Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Wednesday, July 26th, 2023
    Salvador Dali, Spanish (1904-1989) – Cristo de San Juan de la Cruz. UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,500 AT HAMMER

    Among numerous unusual and highly collectible lots at Fonsie Mealy’s three days sale in Castlecomer on August 1, 2 and 3 is this limited edition solid silver piece by Salvador Dali (lot 882). Christ of St. John of the Cross is in its original presentation case and is about nine inches high. The signed piece dates to around 1974 and is number 103 from an edition of 250. The estimate is €3,000-5,000. The catalogue for this sale of 1,292 lots is online and it will be on view in Castlecomer on July 30 and 31.

    Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí at the Kelvingrove Gallery in Glasgow is one of the best-loved works in Glasgow Museums’ entire collection, for both tourists and Glaswegians alike.


    Sunday, July 23rd, 2023
    La Vita Nuova by Dante illustrated by Phoebe Anna Traquair.

    A rare copy of La Vita Nuova by Dante illustrated by the Dublin born artist Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852-1936) is available at London booksellers Peter Harrington with a price tag of £1,500 (€1,748).  The first edition is one of 150 copies of a finely printed photographic reproduction of Traquair’s illuminated manuscript.  A key figure in the Arts and Crafts movement Traquairs best known work is Mansfield Place Church, which has been described as Edinburgh’s Sistine Chapel.

    Vintage views and a Fabergé frog at Hegarty’s sale in Bandon

    Saturday, July 22nd, 2023
    Vintage views of the Lakes of Killarney from well over a century ago. UPDATE: THIS MADE €50 AT HAMMER

    There is much more to an album of old photographs than an album of old photographs.  It is too easy nowadays to overlook the technical difficulties and arduous processes faced by picture pioneers. Our late 19th century photographers captured a long vanished utterly different Ireland – unspoilt by pollution, unworried about global warming and artificial intelligence – with great skill and determination.Photographers had to carry a great deal of heavy equipment with them into the field. The film they used retained its light sensitivity only when wet. A heavy glass plate needed to be coated, exposed and developed immediately in a single sequence.  The idea of having a phone (what is that?) in your pocket to take photographs and videos at the drop of a hat was beyond what could then have been imagined. Those far off days are recalled in an interesting album of vintage photographs from c1865-1914 at Hegarty’s summer live online evening auction in Bandon on July 25.  Estimated at just €80-€100 it contains vintage images of Irish and British buildings, castles, beauty spots and sights of interest. They were mostly taken by Robert French, chief photographer at William Lawrence Photographic Studios of Dublin, creators of the famous Lawrence Collection now held at the National Library of Ireland.  In the late 1870’s William Lawrence sought out Robert French to photograph topographical work.  French provided up to date views to Lawrence for 35 years which were sold in agencies throughout Ireland. In the period from 1880-1910 the firm dominated photography in Ireland.

    A carved agate Fabergé frog UPDATE: THIS MADE 6,700 AT HAMMER OVER A TOP ESTIMATE OF 2,000

    More than 300 lots of  silver, furniture, art and jewellery will come under the hammer at Hegarty’s. Among the most expensively estimated are a gold lady’s Rolex wristwatch and a gem set carved agate frog attributed to Fabergé. Complete with gold mounted purple gem set eyes it is in a fitted Fabergé case with matching inventory number, Imperial stamp and marked Fabergé, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa.  These tiny figures – this one just five cm wide and 2 cm high – were born of Fabergé’s love for Japanese netsuke.  He maintained a large collection of them.

    Neatly sized antique furniture is usually a draw and this sale offers a 19th century Chippendale style kneehole desk/chest with serpentine top, canted corners, a brush slide and ample storage in tip top condition.  There should be some interest too in an Irish mahogany sideboard which dates to the late 19th century.The silver section includes an 18th century Irish silver salver with the date mark for 1774 and a JL makers mark and an early 20th century Birmingham silver trinket box. 


    Sunday, July 16th, 2023

    A limited edition of Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev illustrated by Bono comes up at de Veres current online auction of Irish and international art and 20th century design now open for bidding. Lot 110, number 33 from an edition of 200, comprises a set of six lithograph sheets (one signed) and a CD performed by Gavin Friday. The estimate is €500-€700. The sale offers a selection of design furniture by makers like Willy Rizzo, Charles and Ray Eames, Fendi and Roche Bobois including armchairs, dining tables, chairs, cabinets, desks and lamps.  There is a selection of affordable art  from a variety of artists including Hughie O’Donoghue, Michael Coleman, Gwen O’Dowd, Ciaran Lennon, Patrick Collins, Tony O’Malley, William Crozier, Corban Walker, Tim Goulding and Charles Tyrrell among 168 lots in total.  Bidding starts to close from 2 pm on July 18. UPDATE: THIS MADE 500 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, July 15th, 2023
    A bronze Art Deco water feature at Victor Mee. UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,000 AT HAMMER

    A bird bath held by a crouching Art Deco lady or a Victrola redolent of another bygone era?  The choice is yours as endless summer materialises in different ways at upcoming sales by Aidan Foley at Kilcolgan, Co. Galway on July 16 and 17 and by Victor Mee in Belturbet, Co. Cavan on July 18 and 19. One off items of a type you would not happen across every day feature alongside plenty of lots that will draw bargain hunters. A Georgian bow fronted sideboard with an estimate of just €300-€500 comes up at Kilcolgan and an attractive composition wall sundial decorated with a lion mask at Victor Mee  is estimated at just €60-€120. 

    A Victrola gramophone at Aidan Foley’s sale. UPDATE: THIS MADE 70 AT HAMMER

    With everything from a pair of brass Gothic style candlesticks, two heavy metal swan jardinieres, a vintage Tiffany style ceiling light and a pair of carved African figures at estimates ranging from €30 to €450 the sale at Kilcolgan caters to a wide variety of interests. Aidan Foley promises a good selection of art headed by a small pencil sketch by Jack B. Yeats of Galway Races with an estimate of around €2,000. There is art by painters from Graham Knuttel to Markey Robinson, Marie Carroll, Sean O’Sullivan and Ivan Sutton.

    A 19th century cast iron fountain at Victor Mee. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,800 AT HAMMER

    Victor Mee’s summer garden sale of 648 lots boasts a selection of unique and statement garden pieces.  The most expensively estimated lots are bronzes of horses, foals, stags, seated lions along with an early 20th century French moulded stone gazebo with a wrought iron top and corinthian columns.  These are all in the €6,000 and €8,000 up range but the choice is wide.There is, for example, a Lutyens three seater teak  garden bench with an estimate of €500-€800, a bronze model of a baby snail (€300-€500), copper wall lanterns (€250-€450), an Art Deco limestone planter (€300-€600) and a cast aluminium bird bath (€80-€160). There are tables, chairs, planters, benches, wrought iron gates, acorn topped finials, urns, iron railings, moulded sandstone avenue lamps with copper lights and a cut Italian wall fountain with a lion mask among a big selection on offer.  Both sales are now on view and the catalogues are online.


    Friday, July 14th, 2023
    George II giltwood mirror. UPDATE: THIS MADE 10,000 AT HAMMER

    This fine George II giltwood mirror is among the top lots at Fonsie Mealy’s three day sale of fine art, antiques and collectibles in Castlecomer on August 1, 2 and 3. The estimate is €8,000-€12,000. It was originally at Easton Neston in Northamptonshire and last changed hands at auction at Sotheby’s in London in 2005. It comes up as lot 820 out of a total of 1,292 lots of furniture, paintings, silver, militaria, jewellery, Oriental ceramics and a wide variety of collectibles. The catalogue is online and there will be viewing in Castlecomer on July 30 and 31.


    Thursday, July 13th, 2023
    Pair of Arras style arm chairs  UPDATE: THESE MADE 1,000 AT HAMMER

    This pair of Arras style garden armchairs come up as lot number 10 at Victor Mee’s two day summer garden sale on July 18 and 19. The stylish hand forged wrought iron chairs are estimated at €1,000-2,000. Arras furniture – based on the designs made in the town of Arras in France in the 17th and 18th centuries – is sought after. There is another similar pair in the sale which offers 686 lots. The catalogue is online.


    Wednesday, July 12th, 2023
    Teak 1960’s sideboard by Andrew Thompson. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,200 AT HAMMER

    Those in search of a mid 20th century look might be interested in this teak Everest sideboard by Andrew Thompson. It comes up as lot 143 at de Veres timed online art and design auction which runs until July 18. The sideboard has three central drawers flanked by cupboard doors and estimated at 500-700. The auction offers design furniture and affordable art.

    The Morning at Sea by James English (€300-500). UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,500 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

    A rare two-day marine chronometer from Ernest Shackleton’s British Antarctic Expedition, from July 1907 to September 1909 comes up at Bonhams in London on July 13. The chronometer, now mounted in a mahogany mantel case, was first purchased by the Admiralty in 1899 and was one of several chronometers used on the ship, the Nimrod, as part of Ernest Shackleton’s 1907 Antarctic expedition to reach the South Pole. The team, led by Shackleton, came to within 97 miles of the magnetic pole, before being forced to turn back due to bad weather. A description of the expedition, written by Shackleton, notes that Jameson Boyd Adams, a Royal Naval Reserve Commander and the first to volunteer for the expedition, “every morning, directly after breakfast, wound up the chronometers and chronometer watches.”

    James Stratton, Bonhams Director of Clocks commented, “This very special chronometer has had a rich and impressive service. Not only was it part of Shackleton’s extraordinary Antarctic expedition, it also travelled the world with the Royal Navy and was on HMS M19 in the First World War.” The estimate is £3,000 – 5,000.


    Saturday, June 24th, 2023

    A late painting by Klimt set to become the most valuable artwork ever sold in Europe, wonderful antique furniture, portraits and exceptional collectibles will make rich pickings for the rich and plenty of eye candy for the rest of us in London in the coming weeks. This is the time of year when the art world descends on the British capital for a variety of major sales, fairs and significant one off events like the re-opening after five years of the world renowned National Portrait Gallery.   Despite some  indications that the global art market might be in slightly hesitant mode right now the London summer season of 2023 is unlikely to disappoint. Lady with a Fan by Klimt at Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary evening sale on June 27 has an estimate of around €80 million.  The last portrait he painted was still on an easel in the studio at the time of his untimely death in the flu pandemic of 1918. Featuring  an unnamed woman it is described by Sotheby’s as an ever deeper, ever more joyful immersion in pattern, colour and form, filled with the creative exuberance. The auction will offer a strong grouping of portraits with work by artists like Alberto Giacomett and Edvard Munch.

    These c1765 carved mirrors in the Chippendale style are being shown by Ronald Phillips at the Treasure House Fair

    In celebration of the re-opening of London’s National Portrait Gallery last Thursday the dynamism of portraiture across the centuries, redefined by each generation, will again be highlighted at Christie’s sale on June 28.  One of the more contemporary offerings here is Diplomacy I by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.  Part of the Tate Retrospective which closed last February it depicts a group of suited delegates recalling Marion Kaplan’s photographs of African heads of state at a summit in Uganda in 1967. The artist has created bold new characters for black representation in art. In this imagined portrait Yiadom-Boakye has inserted a single woman, clad in pink.  The sale offers portraits by Frank Auerbach, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Edgar Degas, Lucian Freud and Howard Hodgkin.

      Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Diplomacy I (2009) at Christie’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE £1,371,000

    The Treasure House Fair, in full swing until next Monday at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, was generated by leading UK dealers after the cancellation of Masterpiece, which cited a lack of overseas exhibitor interest. Treasure House has attracted dealers from France, Switzerland and the US like Geoffrey Diner and Michele Beiny.  There is fine antique furniture from leading UK dealers like Ronald Phillips at this curated global event with distinguished names across a wide range of disciplines.Meantime the city is gearing up for London Art Week which runs from June 30 to July 7 with 53 specialists and expert dealers with museum quality examples of decorative arts, paintings, sculpture and works on paper from antiquity to contemporary. Various galleries will show work by Irish artists like Sir John Lavery, Gerald Leslie Brockhurst (who lived here for a time)  Augustus John and Gwen John as well showcasing artists from Giambologna to Renoir, Picasso and Dora Maar.  The Fine Arts Society will exhibit an enamel by Phoebe Anna Traquair, the Irish born artist who achieved international recognition for her role in the Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland.  She produced large scale murals, embroidery, enamel jewellery and book illuminations.  On show in London is The Life of the Virgin (1906), three plaques in enamel with foil on copper.

    The Life of the Virgin (1906) by Dublin born Phoebe Anna Traquair is on display at the Fine Arts Society in London.