Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

    Suffused with the blazing light and color of the Mediterranean Plage à Agrigente by Nicolas de Staël will highlight the Parisian section of ONE: a Global Sale of the 20th Century at Christie’s on July 10. Launching in Hong Kong, the sale will then transition to auctioneers in Paris and London, concluding in New York.

    Plage à Agrigente captures the memory of the landscape around the Ancient Greek city of Agrigento in Southern Sicily, which the artist had visited during the summer of 1953. This exquisite work from one of Nicolas de Staël’s most celebrated and important series was unveiled at Paul Rosenberg’s New York gallery in 1954. The painting has since been featured in some of de Staël’s most important posthumous exhibitions, including major retrospectives at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam in 1965, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1966 and the Tobu Art Museum in Tokyo in 1997. 

    NICOLAS DE STAEL (1914-1955). Plage à Agrigente


    Sunday, July 5th, 2020

    Within weeks of smuggling guns from Germany to the Irish Volunteers on board the Asgard in 1914 Robert Erskine Childers was called up. His call up papers were delivered to the headquarters of the Irish Volunteers, a move akin today to asking a white supremacist to speak at a Black Lives Matter rally. The author of The Riddle of the Sands became a decorated British naval officer.  His sword in gilt brass and leather scabbard is lot 91 at Mullen’s Collector’s Cabinet auction in Bray next Saturday (July 11).  Engraved “R E Childers” it is estimated at €3,000-€5,000. Robert Erskine Childers was executed in 1922 by the nascent Irish Free State during the Civil War.   Erskine Childers, the Fianna Fail politician who became Ireland’s fourth president, was his son.

    The Collector’s Cabinet is a postponed sale originally scheduled for March 28.  The 572 lots can be viewed online at The Saleroom.  Among them are a copy of Error of Judgement by Chris Mullin signed by the author, the Birmingham Six and solicitor Gareth Peirce. It is estimated at €300-€500.  There are 110 lots of Irish and international bank notes from the collection of Patrick Browne, secretary of the Cork Philatelic Society who began collecting banknotes in the 1990’s.  Estimates range from €80-€2,500.  Among the scarcest of the sporting lots are a competitors badge from the 1908 London Olympic Games and an officials badge from the 1924 Paris Games, immortalised in the film Chariots of Fire.

    Robert Erskine Childers naval officers sword


    Saturday, July 4th, 2020

    A set of 12 William IV rosewood dining chairs with an estimate of €3,000-€5,000 is the most expensively estimated lot at the James Adam At Home online sale in Dublin on July 5.  Bidding options for this 347 lot sale of antique furniture, paintings, books, jewellery, silver and collectibles are available at Adams. A c1780 Limerick silver tablespoon by Morris Fitzgerald is estimated at €300-€400 and a pair of large Meissen models of exotic birds carry an estimate of €1,000-€2,000.There are Waterford Crystal chandeliers, rugs, mirrors, Sevres urns, a wine cooler and a 19th century giltwood marble topped console table. A selection of Chinese export porcelain will generate interest. One of the more unusual lots is Robert Morrissons (1782-1834) 19th century dictionary of the Chinese language.  In three parts this is estimated at €3,000-€4,000.  A Russian Gardener porcelain figure of a glazier made in Moscow in the 19th century is estimated at €1,000-€1,500. UPDATE: The dictionary sold for a hammer price of 12,000, the Gardener porcelian made 2,800 and the chairs made 3,000.

    A pair of 19th century Meissen models of exotic birds. UPDATE: THESE MADE 4,400 AT HAMMER


    Friday, July 3rd, 2020

    A 1998 work by Sean Scully with a top estimate of €900,000 leads de Veres online sale of outstanding Irish Art and Sculpture in Dublin on July 23. An oil on linen, Double Window is signed and dated and measures 54″ x 48 1/8″. In a catalogue note Dr. Frances Ruane comments: “Although his work is geometric and totally abstract, his starting point comes from what he’s looking at or what he’s feeling rather than in solving academic visual problems. In the process of painting he does construct abstract dialogues that are purely visual, but this isn’t the driving force behind the work.  Although the colour is bold, ‘Double Window’ shows how, with Scully, it is carefully nuanced, with underpainting coming through the top layer of paint. This is a particularly theatrical composition, a visual story of opposing forces, the artist struggling to make the double insets live with that powerful background, and to have them live with each other. Scully’s success is that while the struggle is evident, he manages to make it work.” 

    Sean Scully RA, b.1945 DOUBLE WINDOW (1998) (€600,000 – €900,000)


    Friday, July 3rd, 2020

    L.S. Lowry’s Coming from the Match has achieved the highest price for a work in an online only sale at Christie’s. It made £2,051,250 at a sale devoted to original paintings and drawings by L.S. Lowry entitled People Watching. The small oil on canvas had been estimated at £500,000-800,000. The auction, which has just ended, realised a total of £4.6 million.


    Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

    Whytes will offer an interesting selection of 242 artworks at their timed online summer sale on July 6.  There are landscapes by Paul Henry, Frank McKelvey, James Humbert Craig, Cecil Maguire and George Gillespie. Modern and Contemporary artists like Louis le Brocquy, William Scott, George Campbell, Dan O’Neill, Arthur Armstrong, Graham Knuttel, Arthur Maderson, Gladys MacCabe and Markey Robinson all feature as well as sculpture by Orla de Bri, Rory Breslin, John Behan, Joseph Sloan, Paddy Campbell and Eamon O’Doherty.

    There is a 1930’s topographical view by the Welsh artist  Edward Morland Lewis of Union Quay, Cork in which the old red brick garda headquarters is prominent. He worked under Walter Sickert as pupil and assistant. Many of his paintings were based on photographs of seaside towns in Wales, Ireland, northern France and Spain. The artist joined the staff of Chelsea College of Art where his colleagues included Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and John Piper. He died in North Africa in 1943 while on active service as a camouflage officer.  It is estimated at €2,000-€3,000.  Salvador Dali,  Banksy, Sir Terry Frost, Larry Rivers, Tracey Emin and Bob Dylan feature too.  

     Union Quay in Cork by Edward Morland Lewis  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,000 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

    Over 40 paintings, sculpture and works on paper – led by a Cubist work by Léger and a Picasso Portrait of his lover Marie-Thérèse – from a family collection will come up at Sotheby’s in London this July. Eighteen works will be offered in the cross-category evening sale on July 28, in which exceptional examples of Old Masters – including one of the last self-portraits by Rembrandt in private hands – Impressionist and Modern art, Modern British and Contemporary art will be presented together for the first time. A further twenty-four works from this collection will be offered in the Impressionist & Modern Art Online sale, open for bidding from July 20 – 27. 

    Helena Newman, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department, said: “Put together with passion and enjoyed over many years, this private collection encapsulates exactly what collectors long for – quality and rarity in works that can be, and have been, lived with and loved. Unified by the breadth and depth of art from across Europe, it offers seldom seen works from the pinnacle of the Avant-Garde, from the figurative to the abstract. At its core is an exceptionally beautiful 1931 portrait of Picasso’s lover, Marie-Thérèse, an intimate glimpse into their early days together when the love between the artist and his most important muse was still a secret from the world”.

    The first decades of the twentieth century would change the course of art history for ever. This treasure-trove from a private collection – little known and rarely seen – spans the remarkable period, telling its story through the leading protagonists, from Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti to Wassily Kandinsky, Lyonel Feininger and Alexej von Jawlensky. Travelling across the continent, the works emphasise the crosscurrents and connections that united Europe, from France to Germany to Britain.

    Pablo Picasso – Femme endormie (1931) (£6-9 million)


    Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

    There will be three days of online sales by Aidan Foley at Sixmilebridge in Co. Clare on July 5, 6 and 7.  Around 1,500 lots are to come under the hammer including house contents from Blackrock in Cork city, Ennis, Castleconnell and Limerick city. There is Irish art by James Humbert Craig, George Gillespie, Arthur Maderson and Markey Robinson. Antique furniture lots include a pair of Victorian library bookcases, a Victorian five leaf dining table and a collection of wing back library chairs.  There are light fittings, pub memorabilia, posters, Waterford Crystal, Persian rugs, musical instruments, books, garden statuary and jewellery. The sales will be online at Easy Live Auctions.

    A selection of lots from Aidan Foley’s sale


    Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

    A Swiss made gold pocket watch with historic British connections comes up at O’Donovan’s auction in Newcastlewest Co. Limerick on July 4. It was presented by Stanley Owen Buckmaster, who served as Lord Chancellor in the Asquith coalition government of 1915-16 during the First World War, to an old friend in memory of his father John Charles Buckmaster who died in 1908. John Charles Buckmaster was the founder of Teddington Library near Twickenham in London in 1904. The auction is online at Easy Live Auction and the watch is estimated at 300-400.

    The inscribed pocket watch


    Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

    Pablo Picasso’s Baigneuses, sirènes, femme nue et minotaure (1937) comes up as part of ONE: A Global Sale of the 20th Century at Christie’s on July 10. With an estimate of $6,000,000-9,000,000 it will be offered in the New York session. Picasso depicts the projection of an inner self, in the form of the Minotaur, a character lifted directly from ancient mythology. In the late 1920s, Picasso’s interest in Surrealism, especially through his close friendships with Paul Éluard and other poets in the vanguard of the movement, inspired him to take broad licence with classical fables, to practice his own method of creative reconfiguration.

    Pablo Picasso, Baigneuses, sirènes, femme nue et minotaure (1937)