Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Monday, October 30th, 2023
    A five piece Camaleonda sofa by Mario Bellini UPDATE: THIS MADE 12,000 AT HAMMER

    Legendary designers like Eileen Gray, Niels Otto Moller, Arne Vodder, Mario Bellini, Finn Juhl and Angelo Lelli and a curated selection of artists from Dorothy Cross, Nathalie du Pasquier, Sinead ni Mhaonaigh to John Shinnors, John Boyd and Guggi feature at Adams autumn Mid-Century Modern timed online sale which runs until November 7. Design highlights in a selection that includes tables, chairs, lighting, mirrors, cabinets, glassware and desks include a five piece “Camaleonda” sofa by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia, one of the first truly modular sofa designs (€10,000-€15,000), and the Transat chair by Eileen Gray (€2,000-€3,000).  Art highlights include Road to Carraroe by John Shinnors (€15,000-€20,000), Untitled by the French born Milan based artist and designer Nathalie de Pasquier (€4,000-€6,000) and Brompton V by the English expressionist abstract artist Albert Irvin (1922-2015).  Viewing from this sale of 20th century design and contemporary art gets underway at Adams next Friday (November 3) and the catalogue is online.

    Untitled (B12) by Nathalie du Pasquier UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,500 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, October 29th, 2023
    A signed handwritten letter by Michael Collins. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    With everything from a signed January 1922 letter written by Michael Collins to a set of ten armorial side chairs from Fota House, a Killarney wood library table and an Egyptian New Kingdom amulet the Gentleman’s Library sale at Sheppards in Durrow on November 7 and 8 is brimful of interest. It offers an exceptional array of fine library furniture, lighting, early Irish cartography, Irish and European art, Pre-Colombian art, sculpture, Egyptian and Roman artefacts, vintage wine, rare whiskeys and books including a collection of 84 broadsides by Jack B Yeats and recently discovered manuscript letters from Michael Collins and Padraig Pearse.

    The Collins letter, written on Gresham Hotel embossed note paper, is dated 2/1/1922 and estimated at €4,000-€6,000. Dated  27/6/12 the letter signed by Padraig Pearse is estimated at €3,000-€5,000. A fine Killarney wood arbutus library table is estimated at €15,000-€25,000 and a set of 10 Fota House Armorial side chairs has an estimate of €8,000-€12,000.

    A set of ten Fota House armorial side chairs. UPDATE: THESE MADE 7,500 AT HAMMER

    Any library would be set off by a 19th century hide upholstered roll back settee or an Edwardian brass and hide upholstered club fender, each estimated at €1,400-€1,800. A George III Irish breakfront bookcase and an 18th century carved giltwood console table are each estimated at €4,000-€6,000.There is a selection of early Irish cartography in the form of four c1610 engraved and hand coloured maps of Munster, Leinster, Ulster and Connaught by John Speed.  Each one is estimated at €500-€800. An Extensive landscape with travellers and cattle by James Arthur O’Connor has an estimate of €25,000-€35,000 and an untitled oil on envelope laid on board by John Constable is estimated at €15,000-€20,000. Art by George Barret, Hugh Douglas Hamilton and Dan O’Neill is among the highlights. Lots on offer from around the world include an Egyptian New Kingdom faience amulet (€3,000-€5,000), a 16th century Peruvian ceramic character ewer (€500-€800), a  Roman bronze mask (€800-€1,200) and a c1680 Flemish tapestry (€2,000-€3,000).  Silver includes two bright cut Limerick serving spoons by Maurice Fitzgerald (€3,000-€5,000) and an 1893 Russian Imperial silver and rock crystal urn (€800-€1,200).  The wine selection includes a 2010 case of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and there is a bottle of Midleton Very Rare Whiskey from 2000.  The sale will be on view in Durrow from November 4 and the catalogue is online.

    A Killarney library table. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Saturday, October 28th, 2023
    François-Xavier Lalanne – Oiseau d’argent c1990 UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR €76,200

    Highlights of the Karpidas collection to be sold at Sotheby’s in Paris next Monday and Tuesday include stellar works by Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Marlene Dumas, Damien Hirst, George Baselitz, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and Nan Goldin. Manchester born Karpidas is an international collector who has surrounded herself with artists for decades. Her home on the Greek island of Hydra has long been a getaway for artists, collectors and curators. There will be an evening sale on October 30 and a day sale on October 31.


    Friday, October 27th, 2023
    The Lissadell Mirror. UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER

    Styled The Lissadell Mirror’ this early to mid 19th century gilt overmantel was purchased directly from the Gore-Booth family. Dating to 1840-60 it comes up as lot 523 at Sean Eacrett’s sale of fine art, antiques and collectibles in Ballybrittas, Co. Laois on November 2. It is estimated at €3,000-€5,000. The catalogue, with over 1,000 lots, is online.

    An old photo with the mirror in situ at Lissadell


    Tuesday, October 24th, 2023
    1913 (9 December) Pádraig Pearse’s membership card for The Irish Volunteers

    Padraig Pearse’s 1913 membership card for The Irish Volunteers is the top lot at Whyte’s History sale on November 11. The rarity of this treasure is reflected in an estimate of €150,000-250,000. It is inscribed in Pearse’s own hand in indelible pencil: Pádraic Mac Piarais Sgoil Éanna and numbered 100. The card was gifted by Pearse’s mother Margaret to Micheál Mac Ruaidhrí, thence to his daughter Brid who gifted it to the family of the present owner.

    Micheál Mac Ruaidhrí was a mentor and confidant to Padraig Pearse. Dubbed ‘the greatest seanchaí of our time’ by the scholar and patriot Eoin MacNeill, and known to Professor Douglas Hyde, Ireland’s first President, as ‘The Mayo Poet’ because of the musical quality of his Irish he was born in Mayo in 1860. Mac Ruaidhri suffered from poor eyesight and as a result spent just two days in school, preferring instead to occupy his days with the elders of his area. In the process he amassed and retained a vast knowledge of folklore, sagas, history, song and music, all of which he dearly loved, whilst also gaining a genuine love for and understanding of the soil.

    As a young man Micheál went to Dublin and worked as a gardener at Stradbrook Estate, Blackrock, before striking up a relationship with the revolutionary and educationalist Patrick Pearse. From the foundation in 1908 of Pearse’s Cullenswood School in Ranelagh, Dublin, Micheaál taught practical gardening and horticulture and in 1910, he, together with his bride, the former Alice Wallace, relocated with Pearse to the Hermitage in Rathfarnham, the site of the future and much celebrated Scoil Eanna -‘St. Endas.’ The Hermitage was to be the site of a new school for boys based on the ancient Irish custom of fosterage, while Cullenswood became a girls school which Pearse named Scoil Íde. St. Enda’s influence on the 1916 Rising is evident by the list of those participants who taught at or attended the school. In addition to Mac Ruaidhri and his assistant Patrick Donnelly and the patriot Pearse brothers, Patrick and Willie, other revolutionaries such as Thomas MacDonagh, Eamon Ceannt, Con Colbert and Fergus de Burca also taught there, as did the writers Padraic Colum and Standish O Grady. Desmond Ryan who fought in the GPO and and Joseph Sweeney who was a sniper on the roof of the GPO were among the sixteen St. Enda’s pupils who participated in the 1916 Rising.

    Mac Ruaidhri was in the G.P.O. Dublin, with Pearse on Easter Monday 1916, and stood beside Pearse as he read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. Due to his bad eyesight and the fact that he was 56 years of age at the time, he was ordered back to St. Enda’s by Pearse with instructions to destroy or hide secret documents. Following the suppression of the 1916 Rebellion, Mac Ruaidhrí was arrested and imprisoned in Frongoch Prison, Wales: at the time he was the oldest prisoner in the gaol and spent his days teaching Irish and history to the other rebel inmates. On his release he returned to St. Enda’s and resumed his career as gardener. After the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1922, a treaty he disagreed with, MacRuaidhri took no further part in politics and concentrated instead on his writing and folklore collecting. Those who sought out his wisdom and knowledge included Eamon De Valera, Dr.Douglas Hyde and Micheál Ó Tiomaindhe (Michael Timoney 1870-1940). Micheál MacRuaidhrí died in May, 1936 aged 76 at his home, St Enda’s Lodge, was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.


    Sunday, October 22nd, 2023
    The Ivy Bench by Sasha Sykes at de Veres. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,800 AT HAMMER

    The sale of classic 20th century design furniture and Irish art at de Veres in Dublin on October 24 offers some cutting edge Irish design alongside a selection of major international designers like Mies van der Rohe, Ingmar Relling, Marceel Breuer, Charles and Ray Eames, Rolf Benz and Ligne Roset.  The Ivy Bench by Irish sculptural furniture maker Sasha Sykes is an acrylic and resin piece from an artist who explores the material language of the natural world and is influenced by the Irish landscape.  The most expensively estimated lot, at 70,000-100,000, is a west of Ireland painting by Paul Henry of the Maam Valley.



    Thursday, October 19th, 2023

    A 1915 gold award medal from Trinity College, Dublin presented to pioneering biochemist William Robert Fearon (1892-1959) made a hammer price of £6,500 at Noonans sale of Historical Medals in London this week. The top lot of the auction, from an Irish collector, had been estimated at  £2,400-3,000. It attracted interest from all over the world and was purchased by a collector in the Far East. The medal achieved a record price for any medal from Trinity College Dublin.

    William Robert Fearon (1892-1959), pioneer biochemist was educated at St Andrew’s College, Dublin between 1908-11, followed by Trinity College between 1911-17, where he received a BA in natural science and was awarded the gold medal, a Harvey research prize from the Royal College of Physicians, Dublin in 1918, and the Carmichael prize from the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin. He went on to work as a researcher for the British food ministry and the food investigations board between 1917-19. He was a Mackinnon research student of the Royal Society at Emmanuel College, Cambridge from 1919-21 and was elected fellow of Trinity College Dublin in 1921. The chair of biochemistry at Trinity was founded for him in 1943 and he represented the Dublin University constituency in Seanad Éireann from 1943 until 1959, sitting on many government committees.


    Wednesday, October 18th, 2023
    Louis Delanois, Joseph-Nicolas Guichard, Jean-Baptiste Cagny, supplied to Madame Du Barry for Château De Louveciennes, Circa 1770-1771

    The landmark Rothschild auction series at Christie’s in New York totalled $62,656,516. There was strong demand for decorative arts of all categories and price levels, and underscoring the enduring power of the Rothschild provenance on both sides of the Atlantic. The four sales averaged 280 percent sold hammer above low estimate, and 98 percent sold by lot. Millennial buyers accounted for an average of 15 percent of bidders and buyers across the week, and bidders and buyers from 40 nations participated. Christie’s broke the record for European 18th century seat furniture and then broke that record in the very same sale. Records were also set for Hispano-Moresque and Bernard Palissy earthenware as well as for 17th century flatware.

    The series began with a sale of masterpieces. The leading lot was Gerrit Dou’s A young woman holding a hare with a boy at the window which made $7 million. A pair of late Louis XV gilt walnut fauteuils a la reine by the 18th-century French furniture maker Louis Delanoisset the record for 18th century European chairs making $4,406,00, and then shortly after that this record was broken again by a Delanois pair of late Louis XV giltwood and white-painted fauteuils, supplied to Madame Du Barry for her Château De Louveciennes, Circa 1770-1771, which made $6,221,000, the second-highest price ever for European chairs of any era.


    Wednesday, October 18th, 2023
    George II Irish silver strainer, Dublin, 1727. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    This early Irish silver tea strainer comes up at Sotheby’s online sale of the Edith and Stuary Cary Welch collection which opens today and runs until October 27. There is no makers mark on the 1727 piece and the two handles are engraved with a crest. The estimate is £1,500-2,500.


    Sunday, October 15th, 2023
    An inlaid ormolu mounted side table at Woodwards. UPDATE: THIS MADE 480 AT HAMMER

    Collectors have much to choose from in a variety of upcoming sales up and down the country.  Prime lots at Woodwards in Cork on October 21 include an inlaid ormolu mounted side table,  a set of Queen Anne chairs with hoof feet, a walnut serpentine fronted desk, a William IV teapoy and a Havana cigar humidor. A Bechstein baby grand piano in perfect condition is a feature lot at Aidan Foley’s two day live and online sale at Kilcolgan, Co. Galway on October 21 and 22 at  noon on each day. Meantime more than 500 lots will come under the hammer at R.J. Keighery’s sale in Waterford on October 16. Feature lots include a Victorian dining table with five leaves, a four piece Irish silver tea and coffee set, two 19th century ebonised burr walnut side cabinets with ormolu mounts and some Waterford Crystal chandeliers. In Bandon Hegarty’s will offer a selection of antique furniture, Asian ceramics, bronzes, silver and jewellery in a live online sale on the evening of October 17.  The catalogue is online.

    A Bechstein baby grand piano at Aidan Foley’s Galway sal