Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    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.


    Thursday, June 22nd, 2023
    A George III Giltwood Settee, almost certainly by Thomas Chippendale. English, c1780 at Ronald Phillips

    This Georgian giltwood settee is among the highlights at the Treasure House fair in London from June 22 to June 26. The inheritor of The Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair (1934-2009) and Masterpiece (2010-2022), it brings together more than 50 of the best British and international dealers in a celebration of the rare and the beautiful across numerous disciplines and centuries. Visitors can enjoy a curated outdoor sculpture display on the Royal Hospital lawns before entering the fair’s magnificent tented structure in the South Grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. There is art, silver, jewellery, rare books, cross-collecting, furniture, furniture, design, sculpture, Asian arts and porcelain of a very high quality on display.


    Saturday, June 3rd, 2023
    Some items from Robert Delahunty’s stand

    If the idea of a small antique fair in a beautiful setting floats your Bank Holiday boat then the place to head to this weekend is Lismore.  The good news is that Hibernian Antique Fairs, which has reduced the number of fairs they hold annually, will be at Lismore from 11 am to 6 pm today and tomorrow. Along with an array of antique furniture and silver there will be rarities like fine Oriental rugs from Annamoe Antiques in Co. Wicklow and Killarney wood boxes from dealer Robert Delahunty at the Lismore Opera Festival antique fair.

    Treasures Irish Art of Athlone will be in attendance with an appetising selection and there is plenty of vintage fashion and accessories from dealers like Eily Henry and Wendy’s Way of Life as well as silver and ceramics from Brian Hurley of Kinsale.  Coins, banknotes and collectibles of all sorts can be found.  If Lismore is not on your beat this weekend and you love antique fairs you might like to make note of the fact that the South Dublin antique and vintage fair takes place at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire tomorrow.

     A vintage hat at Eily Henry’s stand


    Monday, April 24th, 2023

    Kaare Klint made this unique three seater sofa in 1916. It is a prime example of the earliest days of a movement that would evolve into a golden age of Danish design. Characterised by clean, pure lines and the use of the best materials of the time – burl oak and niger leather – it is among his very early designs.  This sofa has all the attributes that define the work of the Danish architect and furniture designer.  Copenhagen born (in 1888) Kaare Klint is widely regarded as the inspirational father of modern Danish design. The photograph is courtesy of Modernity, Stockholm who will present the sofa at TEFAF New York from May 12-16.


    Tuesday, April 11th, 2023
    Wendell Castle – Good Neighbors 2017 Stained ash Copyright: Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Wendell Castle Inc. Photography by Daniel Kukla

    The American sculptor and furniture maker Wendell Castle (1932-2018) has been described as the father of the art furniture movement. Friedman Benda will present Good Neighbours, a stunning example of his work, at TEFAF New York from May 12-16. They say the table is testament to his groundbreaking ways of looking at, thinking about, and making furniture. Throughout a celebrated career spanning six decades, he created a new sculptural vocabulary that became the cornerstone of his practice. TEFAF New York, at the Park Avenue Armory, will present museum-quality objects across modern and contemporary art, jewellery, antiques, and design from 91 dealers. It will include a concurrent edition ot TEFAF online.


    Saturday, March 18th, 2023
    A selection of percussion pistols which dealer David Elliman will feature on his militaria stand at the National Antiques Fair this weekend.

    Even when the weather outside is frightful one compensation of our world is that armed only with an internet connection it is possible to virtually view a huge selection of upcoming antiques, art and collectibles sales.The virtual world has its advantages but no matter where in Ireland you happen to be local sales that can be easily got to and viewed readily are a significant draw.

    There is no substitute for actual viewing. The thousands of people travelling to the National antique, art and vintage fair, an indoor event at Limerick Racecourse today and tomorrow, are testament to the fact that, though the market is subject to its ups and downs, interest is huge. Auctions at Lynes and Lynes and Woodwards scheduled to take place on March 25 will open for viewing today in Carrigtwohill and Cork city centre respectively.  


    Thursday, March 16th, 2023
    Joaquin Sorolla – Girls on a Beach

    TEFAF has made a spectacular return to its traditional March dates in Maastricht.  Tens of thousands of collectors and art lovers descended on Maastricht from around the world to see and acquire 7,000 years of the very best art history, presented by 270 exhibitors from 20 countries.  More than 250 museums and institutions visited the previews.  Among them were major institutions like the National Gallery of Washington; Art Institute of Chicago; J. Paul Getty Museum; MoMa; Metropolitan Museum of Art; American Friends of the Louvre; American Friends of the Musée d’Orsay; Guggenheim; Uffizi; Teylers Museum; Van Gough Museum; Rijksmuseum; Museum of Fine Art Boston; Louvre; Toledo Museum; Dallas Museum; Kimbell Museum; Museum Voorlinden; Mauritshuis; Cleveland Museum; Frick Collection; Museum Barberini; Kunstpalast Düsseldorf; Minneapolis Institute of Art; National Gallery of London and National Galleries of Scotland. 

    Security is tight.  Among many notable sales was a painting by Joaquin Sorolla titled Girls on a Beach on which the Barcelona Gallery Arthur Ramon Art of Barcelona had an asking price of €2,700,000.  The first exhibition of Sorolla’s work in Ireland was at the National Gallery in 2019.

    (See post on for August 10, 2019)


    Monday, March 13th, 2023

    A 1798 Cork City Militia gold medal will be among the real rarities at the indoor National Antique, Art and Vintage Fair at Limerick Racecourse on March 18/19.  As well as all its other St. Patrick’s Day celebrations Limerick will be the venue for this antique crowd pulling event, a mecca for collectors and dealers of every type. The Cork Militia speak to an unhappy history as they were heavily and cruelly involved in putting down the 1798 Rebellion.  They were, in fact, a sort of 18th century Black and Tan group, recruited from jails and known to commit acts of torture on their prisoners.  In this regard the North Cork Militia achieved a particular notoriety.  The particular medal at the fair was awarded to a member of the Cork City Militia.

    On foot of the move to Limerick Racecourse last year, with ample parking and plenty of display space, this ever popular antique fair – on the go now for 35 years – has grown even bigger.  Organiser Robin O’Donnell claims that it will be the biggest collection of dealers ever assembled in Ireland.


    Saturday, January 21st, 2023
    A selection of vintage designer items from Wendy’s Way of Life

    The going looks good at Limerick Racecourse this weekend. Hibernian Antique Fairs hit Limerick Racecourse have once again hit the home turf. The racecourse has proven an ideal venue for dealers from all over the country and the public alike. This January event is the biggest yet. A particularly large display of jewellery from vintage to high end with traders from Ireland and Northern Ireland, including a number of members of the Irish Antique Dealers Association, is on display. Prices at Wendy’s Way of Life, a new dealer whose wares have proved very popular, range from €50-€400. Or how about passenger chairs from the RMS Celtic with ran aground off Roches Point in 1928.  Dealer Norman Allison will offer a pair of original condition chairs with no repairs or faults on cast iron bases bolted to the floor. Among a number of new dealers Jim Halpin of the Listowel Military and Historical Museum will be showing and selling for the first time.  This is a fair to savour at leisure, full of quirky, rare and unusual items of interest to all sorts of collectors. There will be antique furniture, Irish art, glass, silver, jewellery, vintage fashion, coins, banknotes, militaria and a large selection of collectibles to be seen and enjoyed.


    Friday, January 20th, 2023
    Vintage black wool hat with pearls and gold tone pin

    You can find all kinds of everything at the National Antique and Vintage Fair at Limerick Racecourse this weekend. Like this vintage hat which Elly Henry, who specialises in antique and vintage clothing, accessories and jewellery, will bring to the fair. There will be antique furniture, jewellery, art, vintage collectibles, coins, bank notes, even a wooden toboggan. Limerick Racecourse has proven to be a great venue for this event, which promises to be a major crowd puller.