Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

    This c1730 Irish George II mahogany side table sold for a hammer price of £36,000 at Dreweatts in Newbury, Berkshire today. The moulded frieze isvcentred by a carved mask of a bearded man, above a carved shell terminal. Each corner of the frieze is carved with a stylised ‘gargoyle’ mask above tapering cabriole shaped legs. An Irish George II c1750 side table made £13,500 and a twin pillar dining table, described as probably Irish, sold for £7,500.

    The c1730 Irish table


    Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

    This oval portrait miniature of Captain Anthony Morgan by Frederick Buck is lot 17 at Sheppards three day Legacy of the Big House sale in Durrow on September 22-24. This is almost certainly the same Tony Morgan who in 1854 witnessed the Charge of the Light Brigade into Balaclava Valley, the most famous incident in British military history. The Crimean chapters of the history of the Sherwood Forestors are littered with references to him. A member of the Protestant Ascendency in Ireland he was a descendant of the Welsh born pirate captain whose name is now synonymous with a brand of rum. After soldiering was done he retired to Ireland “in pursuit of feather, fin and fur”. Frederick Buck was a painter of miniatures in Cork at a time, during the Peninsular War, when it was a busy port of embarkation for troops. He fulfilled many order of portraits for officers going to war. The Morgan family were based at Bunalun near Skibbereen. The miniature is estimated at 300-500.

    Frederick Buck (1771-1839-40) – Captain Anthony Morgan. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,200 at hammer


    Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

    The catalogue for Morgan O’Driscoll’s online auction of Irish art, which runs until September 14, lists 248 lots. There is a wide selection of art by well known and much loved artists available. Among them is Coastline by Donald Teskey.

    Donald Teskey – Coastline (8,000-12,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 15,000 AT HAMMER


    Monday, September 7th, 2020

    Leading in the mares and foals at Gilltown Stud, Ireland is among the lots on offer at Sotheby’s online auction of the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone in New York until September 9. The work, by Peter Williams, is estimated at $4,000-6,000. Mr. Firestone celebrated his first great victory in May 1971 when King’s Company landed the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh before taking the Cork and Orrery Stakes at Royal Ascot in 1972. In 1980, following their purchase of Catoctin Stud, in Waterford, Virginia, Genuine Risk became the second filly in 65 years to win the Kentucky Derby and the only filly to place in all three races of the Triple Crown.  The Firestones operated the 1200-acre Gilltown Stud in Kilcullen, County Kildare. Important wins included BlueWind’s 1981 win at the Epsom Oaks and Flash of Steel’s win at the 1986 Irish 2000 Guineas. They also campaigned April Run, the champion three-year-old filly in France in 1981. Gilltown Stud, located close to Curragh Racecourse, was purchased by the Aga Khan in 1989 and continues to operate today under his auspices. The Firestones also won the second running of The Japan Cup with their horse Half-Iced. In addition, they were the breeders of Vintage Crop, the 1983 winner of the historic Melbourne Cup in Australia.

    Peter Williams – Leading in the mares and foals at Gilltown Stud. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $4,410


    Sunday, September 6th, 2020

    Listed as one of the hundred greatest punchers of all time the career of Tom Sharkey – born in Dundalk in 1873 – is recalled in Stag at Sharkey’s by George Bellows at Christie’s. The lithograph from the collection of media and entertainment magnate Jerry Perenchio is among the lots at A California Life at Christie’s online until September 17. Tom Sharkey ran away from home, went to sea as a cabin boy and joined the US Navy aged 19.  He is credited with winning 40 fights and introducing boxing to the navy.  Known as Sailor Tom he fought twice with heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries. They became friends and business partners in Sharkeys, an athletic club on Columbus Avenue in New York.  In 1909, when this work was completed, prizefighting was illegal and saloons like this, which did a booming business, were the equivalent of Prohibition’s speakeasies. Fighters were known as stags. Bellows, whose studio was nearby, was a leading exponent of the Ashcan School, known for depicting scenes of daily life in New York city.Perenchio, who sold his Univision Communications for $13.5 billion in 2007, was the promoter of the 1971 title fight between Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier, launched Elton John’s career in the US in 1970 and produced Driving Miss Daisy. He was a philanthropist whose bequest of European art masterworks will anchor the new permanent building at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, set to open in 2023. His collection at two landmark sales now running online features European furniture and ceramics, prints, Old Master drawings, sculpture, Chinese ceramics and works of art, silver, carpets and memorabilia.

    A Stag at Sharkey’s by George Bellows ($60,000-$80,000). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $52,500.


    Saturday, September 5th, 2020

    INTERNATIONAL interest in the Irish art market will be tested at Sotheby’s Irish art sale in London on September 9. This auction of 60 lots features a roll call of the most beloved and esteemed names in the field. The  pre-sale estimate of £3.2 million makes it the highest value auction since Sotheby’s re-introduced dedicated sales of Irish art in 2015. More than 1,000 people attended three and a half days of viewing at the RHA Gallery in Dublin.  The sale is distinguished by 18 works from the collection of Sir Michael Smurfit and some of these have been displayed at the K Club in Co. Kildare.
    Arabella Bishop, head of Sotheby’s Ireland, remarked: “It is a market that was catapulted onto the global platform in the 1990’s by advocates such as Sir Michael, who has played a key role in bestowing Irish artists with the reputation they deserved and still deserve today.”  Sotheby’s hope that this sale will appeal to and excite collectors worldwide.   Sir Michael Smurfit’s passion for Irish artists like Yeats, Lavery and Orpen is reflected in a number of significant works by these figures.   The collection is distinguished further by one of le Brocquy’s most significant works, Travelling Woman with Newspaper (£700,000-£1,000,000) and William Conor’s depiction of The Dublin Horse Show (£80,000-£120,000).The sale opens with twelve works from the Yeats family including sketches by John Butler Yeats and Jack B. Yeats.  Lot 10, Three Girls listening to music by the former, created significant interest at the Dublin view. It is estimated at £4,000-£6,000.  Many other works have emerged from long held private collections including Houses by the Sea (£50,000-£70,000) and Kerry Fisherman (£70,000-£100,000), both by Jack B. Yeats and Tory Island (£18,000-£25,000) and The Dreamer (£100,000-£150,000) both by Gerard Dillon.  Artists like Sir John Lavery and William Scott have a significant international following.  Lavery’s Tennis under the orange trees, Cannes (£300,000-£500,000) and Poem for a Jug, No. 23 (£70,000-£100,000) are both certain to perform well at this sale.The selection on offer is completed by artists and sculptors like Tony O’Malley, Peter Curling, John Kingerlee, Patrick O’Reilly, John Behan, Elizabeth Magill and Mainie Jellett.  Sotheby’s will offer over 50 items from the collection of Sir Michael Smurfit at various auctions over the coming year.

    UPDATE: Travelling Woman with Newspaper and The Dublin Horse show failed to sell. Works from the Yeats family collection all sold. The Dreamer by Gerard Dillon made £378,000 and Kerry Fisherman made £81,500.

     A portrait of WB Yeats by Augustus John from the Smurfit Collection (£70,000-£100,000). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £88,200


    Friday, September 4th, 2020

    A signed copy of the historic December 1993 Good Friday Agreement comes up at the Sean Eacrett auction at Ballybrittas, Co. Laois on September 19. Among the signatories are the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate John Hume, former UK Prime Minister John Major, the late Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and others who are no longer with us such as Martin McGuinness, Mo Mowlam, Seamus Mallon, Albert Reynolds and David Ervine. It is estimated at in the region of 15,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE 12,500 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

    Jackson Pollock’s Red Composition will highlight Christie’s evening sale of 20th/21st century art in New York on October 6. This early seminal and painting dates to the end of 1946. It is among the first paintings in which Pollock freed paint from the interference of his brush, allowing it to take on its own form and in the process become a manifestation of true abstraction.

    It is being sold by the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York, as part of a larger museum commitment to refine and diversify its collection and establish a fund for future acquisitions of artworks by artists of colour, women artists, and other under-represented emerging and mid-career artists. The decision to sell is in keeping with guidelines established by the American Alliance of Museums and has the support of the Board of Trustees of the Museum as well as the foundation established by Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman who donated the work in 1991. 

    Red Composition first belonged to the legendary dealer and gallery owner Peggy Guggenheim, one of Jackson Pollock’s earliest an patrons. Guggenheim gave it to Jimmy Ernst, son of Surrealist painter Max Ernst, in 1947. Ernst Senior was married to Guggenheim between 1941 and 1946. Early in the 1950’s it was acquired by New York businessman Marshall Reisman and his wife Dorothy and in their personal collection for over forty years until it was donated in 1991 to the Everson Museum. It is estimated at $12-18 million.

    JACKSON POLLOCK (1912-1956)
    Red Composition


    Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

    A Sunny Day, Connemara by Paul Henry will highlight Whyte’s Irish and International art sale in Dublin on September 28. The catalogue is not yet published but it will feature art by Roderic O’Conor, William Orpen, William Leech, Mary Swanzy, Mainie Jellett, Norah McGuinness, Maurice MacGonigal, Harry Kernoff, Francis Bacon, Colin Middleton, Gerard Dillon, Dan O’Neill, Tom Carr, Louis le Brocquy, Tony O’Malley, Camille Souter, Donald Teskey and others.

    A Sunny Day, Connemara by Paul Henry


    Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

    An Australian artist has found a singular way of expressing his appreciation to medics and paramedics in Cork. Proceeds from the sale of an artwork by west Cork based artist John Kelly at Sotheby’s Irish art sale in London on September 9 will go the the Cork University Hospital Charity and the west Cork Rapid Response Unit. “Having lived for 17 years in this beautiful, if somewhat remote, part of the world as a healthy and robust person I became acutely aware of both the fragility of life and the vulnerability that comes with living in a rural environment” the artist explained. “In August 2018 I collapsed and would have died if it hadn’t been for the combined response of my wonderful family and local friends, the medical ‘rapid responders’, the ambulance service, and extraordinary care offered by medics and staff at Cork University Hospital.”

    The painting of Castlehaven Harbour from Ceim Hill is lot number 56 at Sothebys and has an estimate of £5,000-£7,000. 

    John Kelly – Castlehaven. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £10,710