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    ARDAGH CHALICE REPLICA AT ADAMS IRISH VERNACULAR SALE

    Friday, April 12th, 2024

    A FINE IRISH SILVER REPLICA OF THE ARDAGH CHALICE

    This Irish silver replica of the Ardagh Chalice comes up as lot 40 at the Irish Vernacular sale by James Adam in Dublin on April 16. Viewing for the auction gets underway today. The replica – of traditional design with applied Celtic decoration – was made in Dublin around 1915 by Sharman D Neill and is estimated at €6,000-€8,000. The Ardagh Chalice dates to the 8th century and is one of the greatest treasures of the early Irish church. In the collection of the National Museum it is part of a hoard found in the 19th century by a young man digging for potatoes near Ardagh, Co. Limerick. The catalogue for the sale is online.

    FIRST EDITION SIGNED BY CORMAC MCCARTHY AT FONSIE MEALY AUCTION

    Thursday, April 11th, 2024

    CORMAC MCCARTHY – CITIES OF THE PLAIN

    A signed first edition of Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy is one of the leading lots at Fonsie Mealy’s Spring Rare Book and Collectors sale. The timed online auction gets underway today and will run until April 24 with over 700 lots of offer. Cities of the Plain is lot 477 and comes complete with an uncorrected proof and uncorrected advance reading copies, both signed by the author, and an audio book with two cassettes, read by Brad Pitt. The estimate is €800-€1,000.

    ART MEETS FURNITURE AT DE VERES INTERNATIONAL DESIGN SALE

    Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

    THE NEW ORLEANS ARMCHAIR (1999), Pigmented polyester, gel coat and fiberglass

    Ron Arad first constructed the Big Easy chair in 1988. “I was thinking about an overstuffed club chair”. he said. It was among the first pieces of contemporary design added to NOMA’s decorative arts collection.” Arad later released this moulded-polyester version called NEW ORLEANS where he daubs colour inside a mould before pouring in the polyester, imprinting the chair with the element of painting, the effect combining art and sculpture to create something unique. This version comes up as lot 30 at de Veres International Art and Design Auction in Dublin on April 30. The chair is a powerful statement on volume and illusion and fully blurs the distinction between furniture and sculpture.

    THE LEGENDARY TONY BENNETT AT JULIEN’S AUCTIONS IN NEW YORK

    Monday, April 8th, 2024

    An assemblage portrait of Tony Bennett by David Hockey.

    He might have left his heart in San Francisco but millions of people everywhere took singer Tony Bennett to their own hearts. His extraordinary life and career will be celebrated at a live and online sale by Julien’s Auctions in New York at Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame in Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 18 and 19.  With everything from a 1965 letter of appreciation from Martin Luther King (for his performance at the 1965 Selma march) to acclaimed original sketches and signed sheet music duets the sale tracks how his life mirrored American cultural, social and political history over many decades.

    There is an assemblage portrait of Bennett by David Hockney, art by Willem de Kooning and LeRoy Neiman, a sketch by Tony Bennett of Princess Grace signed by her and letters from Presidents Ford, Carter, Clinton and Bush, Martin Scorsese, Madonna, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Al Pacino  are testament to how much he was loved.

    In 2007 he was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame for his lifelong activism and work in social justice. He won 20 Grammys, recorded more than 70 albums and sold 50 million records. He recorded with K.D. Lang, Stevie Wonder and Billy Joel and next generation superstars like Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga. He scored three Guinness Book of Records entries, for the oldest performer to reach No. I, the longest time between the release of a recording and the re-recording of the same single by the same artist and for being the oldest person to release a new album. Tony Bennett died aged 96 last July.

    A sketch by Tony Bennett of Princess Grace signed by Grace

    AN IRISH VERNACULAR SALE AT JAMES ADAM IN DUBLIN

    Sunday, April 7th, 2024

    Adams will offer 254 lots headed by an oil painting of the Cutty Sark by the Tory Island artist James Dixon in their Irish Vernacular auction on April 16.  There is art including an oil on card of an Irish Farmer by the Bandon artist Charles Henry Cook, silver, country furniture including a settle bed, a set of Irish deer antlers, some Carrigaline pottery and many other items of interest to collectors. Viewing gets underway in Dublin on April 12 and the catalogue is online.

    OLD FAMILY PROVENANCE AT LYNES AND LYNES AUCTION

    Saturday, April 6th, 2024

    An Irish Georgian tallboy originally at Brittas Castle, Thurles 

    Irish furniture, silver and glass with an old family provenance will feature at the Lynes and Lynes sale in Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork on April 20.  The auction will feature lots from the estate of Roma Peare (nee Knox) of Kinsale and Tipperary. The Tipperary connection relates to the Knox family of Brittas Castle, Thurles and Parkville, Clonmel.  The family owned Brittas from 1853. A total of 64 acres of land at Parkville changed hands last month for €2.45 million.  It was bought by Coolmore Stud.

    Lots from the estate of Roma Peare include a Georgian tallboy (€800-€1,200), a Georgian cellarette (€500-€700), a convex mirror with eagle and dolphins (€600-€800), a large collection of silverware including an Irish silver teapot with a typically florid 19th century inscription as follows: “A memento from the inhabitants of St. Peters Parish Cork until the Rev Nich.s C Dunscombe to record their high esteem of him for his indefatigable labours as a Parish Minister and a Public Benefactor being the main spring of the Temperance cause in his native city. January 30th 1840”.

    Nicholas Dunscombe was a leading Protestant clergyman and a founder member, along with Fr. Matthew, of the temperance movement in Cork.  The distinctive Dunscombe fountain, installed in the 1880’s at the bottom of Shandon St. in Cork, supplied drinking water for almost a century.  It was constructed by friends of the Rev Dunscombe as a memorial to him. Cast in Glasgow the antique structure was removed sometime before the 1980’s and is still missing.

    A convex mirror 

    Silver from the Knox estate include a pair of Cork bright cut tablespoons by J. Warner along with some fine tea sets and flatware.  The family also collected Irish glass and there are several examples in the sale. There are Knox family portraits including a large oil of Col. William Knox which is in need of restoration.

    Art by Marshal Hutson and 18th century engravings of Cork and Youghal and a large old framed map of the City of Cork and suburbs by John Rocque from 1759 will create interest.  Among the more unusual lots is a 1961 Morris Minor which has been with the family since 1961 and unused for the past 15 years.  Viewing gets underway in Carrigtwohill next Saturday (April 13).

     A timber fairground horse

    MOST VALUABLE CONAN DOYLE MANUSCRIPT EVER AT AUCTION

    Friday, April 5th, 2024

    The most valuable Sir Arthur Conan Doyle manuscript ever at auction comes up at Sotheby’s in New York next June. The autograph manuscript of the Sherlock Holmes novel The Sign of the Four, signed twice and with edits to Americanize the text is estimated at $800,000-$1.2 million. It is offered with a collection of autograph letters between Doyle and J. M Stoddart, the American businessman and editor of Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, who commissioned The Sign of Four. The letters chronicle the progress of the book, including discussion on the title as well as Doyle’s happiness with the printing, in particular the illustration.

    Sotheby’s Book Week sale on June 26 will feature as its centerpiece the Library of Dr. Rodney P. Swantko, a significant collection of modern literature encompassing rare examples of the most famous volumes in English and American literature from the past two centuries. The sale offers a remarkable array of over forty rare books and manuscripts encompassing iconic works by, Charles Dickens, F. Scott
    Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Vladimir Nabokov, Edgar Allan Poe, John Steinbeck, and Walt Whitman. The Swantko collection also features two extraordinary literary artworks including Sidney Paget’s original drawing for the illustration “The Death of Sherlock Holmes” for the Conan Doyle short story “The Final Problem.”

    THE CLASSICS SALE AT BONHAMS IN PARIS

    Thursday, April 4th, 2024

    A pair of Sèvres hard-paste Vases Hollandois or flower-pots and stands, 1775-85.

    Important furniture, Old Master paintings and drawings and Italian ceramics from Italian collections lead the Classics sale at Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr in Paris on April 16. A selection of 60 works from an important Italian collection from Rome will feature  old master drawings, paintings and furniture, drawing interest from international buyers with classical tastes. Among the highlights are a pair of Sèvres hard-paste Vases Hollandois or flower-pots and stands, 1775-85. These vases were in the celebrated collection of Edouard Chappey (c1858-1907) and are estimated at €6,000-8,000. A pair of northern Italian amaranth, bois citronnier, green-stained sycamore and tulipwood marquetry commodes, Lombard or Genoese, in the taste of Giuseppe Maggiolini, late 18th century are estimated at €20,000-25,000.

    A pair of late 18th century northern Italian commodes

    FOSSILISED IRISH ELK ANTLERS AT SOTHEBY’S DESIGN SALE

    Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

    This pair of fossilised Irish elk antlers will come up at Sotheby’s in London on April 11 with an estimate of £20,000-£30,000. One has four points, the other eight and there are restorations. Although the elk inhabited a vast expanse of central Europe and Asia, the largest concentration of its remains have been found mainly in the marl underlying bogland of Ireland, giving rise to the popular nomenclature of this species. The high calcium carbonate content of the marl is conducive to the preservation of bones, and examples of these ancient antler specimens have been discovered in Counties Wayerford, Clare and Cork, many of them in caves. Many have featured in Irish banqueting halls following a centuries-old tradition, particularly during the 19th century, when it was fashionable for such antiquarian relics to be displayed in baronial halls. An instance of this is recorded in an 1850s interior drawing of the new manor at Adare, Co. Limerick. The antlers are part of a sale of Classic Design and are listed in the catalogue as property from Ollerton Grange, a lavish Cheshire mansion. The sale includes a set of 12 Irish George III silver dinner plates from the Drogheda Service by Robert Calderwood (£8,000-£12,000) and a pair of Irish silver soup tureens by Calderwood (£10,000-£15,000).

    A NEW RECORD FOR MARILYN MONROE’S PINK PUCCI DRESS

    Monday, April 1st, 2024

    MARILYN MONROE’S PINK PUCCI DRESS SOLD FOR $325,000 

    With  over eight thousand bids online, and on the phone, from countries across each continent such as the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Mexico, Monaco, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Germany, and Hong Kong the ICONS: PLAYBOY, HUGH HEFNER X MARILYN MONROE sale at Julien’s Auctions realised over $4 million. Though the two Hollywood icons remarkably never met, Hugh Hefner’s and Marilyn Monroe’s legacies became inextricably linked when Monroe appeared in Hefner’s inaugural 1953 issue of Playboy. In that moment, they gained worldwide fame becoming two important figures of twentieth-century America and Playboy establishing itself as an iconic global brand.

    The most expensive lot of the three day sale was Monroe’s pink Pucci long-sleeved dress of silk jersey which sold for $325,000, the top selling lot of the event that set a new world record of most expensive Pucci dress sold at auction. Monroe’s The Seven Year Itch costume– a Mae West-inspired black and cellophane effect evening gown designed by legendary costume designer William Travilla worn by Monroe in the classic 1955 film’s dream sequence scene, which was later cut from the film–sold for $127,000.

    A letter from Jean Smith, one of the children to Rose and Joseph Kennedy and sister to John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and four other siblings that reads: “Dear Marilyn – Mother asked me to write and thank you for your sweet note to Daddy – He really enjoyed it and you were very cute to send it. / Understand that you and Bobby are the new item! We all think you should come with him when he comes back east! Again thanks for the note. / Love, Jean Smith” sold for $28,575, seven times its estimate of $4,000.