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    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.

    CHRISTIE’S FACILITATES ACQUISITION OF STEPHEN HAWKING PAPERS

    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.

    ASIAN ART APPOINTMENT AT JAMES ADAM IN DUBLIN

    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.

    TREASURES FROM CAREER OF JANET JACKSON AT JULIEN’S

    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

    IRISH TRADE ACQUIRES SPORTING RIFLE WITH MOUNTBATTEN CONNECTION

    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.