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  • UNSOLVED THEFT OF THE IRISH CROWN JEWELS RECALLED AT WHYTE’S

    June 5th, 2024

    Dublin Metropolitan Police reward poster for the Irish Crown Jewels. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,600 AT HAMMER

    This rare poster issued by the Dublin Metropolitan Police in the wake of the theft of the Irish Crown Jewels in 1907 comes up at Whyte’s Eclectic Collector timed online auction which runs until June 7. Issued by John Lowe, Superintendent with three illustrations of the jewels – all of them for the Order of Saint Patrick – the lot is estimated at 600-800.

    The Jewels of the Order of St Patrick were the heavily jewelled badge and star created in 1831 for the Grand Master of the Order of St. Patrick established in 1783 by George III to be an Irish equivalent of the Order of the Garter in England.  They were stolen along with the collars of five knights of the order. The theft was never solved and the items were never recovered. Viewing for the auction gets underway at Whyte’s today and the catalogue is online.

    A HARE’S LAMENT BY BARRY FLANAGAN AT SOTHEBY’S

    June 4th, 2024

    Barry Flanagan – Lament. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £180,000

    Barry Flanagan’s bronze sculpture Lament (2007) at Sotheby’s Modern British and Irish evening auction in London on June 6 is a late exemplar of perhaps the artist’s most celebrated series of works. Cast only two years before Flanagan’s death it combines figuration and abstraction, whimsy and sorrow. The hare becomes anthropomorphic, its arms raised in a theatrical gesture. The hare is captured in a moment of expressive exultation or anguish, as the contorted and twisted body appears to be fluctuating on the verge between the two. Number 1 from the edition of 8, plus four artist’s casts, it is estimated at £150,000-£250,000.

    THE STARTLING DIFFERENCE MADE BY A PROFESSIONAL RESTORATION

    June 3rd, 2024

    What a difference a professional restoration can make.  Pictured here are before and after conservation images of The Madonna of the Cherries by Quentin Metsys, which will be a highlight at Christie’s Old Master sale in London on July 2.  Painted in the 1520’s in Antwerp all trace of the work was lost following the death of its then owner in 1668. It resurfaced in Paris in the 1920’s with an altered composition including a curtain across the window and was no longer recognised as work by Metsys. With its overpainting and varnish it was offered at Christie’s in 2015 as a studio variant deriving from the original, reflecting scholarly opinion at that time. Subsequent conservation was transformative and enabled scholars to recognise it as the original.  The estimate for the work is now £8 million – £12 million (€9.40 million – €14.09 million). 

    PLENTY OF OPTIONS AT MARSHS SALE IN CORK

    June 3rd, 2024

    A pair of Art Nouveau figures on marble bases UPDATE: THESE MADE 300 AT HAMMER

    Lovers of antique furniture, and there are still plenty of them out there, will find plenty of options that are both affordable and attractive, not to mention sustainable, at Marshs sale in Cork on June 12. The selection on offer ranges from an antique Queen Anne walnut bureau bookcase (€2,000-€3,000) and a pair of early Irish Georgian dining chairs (€1,500-€2,000) to an early walnut secretaire campaign chest (€500-€800) and a set of eight Cork dining chairs (€800-€1,000).

    There is a choice of card tables led by a Regency marquetry inlaid example (€500-€1,000) as well as a large oval end Victorian dining table with an estimate of just €1,000-€1,500.  There are collectible lithographs of Cork Harbour scenes by Robert Stopford and others, some Waterford Crystal and a private collection of around 150 lots of Irish, English and European coins. 

    A pair of Edwardian knife boxes. UPDATE: THESE MADE 600 AT HAMMER

    LISMORE ANTIQUES FAIR OFFERS GREAT VARIETY

    June 1st, 2024

    A Still Life by Graham Knuttel at the Purple Onion gallery at Lismore Antiques Fair.

    There is everything from antique furniture, art and jewellery to porcelain, vintage fashion and collectibles at the two day Bank Holiday weekend Lismore Opera Festival antiques and vintage fair today and tomorrow (June 1 and 2).   Fairs are for browsing and discovering new areas of interest and this one offers much to hold the attention of all sorts of collectors. Choices range from Knocknagow by Charles Kickham at Jim Hyde books, a still life by Graham Knuttel at The Purple Onion Gallery, exotic hats at Eily Henry’s vintage collection, a c1830 William IV Irish work table by Butlers, beautiful porcelain at Brian Hurley’s stand, coins and banknotes and even a Christian Dior plaster mannequin from 1946 at Le Belle Epoque. 

    Brian Hurley will bring this decorated Booths china dish to the Lismore Antiques Fair.

    HISTORIC NIRVANA PORTRAIT AND A SPORTING MEDALS COLLECTION

    June 1st, 2024

    Poster for cancelled Nirvana concert in Dublin in April 1994. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,900 AT HAMMER

    An historic poster for a cancelled Nirvana concert at the RDS in Dublin on April 8, 1994, the day Kurt Cobain’s body was found in Seattle, the original manuscript from The Fianna of Fionn by Padraig Pearse, the magnificent sporting collection of Ed Hayes of Two Mile Borris, captain of the winning All-Ireland hurling team in 1900 and a letter to General Lauriston dictated and signed by Napoleon  are highlights at Whyte’s.   The timed online Eclectic Collector auction is open for bidding and runs until June 7.

    The sale of 582 lots at Whytes includes historical artefacts, manuscripts, documents, photographs, books, militaria and medals, weapons and  memorabilia.

    The 1809 letter from Emperor Napoleon, Pádraig Pearse’s original handwritten manuscript of 23 pages, a 1966 Rising Jubilee 4 ounce gold medal, the British War medals to awarded to Captain G.T. Baggallay, assassinated by Michael Collins’ squad on Bloody Sunday, a 1921 grocer’s account for ‘The Irish Delegation to the Treaty Talks in London’ and the 1900-1910 Hurling, collection of Ed Hayes including All-Ireland, Tipperary and Munster Championships medals and two cups will attract many bidders. 

    The scarce Nirvana poster relates to a Dublin concert poignantly dated on the 1994 day Kurt Cobain’s body was found, three days after his suicide in Seattle. The artwork is based on the transparent anatomical mannikin with superimposed angel wings used on the cover of In Utero, the bands third and final studio album.

    The oldest items are south Italian pot lids and a candle holder from c300 BC.  There is a range of 17th century maps of Ireland and a Penal Cross from 1745, items from modern history including the Troubles and a Libyan munitions box seized on the MV Claudia in 1973.

    The 1900-1910 medal and cup collection of Ed Hayes, Two Mile Borris including All Ireland, Tipperary and Munster Championships. UPDATE: THESE MADE 6,200 AT HAMMER

    NEW WORLD RECORD FOR THE MOST EXPENSIVE PRINCE GUITAR SOLD

    May 31st, 2024

    Prince’s original “Cloud 3” electric guitar used in his iconic ’80s-’90s tours from Purple Rain to Diamonds & Pearls, set a new world record for the most expensive Prince guitar ever sold at auction when it made $910,000 at Julien’s Music Icons sale in New York. Bono’s iconic U2 signed 2005 Gretsch G6136i “Irish Falcon” sold for $260,000, Steve Jones’ custom 1974 Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, recently verified as the punk rock icon’s true original and iconic Sex Pistols axe, sold for $390,000, Adam Clayton’s Fender Rose Sparkle Precision bass guitar from the U2 Las Vegas residency sold for $260,000, ans Cliff Williams’ circa 1980s AC/DC teal double cutaway precision style bass guitar with eight mother of pearl inlaid “penis” motifs sold for $22,750.

    PAUL HENRY TOPS THE BILL AT ADAMS ART SALE

    May 30th, 2024

    Paul Henry RHA RUA (1876-1958) – Mountain Landscape with Cottages c.1926-30

    Paul Henry’s Mountain Landscape with Cottages and Early Morning in the Markets, Quimperlé (1883) by Walter Osborne shared top honours at the sale of Important Irish Art at James Adam in Dublin on May 29. Each made €110,000 at hammer. The Water Steps by Jack Yeats made €100,000 and Crossing the Canal Bridge, from the Tram Top (1927) by Yeats made €90,000.

    FOLEY STATUES MAKE €13,000 AT HAMMER AT FONSIE MEALY

    May 29th, 2024

    John Henry Foley, RA (1818-1874) – Statues of Oliver Goldsmith and Edmund Burke

    These 51 cm high statues of Oliver Goldsmith and Edmund Burke made a hammer price of €13,000 over an estimate of 4,000-6,000 at Fonsie Mealy’s Chatsworth summer fine art sale in Castlecomer today. They are maquettes for the full-size bronzes erected at the gates of Trinity College Dublin in 1863 and 1868. The original plaster models are in the Birmingham City Art Gallery.  Foley is best known for his statutes of Daniel O’Connell at the O’Connell monument in Dublin and of Prince Albert for the Albert Memorial in London. A 16th century tapestry once in the Rathcormac collection of American actor Hurd Hatfield made 9,500.

    AUBUSSON TAPESTRY BY LE BROCQUY TOPS DE VERES ART SALE

    May 28th, 2024

    Louis le Brocquy HRHA, 1916-2012 – Milles Tetes Gris Noir Blanc

    This Aubusson tapestry by Louis le Brocquy, hand made by Tabard Freres & Soeurs, was the top lot at de Veres outstanding Irish art a sculpture auction in Dublin this evening. It made a hammer price of 155,000. A portrait entitled Edith, Gypsy Girl by Sir William Orpen made 100,000, The Overflow of the Canal by Jack B Yeats and an Image of W B Yeats by Le Brocquy each made 70,000, a Still Life by Roderic O’Conor made 60,000, a landscape by John George Mulvany (1766-1838) and Game of Chance by Colin Middleton from the Wilderness series each made 40,000. The auction brought in €1.6 million and was 85% sold.