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    A SNEAK PEAK AT MASTERS WEEK AT SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK

    Friday, January 21st, 2022

    HERE is a video on Sothebys Masters Week in New York.

    PICASSO HIGHLIGHT AT CHRISTIE’S ART OF THE SURREAL SALE

    Friday, January 21st, 2022
    Pablo Picasso, La fenêtre ouverte (1929, estimate: £14,000,000-24,000,000)

    A seminal work from Pablo Picasso’s Surrealist period, La fenetre ouverte (1929) will highlight Christie’s 21st edition of The Art of the Surreal evening sale. It is part of the 20/21 Shanghai to London series of auctions due take place on March 1, 2022. Painted on November 22, 1929, this complex and compelling studio scene is one of a series of Atelier works that Picasso had begun around 1926, richly symbolic and radically constructed paintings that reveal the multi-faceted interests of the artist at this time. Other works from this series are housed in museums including The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Musée National d’Art Moderne, Le Centre Pompidou, Paris. At once a still life, a veiled Atelier scene, and a Surrealist distortion of reality, La fenêtre ouverte is rich with personal and artistic symbolism and is estimated at £14 million – £24 million.

    DAMIEN HIRST AS YOU HAVE NOT SEEN HIM BEFORE

    Friday, January 21st, 2022

    In 2007, just before the financial crash, a diamond encrusted platinum skull by Damien Hirst was bought by an investment group for $100 million.  Cast from a 35-year-old 18th century European man and retaining the original teeth, the skull is coated with 8,601 diamonds with a large pink diamond on the forehead.

    An x-ray self portrait skull by Hirst comes up at lot 118 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online art auction, which runs to January 24. The limited edition light box and x-rays piece is estimated at just €500-700. No diamonds this time.

    FLASK MAKES €95,000 AT JAMES ADAM CHINESE SALE

    Tuesday, January 18th, 2022
    A BLUE AND WHITE ‘MAGPIE AND PRUNUS’ PORCELAIN PILGRIM FLASK OR MOON FLASK, BIANHU

    This 20th century Yongle style blue and white Magpie and Prunus pilgrim flask or moon flask made a hammer price of 95,000 at the James Adam Chinese New Year sale in Dublin today. It had been estimated at up to 100,000. The 25 cm high gourd is an adaptation of a much earlier foreign vessel inspired from leather bags or pilgrim bottles. This shape first appeared in Chinese ceramic production during the Han and Tang periods. This flask would have been made after renowned related models dating to the Yongle period, such as that preserved in the Sir David Percival Foundation and now exhibited at the British Museum, London, The United Kingdom, and that preserved at the Shanghai Museum of Fine Arts, China.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for January 14, 2022)

    LARGEST FANCY NATURAL COLOUR BLACK DIAMOND IN THE WORLD

    Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

    The Enigma, a 555.55 Carat Fancy Black Diamond, comes up online at Sotheby’s next month as part of RE(LUX), a Luxury Sale Series. A treasure from interstellar space, The Enigma is extremely rare and the largest Fancy Black Natural Colour diamond in the world. It was listed as the largest cut diamond in the world in the 2006 Guinness Book of World Records. It is thought to have been created either from a meteoric impact or having emerged from a diamond-bearing asteroid that collided with Earth. 

    Cryptocurrency will be accepted as payment on the diamond, reflecting the fact that cryptocurrency has started to make its mark in the world of physical art and objects. Sotheby’s leads the way in the jewellery market, and last year.

    The Enigma

    NEOLITHIC BOG OAK CANOE AT BONHAMS

    Monday, January 17th, 2022

    An Irish Neolithic bog oak dug out canoe comes up at Bonhams in Edinburgh on January 26. Estimated at £2,000-£3,000  (€2,398-€3,597) it is among the highlights of the Jim Lennon collection of silver, Asian and European works of art. One day in the 1970s, a Church of Ireland clergyman the Reverend Con Auld was driving through rural county Fermanagh when he noticed a group of boys tending a bonfire. Curious, he stopped the car and discovered that the firewood consisted of bog oak canoes recently uncovered by contractors constructing a nearby road. Anxious that this this piece of Irish history should not be lost for ever, Rev Auld bought one of the canoes from the youths and drove off with it in his trailer. It will be offered at Bonhams with no reserve.

    Jim Lennon built up his collection over 40 years in Northern Ireland and writing in the forward to the sale catalogue he explains his guiding principles: “I like to think that everything I bought showed skilled individual workmanship, whether in wood, stone, silver, ceramics or any other medium.”

    DID ONE IRISH FAMILY ACHIEVE THE HIGHEST BRAVERY AWARDS OF BRITAIN AND THE US?

    Saturday, January 15th, 2022
    The outstanding group of six awarded to Patrick Donohoe with his Victoria Cross on the left.

    The auction of a Victoria Cross awarded to Patrick Donohoe for bravery during the Indian Mutiny at Dix Noonan Webb on January 26 raises a fascinating question.  Is he the brother of Timothy Donoghue, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for service during the American Civil War?

    Both were born in Nenagh, Co.Tipperary. Patrick in 1820 and Timothy in 1825.  And Timothy, who named his son Patrick, is known to have had an older brother of that name. If it turns out they are brothers it will be the only case of one family receiving the highest gallantry award of both Britain and America.

    Research suggesting that they are indeed brothers has been produced by Col. James Tierney, US Army retired, Regimental Historian of the 69th (New York Infantry) Regiment. 
    Timothy earned his Medal of Honor serving with the 69th New York Infantry at Fredericksburg, Virginia in December 1862. Patrick won his VC at the Battle of Bolondshuhur in 1857 during the unsuccessful mutiny against British rule known in India as the First War of Independence.

    Patrick joined the 17th Lancers in Dublin in 1839 giving his trade as coachmaker.  In April 1842 he transferred to the 9th Lancers, then bound for India where, in the space of the next 17 years, it was to see more fighting than in the whole of its previous 125 years.Timothy arrived in the US on the City of New York with his wife and son Patrick in April 1862. He enlisted in the 69th Regiment in September of that year.

    In India Patrick Donohoe was among a select group, unique to his unit, to be present at all three major military episodes of the campaign, the Siege of Delhi, the Relief of Lucknow and the final capture of Lucknow.  Wounded in Lucknow in 1858  he recovered to undertake the passage home with the regiment in 1859, now among a mere handful of comrades to have survived the years in India. His VC was sent to India while he was at sea, returned to London and eventually presented by Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle in January 1860. Patrick Donohoe was discharged with chronic bronchitis from the British Army in Dublin in 1864 after 25 years of service.  He died in Ashbourne, Co. Meath in 1876 and is buried in Donoughmore, Co. Cork.

    On offer at Dix Noonan Webb on London on January 26 is the outstanding group of six Indian Mutiny medals awarded to Patrick Donohoe, including his VC.  Lot 207 is estimated at £140,000-£180,000 (€167,440-€215,280).For now the question of whether two brothers from Tipperary received the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Victoria Cross remains open.

    KATHLEEN LYNN’S EASTER RISING MEDAL AT MULLEN’S

    Saturday, January 15th, 2022

    The Easter Rising medal awarded to Kathleen Lynn – whose Treaty debate photo alongside Constance Markievicz was published in this paper last Saturday – comes up at Mullen’s Collector’s Cabinet auction in Bray on January 29.  Influenced while studying medicine by the writings of James Connolly and the poverty of the Dublin slums she joined the Irish Citizen Army as chief medical officer. Active in the Rising she was imprisoned in Britain, became vice president of Sinn Fein on her release and was on the run for much of the War of Independence.  She was the driving force behind the establishment of Saint Ultan’s Children’s Hospital in 1919. The medal is estimated at €20,000-€30,000.The latest in the series of collectibles auctions at Mullen’s includes historical memorabilia, rare and antiquarian books, militaria, arms and armour, sporting memorabilia, model trains and toys.

    Dr. Kathleen Lynn

    AN AUCTION SUPER HERO IS BORN

    Friday, January 14th, 2022

    A single page of original artwork from an acclaimed 1984 comic featuring Spider-Man has sold for a record $3.36m (€2.93m) at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. This makes the webslinger the world’s mightiest auction superhero.

    The page features the first appearance of Spidey’s black symbiote suit that would later lead to the creation of anti-hero Venom in artwork by Mike Zeck from Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars no. 8. The previous record for a single page of artwork from the interior of an American comic book was a frame showing the first image of Wolverine in a 1974 issue of “The Incredible Hulk”. The page sold for $657,250.

    FAMILLE ROSE VASE AT ADAMS CHINESE NEW YEAR SALE

    Friday, January 14th, 2022
    A FAMILLE ROSE ‘HUNDRED BATS’  VASE. UPDATE: THIS MADE 20,000 AT HAMMER

    This Famille Rose hundred bats vase comes up as lot 119 at the James Adam Chinese New Year sale of Decorative Asian Arts in Dublin on January 18. The globular trumpet necked vase with the Guangxu six-character mark and of the period is estimated at €5,000-€7,000. The brightly enamelled vase has a profusion of iron-red bats in flight amidst multicoloured lingzhi clouds, between a band of ruyi heads at the rim and upright lappets around the foot. It is divided at the shoulder by a band of lotus sprays alternating with gilt shou characters on the shoulder above a gilt relief border.