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  • FILM PROPS FROM VIKINGS AND GAME OF THRONES AT LAOIS AUCTION

    July 22nd, 2021

    Film props from Vikings and Game of Thrones will go under the hammer in Ireland next week. The online sale by Ballybrittas, Co. Laois based auctioneer Sean Eacrett takes place on July 26. A pair of metal candelabra from Game of Thrones is estimated at 400-600 and there will be wooden thrones up to two metres tall from Vikings which ran for six series and was filmed in Ashford, Co. Wicklow.

    King Alfreds thrown from Vikings, season 5 (300-500). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 370 AT HAMMER

    EXHIBITION TO MARK 30 YEARS OF THE IRISH MUSEUM OF MODERN ART

    July 21st, 2021

    A four phase exhibition to showcase the collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and to mark 30 years of IMMA opens in Dublin on July 30. The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now will open in four phases throughout 2021. Each new chapter will explore the past three decades through different thematic approaches. Chapter One: Queer Embodiment opens on 30 July followed by Chapter Two: The Anthropocene on 24 September; Chapter Three: Social Fabric on 5 November; and Chapter Four: Protest and Conflict  on 19 November.  The exhibition traces urgent themes across the 30-year period as they impact the personal, the political and the planetary, and prompts thinking about the effects of globalisation today in the Irish context as we respond to global crises from COVID-19 to Climate Change and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

    Queer Embodiment maps the context for the project. It reflects on the dramatic legislative changes that occurred in Irish society such as the decriminalisation of homosexuality (1993), provision of divorce (1996), marriage equality (2015) and the repeal of the Eighth Amendment (2018). These moments in the struggle for human rights find echoes across the globe, as grassroots movements continue to contest the impact of the State on the Body. 

    Zanele Muholi. S’thombe, La Réunion, 2016 (I), detail. Quadriptych Silver Gelatin Print.
    David Kronn Collection, Promised Gift to IMMA.

    MODERN BRITISH AND IRISH ART AT BONHAMS

    July 19th, 2021


    There is art by William Conor, Charles Lamb, Derek Hill, Breon O’Casey and Markey Robinson at Bonhams sale of British and Irish art at Knightsbridbge in London on July 21. The auction is led by Summer Holiday by Sherree Valentine-Daines (born. 1959) which is estimated at £5,000-7,000.

    Breon O’Casey – Lost Hedge (£1,000-£1,500)

    AN AUCTION FULL OF REMINDERS OF BC LIFE

    July 19th, 2021

    The lure of nostalgia is strong. The popularity in Ireland of sales of pub and old advertising memorabilia is undimmed. There are 659 lots in Victor Mee’s advertising, pub memorabilia and collectibles sale online from Belturbet, Co. Cavan on August 5. These days were are all harking back longingly to life BC (before Covid). This sale was originally scheduled to take place on July 22.

    This Wills’s Woodbine double sided enamel advertising sign is estimated at 250-450.

    A GREAT DAY AT PUNCHESTOWN AND A GREAT SALE AT CHRISTIE’S

    July 17th, 2021
    John Fergus O’Hea of the inaugural Prince of Wales Plate at Punchestown Racecourse in 1868

    THIS large and historic topographical painting by Cork artist John Fergus O’Hea of the inaugural Prince of Wales Plate at Punchestown Racecourse in 1868 made £694,500 (€811,590) over a top estimate of £150,000 (€175,289) at Christie’s sale of the collection of B.J. Eastwood in London.  Photography was in its infancy when the Prince of Wales went to Punchestown against the wishes of his mother Queen Victoria who worried about the reputation of the then 26 year old prince, his passion for horse racing and pursuit of amusement. The first known photographs of Punchestown Festival were taken that day by John Chancellor who ran a studio in Dublin. He commissioned O’Hea to make the painting.Trained at the Cork School of Design the artist was son of barrister James O’Hea who was active in the Young Ireland movement and secretary to Daniel O’Connell.  John Fergus was a political cartoonist and noted illustrator who sometimes published under the pseudonym Spex.  He was co-founder of Zozimus, a satirical magazine similar to Punch and painted trade union banners for Cork parades in the 1860’s, ’70’s and ’80’s.In 1883 the conservative British journal St. Stephen’s Review described him as an out and out nationalist and “one of the cleverest artists in the three kingdoms” who draws his marvellous cartoons for the most miserable of Irish comic papers.  Gladstone described his pencil as “directly guided by the spirit of patriotism”.  The trip to Punchestown began at Kingsbridge (now Heuston) Station with the Prince and Princess of Wales, Lord Abercorn (Lord Lieutenant) and an entourage including Lord Hamilton, Lady Georgia Hamilton, Lady Albertha, Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar and Prince Teck.  In those days the train went only as far as Sallins and the rest of the journey was completed by carriage. The painting, which measures 132 cm x 214 cm, was sold at Christie’s with a key to the principal characters. The annual Spring festival at Punchestown has been a fixture since 1850, but it did not become the popular national racing festival known to this day until that day in 1868.  It is reckoned that around 150,000 people turned up to see the inaugural Prince of Wales Plate.  The Royal visit to Punchestown was also painted by Henry Barraud. Prints of his painting became popular and still turn up occasionally at auction.

    FONSIE MEALY SALE OF CONTENTS FROM OSBERTSTOWN HOUSE, NAAS

    July 15th, 2021
    Interior view of Osberstown House

    Contents from Osberstown House, Naas, Co. Kildare will come under the hammer at an online sale by Fonsie Mealy on July 27. More than 600 lots will come under the hammer. Viewing will be available by appointment on July 23, 24 and 26. The sale will be live online in Castlecomer, but there will be no public attendance.

    NAPOLEON’S BICORNE ANYONE?

    July 15th, 2021

    HIS time in power continues to fascinate generations later. Now Sotheby’s plans to commemorate the bicentenary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s death with an online auction in September dedicated to the Emperor whose extraordinary destiny continues to fascinate two hundred years after his passing. The sale will offer an extensive overview, with works spanning two centuries of art history and all fields: from 19th-century to contemporary art, sculpture, silverware, furniture, porcelain, jewellery and photography, as well as memorabilia of the Emperor and his loved ones.

    Among the most exciting lots in the sale is an emblematic bicorne, a hat that has become inextricably linked with Napoleon’s image. Only nineteen bicornes have been authenticated as having belonged to the Emperor, of which this is one, with a number in the collections of museums worldwide.

    Napoleon’s bicorne (€400,000-600,0000

    COLLECTION OF IMPORTANT IRISH SILVER AT BONHAMS IN LONDON

    July 14th, 2021
    A pair of George I Irish silver candlesticks Joseph Walker, Dublin 1714. UPDATE: THESE CANDLESTICKS WILL NO LONGER FEATURE IN THE SALE

    An important collection of Irish silver comes up at Bonhams in London on July 28. The auction of silver and objects of vertu includes 28 pieces from the Peter Ticher collection including a 1798 Cork freedom box by Carden Terry and Jane Williams. This was awarded to Major General William Loftus, a British army officer and member of parliament. The collection includes many pieces inherited from his father, Dr Kurt Ticher who with his wife, Ellen, emigrated from Germany to Ireland in the 1920’s, settled in Dublin and became naturalised Irish citizens. Kurt developed a keen interest in Irish Georgian silver and built up a large collection and publishing several books and papers. Part of his collection was donated to the National Museum of Ireland and the rest was distributed to his family. His eldest son, Peter, had also developed a passion for Irish silver and continued to add to his collection throughout his life. Among the highlghts are a set of four mid 18th century cast silver candlesticks by Michael Fowler, Dublin c1755, a George III Irish silver dish ring by Richard Williams, Dublin, 1771, an Irish silver scissor wax jack by Thomas Walker, Dublin c1735 and an Irish provincial silver bullet teapot by William Clarke of Cork and Dublin, c1728.

    UPDATE: The collection made £87,678. The Cork freedom box made £7,650. A set of four mid 18th century Irish silver candlesticks by Michael Fowler, Dublin c1755 made £8,925.

    EUROPEAN PRINTMAKING OVER THE PAST 500 YEARS

    July 13th, 2021

     A window on printmaking over the past 500 years is open at the City Assembly House at South William St. in Dublin, headquarters of the Irish Georgian Society.   Art by Rembrandt, Durer, Turner, Tissot, Pisarro, Cezanne, Whistler and Samuel Palmer is featured in a touring exhibition entitled “Print REbels” which runs until August 27.  This is a show of works  collected over the past two and a half decades by Corkman Edward Twohig, currently Head of Art at Marlborough College in Wiltshire with 140 historical and contemporary original prints. They were first brought together at the Bankside Gallery in London to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Francis Seymour Haden, first president of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers. Haden created his finest work in Ireland the exhibition includes some of his prints.  

    Francis Seymour Haden – A Sunset in Ireland.

    FIRST EDITION OF JOYCE’S DUBLINERS AT SOTHEBY’S, NEW YORK

    July 12th, 2021

    The first published edition of James Joyce’s Dubliners comes up at an online sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby’s in New York until July 16. One of a number of works by Joyce in the auction it is estimated at $80,000-$120,000. It is one of approximately 746 copies bound in the publisher’s maroon cloth, with the very rare dust-jacket. A ticket pasted to the rear states that it was de-acidified in 1989. Only six copies in jacket have appeared at auction in the past forty-five years. Sotheby’s say that despite the restorations noted, this is an attractive, near-fine copy.

    The sale offers first editions of A Portrait of the Artist and Ulysses by Joyce as well as a letter from Oscar Wilde to Aimee Daniell Beringer and a copy of Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance. The catalogue is online.

    UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $69.300