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    Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

    Truman Capote’s final typescript for Breakfast at Tiffany’s sold for £377,000 at Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts sale in London on August 4. It was covered in handwritten edits including the last minute change to his protagonist’s name to Holly Golightly. Until the very final draft Holly was known throughout as Connie Gustafson. This typescript was submitted to Random House, who published all of Capote’s major works, in May 1958, just before Capote departed for a sojourn in Greece. It had been estimated at £120,000-180,000.


    Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

    Online auctions at Sotheby’s, where year to day sales in 2020 have reached $2.5 billion, have already exceeded $285 million. This is driven by innovation and adaptation in time of pandemic. Sotheby’s report more than 30% new bidders across all sales and that more than 30% of all bidders and buyers are under 40. Nearly 20% of new bidders and buyers are from Asia.

    Private sales have totalled $575 million and live summer auctions in June and July achieved $1.2 billion.

    The way we live now – Sotheby’s Oliver Barker at the podium during the live streamed Rembrandt to Richter sale.


    Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

     Regarded by some as the ultimate sporting collectible, Michael Jordans game worn sneakers are on offer at Christie’s until August 13.  With a total of 11 lots this landmark online sale offers the most comprehensive sneaker record of Michael Jordans era defining Chicago Bulls career.  Beginning in 1985 with the release of the Air Jordan 1, Nike’s Jordan Brand has been at the forefront of a pop-culture movement that has spanned the globe. Michael Jordan and his signature line of footwear are the foundational pillars of modern basketball and the worldwide phenomenon of sneaker collecting. A portion of the proceeds from one lot is designated to the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People legal defence fund which seeks to eliminate disparities and achieve racial justice.  Pictured here is the top lot, the Air Jordan 1 High Shattered Backboard signed sneaker from 1985, estimated at $650,000-$850,000.


    Saturday, August 1st, 2020

    Art, antique furniture, collectibles and toys will all come under the hammer at Dolan’s two day summer auction in Connemara on Bank Holiday Monday and on August 4.  Art on offer ranges from contemporary work by John Shinnors to some Connemara scenes by Kenneth Webb.  There is a wide range of both established and emerging artists and no shortage of landscapes from the hugely scenic area around Ballyconneely like a watercolour entitled Market Day, Roundstone by Lady Kate Dobbin.

    This annual summer event in Connemara has a big local following and always attracts plenty of the visitors from around the country who holiday here. Among the 310 lots on offer on Monday is a Victorian writing table by the London firm of Howard and Sons in Oregon pine.  This company specialised in bespoke furniture and this piece comes complete with an inbuilt leather foot rest. Curiosities include a mahogany Victorian penny slot machine from a 19th century pub and there is a Chipperfields Circus model set by Corgi and an early 20th century rocking horse.One of the more expensively estimated lots, at €10,000-€14,000, is The Sparrow, a 1984 oil on canvas laid on board by the renowned Limerick artist John Shinnors.  There is a bronze by John Behan entitled Launching the Currach. An earlier treatment of the local area is Carraroe, Connemara by Charles Lamb.  There is work by well known artists like Sean Keating, Markey Robinson, George Campbell, Maurice MacGonigal, Robert Egginton, Norman Teeling, Cecil Maguire, Arthur Maderson and Mark O’Neill.  

    The Sparrow by John Shinnors. UPDATE: THIS MADE 17,000 AT HAMMER


    Friday, July 31st, 2020

    A questionnaire filled in by a young Oscar Wilde comes up at Sotheby’s online Summer Miscellany sale of Books and Manuscripts which closes on August 4. Recording preferences across 39 questions he responds as follows:

    Your idea of happiness? ‘Absolute power over men’s minds, even if accompanied by chronic toothache’

    Your idea of misery? ‘Living a poor and respectable life in an obscure village’.

    What is your dream? ‘Getting my hair cut’

    ‘What is your aim in life?’ ‘Success: fame or even notoriety’.

    Wilde was in his early twenties when he contributed to the album of “Mental Photographs” in 1877. He was still at Oxford and yet to publish a book, but had already established a keen following. It is signed grandiosely with his full name, ‘Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde’.

    It is from the collection of actor and director Steven Berkoff (b.1937), famed for his villainous on-screen roles including General Orlov in the James Bond classic, Octopussy (1983). Berkoff began collecting Oscar Wilde material around the time he directed Wilde’s great tragedy, Salome, in the late 1980s. The show opened to acclaim at The Gate Theatre, Dublin, on the sixtieth anniversary of Salome’s first controversial public viewing there in 1928, and went on to sell out at London’s National Theatre, before travelling to Japan, Germany and beyond. The estimate is £40,000-60,000.



    Thursday, July 30th, 2020

    THE summer art and collectibles sales by Dolan’s at Ballyconneely in Connemara on August 3 and 4 are now on view, and the auctions will be online only at 12.30 p.m. on each day. There is a range of Irish art, including various treatments of the landscapes of the west of Ireland, included among work by established and emerging artists.

    A day on the beach by John Morris. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,000 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, July 26th, 2020

    More than 300 lots including a Georgian solid oak Welsh dresser will come under the hammer at Hegarty’s online sale in Bandon at 6 pm on July 28.  The Georgian dresser, with open shelves and six small drawers, is estimated at €2,600-€2,800; a 19th century Irish oak and mahogany inlaid dresser has an estimate of €700-€1,000. Other prime furniture pieces include a c1790 satinwood card table with canted corners (€800-€1,000), an early 19th century simulated rosewood chaise longue (€1,400-€1,600) and a Georgian Chinoiserie corner cabinet (€2,500-€3,500).  An 18 carat white gold ring with fancy yellow pear shaped diamond surrounded by two rows of brilliant cut diamonds is estimated at €2,300-€2,600, a hand knotted Tabriz rug has an estimate of €1,400-€1,500 and a set of silver condiment containers is estimated at €50-€100.

    Georgian solid oak Welsh dresser. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,700 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, July 26th, 2020

    From 1960’s Italian armchairs and a chaise longue designed by Le Corbusier to the art of Bridget Riley, John Doherty and Callum Innes the Mid Century Modern sale at Adams in Dublin at 2 pm on July 28 represents modernity in all its glorious diversity. The catalogue will undoubtedly appeal to well heeled younger collectors who still tend to turn their backs on the glories of previous ages, more is the pity.  The rewards of a keen appreciation for art, craft, skill, creativity and design span every era and can eclipse the angst of this one.  If lockdown has highlighted a necessity for change in your domestic environment this sale offers a chance to pick up a conversation piece, brighten up a dull corner and generally ease the pain of a pandemic that is not going away.

    Would a c1960 Italian sideboard by Dassi (€2,000-€3,000) offer both form and function to suit you? An appealing set of six c1940 dining chairs in the manner of Louis Majorelle (€1,000-€1,500) would look good anywhere and could be set off to great effect with Pink Dawn by Felim Egan (€4,000-€6,000).  A rosewood swivel chair by Ico Parisi for Mim (€600-€800) would definitely draw the eye at a zoom meeting in your home office.The most expensively estimated lots in the sale are all artworks, headed by Untitled No. 76 (2010) by Callum Innes (€15,000-€20,000). The most expensive  furniture lots are a pair of upholstered lounge chairs and a pair of glass topped tables both by Ico Parisi and estimated at €4,000-€6,000.The sale offers Murano glass, a black lacquered console table, ceiling lights, floor lights, wall lights and lamps, Eames chairs, tables, drinks trolleys and lockers in a variety of styles and designs. 

    Bridget Riley – Echo (screenprint). UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,500 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, July 25th, 2020

    A copy of the Irish Procalamation from 1916 sold for a hammer price of 190,000 at Whyte’s Eclectic Collector sale in Dublin today. It was taken from Marks jewellers shop opposite the GPO in Dublin on April 25, 1916.

    John O’Connor in The Story of the 1916 Proclamation, Abbey Press, Dublin 1986 stated that there were 17 examples extant, of which at least six were in public institutions such as Dáil Éireann, The National Museum and University College Dublin. Two also exist in British Government archives and there is one in the Royal Collection in Buckingham Palace. Since 1986 about fifteen others have come to light from the original printing of less than 500. Most were destroyed during – or shortly after – the Rising. 


    Friday, July 24th, 2020

    The Wolfe Tone Archive, the Thomas Ashe Archive, 1798 and 1916 Proclamations, 1916 Rising medals and an Irish silver porringer from the Cromwellian Commonwealth period all feature at The Eclectic Collector sale at Whyte’s in Dublin on July 25 and online only on July 26. The Molesworth St., Dublin auctioneers say that this exciting sale is the most important held in recent years. Memories of the Northern Ireland Troubles include the archive of Loyalist leader William ‘Plum’ Smith.  And there is a unique collection of ephemera related to Count John McCormack. 

    The 1798 Proclamation composed by Wolfe Tone and issued by The General Commanding the French Army Jean Hardy to the People of Ireland has an estimate of €8,000-€12,000.  An  unsigned copy of Tone’s speech from the dock, four pages in his own hand, is estimated at €50,000-€70,000.A copy of The Proclamation, removed from the window of Hyman Marks, Jeweller, 31A Henry St. on April 25, 1916 by J. Brady in good condition though folded and slightly rubbed is estimated at €100,000-€150,000.  There are 1917 letters from Michael Collins to Thomas Ashe, as well as letters from Constance Markievicz and W.T. Cosgrave among a large archive of personal Ashe material.There is a huge and varied collection of material relating to The Easter Rising and the aftermath.  An archive of original letters, photographs and ephemera relating to Count John McCormack carries an estimate of €40,000-€60,000. The first part of the auction is at Freemason’s Hall on Molesworth St.  Part two, a timed online only auction, gets underway at 1 pm on July 26. There are collections of militaria, coins and banknotes. A one owner Irish coin collection has examples ranging from Viking Dublin to Georgian Ireland.

    (See post on for July 9, 2020)

    Wolfe Tone’s speech from the dock on November 10, 1798 in his own hand. UPDATE: THIS MADE 42,000 AT HAMMER