Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Thursday, January 16th, 2020

    Contents from Newtown House and other clients will come under the hammer at Sheppards in Durrow on January 21 and 22. Around 870 lots will come under the hammer in two days of sales broken up into four sessions. Among them in a sale of antique furniture, silver, jewellery, art, rugs and collectibles is a Chinese silver rickshaw supporting condiments with an estimate of just 200-300. The catalogue is online.


    Sunday, January 12th, 2020

    The Claddagh ring collection of the Hon Garech Browne of Luggala, who founded Claddagh Records in 1959, comes up at Sotheby’s 2020 instalment of Royal and Nobel in London on January 21. Irish lots feature prominently in this 250 lots auction.There is furniture, paintings and collectibles from Killadoon House on the banks of the River Liffey in Kildare, formerly one of the seats of the Earls of Leitrim and owned by the Clements family; a selection of mostly collectible lots from Luggala and the collection of the late Garech Browne and some lots from an important Irish collector.No less that 22 Claddagh rings representing love, loyalty and friendship owned by Garech Browne are included. The Claddagh ring as it is now known was first produced in the 17th century in the fishing village of Claddagh. Many of the examples in Garech Browne’s collection are rare and early.  The most expensively estimated is a c1700 ring by Thomas Meade, Kinsale or Galway at £2,500-4,500. Galway makers featured include James Clinch, Nicholas Burge, George Robinson, Richard Joyce and Austin French.Also from Luggala is a collection of mostly Galway 18th century ecclesiastical silver, Irish 18th century rosaries with pendant crucifixes, some Irish silver, furniture and a George III longcase clock by James Aikin, Cork c1780 (£3,000-4,000).

    There are portraits, Irish 19th century furniture, Chinese and European porcelain and bronzes. Also in the sale from an Irish collection is a George II side table in the manner of William Kent which is estimated at £30,000-50,000.  This table was brought to Birr Castle in the 1940’s by Anne, Countess of Rosse and came to the present owner by descent.

    This c1700 rare Claddagh ring by Thomas Meade, Kinsale or Galway is estimated at £2,500–4,500).


    Sunday, January 5th, 2020

    One sale to look forward to in 2020 takes place at Sotheby’s in London on March 18 – the day after St. Patrick’s Day.  It will focus global attention on the art and antiques of Ireland at a time when international buyers are playing an increasingly important role in many sales in this country. Jack Yeats and William Scott made art which could not be more different, yet together they represent the two hottest Irish artists in the salesrooms right now.  Both artists featured in the collection of late property developer Patrick Kelly, who furnished his Georgian home at 44 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin with an array of paintings spanning the 18th to the 20th centuries.These paintings were wonderfully complemented with fine Georgian and Regency furniture, silver and decorative arts, amassed by Kelly from auctions and dealers over the past three decades.On offer at Sotheby’s will be 120 lots from the estate of Patrick Kelly (1942-2011) who was one of our most successful property developers.Arabella Bishop, head of Sotheby’s Dublin office, said:  “I have known Patrick and his collection for many years. 44 Fitzwilliam Square was a truly stunning setting to showcase the paintings, furniture, and objects which he collected from around the world over a number of decades. In holding a dedicated auction, we are able to celebrate Patrick’s vision and look forward to sharing it with collectors not only in Ireland but internationally.”The auction will offer art by Daniel Maclise, George Barret, Roderic O’Conor, Yeats, Scott and others.  Furniture highlights include a pair of George II Irish mirrors supplied to Sankey Winter, Dean of Kildare, and marquetry tables attributed to William Moore of Dublin.Sotheby’s say the collection as a whole reveals Patrick’s passion for Irish art and his discerning eye, with pictures and furniture beautifully married within the elegant surroundings of his Georgian home. Central to the collection are five paintings by Yeats, including The Showground Revisited, painted in 1950 (£150,000-250,000 / €170,000-282,000) and Young Men, painted in 1929 (£150,000-250,000 / €170,000-282,000), and an exceptional work by William Scott, entitled Deep Blues (£300,000-500,000 / €339,000-565,000). 

    Interior view of 44 Fitzwilliam Square


    Friday, December 27th, 2019

    More than 1,100 lots will come under the hammer at the annual holiday auction by Matthews in Kells, Co. Meath on December 29 and 30. Viewing gets underway today. The catalogue is online.

    A pair of Tiffany dragonfly lamps (200-300). UPDATE: THESE MADE 190 AT HAMMER


    Friday, December 20th, 2019

    This set of eight Irish George III mahogany hall chairs from Killadoon House in Co. Kildare is one of a number of Irish furniture lots at Sotheby’s Royal and Noble sale in London on January 21. The 2020 instalment of Royal & Noble, now in its seventh year, will provide another exciting opportunity to acquire works from important aristocratic collections sourced throughout Europe. Highlights include property from two notable Irish houses – Killadoon and Luggala – and property from the Estate of Jhr. Ir. G.C. (Gijs) Six van Wimmenum (1892-1975), a descendant of Rembrandt’s great patron Jan Six. The chairs are estimated at £15,000-25,000.


    Thursday, December 12th, 2019

    Jewellery, silver, a collection of antique glass, art, furniture and a wide variety of collectibles such as a Qing Dynasty Chinese jade miniature model of an elephant (100-150) will come under the hammer at the At Home sale at James Adam on December 15. The catalogue is online.

    A Qing Dynasty miniature model of an elephant. UPDATE: THIS MADE 100 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, December 8th, 2019

    Works from an outstanding collector will come up at Christie’s An Exceptional Eye sale in Paris on December 10 and 11. The very private collector grew up in the French coungtryside and his interest in insects and minerals began at a very early age. As an adult, he would go on to collect wonders of the world including butterflies from Indonesia, fossils, meteorites, and an exceptional dinosaur skeleton. Classes in art and culture followed.

    For more than ten years he successfully indulged in the antiquarian profession but his adventurous soul pushed him towards new horizons. This aesthete and scholar was deeply moved by the quality of a marble panel by Léon Indenbaum or a cabinet by Gaston-Etienne Le Bourgeois, both realised for Jacques Doucet in 1913. He was also interested in works by the German expressionists, from August Macke to Egon Schiele, as well as the delicacy of Eileen Gray’s creations.

    Cécile Verdier, President of Christie’s France said: “It is an absolute joy for Christie’s to present this wonderful collection revealing the very private world of this discreet collector. A passionate character with a keen interest in all cultures, he wove very personal threads between the arts, in accordance with his specific tastes and his culture”.

    Jean-Louis Gaillemin, art historian remarked: “The bold presence of a rhinoceros skeleton in the middle of the living room has the effect of shattering the conventional and the customary; this staging, which fosters a surprising and powerful discourse between the objects, reveals the taste and interests of the master of the house”.

    UPDATE: The auction achieved a total of €12,502,438. The top lot was August Macke’s painting Badende Frauen (recto); Pierrot mit Tänzerpaar (verso) which was sold for €2,770,000, exceeding its high estimate.


    Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

    A rare pair of German 19th Century finely carved ivory relief panels was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s Chatsworth fine art sale in Castlecomer today. They made a hammer price of 15,000. Among the other top lots with hammer prices in brackets were a large stuffed and mounted Bengal Tiger head (7,500); The Wooing of Emer by Cuchulainn from the Harry Clarke Studios (7,000); an 18th century French Regence commode (6,400); an 18 carat gold mesh necklace set with diamonds by Boodles (3,500); a private collection of 18th century blue and white English porcelain (3,400); a Georgian Irish Chippendale style breakfront bookcase (2,800); a light grey Chanel handbag (3,300); a Spode dinner service (1,700); a 19th century Canton carved jewellery casket (1,500) and an embroidered Chinese silk robe (1,100).

    One of a pair of German carved relief panels of ancient battle scenes.


    Monday, November 25th, 2019

    This pair of Edwardian mahogany knife urns comes up at Sheppard’s two day sale entitled Desire: Sparkling Jewels and Inspirational Interiors in Durrow, Co. Laois on November 26 and 27. They are estimated at 400-600. The auction is now on view in Durrow and the catalogue is online.


    Sunday, November 24th, 2019

    A reticulated Qianlong fish vase at Fonsie Mealy’s sale in Castlecomer on November 26 is similar to the Yamanaka reticulated vase that made just over £19 million at Sotheby’s in 2018. That one was one of the most complex porcelains ever conceived by Tang Ying for the Emperor Qianlong and was a pair to a controversial sale in 2010. That one sold at hammer at north London auctioneers Bainbridges for £43 million to a Chinese billionaire who subsequently baulked at fees of 20%.  After a two year stalemate the sale fell through. The vase was eventually sold in a deal brokered by Bonhams to an unidentified buyer from the Far East who is believed to have paid up to £25 million for it. The fish vase at Fonsie Mealy is estimated at a mere 6,000-8,000.

    Viewing is underway in Castlecomer for Fonsie Mealy’s Winter Chatsworth Fine Art Sale.  There is furniture, paintings, Old Masters, Irish art, silver, objets d’Art, taxidermy and an Irish private collection of Oriental ceramics and art.

    The Fonsie Mealy vase. : UPDATE – THIS WAS UNSOLD
    The Yamanaka Reticulated Vase