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

    October 8th, 2019

    ONE of the more unusual lots at the magnificent Country House Collections sale by James Adam is a painting of a famous horse complete with its skull. Valentine and Splendour are two historically important racehorses and each one is depicted in a pair of sporting paintings attributed to William Brocas. Valentine is best known for his performance at the 1840 Grand National in which he came third. A fence at Aintree is named after Valentine to this day. The horses’ skull is included in the lot which has come down through the Power family of Gurteen and Curraghchase.

    More than 720 lots will come under the hammer at the James Adam sale at Townley Hall, Drogheda, Co. Louth on October 15.

    VALENTINE from one of a pair of equestrian portraits estimated at 15,000-20,000 UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    October 7th, 2019

    Bonhams will offer this large and impressive Waterford 18 light  waterfall and bag chandelier at their home and interiors sale in Knightsbridge, London on October 8.  The faceted scrolling branches are arranged in two tiers of 12 large and six smaller arms supporting scalloped drip pans. It is described as bespoke, of recent manufacture and the property of a gentleman purchased for his Irish country residence.  This one has a 200 cm drop and a diameter of 110 cms. Similar smaller chandeliers were supplied by Waterford for the K Club at Straffan, Co. Kildare.  This one is estimated at £20,000-30,000. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    October 5th, 2019

    The evening art auction at by de Veres in Dublin on October 8 offers an interesting selection to suit a variety of tastes.  There is work from the studios of George Campbell and Patrick Leonard, international art by Patrick Caulfield and a selection of etchings by Sean Scully sit easily alongside work by artists like Richard Gorman, Ciaran Lennon and Cecil King. A private collection of 50 paintings collected over a lifetime is  among the 173 lots on offer.  There are several lots of contemporary design including a lounge chair and ottoman by Charles and Ray Eames, Wassily chairs by Marcel Breuer and a pair of Italian easy chairs in the manner of Ico Parisi.  There is work by Gerard Dillon, Anne Yeats, Evie Hone, Sean Keating, Colin Middleton, Nano Reid, Eileen Meagher, Tony O’Malley, Alicia Boyle and many more.  The catalogue is online.

    Coastal View of the West of Ireland by George Campbell UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 400 AT HAMMER


    October 5th, 2019

    With bidders from 46 countries across all continents Christie’s Contemporary Art evening sales achieved £89 million in London last night. The Post War and Contemporary sale achieved £64.5 million. Basquiat’s Four Big was the top lot at £8.6 million. There was much interest in work by ariists like Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Pierre Soulanges and Carl Andre. The Thinking Italian sale totalled £24.5 million and the top lot was Sacco by Alberto Burri which made £4.5 million.

    (See post on for September 25, 2019)

    Sigmar Polke (1941-2010)
    Alpenveilchen/Flowers SOLD FOR £5.6 MILLION


    October 4th, 2019

    Banksy’s parliamentary primates made a record £9.8 million at Sotheby’s in London last evening. After a 13 minute bidding battle during which more than ten bidders competed for Devolved Parliament, which had a top estimate of £2 million. It was a new record for a work by the artist.

    Jean Michel Basquiat’s Pyro sold for £9.8 million in a contemporary art evening sale which totalled £54.7 million.

    Banksy – Devolved Parliament


    October 3rd, 2019

    Hurricane Lorenzo – now bearing down on the island of Ireland as a tropical storm – is a timely reminder of an auction in aid of the RNLI – the largest charity that saves lives at sea – in the seafaring town of Kinsale in Co. Cork on October 6. Auctioneer Aidan Foley will offer a selection of donated lots including artwork, jewellery, antique furniture, garden items and collectibles at The White Lady in aid of this worthy charity.

    An artwork by Philip Grey at the RNLI auction


    October 2nd, 2019

    THE Hunt at Woolwich Drag by Gilbert Halliday (1879-1937) made a hammer price of 7,500 at Fonsie Mealy’s sale at Glengarriff, Thurles, Co. Tipperary on October 1. Other hammer prices included a pair of watercolour portraits by the same artist of Brigadier and Mrs. E.T. Boylan of Hilltown on horseback (6,000); Evening on a Highland River by Alfred de Breanski junior (6,600); A Rocky Landscape attributed to Jean Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808) (5,600); Market Scene by Pieter van Bredael (4,500) and a Busy Street Scene by David Teniers (4,200). A pair of Famille Verte Warnier vases made 2,600, an Arts and Crafts chaise longue made 3,200, an Irish fold over tea table from Ely House made 2,800 and a specimen table made 2,500. An Irish 18th century giltwood mirror made 4,600 and a cased pair of 12 bore double barrelled shotguns by William Powell made 3,400.

    The auction realised 250,000 on the hammer with 80% sold.

    The Hunt at Woolwich Drag by Gilbert Halliday.


    October 1st, 2019

    A pair of engravings of Cork by Henry Morgan  will come up at the Lynes and Lynes sale in Carrigtwohill on October 5.   They are from a series of 28 lithographs published by Henry Morgan around 1849.  Cork City Library holds a copy of the series reprinted by Feehan and Sons in 1999 and a number of older reprints in varying condition. The engravings are estimated at 100-200.The auction comprises around 400 lots. Collectibles include a pair of antique cast iron signal cannons (800-1,200), Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf and a collection of seven Ian Fleming first editions. 

    Henry Morgan’s mid 19th century engraving of Belvelly Bridge and Castle 


    September 29th, 2019

    The 165th annual exhibition of The Watercolour Society of Ireland opens at Farmleigh House, Phoenix Park, Dublin on September 30 and runs to October 13. The show is sponsored by the Office of Public Works which has opened The Gallery in Farmleigh House in addition to the Cowshed Gallery to facilitate a much larger exhibition this year. There is work by around 120 artists from throughout Ireland and overseas.

    John Cooney – The Shepherdess


    September 28th, 2019

    A carved French bed at Fonsie Mealy’s sale in Thurles on October 1 is reputed to have belonged to the Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.  The 4’6″ 18th century bed has been at Glengarriff, Thurles – home of the Carrigan family for over 100 years –  since 1962.  It was purchased that year at the contents sale of the Duke de Stacpoole, Tobertynan, Longwood, Co. Meath where it was reputed by strong family tradition to have been originally owned by Josephine. Longwood House on the island of St. Helena where Napoleon was exiled was his final residence and he died there. The bed is estimated at 2,000-3,000.More than 500 lots including heirlooms from the Carrigan family and items from other private clients will go under the hammer.  There is furniture, paintings, prints, silver, Chinese porcelain, sporting guns, garden furniture, books and maps. A set of 19th century Irish miniatures of the Shipsey family of Cape Clear is estimated at 700-800. An early watercolour by Peter Curling, Caught in the Ditch, depicts a jockey and a distressed horse and was painted in 1974 when the noted equestrian artist was just 19. It is estimated at 1,000-1,500.  Among other equestrian artworks is an oil by Gilbert Halliday “The Hunt, at Woolwich drag” (10,000-15,000).  There are some Old Master paintings and prints including a portrait of Jan de Middelste (1561-1623) by a follower of Anthonisz van Ravesteyn (2,000-3,000).The highlight of over 70 lots of silver is an 18th century Irish provincial sauceboat with the makers mark PW, possibly Peter Webb of Limerick (2,000-3,000).  There is a collection of sporting guns, a first edition of the History of Clonmel by Rev William P Burke (1907) and a hand coloured copy of the 1843 Ordnance Survey of Tipperary North Riding. The catalogue is online.

    Bed reputedly owned by Empress Josephine UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 2,200 AT HAMMER
    A group of five miniature portraits of the Shipsey family of Cape Clear UPDATE: THESE MADE 2,500 AT HAMMER