Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    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


    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.


    Thursday, May 27th, 2021

    A treasure trove of archive papers and personal objects belonging to the late Professor Stephen Hawking has been acquired by two leading UK cultural institutions, facilitated through Christie’s Heritage and Taxation Advisory Service.

    Following an Acceptance In Lieu (AIL) agreement between the Hawking Estate and the UK Government the archive of Professor Stephen Hawking’s scientific and personal papers will remain in Cambridge at the University Library. The entire contents of Hawking’s office will be preserved as part of the Science Museum Group Collection, with selected highlights going on display at the Science Museum in 2022.

    Professor Hawking’s archive contains letters dating from 1944-2008, a first draft of A Brief History of Time, film and tv scripts and autograph scientific manuscripts from the early phase of his career. There is a large collection of photographs, papers and correspondence with Popes, US Presidents and leading scientists of the age, including Nobel Prize winners Kip Thorne and Roger Penrose. The archive will be made available to current and future generations of scientists continuing his ground-breaking work in theoretical physics, and will provide future biographers and science historians with an extraordinary gateway and insight into Hawking’s life and work.


    Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

    Thibault Duval has been appointed head of the newly formed Asian Art department at James Adam in Dublin. Educated in Paris at Ecole du Louvre he is a member of the Société des Amis du Musée Guimet, Paris and of the London Oriental Ceramic Society. M. Duval holds a BA in Law from the Sorbonne and has trained at leading museums and auction houses. He launched an Asian art department at a North American auction house, returning to Paris in 2013. Latterly he has been head of the Asian Art department at Drouot in Paris. He has travelled extensively in Asia and practices Chinese calligraphy. There will be an Asian art sale with 500 lots at Adams on June 29.


    Monday, April 26th, 2021

    Iconic items from the career of music legend Janet Jackson will come under the hammer live and online at a three day sale by Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills on May 14, 15 and 16. More than 1,000 lots from her 40 year career will include historical music video attire like the original Rhythm Nation Jacket from her 1989 musical film short worn in tour and costumes and memorabilia from each of her record-breaking world tours.

    Richard Tyler black coat stage worn on 1990 Rhythm Nation World Tour. UPDATE: THIS MADE $81,250


    Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

    The Irish trade bought a fine .275 bolt-action sporting rifle by John Rigby & Co. at an auction by Gavin Gardiner in England yesterday. Built in 1924 for the Earl of Altamont it was estimated tat £3,000-5,000 and sold for £6,250.

    The Earl of Altamont succeeded to the Marquessate in 1935 having served in the 2nd Dragoon Guards during World War One, where he was awarded the Military Cross. Upon his return he ran the family estates and succeeded his father. He died in 1941 and the rifle passed to the Knatchbull family on his death, through the marriage of his sister, Doreen Browne, to Michael Knatchbull, 5th Baron Brabourne. John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne, married the Hon Patricia Mountbatten in 1946, daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten and the rifle was passed down through the family. John Knatchbull had a successful career as a television and Oscar nominated film producer and survived the 1979 IRA bomb that killed his father-in-law, Lord Louis Mountbatten, as well as his mother and young son.

    .275 bolt-action sporting rifle by John Rigby & Co.


    Monday, February 15th, 2021

     An exhibition to mark the 120th anniversary of the death of Oscar Wilde opens today on a dedicated page of the Bonhams website.  Man of our Times will run from February 15-23. There are manuscripts, letters, first editions, association copies and ephemera from the collection of bibliophile and former dealer in Oriental antiques Jeremy Mason.  He has been collecting Wilde memorabilia for the past 55 years.  Shown here is the bill for flowers at Oscar Wilde’s funeral made out to Robert Ross and amounting to 77 francs. The poet, dramatist and novelist died in a rundown Paris hotel in November 1900.


    Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

    As part of an ongoing programme to strengthen its European
    network of representatives Bonhams in Ireland has appointed Kevin Gaines to work alongside Irish representative Kieran O’Boyle at its Molesworth St., Dublin offices. A practicing sculptor he has more than 20 years experience in the art world, mainly at the Dublin Gallery Jorgensen Fine Art as right hand man to fashion designer and gallery owner Ib Jorgensen, who is retiring. The Dublin office of Bonhams offers valuation services and helps Irish clients access the International art and collectibles markets through Bonham’s global salesrooms.

    Kevin Gaines


    Thursday, February 4th, 2021

    London booksellers Peter Harrington are offering a first inscribed presentation edition of Dubliners (London: Grant Richards Ltd, 1914) by James Joyce for a cool £195,000. The first edition, first impression, first issue is inscribed by the author on the initial blank: “To Beatrice Randegger James Joyce Trieste 19 June 1914”.

    The official publication date in London was a few days earlier, Monday June 15, but Joyce was in Trieste and did not receive the first of the 120 copies he had agreed to buy from Grant Richards until the Friday of that week. The other very few known presentation copies of the earliest date – to Roberto Preziosi, the Italian who had paid excessive attentions to Nora, and to Moses Dlugacz, his Zionist friend – are dated the same day. Beatrice was one of the daughters of Ettore Richetti, a prominent lawyer and head of the Jewish community in Trieste. 


    Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

    The Design Museum in London has named the Teeter-Totter Wall, an interactive installation that allowed children based in both the USA and Mexico to play together across the border wall, as the Beazley Design of the Year 2020. The project designed by architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello with Colectivo Chopeke, created a place where children from both countries could connect playfully through three bright pink see-saws.

    The three bright pink ‘teeter-totters’ (seesaws) were slotted into gaps in the steel boundary wall by designers from both sides of the border and installed for just under twenty minutes on July 28, 2019. Although a temporary installation, the event lived on through footage shared virally on social media.