Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Sunday, January 12th, 2020

    David Hockney’s The Splash will highlight Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening auction in London on February 11. It is estimated at £20-30 million, over six times the price achieved when it last sold at auction for £2.9 million at Sotheby’s London in 2006. That was then an auction record for a Hockney.

    Painted in 1966, The Splash immortalises a fleeting moment just seconds after a diver has broken the calm surface of a swimming pool. The painting’s protagonist is present, yet absent, masked by a torrent of displaced water. The work is a quintessential example of Hockney’s lifelong fascination with the texture, appearance and depth of water – a fascination which culminated in one of the most celebrated and instantly recognisable bodies of work in 20th century art.

    It is the second in a series of three ‘splashes’, the largest and final of which, A Bigger Splash is in the Tate collection in London. These paintings represent the apex of Hockney’s Californian fantasy. Created at a watershed moment in his career, the three ‘splashes’ secured the artist’s international reputation as a leading artist of his generation and confirmed his unrivalled ability to combine elements of disparate movements – Minimalism, Modernist Abstraction and Pop Art – into a new style entirely of his own.

    David Hockney, The Splash, 1966 . UPDATE: THIS MADE £24.1 MILLION AT HAMMER


    Sunday, November 10th, 2019

    The 158 lots on offer at the James Adam Mid-Century Modern evening sale in Dublin on November 19 demonstrate the changing habits of Irish auction goers and Irish auction houses. Buyers have largely turned their back on what can be described as ordinary antique furniture and no auctioneer can survive merely by offering this. Diversification has brought Italian made armchairs, glass topped 1950’s coffee tables, Murano glass pieces, furniture by noted designers, Art Deco wall lights, drinks trolleys, chrome side tables and even a pair of pear wood side tables by Pierluigi Ghianda for Christian Dior into the mix on offer at this sale.

    There is art by Mark Francis, Cecil King, Alice Maher, John Burke, Charles Tyrrell, Eilis O’Connell, Albert Irvin, Janet Mullarney, Sonja Landweer, Andy Warhol, Alan Davie, Patrick Graham and Robert Ballagh.  Viewing gets underway in Dublin next Friday.

    Welded steel sculpture by John Burke. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,500 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

    This pair of Regency patinated bronze pedestals from a private Irish collection come up at Sotheby’s Style Private Collections sale in London on November 12. They are dated to c1810 and were acquired from Harold Caplin of Merrion Antiques around 1960. The estimate is £8,000-12,000.


    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

    THE Hunt at Woolwich Drag by Gilbert Halliday (1879-1937) made a hammer price of 7,500 at Fonsie Mealy’s sale at Glengarriff, Thurles, Co. Tipperary on October 1. Other hammer prices included a pair of watercolour portraits by the same artist of Brigadier and Mrs. E.T. Boylan of Hilltown on horseback (6,000); Evening on a Highland River by Alfred de Breanski junior (6,600); A Rocky Landscape attributed to Jean Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808) (5,600); Market Scene by Pieter van Bredael (4,500) and a Busy Street Scene by David Teniers (4,200). A pair of Famille Verte Warnier vases made 2,600, an Arts and Crafts chaise longue made 3,200, an Irish fold over tea table from Ely House made 2,800 and a specimen table made 2,500. An Irish 18th century giltwood mirror made 4,600 and a cased pair of 12 bore double barrelled shotguns by William Powell made 3,400.

    The auction realised 250,000 on the hammer with 80% sold.

    The Hunt at Woolwich Drag by Gilbert Halliday.


    Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

    Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, James Rosenquist, Mel Ramos and many other leading artists from the collection of Richard L Weisman will be offered through major sales at Christie’s in New York this autumn. This selection of paintings, drawings, works on paper and sculpture was assembled by a passionate collector throughout his lifetime. Featuring important images of American icons and iconography by some of the 20th century’s greatest Pop artists, the collection includes seminal works by Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, and Peter Beard who all became friends of the colorful collector. Additional works by Norman Rockwell, Tom Wesselmann, Alberto Giacometti, and Roy Lichtenstein highlight Weisman’s diverse and unique aesthetic. His collection is expected to exceed $15 million.

    Andy Warhol – Jack Nicklaus CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2019


    Saturday, August 24th, 2019

    There is more than a whiff of nostalgia in Aidan Foley’s auction at Sixmilebridge Co. Clare on August 27.  The sale goes back to the days when pubs were individual rather than generic, snug refuges with  open turf, log or coal fires dotted with the occasional utterly genuine conversation piece – pastiche was unheard of – and sawdust on the floor.  Original contents from a number of such establishments offer rich pickings to collectors at Sixmilebridge.  There is a big selection of pub memorabilia from the Murray family of Limerick. They owned nightclubs and pubs and when they added the highly traditional Scott’s Bar in Kilkee to their portfolio they retained many original contents.Some of these are included in this 1,200 auction which is, Aidan Foley promises, “original stuff”, the kind of thing that collectors go for.  A fine framed advertisement for Michael Egan’s finest Irish whiskey, Limerick, Ireland is redolent of an earlier age. Aidan Foley will include some original Cunard Line luggage label stickers from a long gone travel agency, a nostalgia tinged memory of the days when people left Ireland on ocean liners never to return. An early U2 Tick Tock Tour poster will attract a different sort of collector.

    An old Irish Whiskey advertisement UPDATE: THIS MADE 900 AT HAMMER
    An early U2 poster


    Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

    August Bank Holiday auctions by Dolan’s take place in Ballyconneely, Connemara today and on Monday.   The sales will include paintings, antiques, fine wine and a Purdey shotgun from the old Rectory, Clifden, the property of John and Brenda Casey. Most lots will be sold without reserve.The auction today consists of furniture, collectibles, some paintings and the 1865 Purdey double barrel twin trigger shotgun.  This is estimated at 3,000-3,500. More substantial artworks will come up on Monday.  Lot’s Wife by John Shinnors is estimated at 18,000-22,000 and Fear agus Bean On Oilean by Sean Keating is estimated at 18,000-25,000. There is a similar estimate on Hayfield with Crows by Norah McGuinness.Monday’s auction will feature art by Maurice MacGonigal, Mildred Anne Butler, George Russell, Lady Kate Dobbin, George Campbell, Markey Robinson, Mark O’Neill, Kenneth Webb, Cecil Maguire, John Behan and a wide variety of contemporary Irish artists from Charles Harper to Arthur Maderson. Lithographs by Louis le Brocquy carry estimates of 500-800 and a small charcoal and pencil nude study by Roderic O’Conor is estimated at 2,400-2,800.

    Hayfield and Crows by Norah McGuinness UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD