Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

    The Leinster House cabinets sold for £106,250 at Christie’s in London today. By Thomas Chippendale junior they were part of a remarkable furniture sale entitled Apter-Fredericks: 75 Years of Important English Furniture. Originally at Leinster House, then at Carton, they remained in the possession of the FitzGerald family over the centuries. The hammer price was £85,000 and the top estimate was £60,000.

    A Regency Imperial extending dining table by Gillows of Lancaster commissioned for Westport House sold for £87,500. The sale of 140 lots brought in £3,408,750.

    (See posts on for June 3, 2015, December 3, 2020, January 2, 2021 and January 17, 2021)

    The Leinster House cabinets.


    Sunday, January 17th, 2021

    The Apter-Fredericks auction online at Christie’s on January 19 has garnered enormous interest.  There are a number of fine Irish pieces on sale. Shown here is a c1750 Irish George II bottle carrier.  Used in the dining room it was on casters to allow drinks to be circulated among the guests. Apter-Fredericks have closed their London shop after 75 years and moved to an online model. This sale offers some truly exceptional pieces of fine antique furniture.

    (See post on for January 2, 2021)

    A c1750 Irish George II bottle carrier. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £8,750


    Thursday, January 14th, 2021

    The catalogue for Dolan’s first timed online art auction is now online. There is art by John Shinnors, Maggie Morrisson, Harry Kernoff, Mark O’Neill, Charles Harper and others together with antique and collectibles, rugs and books. The auction runs until January 25.

    Mark O’Neill – Marshmallow


    Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

    FROM jewellery to artwork there promises to be a diverse selection on offer at the virtual art fair which Hibernian Antique Fairs will run on January 16-17. A link to access the fair will be made available on the Hibernian Antiques Fairs facebook page on January 16. Dealers taking part will show photographs of what is on offer plus contact and delivery details. Among those taking part are Treasures Irish Art of Athlone. They will show a number of works by the self taught London born Irish painter Ken Moroney (1949-2018). He specialised in Impressionist painting and romantic Edwardian style subjects.

    Ken Moroney oil on board 7 x 9 inches ‘Beach Study, Biarritz’ 


    Sunday, January 10th, 2021

    The James Adam timed online sale of contents from the Wellington Road, Dublin home of former restaurateur Peter White, who is downsizing, draws to a conclusion on January 11.  Louis le Brocquy’s Red Roses For Me, a 1946 watercolour inspired by O’Casey’s play about a Dublin Protestant family against the background of the 1913 Lockout, is the top lot of 284. It comes with an estimate of €8,000-€12,000. There are no less than 31 works  landscapes and cityscapes by the Dublin born Italian Irish painter Niccolo Caracciolo RHA, who died in a car crash near Siena in 1989. The sale offers a selection of  furniture, silver, china, glassware, Persian rugs and household effects. 

    Rowan Gillespie Recumbent Nude, bronze on an oval base (€3,000-€5,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,800 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, January 9th, 2021

    It isn’t great but it isn’t all bad either.  Pandemic closures are horrible but there is much to explore online.  If, for instance, you thought you might never get to visit the Mayfair Antiques Fair in London or the New York Winter Show, you were wrong.  In 2021 they are available at the touch of a button on your computer.This is part of an ongoing shift online.  All the data so far available from 2020 strongly suggests that large numbers of people who might never go to an auction viewing are buying online.  At Christie’s, for instance, preliminary figures suggest that 36% of all buyers last year were new to the auction house.   This experience is repeated everywhere else as the pandemic delivers new customers.Another statistic from Christie’s showed that 32% of all new online buyers were millennials (23 to 38 years old). In case you are wondering they are the ones who come after Generation X and before Generation Z.  So the pandemic is leading large numbers of buyers straight to auction, spawning a new generation of young collectors and opening up specialist fairs to people everywhere. Anything positive in the midst of this lockdown is to be warmly welcomed and this bit of positivity is likely to have a long term impact.

    A Chinese export reverse painted mirror in a Chippendale frame at the Mayfair Antiques Fair.

    The Mayfair Antiques Fair usually takes place at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square.  This year it is in a new online guise. It opened on Thursday and continues today and tomorrow at There are 43 stands with a diverse mix of art and antiques dealers, mainly members of the British Antique Dealers Association or LAPADA, The Association of Art and Antique Dealers.There is much to choose from including a monumental first period Emile Galle vase enamelled with exotic flowers, a Chinese export reverse painted mirror plate in a Chippendale period frame, a pair of George III tea caddies made in London by William Frisbee in 1793, fine jewellery, art, antique furniture and collectibles.In New York the new virtual Winter Show runs from January 22-31 with preview access from January 19. It will bring together 60 leading international dealers with fine and decorative arts from ancient times to the present day.  Visitors can taken in visual presentations and view close ups.  All objects on view are vetted for authenticity, date and condition.There are leading dealers from New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Philadelphia, Chicago, Zurich and a variety of other locations. Among them are Ronald Phillips from London, Aronson, Amsterdam, A La Vielle Russie, New York, Apter-Fredericks, London, Elle Shusan, Philadelphia, Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York and Les Enluminures of Chicago.

    Masterworks of Modern Japanese porcelain will be displayed by Joan B. Mirviss Ltd. in New York


    Saturday, January 2nd, 2021

    From the Westport House table to the Leinster House cabinets there is much of Irish interest in a sale for furniture specialists at Christie’s in London on January 19.  Apter-Fredericks: 75 Years of Important English Furniture encompasses some spectacular Irish pieces as it marks the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. Internationally renowned for the superlative quality, condition and provenance of their pieces, Apter-Fredericks remains an industry byword for the very finest furniture and works of art, a reputation which has been built by three generations of the family over the last 75 years. The firm is giving up their Fulham Road, London showroom in order to spend more time in pursuit of masterpieces and visiting clients.

    It is a great pity that at home and abroad the new world that beckons makes little room for fine antique shops like this in expensive downtown locations.  Antique furniture is  as green as you can get. So it is more than a little perverse that in a world with growing awareness of the urgent need to tackle climate change there is little room for shops selling the ultimate recyclable.

     A c1750 Irish side table. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £30,000

    Christie’s wlll offer 140 lots including work by the foremost craftspeople and designers of the 18th and 19th centuries like Chippendale, Ince and Mayhew, Linnell, Gomm, Lock, Bullock and Gillows, as well as some Chinese works of art. The Westport House dining table (£50,000-£80,000), capable of extending beyond 30 feet, is attributed to Gillows. It was purchased by Howe Peter Browne (1788-1845), the 2nd Marquess of Sligo.  As governor of Jamaica he supported the emancipation of slaves. It is possible that the mahogany for the table came from Jamaica.The Leinster House cabinets (£40,000-£60,000), are thought to have been commissioned by the 2nd Duke of Leinster in 1777-78 and have been in the possession of the FitzGerald family ever since. Another highlight is a c1750 Irish side table. The carved pierced apron with foliage, shells and a central cartouche with a bird, is a good example of the Irish style. It came from a private collection in the US.A c1740 side table is described as English or possibly Irish. Apter-Frederick say the quirky nature of the overall proportion suggests a provincial or Irish origin.  There is an Irish bottle stand and an Irish George III giltwood and verre eglomise mirror. Verre egomise is a process where there is both a design and gilding on glass to produce a mirror finish.  This one, dated 1798, is by Josias Phillips, Wards Hill, Dublin.

    (See post on for December 3, 2020)

     Irish George III giltwood mirror. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £18,750


    Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

    AS this strange, unsettling year draws to a close auction houses are looking back with relief and forward with optimism. Twelve months ago when 2020 dawned there was little inkling of the pandemic that has since engulfed the globe causing at least 1.8 million deaths and 82 million cases so far. In the art and antiques market online sales and private sales did much to alleviate the pressure caused by the lack of live sales nationally and internationally. Preliminary figures from Christie’s suggest that sales were down 25% to $4.4 billion. Demand remained strong and online sales (up 262% in 2020) and digital innovation are seen as major drivers of future growth. Private sales achieved a record total projected at $1.3 billion. No less than 36% of all buyers were new to Christie’s and 32% of new online only buyers were millennials (23-38 years old).

    CEO Guillaume Cerutti commented: “In 2020, the global pandemic deeply impacted the art market, as it did for almost all industries. We are now looking forward to 2021 with optimism, for two major reasons: global demand for art and objects remains strong with an impressive influx of new clients, especially millennials; and Christie’s has introduced digital innovations that significantly strengthened our business model, providing clients with greater flexibility to transact with us through our live auction, online-only, and private sales platforms.”

    In Ireland lockdowns caused four months of closure in 2020 and a new lockdown for the month of January 2021 has just been announced. At James Adam they reckon that business overall was about two thirds of what would normally have occurred in sectors like Irish Art and jewellery. The level of sales, 16 in categories like vintage wine and spirits, period and mid century furniture, jewellery, watches, art and decorative arts and the Country House Collections sale at Townley Hall, helped to make up some of the shortfall. James O’Halloran reports that sell through rates at Adams were higher in every category with some auctions recording 90% plus. There is a readiness to drive on from this in 2021.

    The Kildare House giltwood chairs made 18,000 at James Adam


    Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

    This George IV inlaid sideboard with brass gallery comes up with an estimate of 3,000-5,000 at the James Adam auction of contents from Number 1, Wellington Road, Dubin. The former restaurateur Peter White is downsizing and his lifetime collection is on offer at a timed online sale which runs to January 11. The collection of four silver plated domed dish covers under the sideboard is estimated at 600-1,000. UPDATE: THE SIDEBOARD MADE 6,000 AT HAMMER. THE DOMED DISH COVERS SOLD FOR 420


    Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

    This early 19th century Irish silver wine ewer comes up at Hegarty’s timed New Year online auction. The sale opens in Bandon today and runs until January 5. The selection of lots includes jewellery, art and Persian rugs. The ewer was made in Dublin in 1834 by Robert W Smith and is estimated at 3,200-3,400. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD