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    ORIGINAL LED ZEPPELIN ALBUM COVER ILLUSTRATION AT CHRISTIE’S

    Monday, January 23rd, 2023
    George Hardie original artwork Led Zeppelin album cover. Couresy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2022. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $47,880

    George Hardie’s original album cover artwork for the 1976 Led Zeppelin soundtrack to the film The Song Remains the Same comes up at Christie’s Exceptional Sale in New York on January 27. The acrylic, ink and graphite front and back covers on illustration board are estimated at $50,000-80,000. The sale of extraordinary objects includes furniture, silver and decorative arts. Among the lots on offer are The Arizona Spike made in 1869 of steel clad in gold and silver to commemorate the completion of the world’s first transcontinental railroad and an Ascot Trophy sponsored by Tsar Nicholas II.

    UPDATE: The Arizona Spike made $2.2 million, the Ascot Trophy made $302,400.

    CHRISTINE MCVIE’S WARDROBE AND ICONIC INSTRUMENTS

    Monday, December 5th, 2022

    Christine McVie’s wardrobe Including her vintage Rumours album cover worn maxi dress sold for $56,250 at Julien’s in Hollywood over the weekend. The sale featured over 800 lots from three iconic members of Fleetwood Mac including personal wardrobe, musical equipment, household furnishings, awards, memorabilia and more. A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares, who honored Fleetwood Mac in 2018 as the organisation’s Person of the Year, to support the charity’s work providing critical services to underserved members of the music community.

    An emotional moment of the auction was the sale of the collection of Christine McVie, who passed away three days before the event took place. The auction and catalogue of her most personal and professional items organised by Ms. McVie and her team with Julien’s a year ago represented the Songbird’s lifetime of great performances, recordings and songs as a member of one of the best-selling groups of all time, Fleetwood Mac, and as a legendary solo artist.

    Highlights included: the GRAMMY® Award- winner’s vintage maxi dress which sold for $56,250, five times its original estimate of $10,000. Christine McVie’s iconic instruments including her Leslie Rotary speaker and microphones sold for $37,500, thirty-seven times its original estimate, touring Hammond B3 organ made $28,125, Yamaha E3 Series Disklavier electric five-foot baby grand piano sold for $22,400 and Hammond B3 Organ, stage-played sold for $18,750

    ANYONE FOR AN IMPORTANT DIAMOND NECKLACE?

    Thursday, December 1st, 2022
    AN IMPORTANT DIAMOND NECKLACE. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Set with three continuous rows of princess-cut diamonds this necklace comes up at the James Adam sale of Fine Jewellery and Watches in Dublin on December 6. Billed as an important diamond necklace with 45-50 carats in total it is estimated at €40,000-€60,000 and is the most expensively estimated lot in the sale. There are diamonds rings, earrings, brooches, pendants, bracelets, sapphires, pearls, rubies and gold galore to choose from among 261 lots with estimates from €200 up. The catalogue is online.

    CLIMATE ACTIVISTS THROW SOUP AT VAN GOGH’S SUNFLOWERS IN LONDON

    Friday, October 14th, 2022
    PIC – JUST STOP OIL

    In London the National Gallery said that Van Gogh’s Sunflowers is covered with glass and was not damaged when protestors threw tins of Heinz Tomato Soup at it today. There is some minor damage to the frame of the work, painted in 1888. The two climate activists in Just Stop Oil T-shirts opened the tins and threw the contents on the masterpiece before gluing their hands to the wall. The Metropolitan Police said two people had been arrested.

    STAMPA 2022, THE IRISH NATIONAL STAMP EXHIBITION ON THIS WEEKEND

    Friday, October 7th, 2022

    STAMPA 2022, the Irish National Stamp Exhibition runs from October 7-9 at Griffith College conference centre, South Circular Road in Dublin. There will be exhibits of stamps and postal history from collections and leading Irish stamp dealers will be on hand.

    MAYO ANTIQUE AND BOOK SHOP TO MOVE ONLINE

    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 https://antiquesandbooks.com   

    HIGHEST GROSSING AUTOMOTIVE AUCTION OF ALL TIME

    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.

    NEW EXHIBITION ON THE LIFE OF ROBERT STEWART, LORD CASTLEREAGH

    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

    PRESIDENT OBAMA AND MAYA LIN ON SCULPTURAL COMMISSION

    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.

    THE PRESENTATION SISTERS AND THEIR SCHOOLS IN CORK

    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.