Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

    The Sitting Room by Norman Teeling is lot 42 at de Veres online auction of 120 lots of art to suit all budgets which continues until February 2. It is estimated at 300-500. de Veres say that this sale is ideal for buyers wishing to begin an art collection. The catalogue is online.

    Norman Teeling – The Sitting Room


    Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

    Jean Etienne Liotard’s pastel portrait of Philibert Cramer is a highlight of Christie’s online sale of Old Master and British drawings including property from the Cornelia Bessie Estate in New York.  Philibert and his brother Gabriel were the principal publishers of Voltaire and responsible for the first editions of major works such as the novel Candide.  This portrait is estimated at $400,000-$600,000. The sale runs to January 28.

    Jean Etienne Liotard – Philibert Cramer


    Monday, January 25th, 2021

    The family collection of Patricia Mountbatten, whose father, son and mother in law were murdered by the IRA, will come up at Sotheby’s in London on March 24.  The 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma was one of seven people aboard Shadow V when it was blown up by the Provisional IRA off Cliffoney, Co. Sligo in August 1979.The party comprised Lord Mountbatten, Lord John Brabourne (Patricia’s husband), their 14 year old twins Timothy and Nicholas, Lord Brabourne’s mother Lady Doreen Brabourne and 15 year old Paul Maxwell from Fermanagh, a friend of the family.  Mountbatten, Nicholas Brabourne and Maxwell were killed immediately. Lady Brabourne died the next day and the others survived serious injuries. In a press release Sotheby’s say that Lady Mountbatten, who died in 2017, dealt with her tragedies with extraordinary courage and grace. More than 350 lots from Newhouse, the Brabourne’s 18th century home, will come under the hammer at Sotheby’s on March 24 with estimates ranging from £80 to £100,000. The sale unveils tales of an important family through the art and objects they lived with. Born in 1924 Patricia Mountbatten was great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, great niece of Russia’s last Tsarina, first cousin to Prince Philip and the daughter of Britain’s last Viceroy of India.  She had an unconventional upbringing, from weekend parties with King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson at her parents’ estate in Hampshire to evacuation on the eve of the Blitz to stay with Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt III in her palatial Fifth Avenue apartment in New York. In 1943 Patricia entered the Women’s Royal Navy Service and met John Knatchbull, 7th Lord Brabourne (1924-2005). They married in 1946. As a Captain in the armed forces, Brabourne had worked for Patricia’s father in India, and later became an Academy-Award nominated film producer, behind titles such as A Passage to India and Agatha Christie adaptations Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express
    When Patricia inherited her father’s peerages, the pair became one of the very few married couples in England each of whom held a peerage in his or her own right and the custodians of two great inheritances. John’s included Mersham le Hatch, an elegant house by Robert Adam in the Kent countryside, where the Knatchbull family had settled in the 15th century. Furnished by the great Thomas Chippendale in the 1770s, it held within it objects with extraordinarily diverse provenances, including the explorer and botanist Sir Joseph Banks who travelled to Australia on Cook’s first expedition, Jane Austen’s beloved niece Fanny and the Marquesses of Sligo. Patricia inherited precious objects associated with her parents from their Art Deco penthouse on Park Lane – with treasures from Edwina’s maternal grandfather, the great Edwardian financier Sir Ernest Cassel – and their time in India.
    Among the lots to be offered is an Anglo-Indian inlaid bureau on stand supplied by Thomas Chippendale to Sir Edward Knatchbull in 1767.  It is estimated at £40,000-£60,000.  The stand was made by Chippendale for the sum of £4 to house the Indian inlaid miniature bureau. The sale of 350 lots will offer jewellery, furniture, paintings, sculpture, books, silver, ceramics and objets d’art.


    Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

    IT is not everyday that a painting by Botticelli comes to auction, and it is not everyday that a sale of Old Master drawings features a strong Cork connection and a tenuous but definite link to the monster Frankenstein. Next January 28 in New York will be just such a day. Led by Botticelli, Rembrandt and Bernini  the highest value Masters Week in Sotheby’s history runs in New York until January 30. The seven Sotheby’s auctions of paintings, drawings and sculpture with works spanning four centuries is headed by Botticelli’s Young Man Holding a Roundel. Sotheby’s are confident that this work will establish art market history as one of the most significant portraits of any period ever at auction. They have not published an estimate but rank it alongside Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II (sold in 2006 for $87.9 million) and  Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet (sold in 1990 for $82.5 million). As only about 12 portraits by the early Renaissance Florentine master are known – nearly all of them in major museum collections – it seems likely that this rare and characterful portrait could break all existing records. It comes up at the marquee sale of Master Paintings and Sculpture alongside 45 other works with estimates of from $70,000 to $30 million, the top estimate for Rembrandt’s Abraham and the Angels.

    The Cork connection turns up at Christie’s online sale of Old Master and British drawings including property from the Cornelia Bessie Estate which runs until January 28. Lot 81 is a portrait by the Irish artist Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1739-1808) of Robert King, 2nd Earl of Kingston and Caroline (nee Fitzgerald), Countess of Kingston.  He was an MP for County Cork. They lived at Mitchelstown Castle where they hired the author and founding feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) as governess to their daughters. (It is a pity that the governess did not have the opportunity to educate and civilise their son George who grew up to be the notoriously brutal commander of the North Cork Militia during the 1798 Rebellion).  The daughter she influenced most was Margaret King who, as Lady Mount Cashell, undertook a grand tour and published her diaries. The unconventional Wollstonecraft died 11 days after giving birth to her second daughter Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein and wife of the poet. The Kingston portraits are estimated at $12,000-$18,000

    (See post on for January 15, 2021)

    Sandro Botticelli – Portrait of a young man holding a roundel 


    Friday, January 22nd, 2021

    There was a world record for a rare Oliver Cromwell 50 shilling coin, dating from 1656 at Dix Noonan Webb in London on January 21. The gold coin sold for £471,200 over a top estimate of £150,000. There were bidders on the phone and the internet from the Far East, North America and the UK. The piece, struck by Thomas Simon, Cromwell’s chief engraver, went to an American buyer.

    Another highlight was a rare and fine silver Commonwealth Shilling by Irishman David Ramage. Once in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire, the shilling is decorated with a small shield of England and sold for £74,400 against an estimate of £15,000-20,000. It went to a UK Collector. David Ramage was Simon’s competitor and fell out of favour with Cromwell but had the monopoly on the production of 17th trade tokens.

    The Cromwell 50 shilling gold coin, dating from 1656, by Thomas Simon,


    Friday, January 22nd, 2021

    A death mask of Patrick Kavanagh by the Cork sculptor Seamus Murphy comes up at Hegarty’s online auction in Bandon on January 31. Etched with the name of the poet and dated 1967 it is estimated at €6,000-9,000. The lot is accompanied by with a collection of personal correspondence between the the artists wife Maighread and well known collector Barbara Vance who was married to Douglas Vance, general manager of The Metropole Hotel in Cork from 1944 – 1985. Two other plaster examples of this mask have are recorded, one at The Writer’s Museum, Dublin, the second at The Patrick Kavanagh Centre, Monaghan.



    Thursday, January 21st, 2021

    Artists who are much admired and collected in Ireland feature at Dolan’s first timed online auction which runs until January 25. A 1963 painting by Cecil Maguire of Purteen Harbour, Achill, offers dramatic west Coast views and is estimated at €6,000-€8,000.  There is a similar estimate on Girls on a Beach in PInk and Blue by George Russell, redolent of easy relaxation during long summer days. Mark O’Neill, Arthur Maderson, John Brobbel, Sean McSweeney, Markey Robinson and Robert Egginton are among the many artists who feature. An Ireland of days gone by is recalled in Market Day, Roundstone by Lady Kate Dobbin (€2,000-€3,000) while Girl with Umbrella, Reflected by John Shinnors (€3,500-€4,500) is an arresting work of an entirely different era and style.  Musicians by Manus Walsh (€600-€800) is a stained glass panel by an artist who created some of the windows for Galway Cathedral. The sale of more than 260 lots features some antique furniture, rugs, books and collectibles including a Steiff teddy bear and a Hornby train set.

    Girl with Umbrella, Reflected by John Shinnors. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

    Composition by Evie Hone is lot one at Morgan O’Driscoll’s first online Irish art auction of 2021 which runs until January 25. The catalogue lists 220 lots in total and is online. Composition, which measures 24 x 18.20cm (9.4 x 7.2in), is estimated at €2,000-4,000.

    Evie Hone HRHA (1894-1955) – Composition UPDATE: THIS MADE 7,000 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, January 17th, 2021

    The Apter-Fredericks auction online at Christie’s on January 19 has garnered enormous interest.  There are a number of fine Irish pieces on sale. Shown here is a c1750 Irish George II bottle carrier.  Used in the dining room it was on casters to allow drinks to be circulated among the guests. Apter-Fredericks have closed their London shop after 75 years and moved to an online model. This sale offers some truly exceptional pieces of fine antique furniture.

    (See post on for January 2, 2021)

    A c1750 Irish George II bottle carrier. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £8,750


    Sunday, January 17th, 2021

    An extremely rare Irish Proof or Pattern Halfpenny  is one of a number of valuable Irish coins coming up at Dix Noonan Webb in London.  Bought for the equivalent of $2 many years ago it will be offered at a live/online auction of Coins and Historical Medals on on February 2.   It is from the collection of the late Eric Newman,  an important numismatist from the US. The George III halfpenny dates to 1774.  Complete with a portrait of the long haired king and with a harp on the reverse it is estimated at £2,400-3,000. An Irish George III pattern mule penny from 1813, one of only three specimens known, is estimated at £6,000-8,000.

    Irish Proof or Pattern Halfpenny