Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Sunday, April 24th, 2022
     French 18 carat yellow gold Owl Brooch. UPDATE: THIS MADE €1,500 AT HAMMER

    This vintage French owl motif brooch with lapis lazuli, ruby and diamond is lot 13 at Matthews online sale in Kells, Co. Meath on April 26. It is estimated at 1,200-1,500. Diamond solitaire rings, a diamond cluster ring and a diamond line bracelet are among the highlights in a sale that will include executor and part estate clearances and pawnbrokers unredeemed pledges. The catalogue with 619 lots is online and viewing is underway.


    Saturday, April 23rd, 2022
    Meissen monkey orchestra. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Like the most enticing library the sale at James Adam in Dublin on April 26 is enough to set the imagination soaring. Brimful of the most weird, wonderful and  – if you love old and interesting things – fabulous lots the Library Collection lots has it all plus deeply comfortable chairs. The wonder of it is that there is not that much in the way of books. Instead you can happily browse among bookcases, desks, tables, artworks, rugs, stuffed birds, a Black Forest carved hall stand, a carved cathedral clock, tapestries, a Meissen monkey orchestra, an Anglo Indian marble topped side table, globes, mirrors, tiles, busts and an illuminated manuscript carefully tucked away in a selection of 360 eye popping lots.

    The auction kicks off with a pair of 19th century Spanish pine and iron studded finca doors.  Where to place these sun bleached objects in a typical Irish setting?  Time to set your creativity to overdrive.  You won’t need megabucks, the estimate is just €600-€800. There are wonderful collectibles like a c1680-1720 Louis XIV Beauvais tapestry from France (€15,000-€20,000), the aforementioned 21 piece Meissen monkey orchestra  plus conductors stand (€8,000-€12,000), a 19th century Killarney work table (€3,000-€4,000), a giltwood and porcelain mounted Viennese Napoleonic table (€3,000-€5,000)  and a Regency boulle marquetry commode (€10,000-€15,000).    An Irish George IV mahogany bookcase on turned cornice with spiral columns, glazed doors and panelled doors, described as possibly Cork, has an estimate of €6,000-€8,000.

    A mid 19th century illustration of Lisburn UPDATE: THIS MADE €8,000 AT HAMMER

    An illuminated manuscript book in a tooled leather binding presented to James Stannus, Dean or Rogg and Rector of Lisburn in 1867 contains a series of finely detailed drawings including Market Place with Market House and Christchurch Cathedral, the Old Huguenot Church now used as a courthouse and Bleaching Field near the linen mills at Lisburn. The estimate is €4,000-€5,000.Many lots like a coco de mer nut from the Seychelles (€400-€600) are more affordable and might make useful conversation pieces.  Natural history specimens and taxidermy range in price from 300 up, a c1830 French ormolu cathedral clock is estimated at €300-€500 as is a 19th century beech and elmwood reading chair, a collection of 15 books related to Ireland comes with an estimate of €100-€200 and there are tiles, bottles and flasks and some attractive antique furniture at very reasonable estimates. The sale is on view at St. Stephen’s Green from 1 pm to 5 pm today and tomorrow and  from 10 am to 5 pm on Monday. This online catalogue deserves to be closely perused and savoured in a quiet and peaceful corner.  A library would be ideal.


    Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

    THIS Victorian oak cased taxidermy display is lot 10 at the Library Collection sale at James Adam in Dublin on April 26. Viewing for this exciting sale with all kinds of everything thrown in gets underway in Dublin today. The display here depicts grey partridges in a rocky scrub setting. It is contained in a fine case on stand with spiral turned legs and stretcher and is estimated at 1,000-1,500. The catalogue is online.


    Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

    This Merriman Tavern advertising poster for Ralph McTell and Clannad comes up as lot 57 at the online sale by Sean Eacrett of the entire contents of the Scarriff, Co. Clare tavern on April 23. It is estimated at 50-60. A total of 805 lots from the famed venue for performers from Christy Moore and Planxty to Clannad and The Chieftains will come under the hammer. The catalogue is online. UPDATE: This poster made 30 at hammer.


    Sunday, April 17th, 2022

    This 19th century bentwood prie dieu (€800-€1,400) by Thonet comes up as lot 789 at Victor Mee’s two day sale of decorative interiors on April 19 and 20 at 5 pm on each day.  Michael Thonet, the inventor of bentwood furniture, set up his business in 1819 and is still in existence today.  The online auction features a selection of garden pieces including a composition stone gazebo with a metal roof (lot 983 estimated at €3,000-€5,000) along with decor, furnishings and artwork.

    Composition stone gazebo. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Saturday, April 16th, 2022

    The online auction at Hegarty’s in Bandon  on April 19 offers a selection of antique furniture, art, jewellery and collectibles.  From an Art Deco bracelet and a diamond ring to a view of Lake Maggiore by Eugenio  Gignous and  a Chippendale style glazed display cabinet the auction will give collectors plenty to think about.  The catalogue is online.

    A c1860 Irish oak serving table


    Monday, April 11th, 2022
    The Long Affair by Conor Cruise O’Brien signed; The Great Melody by Conor Cruise O’Brien; The same Age As the State by Máire Cruise O’Brien; Memoir by Conor Cruise O’Brien; First In Peace By Conor Cruise O’Brien UPDATE: THIS LOT MADE €40 AT HAMMER

    These five books come up at lot 102 at the sale by Purcell Auctioneers of Birr of the libraries of Conor Cruise O’Brien, his wife Maire Mhac an tSaoi and her father Sean MacEntee on April 27. The estimate for the lot is 40-80. There will be 608 lots in total and the catalogue is online. The sale kicks off with a set of four volumes of The Annals of Ulster, followed by The LIfe and Work of Sigmund Freud.


    Monday, April 11th, 2022

    Property from the life and eight decade spanning career of legendary actress Betty White comes up live and online at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills on September 23, 24 and 25. On offer is a collection of over 1,500 lots featuring awards, scripts, wardrobe and memorabilia from iconic television shows and films, as well as furnishings, artwork, fine jewellery, household and personal items from her homes in Brentwood and Carmel, California. Irish fans of the actress who died just short of her 100th birthday last December 31 will have a chance to see the collection at the Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge, Co. Kildare from August 1 to September 11.

    Highlights include White’s original director chair from The Golden Girls set; the first draft script, a production script used for the finale of the series signed by Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, a large number of production scripts from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a goodbye plaque from the cast and crew of The Betty White Show and numerous awards and nomination certificates including Emmy award nomination certificates for The Golden Girls, Saturday Night Live and Hot in Cleveland.


    Saturday, April 9th, 2022
    Waste Not Want Not (€80-€100). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Memories of a pre-digital age, a time when devices like the phone had just one function, will be stirred by a two day sale of vintage advertising and printed ephemera at Sheppards in Durrow onApril 12 and 13. The collection of over 600 lots from a world when less was thrown away before plastic became ubiquitous, on view from today in Durrow, is instructive too.  Lot 186, for instance, dates to a time before the baby of recycling was thrown out with the bathwater of progress. Waste not want not is the stern instruction on a vintage drinks advertising showcard from the Irish soft drinks and bottling industry – an appeal for the return of empty bottles.

    Nothing promotes the husbanding of resources better than scarcity and price, as we are all rapidly coming to know again now. In those not so distant days all resources were seen as precious.  The practice of recycling as we understand it was widespread then even if recycling in that world most likely meant re-tracing a route taken on a bicycle to recover what had been inadvertently dropped. A bright enamel sign advertises an agent for McKechnie’s Cork, Dyers, Cleaners and Hat Renovators (who knew you could get your hat renovated?). Lot 378 comes with an estimate of €400-€600.In a world where wonder was fuelled by nature a poster for J. Marsh of Oxford advertised: “A Great Novelty!! (Which May Be Seen Alive!!)”. A wonderfully large pig – the largest pig ever seen – which has won numerous prizes was temporarily billeted at the Star Yard.  Admission to view this creature was 2d, or 1 d for children and schools.  The poster on card is estimated at €100-€150.

    A set of five graduated pewter measures by Austin of Cork (€200-€300). UPDATE: THESE MADE 170 AT HAMMER

    On a slightly similar theme lot 294 is three vintage plexiglass signs for Bacon Rolls, Teas and Coffee.  This was the world before the heart stopping jumbo breakfast roll had been invented. More than a century later it will come as news to many of us, courtesy of lot 124 a circa 1900 poster for Morrogh’s Tweeds, Douglas Mills, Cork, that this was the first tweed mill to make Irish Volunteers uniforms. In the days before so many businesses were swallowed up by mergers and takeovers breweries and distilleries were numerous throughout Ireland. There are advertising mirrors for many forgotten Irish enterprises.  One of the more expensively estimated lots is an advertising mirror for the Phoenix Brewery special porter and O’Connells Dublin Ale.   Enclosed in a mahogany bar back it is estimated at €2,500-€3,500.  Lot 84 is a set of five antique pewter measures by Austin and Co. Cork (€200-€300). Sheppards sale with all its memories of the way we were is divided into three sessions and the catalogue is online.


    Tuesday, April 5th, 2022
    Irish Silver Soup Tureen and Cover, Richard Sawyer, Dublin, 1807. UPDATE: THIS MADE $8,820

    This silver soup tureen and cover, made more than two centuries ago by Richard Sawyer, comes up at Sotheby’s sale of European furniture, silver and ceramics in New York from April 7-12. It is estimated at $8,000-12,000. Weighing 169 ozs  the tureen is engraved with a key pattern collar between bold dolphin handles. The lower body is chased with vertical stiff leaves and engraved with talbot’s head crest. Other Irish silver lots in the sale include a two handled cup by Ambrose Boxwell, Dublin 1779 ($1,500-2,500) and a pair of large sauce boats by William Hughes c1775 ($1,500-2,500). UPDATE: The two handled cup made $1,008, the sauceboats made $2,772.