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    Wednesday, February 6th, 2019


    This 1931 Bentley 8-Litre Sports Tourer, which previously belonged to Sir John Alexander Arnott the former chairman of the Irish Times, comes up at Bonhams auction of Les Grandes Marques du Monde at The Grand Palais in Paris on February 7.  It is lot 232 and estimated at 600,000-800,000.

    Arnott’s father, Sir John Arnott, first baronet, was the founder of Arnotts department store chain. He was a major figure in the commercial and political spheres of late-19th century Cork. In 1873 he purchased the Irish Times for £35,000 from the widow of its founder, Major Laurence Knox. John Alexander Arnott, second baronet, became managing director and chairman of the Irish Times in 1900.  He held these positions until his death in 1940. Arnott’s ownership of the 1931 Bentley is thought to date from March 31, 1937, when a continuation logbook was issued for the vehicle. The original owner, James C Clark, was a US cotton millionaire and keen sportsman from New Jersey. Judging from the logbook, the vehicle was unlicensed and hence unused between December 31, 1939 and August 15, 1956 when it was re-licensed by new owner James Robert William Murland in County Down.


    Saturday, February 2nd, 2019

    The sledge  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £163,718

    A sledge from the first expedition to the Antarctic led by Ernest Shackleton is the top lot in Bonhams Travel and Exploration Sale in London on February 6.  Writing about Shackleton in the current edition of Bonhams Magazine, the writer and campaigner Rosie Boycott recalled his status as a great British hero, “He became famous for making a journey so dangerous that even today, with modern high-tech kit, no one would repeat it. And, because his men loved him and trusted him to a fault, he was able to step from the mountains of South Georgia, not just into legend, but into the ranks of superhero whose name would forever be associated with the highest qualities of leadership, ones that seminars have laboured to teach students ever since.”

    Born in Kilkea, County Kildare in 1874, Ernest Shackleton was a major figure in the history of Antarctic exploration. He was a member of Captain Scott’s Discovery Expedition in 1901-1904, before leading his own British Antarctic (Nimrod) Expedition in 1907-09. The sledge in the sale was used on the Nimrod expedition by Eric Marshall – one of the four men, with Shackleton, Jameson Adams, and Frank Wild, to undertake the sledge march to the South Pole. Although they had to abandon the attempt, they reached within 100 geographical miles of the Pole – at the time, the furthest south ever travelled.  It is estimated at £60,000-100,000.

    The four men of the Southern Party were accompanied on their journey by four ponies, each pulling an eleven-foot sledge. During the march, the ponies gradually succumbed to the conditions; three had to be humanely killed, and the last fell into a deep crevasse nearly taking the supplies and Frank Wild with it. Two of the four sledges were left where the first two ponies had been put down, as depots for the return journey. The two remaining sledges went further south.


    Tuesday, January 29th, 2019
    With a total of 807 lots and plenty of realistic estimates the sale at Sheppards online and in Durrow today offers something for new and established collectors. The Winter Show in New York, a world leading antiques fair, highlighted cool contemporary alongside antique pieces as being the way forward in interior style and Sheppards have latched on to this with their sale entitled Decor Decoded.
    The codes on offer here include design decor, decorative art, fine art, sculpture, rugs, silver and jewellery.  A garniture of three Chinese cloisonne enamel vases (200-300) would not be remotely out of place in a contemporary setting.  Lot 639 is an 18th century French transitional side table c1760 with veined grey marble top.  It is estimated at  800-1,200.

    There is much to catch they eye, from Edwardian and Regency mirrors to breakfront bookcases, art and Chinese ceramics.   There are large Chinese blue and white jardinieres, botanical prints, an Art Deco mantle clock, wall light brackets, vases, brass table lamps, a Tibetan bronze bust, lustres, figurines, toureens, bookcases, a Venetian pier mirror, a Georgian workbox and even a set of 15 antique apothecary jars. If that does not set fire to your imagination then it is difficult to say what will.

    (See post on for January 22, 2019)

    A garniture of three Chinese cloisonne vases

    18th century mahogany low boy

    A c1760 French transitional side table


    Monday, January 28th, 2019

    Charles and Sarah Vivian will bring this extremely rare advertising sign to the antique fair at the Silver Springs Hotel in Cork on February 3.  The sign comes complete with several bullet holes.  Measuring four feet by three feet it pre-dates the advent of the telephone and may have been on the building at 33 Bachelor’s Walk in Dublin when it was attacked during the Easter Rising in 1916.

    The building two doors east of 33 Bachelor’s Walk on the corner of Sackville St. was Kelly’s Fishing Tackle and Gunpowder shop.  This became known at Kelly’s Fort as it was occupied by Volunteer Captain Peader Bracken and ten men who were shot and shelled at form the direction of Trinity College. Wallis’s, whose number is listed as Dublin 392 in the 1913 telephone directory, made a successful claim for damages after the Rising and received £107-4-10.


    Sunday, January 27th, 2019

    The top lot was this album of 450 mixed early 20th century cards. This image is of Kingston, Jamaica after the January 1907 earthquake. It made 2,100

    There was a white glove sale at Whyte’s when every single lot from the postcard collection of Dubliner Seamus Kearns went under the hammer yesterday.  Over 100,000 postcards were offered and every single lot was sold.  The sale grossed 130,000, a world record for a single owner collection of picture postcards.

    Seamus Kearns (1929-2014) began collecting stamps in the 1930’s and fell in love with old postcards in the 1950’s when he started amassing this collection. A founder of the Irish Picture Postcard Society, he provided many exhibitions around the country, including a major show at The Guinness Hopstore in 1994. The collection encompassed Irish topographical views, historic events, advertising, comic and greetings. There were also large collections of worldwide cards including Gruss Aus (German Greetings From cards), Art Nouveau and Art Deco, glamour, greetings and comic.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland,com for January 12, 2019)


    Friday, January 25th, 2019

    The wardrobe of Catherine Deneuve designed by Yves Saint Laurent achieved a total of $1,025,581 at Christie’s in Paris last night. The auction lasted 5 hours, witnessing fierce competition from around the globe.  The sale was 100% sold and 90% of all 129 lots sold multiple times above their pre-sale estimates.   The top lot was the Haute Couture evening ensemble of the unique and very sought after Russian Collection, which Mr. Saint Laurent designed for the Fall/Winter collection of 1977/78. Selling at €52,500 it surpassed its high pre-sale estimate by 10 times.   A  short beaded dress designed by Yves Saint Laurent for the Spring/Summer collection of 1969, which the actress wore when she met Alfred Hitchcock the same year in company of Philippe Noiret and François Truffaut, sold for €42,500 against a pre-sale estimate of €3,000-5,000.  Amongst the most sought-after pieces was the famous YSL smoking which she wore at the occasion of Yves Saint Laurent’s 20th anniversary celebration.  It set a new world auction record for any smoking at €20,000.

    The online-only sale offers another 140 items from Catherine Deneuve’s YSL wardrobe and will conclude on January 30.

    (See post on for January 13, 2019)

    The 1977 Russian Collection Photo Jean Luce Hure

    Smoking set a new world record


    Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

    Around 850 lots will come under the hammer at Sheppards sale of design décor, decorative art, fine spirits, art, sculpture, rugs,
    silver and jewellery. in Durrow on January 29.  No less than 80% of lots from the Decor Decoded sale will be offered without reserve.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    19th century Japanese blue and white vase

    Fishing on a Mediterranean coast by Henri Baret

    George III sideboard

    A pair of 19th century Japanese ceremonial chairs.


    Saturday, January 19th, 2019
    A Lavery portrait and a painting of the Cork quays by Norman McCaig (1929-2001) are among the prime lots at Hegarty’s west Cork country house auction in Bandon on January 27.  The auction will bring two family collections to market, from Lawn House and the Barber family, and will offer furniture, fine art, silver and jewellery.

    A portrait of Mrs. Gertrude Coutts by Sir John Lavery (1856-1941) is stamped  “B. Kellerman Painters Supplies, New York”. It measures 28′ x 20′ and is estimated at 4,000-8,000. Among the furniture is a pair of Irish rosewood fold over card tables c1820 and an 18th century Irish mahogany hunt table.  There is an early 20th century Arts and Crafts silver goblet and a collection of jewellery.

    Portrait of Mrs. Gertrude Coutts by Sir John Lavery  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,200 AT HAMMER

    A pair of Irish 19th century fold over card tables.UPDATE: THIS LOT MADE 2,400 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, January 17th, 2019

    Fine jewellery, watches and silver will come under the hammer at O’Reilly’s on Francis St., Dublin on January 23.   Diamonds, sapphires, pearls, peridots, amethysts and all sort of coloured stones feature in a jewellery selection that includes rings,  bracelets, brooches, pendants, earrings and watches in various styles and across all price ranges.  There is more than 500 lots and the selection includes silver, miniatures and art.  The catalogue is online.


    Saturday, January 12th, 2019
    Postcards offer a fascinating and enduring pictorial record in a way that social media is unlikely to achieve.  More than 100,000 postcards from the collection of late Dubliner Seamus Kearns will come up at Whyte’s in Dublin on January 26.  There are cards from the length and breadth of Ireland in a collection that includes topographical views, historic events, advertising, comic cards and greeting cards.  The worldwide collection features German Gruss Aus (Greetings from) cards, examples of Art Nouveau and Art Deco and glamour cards.

    A founder of the Irish Picture Postcard Society Seamus Kearns (1929-2014) began collecting stamps in the 1930’s and fell in love with old postcards in the 1950’s when he started amassing this collection.  He provided many exhibitions around the country including a show at the Guinness Hopstore in 1994. The main value is in Irish topographical and historical Irish cards.  There are views of villages and towns from the early 1900’s to the 1950’s.  Historic events like the 1916 Rising are covered.  Every county is represented with views which show a transition from muddy roads and horse drawn vehicles to tarmac, trams, buses and motor cars. Auction estimates range from 50 to 3,000.  The collection has been broken up into 500 lots with a total estimated value of 50,000-70,000.  The number of cards per lot varies from ten to over 3,000.  A collection of 110 cards of Belfast is estimated at 50,  a collection of Irish advertising cards is estimated at 3,000.  The catalogue is online and the sale can be viewed at Whyte’s from January 23.

    Lot 411 is an album of 480 mixed advertising and Art Deco cards UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,400

    Patrick’s Hill, Cork from an album of 130 cards of Cork and Queenstown (200-300).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 50

    A collection of 45 postcards of Lucan (80-120). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 300

    Lot 311 is an album of 120 Irish advertising cards (200-300)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 400