwrecked

    A SCULLY HIGHLIGHT AT PARIS ART SALE

    Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

    A Sean Scully work from a private collection in Paris comes up at Sotheby’s Art Contemporain day sale on December 5. The pastel on paper 5.27.91 is estimated at 150,000-200,000 euro. It was previously at the Mayor Rowan Gallery in New York.

    UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 200,000

    1831 VIEW OF GOUGANE BARRA

    Monday, December 2nd, 2019

    This 1831 view of Gougane Barra in Co. Cork by George Petrie is among the works displayed by Guy Peppiatt. Fine Art during London Art Week the showcase of London’s leading galleries in Mayfair and St. James which runs from December 1-6. The watercolour heightened with touches of body colour is indistinctly signed and dated. 

    ORPEN PORTRAIT OF FIRST WOMAN TO ENTER TOMB OF KING TUT

    Sunday, December 1st, 2019

    THIS portrait of Lady Evelyn Herbert by Sir William Orpen comes up at Sotheby’s sale of Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite and British Impressionist art in London on December 10.  She was the only daughter of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, accompanied him to Egypt on several occasions and had the distinction of being the first woman to enter the antechamber of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in November 1922.  Despite the supposed Curse of Tutankhamun, fuelled in part by her father’s tragic death in 1923 in Cairo as a result of a mosquito bite, she lived to the ripe old age of 79 and died without incident in January 1980.  The portrait is estimated at £40,000-60,000.

    MAJOR SALES OF IRISH ART COMING UP IN DUBLIN

    Saturday, November 30th, 2019

    Major evening winter sales of art take place in Dublin at Whyte’s on December 2 and James Adam on December 4. There are two works by William Scott (1913-1989) at Adams purchased from his estate and never before on the market.  Still Life with Pan and Bowl is estimated at 200,000-300,000 and Red on Red has an estimate of 150,000-200,000.  Dated to 1967 this latter work featured in his retrospective at the Tate Gallery in 1972 and is related to the RTE abstract of the same year commissioned for RTE which sold for £187,500 at Sotheby’s in London last week. In sharp contrast to this work Cottages by a Lake by Paul Henry, one of three paintings in this auction by an artist whose work achieves stellar results, is estimated at 80,000-120,000.  There is a portrait of J.P. Dunleavy painted by Robert Ballagh to mark his 60th birthday and The Irish Farm by Margaret Clarke is the original 1930 artwork for the Empire Marketing Board Free State Butter poster. There are some highly affordable artworks with low estimates of up to 600 by artists like Anita Shelbourne RHA, Imogen Stuart, Colin Middleton, Mainie Jellett, Rosamund Praeger, Ronald Ossory Dunlop and Elizabeth Rivers.  If the budget stretches to 1,000 and beyond the choice widens considerable. 

    Whyte’s, which goes on view at the RDS today hot on the heels of the sale of the Ernie O’Malley collection last Monday, offers art by Yeats, le Brocquy, Dan O’Neill, Sir William Orpen and Paul Henry alongside international artists like Andy Warhol and a selection of  19 North American works from the collection of Anglo Irish Banks.  These are from their New York office and are being sold by the special IBRC liquidator.  Why Anglo in their heyday did not avail of the opportunity to hang Irish art in their New York offices is yet another Irish banking mystery. The 238 lots on offer at Whyte’s includes a joyous Bahamas canvas by Tony O’Malley titled Air, Water, Light (40,000-60,000) which was purchased from the  collection of the Bank of Ireland almost a decade ago.  A painting of Glencree, Co. Wicklow by Paul Henry is estimated at 60,000-80,000. Given what Whyte’s describe as an upsurge of interest in the work of Irish women artists there should be plenty of bidders for a selection of paintings by Letitia Hamilton and one by her sister Eva.  A portrait of James Joyce by Louis le Brocquy is estimated at 18,000-22,000 and a 1952 work by Maurice MacGonigal depicts the artists wife and family with dog at Errisberg, Co. Mayo (20,000-30,000). Lot 46, Figures on a staircase, York St., Dublin by Patrick Hennessy was painted in 1942 when the street was the site of a terrace of grand Georgian houses that had become one of the worst tenements in Dublin. They were pulled down in the 1960’s to make way for modern social housing. In this work Hennessy documents some of the grimmest poverty to be found anywhere in the country with large families in single rooms, no sanitation and no privacy. He depicts a woman reading a newspaper on the landing with another woman looking out nervously from her doorway at a time of war. The work is estimated at 8,000-10,000. 

    The Anglo collection was acquired mostly through artists agents and galleries and offers a selection of mostly contemporary North American artists at price guides ranging from 500 to  2,000. Three of the works, in sets of nine, five and three respectively, are more  expensively estimated.  They are Glass Series 2004 by Kermit Berg (4,000-5,000);  Scene Studies 2000 by Carla Arocha (3,000-5,000) and Seething City This is and We Experience by Gabart Farrar (2,000-3,000).

    The Irish Farm by Margaret Clarke at James Adam (12,000-16,000). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD
    Air, Water, Light Bahamas by Tony O’Malley at Whyte’s (40,000-60,000). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    IRISH AND INTERNATIONAL ART AT WHYTE’S

    Thursday, November 28th, 2019

    Irish and International art will come under the hammer at Whyte’s in Dublin on December 2. The auction will include 19 lots from the New York offices of Anglo Irish Bank on behalf of the special liquidator of the IBRC. On offer is a selection of contemporary North American art at very affordable prices. Orpen’s 1919 portrait of Capt. Robert John Woods of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers is described thus by Prof. Kenneth McConkey: “A handsome fellow has lost his youth, his greatcoat weighs him down, and behind his eyes are the horrors he has seen. Long, slow looking, patience, and an accurate eye provide for great psychologicalpenetration in Orpen’s picture of this quiet Ulsterman in uniform.” The portrait is estimated at 25,000-30,000.

    SIR WILLIAM ORPEN – CAPTAIN ROBERT JOHN WOODS. UPDATE: THIS MADE 34,000 AT HAMMER

    COLLINS CANE MAKES 11,000

    Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

    Art by Patrick Collins, Hughie O’Donoghue, Barrie Cooke, Basil Blackshaw, John B. Vallely and Markey Robinson performed well at de Vere’s in Dublin tonight. The walking cane once owned by Michael Collins made a hammer price of 11,000 over a top estimate of 4,000. F.E. McWilliam’s Anthropomorphic Bean once in the collection of Lehman Brothers failed to find a buyer. The top lot was Hughie O’Donoghue’s Return of Ulysses Blue Elegy which made 30,000 at hammer. Among the other top lots, with hammer prices in brackets, were: A memory of W.B. Yeats walking in Dublin by Patrick Collins (29,000); Moorland Water by Patrick Collins (26,000); Five Musicians by John B. Vallely (21,000); Frission by Mark Frances (20,000); Longshore VIII by Donald Teskey (18,000); Wind, Strings and Reeds by John B. Vallely (15,000); Big Forest Borneo by Barrie Cooke (14,500); Landscape by Basil Blackshaw (13,000); Image of Seamus Heaney by Louis le Brocquy (12,000); Arrival of the catch by Markey Robinson (11,000) and Winter Pattern by Tony O’Malley (10,000).

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for November 24, 2019)

    Hughie O’Donoghue – Return of Ulysses, Blue Elegy

    GERMAN IVORY RELIEF BATTLE SCENES TOP LOT AT FONSIE MEALY

    Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

    A rare pair of German 19th Century finely carved ivory relief panels was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s Chatsworth fine art sale in Castlecomer today. They made a hammer price of 15,000. Among the other top lots with hammer prices in brackets were a large stuffed and mounted Bengal Tiger head (7,500); The Wooing of Emer by Cuchulainn from the Harry Clarke Studios (7,000); an 18th century French Regence commode (6,400); an 18 carat gold mesh necklace set with diamonds by Boodles (3,500); a private collection of 18th century blue and white English porcelain (3,400); a Georgian Irish Chippendale style breakfront bookcase (2,800); a light grey Chanel handbag (3,300); a Spode dinner service (1,700); a 19th century Canton carved jewellery casket (1,500) and an embroidered Chinese silk robe (1,100).

    One of a pair of German carved relief panels of ancient battle scenes.