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    PRESENTATION CASKET WITH TITANIC ASSOCIATIONS AT AUCTION

    Thursday, January 10th, 2019

    A silver presentation given to Gustav Wilhelm Wolff (1834-1913), one of the founders of the Harland and Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, comes up at an auction in Surrey next February 27.  Presented in 1911, a year before Titanic set sail from the shipyard, it comes up at Catherine Southon’s sale at Farleigh Court Golf Club at Selsdon in England.  Wolff served as a Belfast Harbour Commissioner and founded Belfast Ropeworks in the early 1870’s. Like Edward Harland he served as a member of parliament for Belfast East from 1892 to 1910. In 1911 he was awarded the freedom of Belfast.

    A HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR READERS

    Monday, December 24th, 2018

    A postcard of William St., Galway

    Over 100,000 postcards will be offered by Whyte’s in Dublin on January 26. The collection was formed by Dubliner, Seamus Kearns (1929-2014). He began collecting stamps in the 1930s and fell in love with old postcards in the 1950s, since 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 main value is in Irish topographical and historical Irish cards – views of villages and towns from the early 1900s to the 1950s as well as historic events such as the 1916 rising. With the advent of texting and selfies the sales of postcards have gone into decline but this collection shows what we are missing today – not only the wonderful images but also the thoughtful messages.  Pictured is a card showing William St., Galway in by gone days.  A bit of Christmas nostalgia for our readers, to whom we wish a very happy Christmas.

    SOTHEBY’S AUCTION SALES TOTAL $5.3 BILLION IN 2018

    Friday, December 21st, 2018

    Auctions at Sotheby’s worldwide totalled $5.3 billion in 2018.  This is a 12% increase over 2017. Online buyers spent more than $200 million this year and 25% of all lots sold in 2018 were sold online.  The top lot of the year at any auction house was Modigliani’s Nu Couche which sold for $157.2 million in New York in May.  This was the highest auction price in Sotheby’s history.

    Queen Marie Antoinette’s pearl sold for $36.2 million in Geneva in November.

    Amedeo Modigliani Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) Signed Modigliani (lower left)

     

    NEW WORLD RECORD FOR TIFFANY AT CHRISTIE’S IN NEW YORK

    Friday, December 14th, 2018

    There was a new world auction record to Tiffany Studios at Christie’s Design auction in New York when a rare Pond Lily lamp made $3.3 million.  The lamp dates to c1903.  The sale totalled $8.4 million and was sold 84% by lot and 96% by value.

    A three part centrepiece by Francois Xavier Lalanne made $250,000 over a top estiamte of $150,000 and an urn by Frank Lloyd Wright made $567,500.

    A single owner French Art Nouveau glass sale Masterpieces in Glass: The Nakamoto Collection brought in $2.7 million. The top lot of this auciton was a Lys vase by Émile Gallé which sold for $444,500.  This is the second highest press ever achieved for Galle.

    VARIETY AT ADAMS AT HOME AUCTION

    Thursday, December 13th, 2018

    There is a wide variety of lots, from silver and porcelain to jewellery, antique furniture, art and collectibles at the James Adam At Home sale in Dublin on December 16.  The sale is at 11.30 a.m.  There is a timed online sale, At Home Part II which starts at 2 p.m.  Catalogues for both sales are online. Here is a small selection:

    A REGENCY INLAID ROSEWOOD RECTANGULAR DOUBLE DROP LEAF SOFA TABLE, (1,000-1,500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,000 AT HAMMER

    AN IRISH 19TH CENTURY DESSERT DISH, by Herbert Cooper, Molesworth Street, Dublin (100-200)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    DESMOND CARRICK RHA (1928-2012)
    Figures walking the promenade (400-600)  UPDATE; THIS MADE 480 AT HAMMER

    A NAPOLEON III CORAL PARURE (800-1,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 800 AT HAMMER

    THE KEY TO ULYSSES AT SOTHEBY’S BOOK SALE

    Saturday, December 8th, 2018

    The key to the Eccles St. home of Leopold Bloom.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £7,500

    A key created by James Joyce to help his friends keep track of Ulysses comes up at Sotheby’s book sale in London on December 10.  Seven copies were produced in total as the author ever wanted it to be shared too widely. In his words ‘If I give it all up immediately, I’d lose my immortality. I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant”.  However by 1930 it has been seen so widely that Joyce allowed its publication.  Another lot in the sale is the latchkey to Leopold Bloom’s fictional home at 7 Eccles Street, Dublin. In Ulysses, Bloom’s missing latchkey has been interpreted in Freudian terms as a symbol of his loss of potency, and in political terms as a synecdoche of Irish dispossession before Independence, but given Joyce’s careful mapping of Dublin in the novel it is also a key to a real front door – the home of one of Joyce’s friends. The key was rescued by a Joyce scholar when the house was demolished in the 1960s. The house’s front door was also reclaimed and is now exhibited at Dublin’s James Joyce Centre.

    A little more background on the story of the key in Ulysses – Bloom leaves his latchkey behind in the pocket of yesterday’s trousers when he departs from his home at the beginning of his day’s odyssey. He had reminded himself several times to pick up the key before going out, and his annoyance at his own forgetfulness recurs several times in the novel. Finally, when Bloom staggers home in the early hours of the morning with Stephen Dedalus , he puts his hand in his empty pocket to retrieve his key, so he has to hop the fence and come in by the back door.

    Sotheby’s specialist Gabriel Heaton said: “So our sale has two keys to Ulysses. One is a secret that was never kept but has guided generations of students through the novel; the other once unlocked a front door that now opens onto a brick wall. The very fact that these items still attract such interest shows that Joyce’s immortality is safe enough, and one cannot help but think that Joyce himself would have taken great pleasure in the appearance at auction of his fictional hero’s lost key.”

    The current example is one of three copies of the definitive English schema to precede the novel’s publication, the other two being for the translator Valery Larbaud and the publisher Sylvia Beach.   The online sale runs December 10.

    UPDATE:  The schema sold for £47,500, the key for £7,500.

    EINSTEIN’S GOD LETTER ACHIEVES WORLD AUCTION RECORD

    Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

    The Einstein letter

    There was a world auction record for an Einstein letter when The God Letter sold for $2.89 million at Christie’s in New York.  In the handwritten letter the physicist expresses doubts about the existence of God.  There was a four minute bidding battle between two telephone clients at the sale.

    Other results in the Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts included $81,250 for a collection of original printing blocks for the first editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection realised $162,500 and the rare true first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone which achieved a world auction record for Harry Potter and more than doubled the high estimate to sell for $162,500.

    JAMES JOYCE’S PINCE NEZ MAKE 17,000 AT FONSIE MEALY SALE

    Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

    An original pair of pince-nez glasses owned by James Joyce sold for a hammer price of 17,000 at Fonsie Mealy’s rare book and memorabilia sale in Dublin today.  The pair, complete with, gilt fittings and chain and in a velvet lined morocco case from a Dublin optician, was from the collection of Joyce’s friend Thomas Pugh.  By tradition these are Joyce’s own glasses used when writing Ulysses. In good condition they are familiar from many photographs, including his passport.

    A letter written to Thomas Pugh by James Joyce in 1934, from the Grand Hotel Britannique, Spa, Belgique made 14,000 at hammer.  In it Joyce requested Pugh to visit him when next in Paris and also asks if Pugh knows of any illustrated weekly published in Dublin around 1904 for the use of Henri Matisse, who was working on designs for a new de luxe edition of Ulysses. (Pugh supplied the illustrations but the illustrations by Matisse are drawn entirely from Greek myth).

    A first edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, published by Jonathan Cape in 1953, sold for 9,500 at hammer.

    ISAAC NEWTON TREATISE FROM 1711 AT FONSIE MEALY BOOK SALE

    Saturday, December 1st, 2018
    A rare Isaac Newton volume from 1711, sporting medals, original photographs and drawings will all be included in Fonsie Mealy’s rare books and manuscripts auction in Dublin next Tuesday.  There are first editions ranging from Charlotte Bronte to Ian Fleming, James Joyce’s pince nez and a 19th century transcript of The Annals of Clonmacnoise in this auction of 964 lots.
    The most important lot is Newton’s Analysis per Quantitatum series estimated at 8,000-12,000.  There is an original manuscript account of the Fall of Constantinople by Leonard of Chios c1453 and the earliest manuscript association of W B Yeats and Maud Gonne.  There are statistical surveys, books on botany, antiquities, art, poetry, travel, genealogy, literature in a selection with an across the board appeal.  There is an All Ireland Football Championship medal from 1905 and Galway’s first All Ireland Hurling Championship medal from 1923.  The venue for the auction is The Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for November 29, 2018)

    Newton volume  UPDATE: THIS MADE 26,000 AT HAMMER

    All Ireland Football Championship 1905 medal  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,000 AT HAMMER

    JEWELLERY AND WATCHES AT JAMES ADAM

    Friday, November 30th, 2018

    A diamond necklace by Graff, a two carat diamond ring and a sapphire and diamond bracelet by Mouawad are among the top lots at the James Adam evening sale of fine jewellery and watches on December 4.  The catalogue is online and the sale is now on view. Here is a small selection:U

    DIAMOND NECKLACE, BY GRAFF (30,000-40,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 22,000 AT HAMMER

    SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND BRACELET, BY MOUAWAD (10,000-15,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 8,500 AT HAMMER

    A PAIR OF DIAMOND EARRINGS (800-1,200) UPDATE: THESE MADE 1,100 AT HAMMER 

    A CORAL AND GEM-SET COCKTAIL RING BY DIOR ((9,000-11,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD