Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Sunday, January 19th, 2020

    A copy of William Shakespeare’s First Folio will come up as part of the Exceptional Sale during Classic Week at Christie’s New York next April 24. The First Folio, bringing together for the first time the collected plays of Shakespeare, ranks as the greatest work of the English language and, indeed, of world literature. Already celebrated on its first publication, it has remained a highly sought-after masterpiece over four centuries.  Only six complete copies are known in private hands.

    It was published in 1623 by Shakespeare’s friends and fellow actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell, who collaborated after the writer’s death to compile this authoritative edition of his work. The First Folio contains thirty-six of Shakespeare’s plays, including eighteen that may have otherwise been lost forever — among the rescued works are Macbeth, The Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, and Julius Caesar. This is the first time in nearly 20 years that a complete copy of the First Folio has come to auction. It is being sold on behalf of Mills College in Oakland, California and is estimated at $4-6 million.

    William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published According to the True Originall Copies.
    London: Printed by Isaac Jaggard and Ed. Blount, 1623


    Thursday, January 16th, 2020

    It is, according to the auctioneers Christie’s, in paintings like The Sky Lovers that we see the roots of Yeats’ most emotional and highly evocative works.  The 1947 work provides a striking example of his late painting style. Early in 1947 Yeats lost Cottie, his wife of 53 years, and when he returned to his easel it was with a new found emotional intensity.  In this work two figures are depicted looking to the sky as one raises his hands imploringly to the heavens. Through light and vigorous brushstrokes the artist brings energy to the work, a sense of desolation and a yearning for something lost.  The Sky Lovers comes up at the Modern British Art evening sale  at Christie’s in London on January 21 with an estimate of £200,000-300,000.

    Jack Butler Yeats, R.H.A. (1871-1957) The Sky Lovers


    Thursday, January 16th, 2020

    Contents from Newtown House and other clients will come under the hammer at Sheppards in Durrow on January 21 and 22. Around 870 lots will come under the hammer in two days of sales broken up into four sessions. Among them in a sale of antique furniture, silver, jewellery, art, rugs and collectibles is a Chinese silver rickshaw supporting condiments with an estimate of just 200-300. The catalogue is online.


    Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

    Tamara de Lempicka’s Portrait de Marjorie Ferry (1932) will be a highlight at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in London on February 5. The painting was commissioned by the husband of the British-born cabaret star Marjorie Ferry at the height of Lempicka’s fame in Paris where she was the most sought-after and celebrated female modernist painter. By 1930 Lempicka had become the première portraitist in demand among both wealthy Europeans and Americans, specifically with those who had an eye for classicised modernism. The portrait is estimated at £8,000,000-12,000,000.

    Tamara de Lempicka, Portrait de Marjorie Ferry


    Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

    An archive of letters dealing with the estate and family of John McMullen comes up at Sotheby’s sale of Fine Manuscript and Printed America in New York on January 27. Born in Ireland McMullen was an Irish empresario or land contractor in Texas under the colonisation system used by the Mexican government. He was granted an empresario contract in 1828 to establish a colony in Texas and was co founder of the McMullen-McGloin colony which spanned a vast area of land between the Nueces and Medina rivers. The town of San Patricio was established in 1831 as part of the colony.

    The archive of approximately 42 letters signed by Jacob Waelder in San Antonio, Texas, to John McMullen (“Friend McMullen”) in Mauch Chunk (present-day Jim Thorpe), Pennsylvania, December 12, 1834 to February 22, 1869, runs to about 105 pages. McMullen was born in Ireland in 1785 and went to the US as a young man. The archive is estimated at $25,000-35,000.


    Monday, January 13th, 2020

    Three works recently restituted to the heirs of Gaston Lévy, one of the most notable patrons and art collectors living in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, will come up at Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale in London on February 4. One is by Camille Pisarro, two by Paul Signac. Lévy’s art collection was dispersed under the Nazi occupation, and two of the works to be offered in February were lost to the ‘Einsatztab Reichsleiter Rosenberg’ (an organisation dedicated to receiving looted cultural property) in October 1940. After the war, the works were repatriated to the French state, and have recently been restituted by the French Government to Lévy’s heirs from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The third of the works to be offered – Signac’s Quai de Clichy. Temps gris – had been stored in the Lévy’s country home, the Château des Bouffards, but later found its way into the collection of the dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, whose illicit hoard was discovered by the authorities in 2012.

    Paul Signac – Quai de Clichy. Temps gris 


    Sunday, January 12th, 2020

    The Claddagh ring collection of the Hon Garech Browne of Luggala, who founded Claddagh Records in 1959, comes up at Sotheby’s 2020 instalment of Royal and Nobel in London on January 21. Irish lots feature prominently in this 250 lots auction.There is furniture, paintings and collectibles from Killadoon House on the banks of the River Liffey in Kildare, formerly one of the seats of the Earls of Leitrim and owned by the Clements family; a selection of mostly collectible lots from Luggala and the collection of the late Garech Browne and some lots from an important Irish collector.No less that 22 Claddagh rings representing love, loyalty and friendship owned by Garech Browne are included. The Claddagh ring as it is now known was first produced in the 17th century in the fishing village of Claddagh. Many of the examples in Garech Browne’s collection are rare and early.  The most expensively estimated is a c1700 ring by Thomas Meade, Kinsale or Galway at £2,500-4,500. Galway makers featured include James Clinch, Nicholas Burge, George Robinson, Richard Joyce and Austin French.Also from Luggala is a collection of mostly Galway 18th century ecclesiastical silver, Irish 18th century rosaries with pendant crucifixes, some Irish silver, furniture and a George III longcase clock by James Aikin, Cork c1780 (£3,000-4,000).

    There are portraits, Irish 19th century furniture, Chinese and European porcelain and bronzes. Also in the sale from an Irish collection is a George II side table in the manner of William Kent which is estimated at £30,000-50,000.  This table was brought to Birr Castle in the 1940’s by Anne, Countess of Rosse and came to the present owner by descent.

    This c1700 rare Claddagh ring by Thomas Meade, Kinsale or Galway is estimated at £2,500–4,500).


    Friday, January 10th, 2020

    Rene Magritte’s A la rencontre du plaisir (Towards Pleasure) comes up at Christie’s Surreal auction in London on February 5. It combines several if his most iconic motifs into a single, evocative image, creating an elegant summation of the poetic imagination which fuelled his unique form of Surrealism. Purchased directly from the artist shortly after its creation, the painting has remained in the same family collection for over half a century, and is coming to auction for the first time and is estimated at £8-12 million.

    René Magritte, À la rencontre du plaisir


    Thursday, January 9th, 2020

    An online auction of Irish art by Morgan O’Driscoll runs until the evening of January 20. Artists featured include Mark O’Neill, James Humbert Craig, John Shinnors, Melanie le Brocquy, Patrick O’Reilly, Markey Robinson and many more. The catalogue, with 259 lots in total, is online.

    MARK O’NEILL (B.1963) – Summer Floral II (2019)


    Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

    Henry Moore’s Square Form, a rare surreal sculpture from 1936, is among the highlights at Christie’s Modern British Art evening sale in London on January 21. It is estimated at £3-5 million. The auction will launch the 20th century series at Christie’s which includes a day sale and works from the collection of Allen and Beryl Freer on January 22 and 23. The Mill, Pendlebury, a recently discovered painting by L.S. Lowry bought directly from the artist is estimated at £700,000-1,000,000. The evening auction will feature early Modernist paintings by Ben Nicholson, John Piper, and Richard Lin alongside the Vorticists David Bomberg, William Roberts and Lawrence Atkinson. Two paintings by Howard Hodgkin from The Jeremy Lancaster Collection continue to illustrate the collector’s career-long support for the artist.

    Henry Moore – Square Form © Christie’s Images Limited 2019