Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category


    Tuesday, September 13th, 2022
    Curly Wee with original dust jacket

    Contents from the Greenway Antiques and Book Store, Mulranny, Co. Mayo are now on sale.  Rare and out of print books and first editions from the collection of the late Vanessa Parker, who along with Roger Grimes Antiques has been a fixture of the Irish antique trade for decades, are on offer at up to 70% off.  This copy of Curly Wee is priced at €171 and there are three more from the series. There are first and early edition of poetry by Yeats among thousands of rare books and first editions. For the future Roger Grimes intends to trade on a smaller scale and on the internet on   


    Wednesday, August 31st, 2022
    1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider by Scaglietti

    This 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider by Scaglietti sold for $22,005,000 at RM Sotheby’s in California. Over three days in Monterey, California, RM Sotheby’s made $239,258,340 US at auction, setting a record for the highest grossing automotive auction of all time and netting a higher total than all other Monterey Car Week 2022 auctions combined. Seven of the top ten lots were by Ferrari. Porsche also presented a strong showing, with a 2022 911 “Sally Special” becoming the most expensive factory-new Porsche ever to sell at auction at $3.6 million, while a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen was RM Sotheby’s second-highest sale of the week at $9,905,000.  An impressive 180 cars were sold over the three auctions, which saw bidders from 38 different countries. Fifty-two of them sold for over $1 million.


    Saturday, August 13th, 2022
    Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londondonerry (Lord Castlereagh), c National Portrait Gallery, London.

    This year marks the 200th anniversary of the death by suicide of Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, an enormously influential and divisive figure, hated in both Ireland and Britain.  The silver inkstand presented by William Pitt to Stewart in 1805 when he became Secretary of State for War and the Colonies is now on display at his home at Mount Stewart, Co. Down. In this role he helped shape the future of Europe at the Congress of Vienna, the coming together of victorious leaders in 1814 after the defeat of Napoleon.  Earlier, in Ireland, he had played an important role suppressing the 1798 Rebellion and the creation of the Act of Union in 1801. 

    In England he supported the repressive measures of 1815 that linked him in the public mind to the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 when the cavalry charged a 60,000 crowd demanding parliamentary reform, killing 15. This event inspired Shelley’s poem, The Masque of Anarchy, in which the second stanza begins:

    I met Murder on the way,

    He had a mask like Castlereagh

    The inkstand remained within the family until it was sold in 2019. It has been acquired by the National Trust which administers the magnificent neo classical Mount Stewart House and Gardens in Northern Ireland. It is part of a new exhibition of Robert Stewart’s life which opened on August 12. Some time after his death Lord Byron penned these lines:

    Posterity will ne’er survey

    A nobler grave than this:

    Here lie the bones of Castlereagh:

    Stop, traveller, and piss


    Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

    Here is a video on Maya Lin’s sculpture at the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side. It is designed by architects Todd Williams and Billie Tsien and ground on the project was broken last September. The Museum building will be a new landmark for the South Side, welcoming visitors to Jackson Park and marking the Center as an historic civic destination. The Museum building’s design embodies the idea of ascension—of a movement upward from the grassroots. Its form is inspired by the idea of four hands coming together; a recognition that many hands shape a place.


    Tuesday, August 9th, 2022

    A window  offering a glimpse of school life in Cork over the past 250 years is about to open. An absorbing exhibition about the Presentation Sisters and schools in Cork city and county gets underway at Nano Nagle Place in Cork city centre today and will run until  April.  The social context of foundations like North Pres in Cork city (1789) and Doneraile (1818) through to modern convents in city suburbs like Ballyphehane and Farranree is explored through the rich archival collections of the sisters which have been thoroughly trawled through and extensively mined. Images from past pupils were crowdsourced too  resulting in a rich and fascinating show in a brilliant location. The image here is from St. Mary’s School, Presentation Convent, Fermoy.


    Friday, July 29th, 2022

    A Gorgosaurus skeleton sold for $6,095,600 at Sotheby’s Natural History sale in New York on July 28. It had been excavated on private land at Judith River, Choteau River, Montana in 2018. The exhibition mounted skeleton measures nine feet, two and a half inches tall and just under 22 feet long. It is from the late Cretaceous Period and approximately 77 million years old. The Gorgosaurus was a relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.


    Tuesday, July 26th, 2022
    The University Of Pennsylvania mRNA NFT

    A breathtaking 3d digital work that takes the viewer to the molecular level, showing a cutting-edge mRNA vaccine fighting COVID-19, sold for $226,800 at Christie’s on July 25. The one-of-a-kind digital University of Pennsylvnia mRNA NFT was designed by the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Drew Weissman, whose groundbreaking research helped create mRNA vaccines. The NFT comes with a storyboard that explains what the NFT depicts, the University of Pennsylvania-owned mRNA patent documents, and an original letter from Dr. Weissman, whose research produced key innovations that made mRNA vaccines safer and more effective. Proceeds from the auction will support ongoing research activities at the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine.

    MRNA vaccines are a new form of technology that has been science’s main tool to fight the COVID virus. Unlike traditional vaccines, which use a weakened or inactive germ to trigger an immune response, mRNA vaccines are designed to teach the body to create a protein that triggers the immune response. This one-of-a-kind NFT features a stunning one-minute 3D sequence that uses color, shape, movement, and sound to show mRNA encapsulated inside of lipid nanoparticles, administered via a vaccine, and working in the body to teach cells to create a protein to help the immune system to fight COVID.

    In its review of the first half of 2022 Christie’s reported that the market for NFT’s is facing its first real endurance test.  It amounted to just $4.75 million (€4.71 million) in the half year. Collectors are responding by selecting the best digital artists from the rest and consolidating around a group more likely to survive the tumult of the broader cryptocurrency markets.


    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.