Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Sunday, August 1st, 2021
    Youghal, Co. Cork by Norah McGuinness

    The Cubist influence is apparent in Norah McGuinness’s painting of Youghal, Co. Cork which comes up as lot number 2 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online sale next Tuesday evening.  The medium is gouache, the painting measures 14″ x 18.3″ and it is estimated at €1,500-€2,500. Born in Co. Londonderry Norah McGuinness studied at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and Chelsea Polytechnic. She worked in Dublin as an illustrator and stage designer in the 1920’s and went to Paris on the advice of Mainie Jellett in 1929 to study with Andre Lhote.  In the 1930’s McGuinness lived and worked in London and New York before returning to Ireland in 1939 and settling in Dublin.  Associated in Ireland with the modern movement in Ireland she  helped found the Irish Exhibition of Living Art.

    This high summer season sale of 256 lots runs until next Tuesday evening (August 3).   From an etching by Sean Scully to a landscape by James Arthur O’Connor the choice is wide and designed to suit all tastes. A brooding Co. Down landscape by Dan O’Neill stands in sharp contrast to a photo realist work by Eileen Meagher of the Erriff River at Delphi in Co. Mayo. There is work by Kenneth Webb, Pauline Bewick, Patrick Scott, Percy French, Mark O’Neill, Barrie Cooke, Mildred Anne Butler and many more acclaimed Irish artists and sculptors.


    Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

    These William IV limestone gate piers and cast and wrought iron entrance gates are standout lots at Victor Mee’s one day summer garden sale online on August 4. The gate piers are estimated at €1,500-2,000 and so are the gates. This sale of almost 600 lots and will include an array of garden furniture, planters and statuary. A life size bronze model of a giraffe is estimated at €3,000-5,000, there is a copper and brass armillary sundial, a Lutyens bench and a life size moulded statue of a Greek discus thrower included in the sale.


    Tuesday, July 27th, 2021
    William Percy French (1854-1920) – Sunset in Mayo

    Sunset in Mayo, a watercolour by the noted songwriter and painter Percy French, is lot 30 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online sale of Irish art which runs until August 3. The estimate is €4,000-€6,000. There are 256 lots on offer in a sale designed to suit all tastes. The many visitors to west Cork right now will have an opportunity to view this sale in person at Morgan O’Driscoll’s offices in Skibbereen. There will be in person viewing right over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The sale is on view from 11 am to 5 pm from July 30 to August 2 and from 11 am to 3 pm on the day of the auction.


    Sunday, July 25th, 2021

    THIS summer of auctions is continuing at a brisk pace. A variety of interesting and one off lots will come under the hammer in Ireland over the next few days. More than 600 lots will come under the hammer at Fonsie Mealy’s sale of contents from Osberstown House, Naas on July 27.  Osberstown is an  elegant country home with all the trappings that make such places special. Hunting through the catalogue you will find everything from a four poster bed and garden statues to antique furniture and rugs, a console mirror and even an Irish silver replica of the Phoenix monument at Phoenix Park. There are comfortable button back leather library armchairs, painting and limited edition prints by Pauline Bewick, a Victorian breakfront wardrobe, a walnut dining suite, an Arts and Crafts five drawer chest, a selection of artworks, a cylinder bureau, a cheval mirror and much more to choose from.Viewing by appointment will be available on Monday.  The catalogue is online and the sale will be online only from Castlecomer.

    UPDATE: The Osberstown House sale realised over €370,000 on the hammer. The top lot was a massive pair of recumbent Great Danes by Triton 2001 in a limited edition 21/100 which made €5,800 at hammer.

    This four poster bed is lot 61 at Fonsie Mealy’s sale. UPDATE: THIS BED WAS WITHDRAWN FROM THE AUCTION

    If you picture yourself as a Viking warrior slashing and burning your way through oodles of Covid restrictions and combatting bureaucratic enemies more fearsome and confusing than any ancient dragons then Sean Eacretts auction in Ballybrittas, Co. Laois on July 26 is for you. He is selling MGM props from Vikings and Game of Thrones online on Monday.  International interest is guaranteed but estimates are reasonable. A pair of tall metal candleabra from Game of Thrones is estimated at €400-€800 and King Ivor’s throne from Vikings season four is estimated at €300-500.  Or you might prefer King Alfred’s throne from season five.  There are special tables and boat chairs along with a selection of axes, cabinets and chests in highly decorative hardwood from the Great Hall of Kattegat as filmed in Ashford, Co. Wicklow.  The sale features fine art, antiques and collectibles as part one and MGM props as part two.

    Meantime Aidan Foley’s summer sale of antiques and interiors online from Kilcolgan, Co. Galway takes place today and tomorrow. There is art by George Gillespie, Maurice Wilks, Graham Knuttel, Arthur Maderson, John Skelton, Colin Middleton and others.   The auction offers Persian rugs, antique furniture, silver, Waterford Crystal, a pair of 19th century military epaulettes, old banknotes and garden furniture.The pub section, which is always popular, includes a Bendigo Tobacco mirror from a pub clearance in Ballyhaunis as well s prints, collectibles and glassware.  The online sale is on view today in Kilcolgan and the online auction is at 11 am tomorrow and on Monday.

    A selection of lots from Aidan Foley’s sale


    Saturday, July 24th, 2021

    Bill Bowerman’s handmade prototype logo track spikes with waffle sole from the heart of Nike will be a highlight of Sotheby’s Olympic Collection, running online in New York until August 2.  When it came to shoe ingenuity and design Nike co-founder Bowerman –  obsessed with weight and performance – was one of the greatest innovators of his generation. He made this pair for Canadian track and field sprinter and Olympian Harry Jerome, who set seven world records in his career. Produced in the 1960’s and modified in the 1970’s these shoes are an important milestone in the origin of Nike and feature four prototype logos which resemble the Nike swoosh.   The waffle soles under each set of track spikes was the first notable innovation introduced by Nike when they premiered the moon shoe at the 1972 Olympic trials.  Not just any old pair they are estimated at $800,000-$1.2 million.  The online sale is an assemblage of over 50 lots of memorabilia, sneakers and collectibles related to Olympic athletes.

    These handmade Bowerman Nike shoes are estimated at $800,000-$1.2 million.


    Friday, July 23rd, 2021

    There will be 627 lots at Fonsie Mealy’s sale of contents from Osberstown House, Naas online from Castlecomer on July 27. There is a fine selection of antique furniture, art, lamps, mirrors, garden furniture and a variety of collectibles.

    Patricia Jorgensen – Arum Lilies ’94 watercolour (150-250). UPDATE: THIS MADE 520 AT HAMMER

    Here is a video from the house:


    Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

    Film props from Vikings and Game of Thrones will go under the hammer in Ireland next week. The online sale by Ballybrittas, Co. Laois based auctioneer Sean Eacrett takes place on July 26. A pair of metal candelabra from Game of Thrones is estimated at 400-600 and there will be wooden thrones up to two metres tall from Vikings which ran for six series and was filmed in Ashford, Co. Wicklow.

    King Alfreds thrown from Vikings, season 5 (300-500). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 370 AT HAMMER


    Monday, July 19th, 2021

    There is art by William Conor, Charles Lamb, Derek Hill, Breon O’Casey and Markey Robinson at Bonhams sale of British and Irish art at Knightsbridbge in London on July 21. The auction is led by Summer Holiday by Sherree Valentine-Daines (born. 1959) which is estimated at £5,000-7,000.

    Breon O’Casey – Lost Hedge (£1,000-£1,500)


    Monday, July 19th, 2021

    The lure of nostalgia is strong. The popularity in Ireland of sales of pub and old advertising memorabilia is undimmed. There are 659 lots in Victor Mee’s advertising, pub memorabilia and collectibles sale online from Belturbet, Co. Cavan on August 5. These days were are all harking back longingly to life BC (before Covid). This sale was originally scheduled to take place on July 22.

    This Wills’s Woodbine double sided enamel advertising sign is estimated at 250-450.


    Saturday, July 17th, 2021
    John Fergus O’Hea of the inaugural Prince of Wales Plate at Punchestown Racecourse in 1868

    THIS large and historic topographical painting by Cork artist John Fergus O’Hea of the inaugural Prince of Wales Plate at Punchestown Racecourse in 1868 made £694,500 (€811,590) over a top estimate of £150,000 (€175,289) at Christie’s sale of the collection of B.J. Eastwood in London.  Photography was in its infancy when the Prince of Wales went to Punchestown against the wishes of his mother Queen Victoria who worried about the reputation of the then 26 year old prince, his passion for horse racing and pursuit of amusement. The first known photographs of Punchestown Festival were taken that day by John Chancellor who ran a studio in Dublin. He commissioned O’Hea to make the painting.Trained at the Cork School of Design the artist was son of barrister James O’Hea who was active in the Young Ireland movement and secretary to Daniel O’Connell.  John Fergus was a political cartoonist and noted illustrator who sometimes published under the pseudonym Spex.  He was co-founder of Zozimus, a satirical magazine similar to Punch and painted trade union banners for Cork parades in the 1860’s, ’70’s and ’80’s.In 1883 the conservative British journal St. Stephen’s Review described him as an out and out nationalist and “one of the cleverest artists in the three kingdoms” who draws his marvellous cartoons for the most miserable of Irish comic papers.  Gladstone described his pencil as “directly guided by the spirit of patriotism”.  The trip to Punchestown began at Kingsbridge (now Heuston) Station with the Prince and Princess of Wales, Lord Abercorn (Lord Lieutenant) and an entourage including Lord Hamilton, Lady Georgia Hamilton, Lady Albertha, Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar and Prince Teck.  In those days the train went only as far as Sallins and the rest of the journey was completed by carriage. The painting, which measures 132 cm x 214 cm, was sold at Christie’s with a key to the principal characters. The annual Spring festival at Punchestown has been a fixture since 1850, but it did not become the popular national racing festival known to this day until that day in 1868.  It is reckoned that around 150,000 people turned up to see the inaugural Prince of Wales Plate.  The Royal visit to Punchestown was also painted by Henry Barraud. Prints of his painting became popular and still turn up occasionally at auction.