Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

    There will be an antiques roadshow at the Hunt Museum in Limerick from noon to 4 pm on Sunday June 26. Experts on hands will cover all areas from books, coins, general ephemera, glass, ceramics, silver, pictures and textiles. The Friends of the Hunt Museum, who have organised the event to raise funds for upgrading and refurbishing a number of showcases at the museum, have advised people who would like to have a furniture valuation to bring a good photograph rather than the piece. There will be a panel of experts from the Irish Antique Dealers Association and auctioneers Fonsie Mealy and George Mealy in attendance.


    Tuesday, April 12th, 2022
    THE RED CROSS DIAMOND. UPDATE: THIS MADE CHF14,181,250 / $14,320,624 / €13,554,068

    An historically important fancy intense yellow, cushion-shaped diamond of 205.07 carat known as the Red Cross diamond will come up at Christie’s magnificent jewels sale in Geneva on May 11. Part of the price it makes will be donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The original rough stone was found in 1901 in a De Beers South African mine and is said to have weighed some 375 carats. Besides ranking amongst the largest diamonds in the world, a striking feature of the stone is its pavilion, which is faceted in the shape of a Maltese cross.

    “This is the third time in over 100 years for Christie’s to present this extraordinary canary yellow diamond of 205.07 carats. This is a very special bond and tremendous honour. Part of the proceeds of the sale will benefit the International Committee of the Red Cross, for a cause that is even more poignant in the midst of current events.”, said François Curiel, Chairman of Christie’s Europe and Head of the Luxury Department.


    Monday, April 11th, 2022

    Property from the life and eight decade spanning career of legendary actress Betty White comes up live and online at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills on September 23, 24 and 25. On offer is a collection of over 1,500 lots featuring awards, scripts, wardrobe and memorabilia from iconic television shows and films, as well as furnishings, artwork, fine jewellery, household and personal items from her homes in Brentwood and Carmel, California. Irish fans of the actress who died just short of her 100th birthday last December 31 will have a chance to see the collection at the Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge, Co. Kildare from August 1 to September 11.

    Highlights include White’s original director chair from The Golden Girls set; the first draft script, a production script used for the finale of the series signed by Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, a large number of production scripts from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a goodbye plaque from the cast and crew of The Betty White Show and numerous awards and nomination certificates including Emmy award nomination certificates for The Golden Girls, Saturday Night Live and Hot in Cleveland.


    Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

    This early 20th century Donegal carpet in remarkably fine condition sold for 5,292 GBP at Sotheby’s in London today. It came up at a sale of Art of the Islamic World including fine rugs and carpets and had been estimated at 4,000-6,000. Made in Killybegs in the early 20th century the carpet, with the label of Maple and Co. London and Smyrna, was discovered about 40 years ago in a sealed room by an antique restorer working on some library panels. It was thought then to have been stored for at least 50 years. The father of the present owner bought it, but found it too big for his home and passed it on to son, who also found it to be too big. So it has been stored ever since. It measures 368 cm x 265 cm approximately.


    Friday, March 25th, 2022
    Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery, with The Rock. UPDATE: THIS MADE CHF21,681,000 / $21,894,082 / €20,722,133

    The Rock, the largest white diamond ever to appear at auction, will come up at Christie’s in Geneva on May 11. Mined and polished in South Africa over two decades ago the 228.31 carat pear-shaped diamond is estimated at $20-30 million. Graded by the Gemmological Institute of America as G colour, VS1 clarity, The Rock is accompanied by a letter from the GIA stating that it is the largest existing D-Z colour pear-shaped diamond ever graded by the laboratory. The previous auction record for the largest white diamond was a 163.41 carat gem, which sold at Christie’s Geneva in November 2017 for US$ 33,701,000.

    Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery said: “The Rock will join the very best of legendary gemstones which have passed through Christie’s global salerooms since 1766. The market for diamonds is particularly vibrant and we are confident that this sensational gemstone will capture the attention of collectors across the globe this Spring season.”


    Friday, March 11th, 2022
    Brian Kennedy

    The art historian Brian Kennedy, who died in February, was curator of 20th century art and later Keeper of Art at the Ulster Museum, for which he acquired many important contemporary works. As an academic he was incredibly generous with his time and knowledge. He produced the catalogue raisonne on Paul Henry and his PhD under Anne Crookshank at Trinity College Dublin formed the basis of a ground-breaking book, Irish Art and Modernism, 1880-1950. Those who love Irish art owe him a debt of gratitude for his very accessible work and contribution to the promotion of Irish art and artists. Brian Kennedy was 79.


    Thursday, February 10th, 2022
    The Enigma

    The Enigma black diamond, weighing in at 555.55 carats, sold at Sotheby’s for £3.16 million. The buyer paid in cryptocurrency. The origins of the billion year old carbonado stone are shrouded in mystery and one theory is that it was carried to earth by an asteroid.

    Sotheby’s did not identify the purchaser but after the auction cryptocurrency entrepreneur Richard Heart took to social media to claim that he was the buyer of The Enigma. He told his more than 180,000 Twitter followers that “as soon as the payment’s gone through and possession’s been taken” the gem would be renamed the “ diamond”, in reference to the blockchain platform he founded.

    (See post on for January 18, 2022)


    Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

    Bonhams has announced the acquisition of Bukowskis, the leading auction house in the Nordic region. Established in 1870 and with its flagship saleroom in Stockholm, Bukowskis is renowned throughout Scandinavia. During recent years they have transformed themselves from a much-loved, traditional, and respected brand into an innovative digital presence that attracts more than one million users every month. Last year, Bukowskis sold 11 out of the 15 most valuable artworks in the Swedish market. The acquisition is part of Bonhams strategy to further the development of Bonhams into a digital leader and a truly global player with a balanced presence across the US, Europe and Asia.


    Thursday, December 16th, 2021
    Robert Burns First Commonplace Book

    The most important Brontë material to come to light in a generation and two of the greatest Scottish manuscripts in private hands are among a treasure trove of English and Scottish literature at the Honresfield Library saved for the nation in the UK. The Friends of the National Libraries (FNL) has just announced that it has successfully raised over £15 million to acquire the historic manuscripts and books which includes manuscripts by the Brontës, Jane Austen, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. FNL will donate every manuscript and printed book to libraries and writers’ houses across the UK so that they are accessible to everyone.

    Earlier this year Sotheby’s announced that the manuscripts, first editions, letters and bindings that make up the legendary Honresfield Library – assembled with passion by self-made Victorian industrialists William and Alfred Law at the turn of the 20th century – were to be offered at auction in a series of three sales starting in July 2021. Working together with the UK charity FNL Sotheby’s agreed to postpone the commencement of the auctions to allow for negotiations for the entirety of the library to be acquired by a consortium of institutions for the nation.

    Following the appeal to public and private donors over the course of the past few months, FNL has successfully raised over £15 million to purchase the library for the nation.

    (See posts on for May 25 and June 17, 2021)


    Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

    Fresh from the success of an At Home sale today Adams will spread a bit of Christmas cheer with their final sale of the year tomorrow. Their auction of 251 lots of fine wines and spirits gets underway online from 2 pm. On offer is an appetising selection of Christmas bonhomie – the right tonic to help you enjoy yet another Covid Christmas. The sale kicks off with one bottle of 1959 Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac which is estimated at 1,500-2,500. A case of Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du pape from 1995 has an estimate of 900-1,100 and there is no shortage of choices to browse online.

    Nine bottles of MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA, Chardonnay, 1997, Limari Valley, Chile (550-750)