Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Friday, April 9th, 2021

    One the most important collections of illuminated manuscripts and early printed books comes up at Christie’s in New York on April 23 during Classic Week. The collection of Elaine and Alexandre P. Rosenberg includes 17 outstanding Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and over 200 Renaissance printed books. The highlight is a masterpiece of book painting, a Parisian Book of Hours, circa 1440, with 16 miniature paintings, the work of Master of the Paris Bartholomeus Anglicus. The collection is expected to achieve more than $8,000,000 and all proceeds will benefit designated museums for the support of their rare book departments. The illuminated manuscripts offered for sale represent the culmination of 15th– and 16th-century European manuscript painting.

    use of Paris, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum, Anjou or Le Mans, c.1440s $1,500,000-2,500,000


    Sunday, April 4th, 2021

    With everything from a  wonderful landscape by John Butts to suits of armour to watches designed for the space age there is plenty to interest collectors at  auctions open for online browsing in Ireland over this Easter Weekend.  The library collection, a timed online sale at James Adam in Dublin running to April 14, offers art, antique furniture and bookcases, old maps, miniatures, Qing Dynasty bronzes, a carved and stained birdcage modelled as a two storey house and a pair of Georgian upholstered armchairs once at Ashford Castle in a wide ranging sale of 227 lots.

    John Butts (c1728-1764) – A Mountainous Wooded Landscape. UPDATE: THIS MADE 15,000 AT HAMMER

    Christofle serving dishes, a Georgian style dining suite by Harrods, a bespoke silver canteen by Carrs of Sheffield, a pair of Eames chairs, sculpture and maritime art by S Francis Smitheman (1927-2016) will come under the hammer  on April 7.  Sean Eacrett, the Ballybrittas, Co. Laois based auctioneer will offer contents from 35 Abington, Malahide in an online sale of 383 lots.

    Meantime three centuries of watches and clocks from the Age of Reason to the Age of Steam to the Space Age are on offer at a timed online evening sale by Mullens of Laurel Park, Bray on April 11. A pocket watch made in Dublin in the 1730’s by Thomas Coote, the earliest watch in the sale, is estimated at €700-€1,000. There are 12 examples of American railroad grade precision watches which came into being following an investigation into a head on collision 40 miles west of Cleveland in 1891. Nine men died when the fast mail hit the Toledo express on a single track near a siding. The investigation centred on the engineers watches, one of which was found to be four minutes slow. Space age travel with massive G forces and zero gravity presented new challenges and Max Hetzel devised the Bulova Watch Company “Accutron” win 1960, marketed as the Space Age watch.  There are five of them in the sale with estimates of €80-€300.

    A c1780 George III pocket watch by William Ross, Cork at Mullens

    Lot 89 at Adams, A Mountainous Wooded Landscape by John Butts (c1728-1764) is estimated at €15,000-€20,000. Influenced by Claude Lorraine and Nicolas Poussin the Cork artist is regarded as one of the finest early Irish landscape painters.  Among other more expensive lots is a c1780 Irish satinwood pier table (€10,000-€15,000), a giltwood and marble topped side table (€5,000-€8,000), a river landscape by the Dutch artist Albert Meyering (1645-1714) (€10,000-€15,000) and an Irish Regency serving table (€5,000-€7,000). A Victorian snooker score board by J. Thurston and Co. London has an estimate of €500-€800. 

    The maritime art of Francis Smitheman at Sean Eacrett’s sale is headed by three oils with estimates of €6,000-€8,000 and there are also some limited edition prints.  The mahogany Harrods dining suite is estimated at €8,000-€12,000 and the silver canteen is estimated at €8,000-€10,000.  There is a selection of Art Deco pieces, African sculptures from Cape Town, attractive garden furniture and some large terracotta urns.


    Friday, April 2nd, 2021

    There will be a three day online house clearance auction with 2,100 lots by Matthews of Kells on April 10, 11 and 12. On offer are contents from Ardlaois, Blackrock, Co. Louth, home of the late Professor Kieran Taaffe who was head of International Affairs at Dublin Institute of Technology. There is Irish and international art, old silver, antique furniture, rugs, gilded mirrors, books, oriental items and collectibles. The catalogue is online.

    Lot 100 is an Irish mahogany turf bucket (1,000-1,500). UPDATE: THIS MADE 980 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, April 1st, 2021

    Fine and decorative art from the collection of entrepreneur, collector and philanthropist Sydell Miller will come up at Christie’s two marquee weeks in New York. A selection of 20 works of art will highlight the 20th and 21st Century Week from May 11-14, and a dedicated auction on June 10 entitled will feature masterworks of 18th Century French furniture and Design. Her Palm Beach ocean front house called La Rêverie was a true achievement in collecting – a vision of art and design that was the result of Mrs. Miller’s avant-garde eye and connoisseurship, complemented by the renowned talent of interior designer Peter Marino. The collection in total is estimated to exceed $30 million. Sydell Miller and her late husband Arnold Miller co-founded Matrix Essential, which became the largest manufacturer of professional hair and beauty products in America. Mrs. Miller devotes much of her time and energy to philantrophy, chiefly the Cleveland Clinic. The Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute houses the heart hospital on the main campus in Ohio.

    FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE (1927-2008) Rare ‘Elephant’ Centre Table, 2001 ($1-1.5 million)


    Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

    This c1730 George II Galway octagonal waiter or small salver sold for a hammer price of £16,000 at Gorringes of Lewes, East Sussex on March 30. It was made by Mark Fallon, whose work is exceptionally rare, and it will be a worthy addition to any collection. There are marks consistent with wear but the hallmarks are clear. It had been estimated at £6,000-£9,000. The hammer price will incur fees of 23% plus VAT. If it is to be brought back to Ireland there will, in addition, be importation fees of 13.5%.


    Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

    A tiara passed down for 150 years through the Royal Family of Italy will highlight Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva on May 11. The natural pearls and diamonds tiara from the House of Savoy is estimated at $1-$1.5 million. A new instagram filter available from today on the @Sothebys handle and @SothebysJewels enables followers to virtually try on the tiara and take a photograph of themselves wearing it against a 360 degree background of an Italian palace in Turin. Sotheby’s report an increasing interest in and demand for tiaras. No less than 96% of tiaras offered by them last year found a buyer, with 83% breaking the top estimate.


    Monday, March 29th, 2021

    A spectacular parure of sapphires and diamonds from the collection Stephanie de Beauharnais, Grand Duchess of Baden (1789-1860) come up at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva on May 12. The nine pieces, including a tiara, one collier, one pair of earrings, two pendants and brooches as well as one ring and one bracelet will be offered as individual lots. A total of 38 sapphires originating from Ceylon were used to create this parure in the early 1800s. Stephanie was the adoptive daughter of Emperor Napoléon I (1769-1821), the 200th anniversary of whose death occurs in May.

    Napoleon I married Josephine de Beauharnais in 1796. She was Stephanie’s aunt. Stephanie was born in 1789, unfortunately and after the death of her mother two years later she spent her early years with the nuns in the French country side. Soon after her aunt’s marriage to Napoléon I she joined them and grew up in Versailles and Paris. A month before her own wedding, she was adopted by Napoléon and became Her Imperial Highness Princess Stephanie Napoléon and was therewith able to marry into the Baden family.

    The collection also includes the important sapphire crown of Maria II Queen of Portugal, set with a remarkable Burmese sapphire in the centre.

    Early 19th century sapphire and diamond necklace, property of a royal familyCourtesy CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2021


    Saturday, March 27th, 2021

    This George III ormolu mounted white marble and biscuit porcelain clock by royal clockmaker Benjamin Vulliamy was made around 1791. One of the richest and most sophisticated examples of Vulliamy’s known work is described by Christie’s as a tour de force of English Neo-Classical design. From the collection of Mrs. Henry Ford II, who died aged 80 last year, it comes up at Christie’s in New York on March 30.  The porcelain figures are by John Deare, the pedestal by Thomas Brownley and it is estimated at $250,000-$400,000.  The collection of Kathleen Ford is to be offered at two sales in New York and London. Contents from the Palm Beach home come up in New York while contents from her mansion flat at Eaton Square, London and residence at Turville Grange in Oxfordshire come to auction on April 15. She married Henry Ford II (1917-1987) in 1980 and was his third wife while he was her second husband. 

    UPDATE: The New York sale totalled $4.7 million. The top lot was a pair of c1770 lacquer cabinets attributed to Joseph Baumhauer which made $846,000 over a top estimate of $600,000. The clock was unsold.


    Friday, March 26th, 2021

    Antique jewellery, furniture and silver are among a total of 370 lots at an online auction at Hegarty’s in Bandon, Co. Cork on March 28. Among them is this c1790 Georgian demi lune side table of large proportions. Lot 2 is estimated at 500-1,000. The catalogue is online. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,450


    Thursday, March 25th, 2021

    This portrait of Matthew Parker (1504-1575), the Archbishop of Canterbury, by a follower of Hans Holbein the Younger soared to £189,000, more than 75 times its estimate of £2,000-3,000 at Sotheby’s sale of the family collection of
    Patricia Mountbatten. Over 1,400 participants from 55 countries drove the total to £5,620,798 over three times the pre-sale estimate with 98% of lots sold. The eldest daughter of Britain’s last Viceroy of India Louis Mountbatten, Patricia Knatchbull was the great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, great niece of Russia’s last Tsarina and first cousin to Prince Philip. A Jaguar 420 commissioned by Lord Mountbatten in 1967 made £126,000 over an too estimate of £20,000; a group of four pieces of mourning jewellery belonging to Queen Victoria made a combined total of £100,800, more than doubling their estimates; a c1905 Lacloche Frères pig-shaped evening bag sold for £109,620 over a top estimate of £3,000; a rare pale celadon jade teapot, Qing Dynasty sold for £176,400, eighteen times its estimate; The Banks Diamond, a late 18th century brooch with a cushion-shaped yellow diamond given to explorer and botanist Joseph Banks by his eccentric sister Sarah around the time of his marriage in 1779 sold for £138,600 and a Fabergé gold-mounted cigarette case and Imperial enamel timepiece bought by the last Tsar and Tsarina as gifts for the parents of Louis Mountbatten, both soared above their estimates, selling for £47,880 and £81,900 respectively.

    THIS c1905 Lacloche Frères pig-shaped evening bag sold for £109,620