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    Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

    Some of the collection in situ at George Farrow’s home in Jersey.

    This collectors home in Jersey demonstrates one way to show a wonderful selection. The George Farrow collection containing hundreds of sought after pieces from all over the world including rare art and antiques from China, the Middle East and Europe will come under the hammer at Roseberys in London on June 4. Brought up in South London George Farrow (1916-2001) rose to prominence as one of Britain’s largest private landlords after WWII. Post-retirement, his travels brought him to San Remo and Monte Carlo, but he ultimately longed for a British way of life and returned to his roots with his family. They converted Anne Port, an old farmhouse in Jersey, to house his significant collection of antiques. Farrow, who left school at 16, was inspired by childhood trips to Horniman Museum and the V&A and the literary works of Edgar Wallace and began collecting at the age of 12 or 13.

    Highlights include a Berlin chinoiserie tapestry (£100,000-£200,000) showing the Chinese Emperor and other richly attired courtly figures around an elaborate dining table. It is attributed to the workshop of Jean II Barraband and Charles Vigne, after the design of a tapestry from the same series currently held in the collection of the Met. A pair of Chinese fishbowls (£30,000-50,000) exemplifies the zenith of Chinese export porcelain production during the reign of Qianlong. Two voided crimson velvet and silk 17th century catma panels (£20,000-30,000) are woven with repeating floral roundels of tulips, pomegranates and saz leaves and are a rare survival of court quality Ottoman velvets. The catalogue is now live at Roseberys.

    A fine and rare Berlin Chinoiserie tapestry


    Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

    The Eden Vale bottle carrier

    This Irish Provincial bottle carrier comes up as lot 831 at Fonsie Mealy’s summer fine art sale in Castlecomer on May 28 and 29. The piece was commissioned by William Stacpoole, High Sherriff, Co. Clare, for his new residence at Eden Vale, Killone, Ennis, Co. Clare. It was probably made in Limerick around 1780 and arrives at auction by direct family descent. There is a rectangular removable top with shaped and pierced looped carrying slot, over eight compartments. The estimate is €4,000-€6,000.


    Saturday, May 18th, 2024

    A pair of giltwood palm tree lights by Maison Jansen. UPDATE: THESE WERE UNSOLD

    A gouache by Martin Kippenberger, an Eames chair, a Three Wise Men watercolour by Andre Derain, a blackboard rug and a non conformist armchair both by Eileen Gray are among the many and varied offerings at the Mid-Century Modern auction by James Adam in Dublin on May 21. With just 222 well chosen lots the range of choice is extensive in a sale that reaches many prevailing tastes by reflecting the artistic and creative diversities of the 20th century.

    Estimates range from just €100-€200 for a c1960 Italian cut glass bon bon dish with brass detailing to €40,000-€60,000 for Indian Summer,  an oil on canvas by Wolfgang Paalen (1905-1959). The Austrian born artist was a key figure in many key 20th century art movements and this work was once in the collection of John Huston at St. Clerans in Co. Galway.

    A non conformist armchair by Eileen Gray. UPDATE: THIS MADE 7,000 AT HAMMER

    Modern furniture choices cater for many tastes with everything on offer from a c1960 teak oval extending dining table and a set of eight teak dining chairs by the Danish designer Arne Vodder (1926-2009), a Swedish teak boomerang desk of similar vintage, a c1950 Italian mahogany console with three drawers, an Italian rosewood drinks cabinet, a glass nest of tables with brass detailing, a three seater Danish sofa by Ole Wanscher, soft pad and office chairs by Eames produced by Vitra, an Edito  armchair and footstool by Roche Bobois, a c1970 French perspex and chrome umbrella stand, cherrywood planters, brass and glass coffee tables, a pair of c1950 rosewood bedside cabinets from Italy, a David Linley mirror, a c1970 Italian burr walnut sideboard and an armchair designed by Philippe Starck for Driade painted by Jack Soro.

    Alan Davie (1920-2014) El Secreto No. 2 UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    The art selection will sit comfortably alongside these choices. Among the Irish and international artists featured are Kaws, Albert Irvin, Felim Egan, Anne Madden, Mark Francis, Andy Warhol, Charles Tyrrell, Gwen O’Dowd, Jannis Kounnelis and Philip Flanagan.

    Among other lots is a Wriggle chair by Frank Gehry, a signed ceramic vase by Vivienne Foley, a vintage Missoni rug by  T & J Vestor, a pair of green and white wall lights in the style of Stilnovo, Italy, a vintage malachite chessboard, a “Le Mons” floor lamp for Claridges Hotel, London, a c 1970 pair of lamps by Hans-Agne Jakobsson, Sweden, a yellow c1960 vintage vase for Moretti and Nason, Italy, a large Dun Emer hand knotted wool carpet and a pair of giltwood palm tree lights by  Maison Jansen, France c1970.

    An armchair designed by Philippe Starck and painted by Jack Soro  UPDATE: THIS WAS WITHDRAWN


    Tuesday, May 14th, 2024

    Montague Dawson (1895-1973) – The Clipper Ship Flying Fish c. 1950

    Montague Dawson’s oil on canvas of the Flying Fish is the most expensively estimated lot at Fonsie Mealy’s two day fine art sale in Castlecomer on May 28 and 29. With an estimate of €15,000-€20,000 it shows the clipper ship in full sail. A catalogue note by Peter Murray recounts how after the discovery of gold in California and the opening of the China tea trade to competition in 1849, several clippers, including Flying Fish and Flying Cloud, were built at Donald McKay’s shipyard in Boston. Launched in 1851, Flying Fish made the voyage from Boston to San Francisco, via Cape Horn, in a record-breaking ninety-two days. Owned by Samson and Tappan, the ship had a glorious career. It was one of the fastest every built by McKay, and under the command of Captain Edward Nickels, rounded Cape Horn seven times. It features in several paintings by Dawson, including studies in oil and watercolour. It is, Murray says, one of Montague Dawson’s finest depictions of ships at sea.


    Sunday, May 12th, 2024

    The complete bar from Kiely’s of Mount Merrion at Aidan Foley’s sale. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,600 AT HAMMER

    The complete bar from Kiely’s of Mount Merrion or a De Sede white modular sofa  first launched in 1972 – the choice is yours at upcoming auctions by Aidan Foley and James Adam this month.

    The sofa would have been very much out of place in a traditional setting like Kiely’s but would make itself very much at home in any large luxurious contemporary space. Designed by Eleanoa Peduzzi-Riva, Ueli Berger, Klaus Vogt and Heinz Ulrich it is complete with 22 sections with which multiple compositions can be created.  At their Mid Century Modern sale in Dublin on May 21 Adams estimate it at €10,000-€15,000.

    The bar at Kiely’s is a real deal throwback, laden with memory.  It is a highlight at Aidan Foley’s online auction in conjunction with Niall Mullen at  Oldcastle on May 21 and 22. All sorts of pub memorabilia will come under the hammer and the catalogue is online. The estimate on the complete bar is a mere €1,000-€2,000.

    DS-600 modular sofa in white leather at James Adam. UPDATE: THIS MADE 14,000 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, April 28th, 2024


    This pair of gilt circular cocktail tables custom made for the Ritz Hotel in Paris and removed when renovated in 2018 come up as lot 23 at de Veres international Art and Design auction in Dublin on April 30. They are estimated at €1,200-€1,800. The sale  features chairs from the Louvre, a Golden Egg chair designed by Arne Jacobsen and Ron Arad designed chairs. The Golden Age of stylish and functional Danish design, from the 1940’s to the 1960’s, is well represented too. It remains popular today as it works in traditional and contemporary spaces. There is art by Pierre Soulages, William Scott, Felim Egan and Barry Flanagan.


    Sunday, April 28th, 2024

    A first edition of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, a set of four 18th century armorial hall chairs and a portrait of Thomas Wyndham by the Dutch painter Simon Pietersz Verelst (1644-1721) from Christie’s sale at Adare Manor in 1982 come up at Hegarty’s sale in Bandon on April 30. The auction features The Durrus Collection and includes items from the estate of Major Ian Alexander Dorling Thomson who was awarded a Military Cross in 1953. The jewellery selection includes a yellow gold pink sapphire and diamond floral ring where the central petals revolve (pictured above). UPDATE: THE RING WAS UNSOLD


    Saturday, April 27th, 2024

    A woodblock print by Hiroshi Yoshida. UPDATE: THIS MADE 7,000 AT HAMMER

    A west Cork collection of 18th century Irish and Oriental artefacts assembled by an investment banker is included in four days of sales with more than 1,800 lots at Sheppards in Durrow next week. Among the lots from west Cork is a set of Japanese woodblock prints from the series Seto inland sea by Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950), a pair of 19th century Meissen parakeets and a pair of 19th century Meissen plates. 

    A 17th century Flemish tapestry, a pair of Chippendale elbow chairs from Malahide Castle, a 17th century silver chalice from the Tim O’Mahony Collection, Kilkenny, an Irish 18th century wake table, four 18th century Chippendale chairs from the estate of Yehudi Menuhin and a long Donegal runner supplied by Robert Kime to Clarence House, home of King Charles and Queen Camilla add considerable interest to this auction.

    The Great Irish Interiors sale takes place on April 30 and May 1. Curated jewellery will come under the hammer at Sheppards on May 2 with top brands like Cartier, Boucheron and Dior and the Irish Vernacular sale on May 3 offers a c1880 three wheeled bike, dug out chairs, hedge chairs and a Penal Cross.  Viewing for all these sales gets underway in Durrow today and the catalogue is online.

    This blue ground with trellis panel Donegal runner at Sheppards was supplied by Robert Kime to Clarence House. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Saturday, April 27th, 2024

     Étretat, 1939 by Tristram Hillier (1905-1983). UPDATE: THIS MADE 75,000 AT HAMMER

    Quality and diversity are the hallmarks of the Library Collection sale at James Adam in Dublin on May 1.  With everything from an historic  American collection, fine paintings, and lots collected during a Grand Tour to silver, bookcases, desks and collectibles this auction of 347 lots will richly reward a long curious look.

    The collection of 80 lots of furniture, clocks, porcelain, glass and decorative effects from ‘Dawesfield’, a c1728 Pennsylvania farmhouse built by Abraham Dawes, is fascinating. The farmhouse served as George Washington’s headquarters  during the battle of Germantown in 1777 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The connections between émigré Irish cabinet makers working in Philadelphia, such as Joseph Barry and Henry Connelly, is particularly apparent in a Federal mahogany sofa (€3,000-€5,000) with typically Irish rope twist legs.  A Chippendale corner cabinet (€2,000-€3,000), a Federal dining table (€700-€1,000), a set of eight dining chairs (€1,500-€2,000) and a c1775 four poster bed (€3,000-€5,000) are all from this collection. A c1775 oak schrank or South German style wardrobe might have been used by Washington during his stay and is estimated at €6,000-€10,000.  By descent through the female line these pieces have been in Ireland for three decades and have never been on the market before. 

    Carved Siena marble architectural models of the Temple of Castor and Pollux and the Temple of Vespasian. UPDATE: THESE MADE 10,000 AT HAMMER

    Siena marble carved models of the Roman ruins of the Temple of Castor and Pollux and the Temple of Vespasian are typical of the prized objects collected during a Grand Tour. The architectural models date to the 19th century and are estimated at €10,000-€15,000.

    The most expensively estimated lot is a 1939 Surrealist oil on canvas by Tristram Hillier of Étretat in Normandy (€40,000-€60,000). An 18th century capriccio landscape of Dunmoe Castle, Co. Meath by Robert Carver is estimated at €30,000-€50,000 and an 18th century view of the Grand Canal in Venice from the School of Canaletto is estimated at €10,000-€15,000.  There is a similar estimate on a pair of George II candleabrae and on the most expensively estimated furniture lot,  a Louis XV satinwood, kingwood, tulipwood, parquetry and ormolu mounted writing table by Claude-Charles Saunier (1735-1807).

    A set of 23 c1700 etchings of the Invalides in Paris last came to auction in 1925 at the Carton House sale. Estimated at €1,000-€1,500 they are from the library at Carton, for 700 years home to the Dukes of Leinster and Earls of Kildare. The estate was lost to the Fitzgeralds when the third son of the sixth duke sold his birthright to Lord Brockett to pay off immense gambling debts. Viewing gets underway this afternoon and the catalogue is online.

    A Louis XV writing table by Claude-Charles Saunier at Adams. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Monday, April 22nd, 2024


    This Killarney work table comes up on the first of four days of sales at Sheppards in Durrow on April 30 and May 1, 2 and 3. The octagonal chequered and shamrock inlaid shaped top opens to a fitted interior, above an ogee moulded and inlaid frieze. The 19th century table is raised on a baluster stem with octagonal platform base terminating on scroll feet and is estimated at €5,000-€8,000. Lot 327 is estimated to come up early in the afternoon of April 30. Viewing in Durrow gets underway on April 27 and the catalogue is online.