Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Monday, August 19th, 2019

    What to do about an antique market that is seen to be either the preserve of billionaires in international sales or in the doldrums at local level?  For innovation head to New York.

    A theme evident at the Winter Show in January has re-emerged just in time for Christie’s Interiors auction in the Big Apple on August 21 and 22. At the Winter Show an easy to read system of coloured price tagging with legends like under $3,000, $5,000, $10,000 and so on was set up in an attempt to woo new young collectors. Christie’s summer interiors auction of 495 lots of furniture, decorative objects and fine art features a collaboration with Alexandra O’Neill, designer of the ready to wear line Markarian and CeCe Barfield Thompson, principal of the interior design firm CeCe Barfield Inc. Objects in the auction that provided inspiration for the designers’ capsule collections include a late 18th/19th century Dutch Delft blue and white five piece garniture, a pair of Italian marble jardiniers, a 19th century parcel gilt tray table and a pair of large button tufted couches or day beds of the Directoire and Empire periods known as recamiers. The capsule collections of dresses and homeware inspired by the objects in the auction are now being sold exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman, the luxury Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan. 

    A pair of large button tufted 20th century recamiers


    Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

    Stuart Purcell is to head up a new Collectibles division at Mullens of Laurel Park, Bray, heralding a new era of collectibles sales at the auction house. He has for the past five years been head of collectibles at Whyte’s, where he developed the highly successful “Eclectic Collector” series of sales. Stuart Purcell previously worked with James Adam and Adams Blackrock and established his own valuation firm, Orrs and Co., in 2009.

    Mullens plan to hold their first Collectibles auction next November.

    Stuart Purcell. Photograph Nick Bradshaw


    Friday, August 9th, 2019

    This Georgian sideboard is at Mullen’s classic temporary and interiors sale at Laurel Park, Bray on August 12. It is estimated at 1,200-1,800. The auction of more than 680 lots features antique furniture, porcelain and a wide variety of collectible items. The catalogue is online.

    A Georgian sideboard at Mullen’s of Laurel Park.


    Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

    The art and antiques auction at Dooagh on Achill Island on August 11 is believed by auctioneers Dolan’s to be the first ever such sale on the island. The wild beauty and remoteness of the location has always drawn artists to Achill and to the west of Ireland. Just under 250 lots, mostly of art, will come under the hammer.

    Charles Vincent Lamb (1893-1964) – Carraroe, Connemara


    Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

    August Bank Holiday auctions by Dolan’s take place in Ballyconneely, Connemara today and on Monday.   The sales will include paintings, antiques, fine wine and a Purdey shotgun from the old Rectory, Clifden, the property of John and Brenda Casey. Most lots will be sold without reserve.The auction today consists of furniture, collectibles, some paintings and the 1865 Purdey double barrel twin trigger shotgun.  This is estimated at 3,000-3,500. More substantial artworks will come up on Monday.  Lot’s Wife by John Shinnors is estimated at 18,000-22,000 and Fear agus Bean On Oilean by Sean Keating is estimated at 18,000-25,000. There is a similar estimate on Hayfield with Crows by Norah McGuinness.Monday’s auction will feature art by Maurice MacGonigal, Mildred Anne Butler, George Russell, Lady Kate Dobbin, George Campbell, Markey Robinson, Mark O’Neill, Kenneth Webb, Cecil Maguire, John Behan and a wide variety of contemporary Irish artists from Charles Harper to Arthur Maderson. Lithographs by Louis le Brocquy carry estimates of 500-800 and a small charcoal and pencil nude study by Roderic O’Conor is estimated at 2,400-2,800.

    Hayfield and Crows by Norah McGuinness UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

    A shillelagh from the massacre in the quiet Cork village of Ballinhassig in 1845 sold for a hammer price of 5,100 at Fonsie Mealy’s summer auction in Castlecomer last week.  From the collection of the noted Cork antiquarian Robert Day it had been estimated at 300-400.  The massacre followed faction fighting after the fair day and eleven people, ten men and a woman, were shot dead by police.  The shillelagh came with an engraved plaque, mounted and inscribed: “Retrieved after Fair Day Massacre, Ballinhassig, 30 June “45”.  The vast collection of Robert Day (1836-1914) was dispersed at major auctions before and after his death. It included gold, Viking silver, jewellery and medieval religious items. Much of it ended up in museums or in the hands of the world’s richest men, including Randolph Hearst. Robert Day was the president of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society. The family business in saddlery and sporting goods meant he had a Cork city centre location for anyone wishing to sell something to him.

    The shillelagh


    Friday, August 2nd, 2019

    A 23,000 bottle of rare Irish whiskey

    Friday, August 2nd, 2019

    An extremely rare 1880’s bottle of Cassidy & Co Monasterevan Whiskey in a sold for 23,000 at Victor Mee’s pub memorabilia sale of The Clermont Collection in Cloverhill, Co. Cavan this week. The unopened hand blown bottle is one of only two known. The other is housed in the Irish Whiskey museum. It had been estimated at 5,000-10,000.

    In latter years the Ballykelly Mill at Monasterevan has been restored by businessman Paddy McKillen. He plans to open a distillery and visitor centre on the site and revive the local heritage of producing fine whiskey.


    Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

    Ballyconneely in Connemara is the venue for a  staggered Saturday and Monday art and antiques auction by Dolan’s over the August Bank Holiday weekend. There is art by artists ranging from John Brobbel  to Sean Keating, Grace Henry, Cecil Maguire, Arthur Maderson, Robert Egginton, Carina Scott and John Behan at the sales on August 3 and August 5.  There is paintings, antiques, fine wine and a Purdy shotgun from The Rectory, Clifden, the property of John and Brenda Casey. On offer too are handbags by Louis Vuitton and Chanel.  Dolans will follow this up with an auction at Dooagh on Achill Island on Sunday, August 11.

    Grace Henry HRHA (1868 – 1953) FARMHOUSE IN BRITTANY UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,700


    Monday, July 29th, 2019

    Property from the life and career of Mae West will come up at Julien’s Auctions in Hollywood on November 1 and 2 next. The event celebrates the trailblazing career and style of the 1930’s American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol. The star coined legendary one liners such as, “When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better”. The auction will showcase a dazzling collection of ornate headdresses, tiaras, jewellery, wigs, film and stage worn bodiced gowns and more.

    Mae West brought her famous Broadway Diamond Lil character, now renamed “Lady Lou,” to the screen in She Done Him Wrong (1933), starring opposite a young and relatively unknown Cary Grant in one of his first major film roles. The film was a box-office hit and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture which grossed over $2 million (equivalent of $140 million today) and saved Paramount Pictures from bankruptcy. The auction is part of the Legendary Women of Hollywood auction which will take place live and online.

    Mae West’s Diamond Lil gown