Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Sunday, June 23rd, 2024

    La Comedie Humaine, a 1954 Picasso lithograph printed by Mourlot, Paris, comes up at Hegarty’s sale in Bandon on June 26. The estimate is €500-€700. Galway Shawlies by Markey Robinson and a pencil sketch by John Butler Yeats also feature. There are Scottish silver serving spoons and a diamond and sapphire butterfly pendant on offer as well as two photo albums of the Gurka Royal Engineers.


    Saturday, June 22nd, 2024

    19th century lead fountain

    Maybe this is not the best June ever to talk about such garden features but water, as distinct from incessant rain and cool weather, can add interest, tranquility and even a touch of glamour to many gardens.  You can take your pick from various ways of introducing decorative water at two days of sales at Sheppards in Durrow where the annual Glantelwe Gardens sale will be held next Tuesday and Wednesday.

    The daddy of them all is a large bronze neo-classical fountain (€20,000-€30,000).  Among the other choices are moulded stone fountain heads (€250-€350), a large Italianate stone fountain (€2,000-€3,000), a cast iron wall mounted miniature (€100-€150), an 18th century carved stone basin (€800-€1,200), a 19th century lead fountain (€300-€500), a set of Regency cast iron fountain heads (€500-€800),  large moulded fountains and some wonderfully weathered offerings. 

    Nestled along the River Erkina at Durrow Glantelwe – by renowned garden designer Arthur Shackleton – is a superb showcase for a sale which includes statues, lions, urns, sundials, planters, benches, seats, patio set, staddle stones, estate railing and stone troughs. Viewing gets underway today and continues on tomorrow and Monday.  

    A large Portland stone arch


    Saturday, June 22nd, 2024

    The accessories of a Manchu gentleman at Adams

    The embroidered silk accessories of a Manchu gentleman and a fine pair of arts and crafts hanging tapestries or a suite of sapphire, ruby and diamond ring with ear clips and a homage by Harry Kernoff to Francois Boucher’s portrait of Marie Louise O’Murphy, mistress of King Louis XV of France, the choice is yours at sales in Ireland next week.

    These unusual lots can be found respectively at a Fine Asian and African art sale at James Adam and Aidan Foley’s online auction of contents from the Convent of St. Joseph of Cluny in Killiney on June 25 and at The Jewellery Box sale at Adams and Morgan O’Driscoll’s online art auction on June 24.

    If lot 101 at Adams is any guide the Manchurians dressed to impress. They conquered China in the 17th century, established the Qing Dynasty and ruled for more than 250 years, The 19th century gentleman’s embroidery yellow silk accessories showcase a peacock, three goats representing peace and prosperity and a phoenix surrounded by peonies as part of a set featuring a fan holder, a double gourd betel nut pouch, a wallet and a pocket watch holder.  The estimate is a cool €6,000-€8,000. Among 574 lots on offer are Tibetan fabrics, Chinese ceramics, ritual bronze vessels, carved jades, gilt bronze figures, a Japanese lacquered tray, cloisonne, mother of pearl inlaid furniture and even a fetish statue from the Congo.

    A pair of Art and Crafts hanging tapestries at Aidan Foley’s sale.

    Nearer home but no less exotic is a pair of Arts and Crafts hanging tapestries (€600-€1,000) at Aidan Foley’s online auction in conjunction with Niall Mullen of contents from the St. Joseph of Cluny convent offers all sorts of choices. There is a selection of antique furniture, a brass and gilded tabernacle, a walnut organ, a collection of linen, kneelers and church pews and ecclesiastical brass items.  The sale will be on view at the convent in Killiney from today.

    Early 20th century aquamarine and diamond earrings at Adams

    A pair of early 20th century aquamarine and diamond pendant earrings of chandelier design feature among an appetising selection of 289 lots at the Jewellery Box sale at Adams on Monday afternoon. The estimate is €4,000-€5,000, not quite as much as a single stone diamond ring of 3.01 carats graded as G colour which is, at €7,000-€8,000, the most expensively estimated lot of the auction. Other top lots include a diamond and sapphire crossover bangle (€6,500-€7,300), a pair of diamond pendant earrings (€5,000-€7,000) and three c1987 gem set Patrizia rings by Marina B with pink tourmaline, citrine and blue topaz (€5,500-€6,500).  There are lots from €50 euro upwards.

    Marie Louise O’Murphy after Boucher by Harry Kernoff at Morgan O’Driscoll.

    At Morgan O’Driscoll’s online art auction next Monday evening Harry Kernoff’s homage to Marie Louise O’Murphy after Boucher is estimated at €2,000-€3,000. In later years Boucher’s painting was also referenced by Michael Farrell (1940-2000) who produced political versions in a Miss O’Murphy series in the 1970’s and ’80’s.  There is a 2024 Famine Ship by John Behan (€15,000-€20,000), a Cubist Still Life by Nano Reid (€500-€700), continental landscapes by Letitia Hamilton (€6,000-€9,000), three offset lithographs from Andy Warhol’s Endangered Species series (1,500-€2,000) and Duffy’s Circus by Barbara Warren (€400-€600) among a particularly wide selection of art.  All catalogues are online.


    Friday, June 21st, 2024

    This oval miniature portrait of Robert Emmet, possibly painted during his lifetime, made £3,600 at hammer at Gorringe’s online sale of miniatures and silhouettes this week over a top estimate of £500 after a bidding battle involving potential buyers from Ireland, the UK and beyond. The purchaser, Belfast born David Anderson, Honorary Visiting Professor, Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff University, is based in Lewes and hopes to gift it to an appropriate museum in Ireland. He is in the process of reaching out to find out what interest there is in it.

    There are mysteries around this well painted miniature by an unknown artist consigned to the sale by a local vendor in Sussex which came up as lot 214.  The old and worn gold locket it is contained in has engravings which raise several questions. It reads on top:  ‘Robert Emmet Born 21st May 1872′ (in fact Emmet was born on March 4, 1778).  The lower wording – “Executed 20th September 1803’ – is correctly dated.  The name ‘Thomas Addis Emmit’ is verso with a handwritten label reading: ‘Gold – Robert Emmett, Irish Patriot, Executed 1893, Aged only 25!’ The name Emmet is incorrectly spelt with two ‘t’s’. Though inaccurate, misspelling of a name is not unusual.  Cork born Thomas Addis Emmet (1764-1827), Robert Emmet’s eldest brother, was a senior member of the United Irishmen who became a staunchly abolitionist Attorney General of New York

    Back in Belfast linen weavers acted as one of the epicentres of the United Irishmen. More than two centuries ago the family of the purchaser David Anderson were linen weavers. Though not wealthy they gifted £2 towards the building of an anti British Presbyterian Church.  

    The only known portrait of Robert Emmet is a watercolour miniature on ivory by John Comerford. Painted during Emmet’s trial it was transferred to the National Gallery of Ireland by a descendant in 1970.


    Thursday, June 20th, 2024

    This exceptionally large mirror, probably by Robert Strahan, is lot 270 at Aidan Foley’s online auction of contents from the St. Joseph of Cluny convent in Killiney on June 25. There will be viewing at the convent from June 22. The sale is being held in conjunction with Niall Mullen and there are 388 lots on the catalogue, which is online. Subject to removal, the mirror is estimated at 500-1,000. The early shaped Victorian serving table on which it rests is lot 269 and estimated at 1,000-2,000.


    Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

    SEVRES ORMOLU-MOUNTED POWDERED LAVENDER AND GOLD-GROUND VASE c1805-1806 MADE $94,500. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd.

    There was energetic participation by bidders and buyers from 33 countries at Christie’s online sale of two American collections which brought in $2,157,624. More than 200 lots of mostly 18th and 19th century European decorative arts were from the estates of two passionate collectors, Adolphus and Emily Andrews, San Franciso and Donald Bruce Wilson of Memphis. The top lot of the sale came from the Andrews collection, a rare pair of marquetry table screens made for Joachim Murat, King of Naples, which made $378,000, more than seven times its low estimate. The top lot of the Wilson collection was a Sevres ormolu-mounted powdered lavender and gold-ground vase which made $94,500.


    Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

    This mosaic mural made with hand cut Venetian tiles is lot 433 at Sheppards Glantelwe gardens auction in Durrow on June 25 and 26. It is a large piece and the estimate is €3,000-€5,000. The catalogue for the online and live in Durrow sale of architural ornaments and garden lots is online and viewing gets underway on June 22. More than 600 lots will come under the hammer.


    Sunday, June 16th, 2024

    Guinness for Strength ad by John Gilroy featuring a sculpted man after Henry Moore. UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER

    If you frequented Irish pubs in the rare old times the gleaming advertising mirrors that surrounded you then are valuable collectible items now. In terms of cost at auction they trump objects including original artworks by John Gilroy from a valuable Guinness collection which highlights three days of sales by Victor Mee on June 18, 19 and 20.

    The English artist John Gilroy (1898-1985) who worked with S.H. Benson – Britain’s largest advertising agency – created the iconic toucan and what is now instantly recognisable art for Guinness featuring the zoo keeper and animals enjoying the black stuff.  Such is the global reach of this art that you could safely say that Gilroy was here, there and everywhere as well! His colleagues at Bensons included author Dorothy L Sayers, grand daughter of an emigrant from Tipperary, then a copywriter.  

    A framed Guinness toucan with a paintbrush pencil sketch by John Gilroy. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,000 AT HAMMER

    The collection of David Hughes, a brewer at Park Royal in London for 16 years, features among almost 1,500 lots at Victor Mee’s sale. He is the author of several books about Guinness including Gilroy was Good for Guinness and The Lost Art of Guinness. “After a long time in the business it’s a treat to come across a private collection of the calibre and esteem that David’s collection brags” auctioneer Victor Mee remarked. 

    The collection is still growing so Hughes has reluctantly decided to part with some of it. Framed sketches illustrated and signed by Gilroy including a Guinness for Strength ad featuring a sculpted stone man after Henry Moore, a Guinness Toucan with a paintbrush and pencil sketch, a koala on a branch with a Guinness bottle, a sketch of zoo animals running and a 1953 advertising artwork depicting the Guinness sea lion and an ostrich feature.  Estimates for all these sketches range between €200 and €1,200.

    A ruberoid Guinness penguin is estimated at just €40-€60 and other items from the collection include an ashtray with penguin, a 1920’s round cream plastic calendar, a pottery water jug and a grey stone bulldog.

    Rare early 20th century Cork Distilleries advertising mirror. UPDATE: THIS MADE 9,800 AT HAMMER

    An early 20th century Paddy Pure Pot Still Ten Years Old Irish Whiskey mirror made by the Dublin glass plate company (€5,000-€8,000), a Schweppes table cordial and cider mirror (€4,000-€8,000) and an early 20th century Hignetts reliable cigarettes dispensing cabinet on reverse painted glass (€4,000-€8,000) are the most expensively estimated lots. These are much sought after by publicans, hoteliers and collectors of memorabilia. 

    A number of other mirrors, a Shell advertising pump and an advertising clock with central mirrored panel are among the top lots. The most expensively estimated Hughes lot is a Guinness Time wall metal advertising sign depicting Gilroy figures of a seal, an ostrich and a man (€2,000-€4,000).  Lot 1252 is a rare advertising showcard for Slattery’s Bacon and Hams, Tralee (€400-€600).  The catalogue is online and the sales begin each day at 5.30 pm.

    A Slattery’s Bacon and Hams Tralee advertising showcard. UPDATE: THIS MADE 750 AT HAMMER


    Friday, June 14th, 2024


    This retro gold bracelet comes up at Adams online auction, The Jewellery Box, which runs until June 24. The wide hinged band is composed of textured links set in a geometric pattern, enhanced with chased foliate detailing, within triangular-shaped polished and engraved motifs. It is mounted in 18 carat gold with indistinct Italian registry mark and is estimated at €2,200-€2,800. The sale offers a selection of rings, earrings, bracelets, watches and will be on view at Adams in Dublin from June 21. Meantime the catalogue is online.


    Thursday, June 13th, 2024


    This 2024 famine ship by John Behan is lot 109 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish art online auction which runs until June 24. The bronze is estimated at €15,000-€20,000. The auction features work by artists as varied as Letitia M Hamilton and Nano Reid to Patrick Hennessy, Harry Kernoff and Barbara Warren. Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Sean Scully are on the catalogue along with Brian Maguire, Willie McKeown and Felim Egan. The catalogue is online and the sale will be on view in Skibbereen from June 20.