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    A SALE TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2020

    Sunday, January 5th, 2020

    One sale to look forward to in 2020 takes place at Sotheby’s in London on March 18 – the day after St. Patrick’s Day.  It will focus global attention on the art and antiques of Ireland at a time when international buyers are playing an increasingly important role in many sales in this country. Jack Yeats and William Scott made art which could not be more different, yet together they represent the two hottest Irish artists in the salesrooms right now.  Both artists featured in the collection of late property developer Patrick Kelly, who furnished his Georgian home at 44 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin with an array of paintings spanning the 18th to the 20th centuries.These paintings were wonderfully complemented with fine Georgian and Regency furniture, silver and decorative arts, amassed by Kelly from auctions and dealers over the past three decades.On offer at Sotheby’s will be 120 lots from the estate of Patrick Kelly (1942-2011) who was one of our most successful property developers.Arabella Bishop, head of Sotheby’s Dublin office, said:  “I have known Patrick and his collection for many years. 44 Fitzwilliam Square was a truly stunning setting to showcase the paintings, furniture, and objects which he collected from around the world over a number of decades. In holding a dedicated auction, we are able to celebrate Patrick’s vision and look forward to sharing it with collectors not only in Ireland but internationally.”The auction will offer art by Daniel Maclise, George Barret, Roderic O’Conor, Yeats, Scott and others.  Furniture highlights include a pair of George II Irish mirrors supplied to Sankey Winter, Dean of Kildare, and marquetry tables attributed to William Moore of Dublin.Sotheby’s say the collection as a whole reveals Patrick’s passion for Irish art and his discerning eye, with pictures and furniture beautifully married within the elegant surroundings of his Georgian home. Central to the collection are five paintings by Yeats, including The Showground Revisited, painted in 1950 (£150,000-250,000 / €170,000-282,000) and Young Men, painted in 1929 (£150,000-250,000 / €170,000-282,000), and an exceptional work by William Scott, entitled Deep Blues (£300,000-500,000 / €339,000-565,000). 

    Interior view of 44 Fitzwilliam Square

    THE LAST HIGH SHERIFF TO BURN A WITCH

    Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

    According to a file at the Heinz Archive and library the boy depicted in this painting grew up to become the last High Sheriff to burn a witch. The portrait attributed to Thomas Murray (1663-1735) shows Henry Stewart as a boy. Stewart died in 1717. The sitter was the son of William Stewart (1625-1706) and Margaret Shaw (b. 1625), who married in 1664 and lived at Killymoon Castle, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, which William’s father had purchased in 1634. Henry Stewart became High Sheriff of County Tyrone in 1711. The portrait, from Killadoon House in Co. Kildare, comes up at Sotheby’s Royal and Nobel sale in London on January 21 with an estimate of £8,000-12,000.

    ATTRIBUTED TO THOMAS MURRAY | PORTRAIT OF HENRY STEWART (D. 1717) AS A BOY

    A HOLIDAY SALE AT MATTHEWS IN KELLS

    Friday, December 27th, 2019

    More than 1,100 lots will come under the hammer at the annual holiday auction by Matthews in Kells, Co. Meath on December 29 and 30. Viewing gets underway today. The catalogue is online.

    A pair of Tiffany dragonfly lamps (200-300). UPDATE: THESE MADE 190 AT HAMMER

    MONET TAKES TOP BILLING AT SOTHEBY’S 2019 ART SALES

    Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

    Monet, Picasso, Bacon and Rothko were the highest priced artists at Sotheby’s in 2019. The top lot of the year at Sotheby’s was Meules by Monet which made $110,747,000 in New York. Picasso’s Femme au Chien made $54,936,000, Bacon’s Study for a Head sold for $50,380,000 and an untitled work by Mark Rothko made $50,095,250. All these works were sold in New York last May.

    Claude Monet – Meules

    IRISH FURNITURE AT SOTHEBY’S ROYAL AND NOBLE SALE

    Friday, December 20th, 2019

    This set of eight Irish George III mahogany hall chairs from Killadoon House in Co. Kildare is one of a number of Irish furniture lots at Sotheby’s Royal and Noble sale in London on January 21. The 2020 instalment of Royal & Noble, now in its seventh year, will provide another exciting opportunity to acquire works from important aristocratic collections sourced throughout Europe. Highlights include property from two notable Irish houses – Killadoon and Luggala – and property from the Estate of Jhr. Ir. G.C. (Gijs) Six van Wimmenum (1892-1975), a descendant of Rembrandt’s great patron Jan Six. The chairs are estimated at £15,000-25,000.

    500 YEARS OF WORKS ON PAPER AT CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK

    Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

    A wide variety of works on paper covering over 500 years from approximately 1480 to the mid-19th Century will come up at Christie’s Old Master and British Drawings sale in New York on January 28. The auction will include works from the collection of Jean Bonna of Geneva. There is art by Tiepolo, Canaletto, Perugino, Luca Signorelli, Parmigianino, Annibale Carracci, Bernini, Elisabetta Sirani, Francois Boucher, Ingres, Gericault, Buguereau, Rembrandt and Turner. Estimates range from $2,000 to $800,000.

    FRANÇOIS BOUCHER (PARIS 1703-1770)
    A nude woman playing a flute, seen from behind ($20,000-30,000)

    SUPERMAN CAPE MAKES RECORD $193,750 AT JULIEN’S AUCTIONS

    Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

    The original Superman cape worn by Christoper Reeve sold for $193,750 at Julien’s Auctions in Hollywood on December 16. It is one of the most recognised superhero costume pieces of all time. It was worn by Christopher Reeve in his iconic role as the Man of Steel in Superman (Warner Bros., 1978). The cape was part of a world-wide contest to promote the release in 1979 with the grand prize being one of the six original capes made for and used in the film. The item’s provenance included a letter from DC Comics’ President as well as the editor and publisher and a copy of a photo of Christopher Reeve choosing the winner.

    Patrick Stewart’s “Starfleet” dress uniform worn when he played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” sold for $28,800. Among the other highlights was: Dan Aykroyd’s “Raymond Stantz” jumpsuit from Ghostbusters II ($32,000); a Playboy limited edition jukebox ($12,800); a limited 40th Anniversary Playboy Stratocaster signed by Hugh Hefner ($19,200); an Andy Warhol 18K white gold pocket watch ($10,240); an Alcatraz model used in Escape From Alcatraz ($25,600); $8,125; a Maltese Falcon statuette from the Warner Bros. prop department ($8,125); two Frank Sinatra oil paintings signed “Sinatra/’65” ($75,000) and “Sinatra 53” ($21,250).

    SUPERMAN CAPE

    ANTIQUE GLASS URNS MAKE 6,000 AT JAMES ADAM

    Monday, December 16th, 2019

    A pair of c1800 Waterford flat cut urns and covers sold for a hammer price of 6,000 at the James Adam At Home sale in Dublin on December 15. They were from the collection formed in the 1930’s by the artist Mrs. Jean Jameson of Tourin, Co. Waterford.

    GIFT FROM SPIELBERG TO ALICE WALKER AT CHRISTIE’S

    Sunday, December 15th, 2019

    Bill Traylor’s Man on White, Woman on Red / Man with Black Dog (double-sided), from the collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Alice Walker comes up at Christie’s sale of Outsider Art sale in New York on January 17. The gift of a painting by an artist born into slavery was made by Steven Spielberg after the conclusion of filming The Color Purple, a film adaptation of Walker’s novel focused on the lives of African American womenb durin the 1930’s. It is estimated at $200,000 – 400,000.

    “I’ve enjoyed having this extraordinary artwork by Bill Traylor on my wall; but my spirit tells me that it is time for it to find a new home” Walker said.

    Born into slavery in 1853, self-taught artist Bill Traylor only began to make work in 1939, around the age of 86. Having spent his entire working life on plantations and farms, in 1928 he moved to the state capital of Montgomery, where he would begin to draw for the first time. Life in Montgomery proved difficult: although he sought employment, painful rheumatism left Traylor unable to work. With no income except a small public stipend, he became homeless, sleeping in the backroom of a funeral parlor at night, and spending the day camped out on the city’s Monroe Street. Daily life on Monroe Street, and his memories of plantations, inspired Traylor’s art. Working in pencil, tempera or colored pencil on repurposed card and paper, his subjects include people he saw on the street, animals and livestock, and found objects.

    Bill Traylor (1853-1949) . Man on White, Woman on Red / Man with Black Dog (double-sided), 1939-1942

    BIRDS OF AMERICA MAKE SINGLE LOT SALE AT SOTHEBY’S

    Saturday, December 14th, 2019

    An early subscriber edition of John James Audobon’s The Birds of America will be offered at a single lot sale at Sotheby’s in New York on December 18.  This remarkable work sought to depict every known species of bird in the United States at actual size.  Regarded as the most beautiful colour plate book ever published it features 435 hand coloured etched plates depicting 1,065 life-size birds representing 489 of the then known birds found in the US.  The monumental four volume double elephant folio at Sotheby’s is an unusually large and brilliantly coloured edition. Dating to 1827-1838  it is  known as the double elephant because of the size of paper that had to be specially made for the publication.   It is estimated at $6-8 million.

    UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $6.6 MILLION