Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Archive for the ‘AUCTIONS’ Category


    Saturday, September 4th, 2021
    One of a pair of George II architectural pier mirrors by John Booker UPDATE: THE PAIR SOLD FOR 106,000 AT HAMMER

    From Booker mirrors to an original portrait of Jonathan Swift to a clock garniture gift from Marie-Antoinette and a pair of commodes attributed to James Hicks the Howth Castle sale by Fonsie Mealy next week promises to be a humdinger. This auction of 800 years of history for the Gaisford-St. Lawrence family and other important clients offers an appetising variety of antique furniture, art, ceramics, glass and all sorts of historic collectibles like a painted wooden model of HMS Victory, an 18th century Irish School relief of the legend of Grainne Uaile, a mourning dress worn by Queen Victoria and the Great Sword of Howth which has been in the St. Lawrence family for many generations. According to tradition, the sword was used by Sir Armoricus Tristram, who arrived at Howth with Sir John de Courcy in the year 1177 and commanded the Norman army which defeated the local inhabitants. A more sober assessment dates the sword to the late 15th century.  It is estimated at €10,000-€15,000.
    The live and online auction will take place at the Grand Hotel, Malahide on September 8 and 9 with admission subject to prevailing Covid conditions. The most expensively estimated lot, at €300,000-€400,000, is a unique full length portrait of Jonathan Swift painted in 1735 by Francis Bindon (1690-1765). There is an estimate of €50,000-€70,000 on Bull by Moonlight by Roderic O’Conor and A Birds Eye View of Howth Castle attributed to William Van Der Hagen or Joseph Tudor is estimated at €40,000-€60,000.. There are several Bruxelles and Flemish tapestries and an impressive set of prehistoric Giant Irish Elk antlers and skull.

    This Louis XVI French mantle clock by Regnault of Paris together with two candlesticks was a gift from Marie Antoinette to her lady in waiting Marie Therese de Barmont. UPDATE: THIS MADE 28,000 AT HAMMER.

    Among a number of lots certain to attract international interest is a pair of Irish George II carved giltwood and gesso architectural mirrors attributed to John Booker.  These are estimated at €50,000-€70,000.  A c1738 pair of Irish giltwood and gesso carved side tables believed to have been supplied to the 14th Lord Howth come with an estimate of €30,000-€50,000.A pair of satinwood and bow fronted commodes attributed to James Hicks are estimated at €7,000-€9,000 and a mid 18th century Irish side table is estimated at €8,000-€12,000. A magnificent Georgian mahogany dining table (€30,000-€40,000), a mid 18th century Irish mahogany decanter stand (€20,000-€30,000) and a Gothic Revival side table or alter attributed to Pugin (€4,000-€6,000) are among other remarkable furniture lots.A Louis XVI French ormolu mantel clock by Regnault of Paris with two matching candlesticks was a gift from Marie Antoinette to her lady in waiting Marie Therese de Barmont.  Marie Antoinette was 14 at the time of her wedding in 1770, Marie Therese de Barmont was 13.  The set is estimated at €4,000-€6,000.

    A mid 18th century Irish mahogany decanter stand. UPDATE: THIS MADE 48,000 AT HAMMER

    There is silver and plate, militaria, ceramics, porcelain, glassware and some estimates are as low as €80. With more than 970 lots on the catalogue and this truly a sale with something for everyone.  Lot 787 is a George IV silver gilt model of the Warwick Vase by Phillip Rundell, London 1820 (€8,000-€12,000), there are early Netherlandish School portraits of the Bishop of Meath George Montgomery and his wife Susan Steyning (€10,000-€15,000) and an early 19th century Cantonese bowl and cover is ex the collection of the O’Briens at Dromoland Castle with an estimate of just €180-€220.The clearance sale of Howth Castle will continue with the sale of the library on September 22 and 23. The castle has been home to the St. Lawrence family since the Norman Invasion. Since 1919 it has been held by the distraff heirs, the Gaisford-St. Lawrences.  In 2018 the family agreed to sell the castle, demesne and Ireland’s Eye to the Tetrarch investment group who intend to develop a hotel and a luxury resort. A seven acre portion has been sold to Glenveagh Homes who plan to build 200 apartments.

    (See posts on for August 12, 23 and 31)


    Friday, September 3rd, 2021

    This untitled mixed media work by Felim Egan, dated 1981, comes up as lot 27 at de Veres art and furniture online auction which runs to September 14. It is estimated at just 200-400. Felim Egan, who died last December, was one of Ireland’s leading contemporary artists. He exhibited in Ireland and Europe and represented Ireland at the Paris Biennale of 1981 and the Sao Paolo Biennale of 1985. His work hangs in numerous public and private collections. There are 132 lots in the sale. UPDATE: THIS MADE 340 AT HAMMER


    Friday, September 3rd, 2021

    Banksy’s shredded  Love is in the Bin will return to Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries this October, at four to six times the price. Passing through a hidden shredder just seconds after the hammer fell on a million pound bid, the “nation’s favourite artwork” – Girl with a Balloon – seemingly auto-destructed in 2018 while hanging on the wall in Sotheby’s packed auction room. Capturing the world by surprise, this unexpected piece of performance art became instant art history, making it the first time a new work had been created in the course of an auction.

    In the days that followed, the shredded artwork was granted a new certificate and date by Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication body, and given the new title, Love is in the Bin. The collector who had placed the record winning bid on Girl with Balloon decided to keep the new work.* Looking back on the event, she explains: “That surreal evening three years ago, I became the accidental – but very privileged – owner of Love is in the Bin. It has been an incredible journey to have been part of the story of how one of the most famous artworks in the world came to be, but now it is time to let the painting go.”

    It will come up at the Contemporary Art evening auction at Sotheby’s in London on October 14 – this time with an estimate of £4-£6 million.

    Banksy’s Love is in the Bin, 2018


    Friday, September 3rd, 2021

    The most valuable Einstein manuscript ever offered at auction comes up at the Exceptional Sale at Christie’s in Paris on November 23. The 54-page autograph manuscript written by Albert Einstein and Michele Besso between June 1913 and early 1914 documents a crucial stage in the development of the theory of general relativity. This theory re-shaped modern understanding of how the universe works. It is estimated at €2,000,000-3,000,000).

    The manuscript is also a particularly valuable record of Einstein’s relationship with Michele Besso, the Swiss engineer who was his collaborator, confidant, and lifelong friend. 

    Adrien Legendre, Director of the Books and Manuscripts department, commented: “We are delighted that Christie’s will be able to promote this extraordinary manuscript to its international network of collectors for our Exceptional Sale. Einstein’s autographs from this period, and more generally from before 1919, are extremely rare. As one of only two surviving manuscripts documenting the genesis of the General Theory (along with the so-called Zurich notebook from late 1912/early 1913 – now in the Einstein Archive at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem), it provides a remarkable insight into Einstein’s work and a fascinating dive into the mind of the greatest scientist of the 20th century.


    Thursday, September 2nd, 2021
    Artemisia at the Mausoleum of Her Husband. UPDATE: THIS MADE 32,000 AT HAMMER

    This subject matter of this oil on canvas attributed to Laurent de la Hyre exercised numerous colleagues and friends of Homan Potterton over the years. Artemesia was agreed as the most likely. She was the wife of Mausolus, the Provincial Governor of Caria in Asia Minor. On her husband’s death in 353 B.C. she erected a great elevated tomb and monument to his memory at Halicarnassus, thus providing the origin of the word ‘mausoleum’. The structure was designed by the Greek architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene. It was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The painting, which is estimated at €15,000-20,000, comes up at James Adam in Dublin on September 7 at the sale of the late Homan Potterton’s collection of old master paintings, Irish Art, engravings, furniture and silver from his homes in Dublin and in the Gaillac region in France. UPDATE: THIS MADE 32,000 AT HAMMER.

    (See post on for August 22, 2021)


    Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

    Lovely objects are made to be seen, used and enjoyed according to the English designer Jasper Conran.  Now downsizing to a 17th century house in West Dorset – much smaller than its predecessors – Conran is regretfully parting with an amazing collection of art, antique furniture and objects through two sales at Christie’s this September. An online auction with 223 lots gets underway today and will run to September 21.  There will be a live auction at Christie’s in London with 213 lots on September 14.  These sales offer a window into the magical interiors that Conran created at Flemings Hall, Suffolk: Walpole House, Chiswick; Ven House, Somerset and most recently his six bedroomed apartment at the Palladian mansion that is New Wardour Castle in Wiltshire, one of England’s finest country houses.  The castle played a part as the dance school in the film Billy Elliot. UPDATE: THE LIVE SALE REALISED £5,835,500

    Portrait of Cecilia Neville (b.c.1604). Courtesy CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2021. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £562,500

    Christie’s say the sale of this iconic collection will be a landmark in the history of English taste, and a celebration of the fabulous interiors that Jasper Conran has created over many years. One of Conran’s lifelong passions has been English portraiture and the London sale is led by a portrait of Cecilia Neville by Robert Peake, portrait painter at the Elizabethan and Jacobean court.  It is estimated at £500,000-£800,000. The top furniture lot, with an estimate of £200,000-£300,000, is an elegant pair of George III gilt console tables after a design by Thomas Chippendale.

    Among the highlights are the magnificent Longleat giltwood chandelier, c1720-30, attributed to Benjamin Goodison, the court cabinet-maker of theday: a George II grey-painted pier mirror c1735-40, in the manner of William Kent; a pair of early George III white-painted simulated bamboo window seats by William Vile and John Cobb, signed by Vile’s nephew the cabinet maker  William Strickland, dated 1764 and made for Forde Abbey, Somerset; a George II mahogany serpentine sofa attributed to Paul Saunders, c1755-60; the Rousham wall brackets, a pair of George II mahogany wall brackets designed and supplied by William Kent, c1740 and the late 19th century Medici Vase.


    A number of Irish or possibly Irish lots are included in the main sale. Among them are lot 18, a pair of Irish George II side chairs; lot 107, a George II giltwood mirror; lot 143, an Irish white marble and scagliola Bossi chimneypiece; lot 168, a set of six George II dining chairs; lot 179, a c1760 elliptical side table and lot 194, an Irish brass bound and mahogany wine cooler. Jasper Conran, who had long relationships with the writer Bruce Chatwin and the fashion designer John Galliano has, since 2015, been married to the Irish artist and filmmaker Oisin Byrne. Jasper Conran OBE has designed collections of womens wear, for the home, and productions for the stage in ballet, opera and theatre.


    Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

    The first auction of Indian master artists who were commissioned by East India Company officials in the 18th and 19th centuries takes place at Sotheby’s in London on October 27. Ranging in their subject matter from individual animal and human studies to complex architectural panoramas these Company School Paintings encapsulate on paper the rich fauna, flora and architecture of the Subcontinent.

    They are from the American collector and art dealer Carlton C. Rochell, Jr. Rochell spent the first 18 years of his career at Sotheby’s, where he founded the Indian and Southeast Asian Art Department in 1988. He was on the Board of Directors and served as Managing Director of Sotheby’s Asia. In 2002, Rochell opened his own gallery in New York. Highlights of In an Indian Garden will go on view in Sotheby’s in New York from September 17-20, in Hong Kong from October 7-11 and London from October 22-26.  

    A Painted Stork Eating a Snail from the Impey Album, Signed by Shaykh Zayn al-Din, Company
    School, Calcutta, dated 1781 (est. £200,000-300,000) – formerly in the collection of
    Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis


    Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

    This magnificent Georgian dining table comes up at the Howth Castle sale by Fonsie Mealy on September 8 and 9 next. It is on two quadruple centre pods, and two outer tripod bases each of outsplayed and reeded form. There is one large and two smaller spare leave insets with original hinged clasps. There has been some restoration to one leaf but otherwise the structure is both solid and good. The estimate is €30,000-€40,000. The online sale of around 950 lots offers furniture, paintings, silver, objets d’art, ceramics, clocks, carpets, rugs, light fittings, militaria and collectibles. UPDATE: THE DINING TABLE MADE 29,000 AT HAMMER

    The sale of the library takes place on September 22 and 23. Here is a video about the sale:

    (See posts on for August 12 and August 23, 2021)


    Monday, August 30th, 2021
    Reunited pair of George III giltwood console tables c1760 after a design attributed to Thomas Chippendale. courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2021. UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR £550,000

    This elegant pair of George III gilt console tables after a design by Thomas Chippendale, re-united by Jasper Conran, will be among the furniture highlights at Christie’s sales of his collection in September. They are estimated at £200,000-300,000. Conran acquired one from eminent Dorset based antique dealer and interior consultant Edward Hurst in April 2009. By a stroke of sheer serendipity just three months later the second table appeared at an auction, and Jasper was the winning bidder.

    An online auction with 223 lots gets underway on September 1 and will run to September 21.  There is to be a live auction at Christie’s in London with 213 lots on September 14.  

    (See post on for August 18, 2021)


    Sunday, August 29th, 2021

    A lifesize metal figure of St. Patrick which is more than six feet tall will feature among the antique furniture and collectibles at Woodwards online sale in Cork on September 4.  On offer are contents from Carrigrhu House, a period piece overlooking Cuskinny in Cork Harbour. The St. Patrick figure is estimated at €1,000-€1,500. It was acquired from the late Donal O’Regan, whose antique and arts shops first on Lavitts Quay and then at Fenns Quay in Cork were a mecca for collectors from right around the country.  A French comtoise or longcase clock by Abbal Fils at St. Pierre-des-Cas dates to around 1850.  It is estimated at €2,000-€3,000. This is one of two period house contents sales that Woodwards plan to conduct in September.  A sale of contents from Millboro House, Lee Road is planned for September 25.