Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Thursday, June 25th, 2020

    Antique furniture, mirrors, rugs, jewellery, silver, paintings, porcelain and collectibles will come under the hammer at a two day sale by Matthews in Kells, Co. Meath on June 27 and 28. Estimates are reasonable and the auction offers good value. There are 1,113 lots with various bidding options, including Easy Live Auctions.

    Lot 603 is this pair of Regency cast iron planters each 32 inches wide (500-800). UPDATE: THESE MADE 540 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

    A painting by Sean McSweeney acquired by the noted art collector Sir Basil Goulding comes up as lot 231 at the Lynes and Lynes online sale in Carrigtwohill on June 27. The Wicklow landscape, in need of considerable  restoration, was once in the boardroom at Gouldings Fertilisers on The Marina in Cork and is estimated at €500-€1,000.  In 1962 Sir Basil Goulding  was the founding chairperson of the Contemporary Irish Art Society along with Gordon Lambert, Cecil King, Stanley Mosse, James White and Michael Scott. The society aimed to encourage greater patronage of living Irish artists. Gouldings Fertilisers has been in Cork since 1856 when the company was formed.

    Among the other artworks on offer are Fishing Boats at Carraroe Pier by Charles Vincent Lamb and an Achill Island view by James Humbert Craig.  Each of these works carry an estimate of €1,000-€2,000. Collectors might find interest in a selection of English Victorian music hall and circus posters together as one lot (€300-€500). The sale features a number of writing boxes and an old metal documents box which belonged to Major J. Grove White, who compiled information about houses in North Cork. Among other lots is an Eileen Gray Bibendum armchair (€400-600) and a set of seven antique elm Windsor chairs (€700-€1,000) and an 18th century porcelain vase with the mark of the Emperor Yongzheng.



    Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

    The most comprehensive collection of Steve Martin’s iconic costumes and memorabilia will come under the hammer at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills on July 18. The live and online sale will celebrate the career of the legendary American actor, comedian, writer, playwright, producer, musician, and composer. There are awards, posters, musical instruments, magic props and personal items including his trademark white suit, the arrow through the head piece, 1976 Gibson Flying V “Toot Uncommons” Electric Guitar, Props and Costumes from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Little Shop of Horrors  and more.

    All proceeds will be donated to The Motion Picture Home in honor of Roddy McDowall, the late legendary stage, film and television actor and philanthropist for the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Country House and Hospital. MPTF supports working and retired members of the entertainment community.

    Steve Martin’s trademark white suit


    Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

    Bidding on Whyte’s online summer art sale opens today. There are 242 lots in the auction which continues until July 6. It includes work by Paul Henry, William Scott, Louis le Brocquy, Dan O’Neill, William Conor and Cecil Maguire.

    Claddagh Village, 1928 by Paul Henry (40,000-60,000)


    Sunday, June 21st, 2020

    The acoustic-electric guitar played by Kurt Cobain during Nirvana’s acclaimed MTV Unplugged performance sold for $6,010,000 million at Julien’s Music Icons sale this weekend. The sale set five new world records for World’s Most Expensive Guitar, World’s Most Expensive Acoustic Guitar, World’s Most Expensive Martin Guitar, World’s Most Expensive Piece of Memorabilia and World’s Most Expensive Nirvana Memorabilia. This makes it one of the rarest and most valuable acoustic guitars in the world. The buyer was Peter Freedman, Founder of RØDE Microphones, who attended the live auction in Beverly Hills and successfully won the guitar in a bidding war among collectors and bidders all across the globe. Conscious that the global arts industry has been shattered by Covid-19 Mr. Freedman plans to display the guitar in a worldwide tour of exhibitions to be held in distinguished galleries and art spaces, with all proceeds (including the guitar) going to the performing arts.

    Over 800 items were sold at the Music Icons event with highlights including: Prince’s recently discovered lost “blue angel” Cloud 2 guitar that sold for $563,000; Elvis Presley’s stage worn ivory macrame belt with accented reflective stones sold for $298,000, nearly thirty times its original estimate of $10,000; Madonna’s ivory satin halter gown worn in her iconic 1990 “Vogue” music video sold for $179,200, almost nine times its original estimate of $20,000; John Lennon’s 1963 handwritten and annotated lyrics to “I’m In Love” sold for $102,400.

    (See posts on for May 18 and May 11, 2020)

    Peter Freedman with Kurt Cobain’s Martin Guitar.


    Saturday, June 20th, 2020

    Life in lockdown afforded many readers an opportunity to deeply reconsider their homes and especially their gardens.  A real opportunity to add antique ornament to a shady nook or a sunny spot arises at Sheppards sale of architectural ornaments and garden sculpture in Durrow on June 23.  Here you will find Neo-Classical urns, Gothic arches, gazebos, outdoor mirrors, sculpture, seating, ornaments and even an enormous bronze fountain with seven basins.  There are fountains, urns, planters, egg carriers, stone finials, staddle stones originally used as supporting bases to keep vermin in granaries at bay, now re-incarnated as garden conversation pieces, and a 19th century cast iron plough. The sale features Coalbrookedale cast iron garden seats in various patterns including fern leaf, a hardwood Lutyens garden bench and a pair of 19th century Dublin cast iron park bench ends. A selection of cast iron and stone figures, models of animals from bears and armorial lions to whippets and birds, moulded jardinieres and a Portland stone arch and an antique bellows all amount to a huge variety of choice.

    An 18th century Irish staddle stone  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,250 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, June 18th, 2020

    Barnett Newman’s  Onement V, 1948 will lead ONE: a Global Sale of the 20th Century at Christies on July 10.  Painted in an ink blue palette, dramatically interrupted by a solitary ‘zip’ of aquamarine, Onement V is estimated at $30-40 million. Created just four years after his breakthrough painting, Onement I (1948), it represents one of only two paintings from this early, landmark series to remain in a private collection. The other four are currently housed in major American museum collections including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford and the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin.


    Thursday, June 18th, 2020

    A lost masterpiece of Chinese porcelain comes up at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Chinese works of art spring sale series on 11 July. The Harry Garner Reticulated Vase was found in a remote European house almost 60 years since it last came to market. It was rediscovered by Amsterdam-based art consultant Johan Bosch van Rosenthal in the country house of the elderly lady who inherited it, surviving the last 50 years almost unblemished in a lively home surrounded by countless cats and dogs. 

    The magnificent yangcai reticulated vase belonged to two major collectors of Chinese art, Sir Harry M. Garner (1891-1977), a mathematician and celebrated collector of Chinese art, and Henry M. Knight (1903-1970), a Dutch collector who assembled one of the finest collections of porcelain from 1930 up until his death. This masterpiece ranks amongst the most complex and exquisite porcelains from the Qianlong period ever to have emerged on the market.

     The extremely small group of pierced, double-walled vases that were produced for the Qianlong Emperor were a technical tour-de-force that was only attempted under the stewardship of Tang Ying (1682-1756), the eminent kiln supervisor, who produced such pieces in very limited quantities during the seventh and eighth years of the Qianlong reign, 1742 and 1743.  A record for the twelfth day in the eighth month, seventh year of Qianlong (1742) mentions a yangcai red-ground sgraffiato winter-green reticulated flower vase with a Xuande-style inner body which was praised as a masterwork by the emperor. It was to be stored at the Qianqinggong (Palace of Celestial Purity), where the Emperor held audiences and banquets. It is estimated at HK$ 70,000,000 – 90,000,000 / US$ 9,010,000 – 11,580,000 / £7,200,000 – 9,300,000.

    A Magnificent and Highly Important Yangcai Reticulated Vase
    Seal Mark and Period of Qianlong


    Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

    The Paris leg of ONE: A global sale of the 20th century at Christie’s on July 10 will be highlighted by an important rediscovery by Pierre Soulages. Estimated at €2-3 million the painting, executed in 1950, has been in the same private Australian collection since being first acquired in 1953 by the present owner’s father from the Galerie Louis Carré & Cie Paris, when it was included in a major exhibition that toured to Australia. It has been unseen in public since. Soulages celebrated his 100th birthday last December.


    Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

    While in some ways the June sales at Sotheby’s in New York mark the return to business as usual they have been completely re–imagined. Significant offerings of high value material will be brought to the market in flagship live sales conducted remotely by Oliver Barker in London. The New York Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary evening sales will be live-streamed to the world. Bidders will be able to take part either via the phones or online in the usual way. This truly global experience will usher in a new era of marquee auctions that marry the best of the established live auction format with the latest technology, and the modifications for safety that current circumstances require.

    IF by Sean Scully at the Contemporary Art evening auctions ($700,000-900,000). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $1,280,000