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    ANTIQUES AND ART IRELAND HITS A NEW NOTE

    Saturday, April 4th, 2020

    Life in lockdown is finding new outlets. The impact of the pandemic is transforming the online auction industry. In these circumstances two decades ago the business would have been entirely stalled. Now online and private sales are continuing apace. So are a variety of artistic endeavours including this one from the kitchens of members of the Orchestre national de France (ONF), one of two orchestras of Radio France. Musicians recorded their parts of the score of Ravel’s Bolero on their mobile phones with 51 instruments. Though they were not playing together the sounds were subsequently synchronised. Here is the result. Enjoy.

    HAVE YOU SEEN THIS PAINTING?

    Monday, March 30th, 2020

    A van Gogh painting was stolen in an overnight raid at the Singer Laren museum in Holland. The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884” by was taken in the early hours of Monday from the museum which is located about 30 kms from Amsterdam and was closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The institution houses the collection of American couple William and Anna Singer. The stolen van Gogh was on loan from the Groninger Museum in the northern Dutch city of Groningen.

    TIMELY DIAMONDS AND SAPPHIRES AT O’REILLYS

    Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

    This diamond and sapphire cluster bracelet is Lot 51 at O’Reilly’s March auction of fine jewellery, watches and silver. The Francis St., Dublin auctioneers have changed this a timed only sale and the catalogue is online. It runs from 1 p.m. on March 25 until 1 p.m. on March 27. The bracelet consists of pear shaped sapphires to brilliant cut diamond surrounds and is mounted in 18 carat white gold. The estimated weight of sapphires is 20 carats and diamonds five carats. It is estimated at 8,000-12,000. UPDATE: THE CLOSING HAMMER BID WAS 8,000

    REVISED SCHEDULE AT CHRISTIE’S

    Friday, March 20th, 2020

    The first phase of a global review to revise the Spring and Summer auction schedule in the Americas and Europe at Christie’s has been completed. In Hong Kong, the Spring Asian Art and Luxury sales currently remain scheduled to take place from May 30 to June 3.

    Christie’s will consolidate international 20th Century auctions into one week in one location, New York, scheduled to take place from June 23-28. In Geneva, the Luxury Week is scheduled for June 29 to 1 July. In London, Classic Week including Old Master Paintings and the Exceptional Sale, remain scheduled for July 6 to July 17. These dates may be subject to change based on the relevant advice and the recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO).

    WHYTE’S OFFICES CLOSED BUT BUSINESS CONTINUES

    Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

    In Dublin Whyte’s have announced that their offices and galleries will be closed to visitors until further notice. Directors and staff will be available by telephone and email to give valuations and advice on buying and selling art and collectibles, as well as administrative matters including accounts, collections and deliveries of purchases or consignments.

    Whyte’s scheduled auctions – The Eclectic Collector on 9 May and Important Irish Art on 25 May – may be postponed; further information on this will be given when known. Contact:  telephone 01 676 2888  email  info@whytes.ie

    WHERE THE MOUNTAINS OF MOURNE SWEEP DOWN TO THE SEA

    Friday, March 6th, 2020

    A sculptural installation to mark the centenary of the death of Percy French was unveiled today at the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle, County Down where the mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea. One of Ireland’s greatest songwriters, composers and entertainers French is best known as writer of humorous songs like Phil The Fluther’s Ball, Slattery’s Mounted Foot, Are You Right There Michael, Come Back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff and, most famously, The Mountains of Mourne.

    Commissioned by Hastings Hotels, who own the Slieve Donard Hotel, the installation is designed by Andrew Todd of Tandem Design, who has worked on Titanic Belfast and King John’s Castle in Limerick, and is produced by local craftspeople. It consists of the words of The Mountains of Mourne interwoven in three metal panels.

    Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

    ANYONE FOR A BIG DIAMOND PENDANT?

    Sunday, February 9th, 2020

    THIS marquise brilliant-cut diamond weighing 6.01cts, with pendant mount fitting is the top lot at the James Adam evening sale of Fine Jewellery at watches on February 11. It is estimated at €160,000-180,000. There are 86 lots in the sale and the catalogue is online.

    Marquise brilliant-cut diamond . UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    EXPORT OF SHACKLETON’S SLEDGE AND FLAG STOPPED

    Sunday, February 9th, 2020

    The UK’s Arts Minister Helen Whately has stopped the export from Britain of a sledge and flag taken on Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton’s 1907 – 1909 British Antarctic Expedition. The two, valued at £227,500 plus £8,750 VAT, had been sold to an overseas buyer. Now a UK buyer needs to be found and a decision on the export licence has been deferred to May 6.The Nimrod expedition was led by Shackleton, who headed three expeditions to the Antarctic in the early twentieth century. This one set out in a failed attempt to be first to reach the South Pole. The sledge and the flag were hauled, first by pony and then by the men, to within 97.5 miles of their objective before famously turning back to Discovery Point in 1909. They belonged to Dr Eric Marshall (1879 – 1963), surgeon, polar explorer and one of the group chosen to accompany Shackleton.

    Sir Ernest Shackleton’s (1874-1922) first experience of Polar expeditions was as third officer on Captain Scott’s Discovery expedition of 1901-04.

    The Flag from the Nimrod Expedition.

    ADAMS SEEKS TREASURE THROUGHOUT IRELAND

    Saturday, January 25th, 2020

    Following a highly successful year in 2019 the team of specialists at James Adam in Dublin is embarking on a nationwide valuation tour next week.  They will offer professional and discreet appraisals and hopefully pick up some interesting lots for sales in 2020. Adams say that the results achieved last year confirm that now is a good time to sell at auction in Ireland.  Their upcoming spring summer sales will range from fine art and period interiors to Important Irish Art, jewellery and watches, 20th century furniture and design, the library sale and historical document and artefacts.  Expert valuers will be in Belfast on Monday, Derry on Tuesday, Galway on Wednesday, Limerick on Thursday, Killarney on Friday, Kilkenny on this day week and Cork on February 2.  Appointments can be made by e-mail to valuations@adams.ie

    This c1955 diamond riviere necklace by Mauboussin sold for a hammer price of €150,000 at James Adam in September.

    LOST IN FIRE, RECOVERED IN VIRTUAL REALITY

    Thursday, December 5th, 2019

    IRELAND’S national archives, public records lost during a fire at the Four Courts in Dublin as a result of the Civil War in 1922, are to be recreated using virtual reality. Historical, genealogical and administrative records were lost. A new project, Beyond 2022, Ireland’s Virtual Records Treasury, seeks to recreate the lost records. It is led by Trinity College Dublin in partnership with the National Archives of Ireland, the National Archives UK, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Irish Manuscripts Commission.

    Dr. Peter Crooks, Director of Beyond 2022, said: “The Four Courts blaze of 1922 was a national tragedy, but thankfully all is not lost. Beyond 2022 combines virtual reality and big data to recover from the losses of 1922 to a greater extent than ever previously imagined. The scale of copies and duplicates we have identified in other archives is astounding. We are already working with over 35 libraries and archives in Ireland, the UK and US. And this is only the beginning.”

    A virtual reality model of the digitally reconstructed Public Record Office of Ireland will be launched in June 2022 to mark the centenary of the fire.

    THE FOUR COURTS ON FIRE IN 1922