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    BONHAMS ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF BUKOWSKIS

    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.

    TREASURE TROVE OF ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH LITERATURE SAVED FOR UK

    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 antiquesandartireland.com for May 25 and June 17, 2021)

    A LITTLE BIT OF CHRISTMAS CHEER AT JAMES ADAMS

    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)

    TOP LOTS AT THE JAMES ADAM FINE JEWELLERY AUCTION

    Friday, December 10th, 2021
    Diamond single stone ring makes 40,000 at hammer

    This diamond single stone ring with central asscher-cut diamond weighing 5.20cts within a four-claw setting and baguette-cut diamond shoulders made a hammer price of 40,000 at the James Adam sale of fine jewellery and watches this week. It was the top selling lot in an auction where a four hoop diamond bangle and c2005 diamond necklace by Stephen Webster each made 24,000.

    GRAFTON ARCHITECTS WIN STIRLING PRIZE

    Saturday, October 16th, 2021
    Artistic or what? Grafton Architect’s Town House at Kingston University

    The student town house by Grafton Architects at Kingston University near London has been awarded the Stirling Prize by the Royal Institute of British Architects. The judges said it expertly captured  the spirit of learning and the value of community cohesion. Set back from the street, the project extends the public realm, generously blurring its boundary with the pavement and inviting everyone in – students, locals and visitors alike. There are no barriers. A 200m long six-storey, deep colonnade offers shadow and shelter, with terraces and gardens above creating shelves of connected public space. The facades are permeable: open and transparent at the lower levels. Speaking on behalf of the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize jury, Lord Norman Foster, said: “Kingston University Town House is a theatre for life – a warehouse of ideas. It seamlessly brings together student and town communities, creating a progressive new model for higher education, well deserving of international acclaim and attention.

    The Dublin architecture firm is no stranger to big awards. It took the inaugural prize for the World Building of the Year in 2008 with the Luigi Bocconi University Building in Milan. Last year Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, co-founders of Grafton Architects, received the 2020 Pritzker Prize. The first women to be jointly recognised for the award also received the Royal Gold Medal 2020 from RIBA.

    SNOW WHITE WON’T BE CHEAP AT SOTHEBY’S FILM POSTERS SALE

    Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

    The 1937 poster for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the most expensively estimated lot at Sotheby’s online auction of original film posters. This was Walt Disney’s first feature film so it is a prized piece for any collector. It features the full cast with the dreamy castle in the background and is estimated at £12,000-18,000. The sale runs online from August 27 to September 7. The lots on offer demonstrate over 100 years of cinematic history from across the globe. There is promotional materials including posters, lobby cards, production stills and original artworks used to herald some of the world’s most iconic films with estimates from £300 upwards.

    UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £32,760

    BONHAMS JEWELLERY SPECIALIST IN BELFAST

    Monday, August 23rd, 2021

    Antiques Roadshow presenter and Bonhams senior jewellery specialist Kate Flitcroft, will be visiting Belfast to share her expertise, answer queries and provide complimentary, no obligation jewellery valuations to clients in Northern Ireland on September 7. The jewellery valuation day will take place in the Brian Ballard room of the Merchant Hotel. To book an appointment please contact Bonhams Irish office by email on ireland@bonhams.com 

    Kate Flitcroft

    AN AMBER CHESS SET FIT FOR A PRINCE

    Sunday, August 8th, 2021
    This amber chess set, made in Gdansk by Michael Redlin c1690, is regarded as one of the most impressive Baroque amber artworks in existence and dates from the same period as the famous Amber Room. Comparable sets are rare and the few that have survived are in public museums of princely origin like the Green Vault in Dresden and the State Hermitage in St. Petersberg.  This one was in the possession  of the Dukes of Atholl at Blair Castle in Scotland until a few years ago.  It was presented last year at TEFAF Maastricht by Kunsthammer Georg Laue and has now been integrated into the collections of the Amber Museum in Gdansk.  This museum has just re-opened its doors after several years of reconstruction. 

    WHEN AN ATLANTIC STORM MEETS THE IRISH COAST

    Friday, June 25th, 2021

    “Atlantic Winter Storm meets Ireland” has won Mayo man Felix Sproll the title of World Landscape Photographer of the Year. His image of waves crashing into the coastline at Doolin in Co Clare was selected from more than 6,500 photographs. The 29-year-old from Ballinrobe said conditions were good when he travelled to the area in question to try to capture the shot last winter. Winning images can be seen on worldlandscapephotographer.com

    IRISH SILVER MUSEUM OPENS IN WATERFORD

    Thursday, June 24th, 2021

    The Irish Silver Museum – home to one of the largest collections of Irish silver in the world – was officially opened by the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe today. Using beautiful objects the museum, which is open daily, offers visitors a journey through Irish history from the arrival of the Vikings to our entry to the EEC in 1973. Located at ‘The Deanery’ building in Cathedral Square the museum stands above a medieval wine vault dating to the 1440s, celebrates the skills of Irish silversmiths and showcases our social, economic and political history.

    Highlights include the Waterford kite brooch, a sword granted to the city by Edward IV, silver which belonged to Dean Jonathan Swift, and pieces from the most powerful families in Ireland alongside medals and commemorative items associated with great events in Irish history. Additional pieces on display are the Cheltenham Gold Cup won by ‘Minella Indo’ and the Randox Grand National trophy won by ‘Minella Times’ in 2021, presented by Henry de Bromhead.

    The Waterford Kite brooch Ireland’s finest piece of early 12th century secular metalwork.

    Minister Donohoe said, “As Minister for Finance I am delighted that Section 1003 of the Finance Act enables important elements of our national and much-valued heritage to remain in or be repatriated to the country, to be enjoyed not just by the privileged owners of old but all the people of Ireland and visitors to our shores”, the finance minister said. “I know that many of the items in this museum have been repatriated from overseas and collectively they show the richness and diversity in the craft of silver that has been practiced in Ireland for over twelve hundred years.”

    Museum Director Eamonn McEneaney said that Irish silver has been a prized metal since the Viking period. “Most of the objects in the museum feature the initials of their makers and the coat of arms of their owners which allows each beautifully crafted piece to tell its own story, thus giving us a remarkable window into the past.”

    The Irish Silver Museum offers examples from the most talented Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Youghal, Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir silversmiths of the 1700s, including Ireland’s rare female silversmiths. Waterford-based goldmith Paul Sullivan hosts his workshop and shop on the ground floor so that visitors can enjoy watching pieces of jewellery being created. The City of Waterford can now boast five award winning museums all located in the Viking Triangle.

    During the 1798 Rebellion, republican rebels, many of them Presbyterians, occupied the town of Ballymoney in County Antrim. When the town was captured by advancing British forces under the command of Lord Henry Murray, he ordered that it be burned to the ground. These two silver cups made by  John Lloyd of  Dublin in 1798, were presented to Lord Murray in gratitude for ‘restoring tranquillity’ to the local area.