Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact

    March 30th, 2020

    Like so many auctioneers de Veres in Dublin postponed their Irish art sale scheduled for April 7. But the catalogue had been published online and the auction house is continuing to receive plenty of inquiries about the works it contains. So they have taken the unusual decision to open the catalogue to offers. These will be relayed to vendors, who will be advised accordingly. No bids below estimate will be considered at this point. And all bids should be made by e-mail to

    UPDATE: The open to offers sale closed with the sale of 60 lots and brought in more than €100,000. The Gerard Dillon below received an offer at the low reserve which was not accepted and it will feature at an auction in the future.

    Lot 79 is The Space Circus by Gerard Dillon (1916-1971) (15,000-20,000)


    March 28th, 2020

    The show must go on but not in all circumstances.  At home and abroad many sales are being postponed and rescheduled.  Among the postponements last week was Sotheby’s much vaunted London sale of the Patrick Kelly Collection from 44 Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin. This was a loss and the sense of disappointment was palpable but the auction will no doubt eventually go ahead.The sale of Important Irish Art at James Adam was postponed last week and among the auctions not going ahead in the coming week are sales at Lynes and Lynes in Carrigtwohill, Mullen’s Collectors Cabinet sale at Laurel Park in Bray and a planned sale of pub memorabilia at Victor Mee’s in Co. Cavan. These auctions are set up and ready to go at a moments notice whenever the all clear is given.  Even where an auction is scheduled to go ahead right now it is advisable to check at the last minute before travelling. All sales at Bonhams are postponed until April 21, there is a revised schedule at Christie’s, Sotheby’s has reduced the schedule, all auctions at James Adam in Dublin are temporarily postponed and Fonsie Mealy is open by appointment only.  Whyte’s offices are closed but business continues behind closed doors and this is the case with many leading auctioneering firms right now.


    March 27th, 2020

    Salvador Dali’s Rhinocerous dressed in lace from 1981 comes up at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online sale of Irish and International Art on April 14. The signed bronze is number 238 from an edition of 499. Dali’s interest in the rhinoceros stemmed from Durer’s celebrated etching of the animal. Dali claimed a connection between the growth pattern of the rhinoceros’s horn, the pattern sewn in Vermeer’s The Lacemaker and the growth pattern of the sunflower. All of these speculative connections come into play in his sculpture of rhinoceros dressed in lace. It is estimated at 4,000-6,000. The catalogue is online.


    March 26th, 2020

    Masterpiece, the leading British antiques fair which was scheduled to take place in London from June 25 until July 1, has been cancelled. A statement issued today said: “We are grateful for the support and hard work of our exhibitors, partners and staff in preparation for this year’s edition of the Fair; however the health of everyone involved in Masterpiece London is our absolute priority during these unprecedented times”.


    March 26th, 2020

    Auctioneers Herman and Wilkinson, based in Rathmines in Dublin, will continue with weekly household auctions using their timed online platform.  A fully illustrated catalogue becomes available at 3:00 pm every Wednesday, and bidding commences at that point. Bidding will close at one minute intervals per lot from noon each Thursday. Weekly auction feature entire house contents sold in individual and group lots, including sitting room, dining room and bedroom furnishings, mirrors, works of art, ornaments, collectibles and garden tools. Around 2,000 items in 600 – 800 lots are sold.


    March 25th, 2020

    A profile by Daniel O’Neill sold for a hammer price of 8,500 over a top estimate of 6,000 at Sheppards sale of The O’Mahony Collection in Durrow on March 24. The auction of a diverse range of works from across the globe moved to an online only sale and proved to be highly successful with no shortage of internet bidders. On Tuesday Sheppards repeated the experience of auctioneers Matthews of Oldcastle, Aidan Foley of Doneraile and Hegarty’s of Bandon, all of whom held successful sales over last weekend. All these auctions changed to online only at the eleventh hour.


    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


    March 23rd, 2020

    The sale of the private collection of Tim O’Mahony in Kilkenny at Sheppards on March 24 is accessible online. Absentee bidding is available, along with telephone bids. This is an auction of 592 lots of decorative arts, paintings and fine furniture. There is everything from malachite postal scales, a shagreen compact and Mughal School miniatures to an 18th century mahogany snap top table, a 19th century specimen table, Staffordshire ware, antique Irish glass and an Iznik  octagonal centrepiece.

    This silver gilt Viennese enamelled cup is estimated at 300-500. UPDATE: THIS MADE 400 AT HAMMER



    March 21st, 2020

    The Cork artist and printmaker Edward Twohig has scored the singular honour of being collected by the British Museum.  And now the Victoria and Albert Museum is planning to take a look at his studio.  The British Museum, whose collection charts the development of graphic art in Europe from the 1400’s and includes work by Durer,  Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Hogarth, Goya and Picasso, has just acquired 12 prints by Edward Twohig. “This is unheard of and most gratifying, a validation of over 30 years commitment to printmaking” he said. Among the works are Quietness drawn from Mount Desert Woods in Cork and Meteor Shower, Knockmealdown Mountains. Both date to 2015.  The artist, who is now Head of Art at Marlborough College in Wiltshire where the Duchess of Cambridge went to school, graduated from the Crawford in 1990 and holds an MA from Chelsea College of Art.  He works directly from nature in places that resonate for him. His work is in museums and galleries including the Crawford in Cork, the Ashmolean in Oxford, the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge, the collection of Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, the Museo des Bellas Artes in Caracas and the Azerbaijan National Museum. A trustee of Bankside Gallery in London he has been a member of the Royal Society of Printmakers since 2016.

    Edward Twohig – Quietness – Mount Desert Woods


    March 20th, 2020

    Tonight Bonhams announced the postponement and rescheduling of all auctions until April 21. This is effective immediately. UK salerooms at New Bond St. and Knightsbridge in London, Edinburgh, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong are all closed.

    Bonhams remains open via its website and specialists, who are working remotely, are happy to assist with queries. The Digital Consignment Hub – Sell with Bonhams – is available on the website for any consignments to future sales. The situation is being monitored re auctions after April 21 and updates will be issued.