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Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • IRISH SILVER CANDLESTICKS ONLINE AT SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK

    April 13th, 2021

    This set of four Irish silver candlesticks made in Dublin c1760 features at Sotheby’s New York sale of European Furniture, Silver and Ceramics running online until April 19. There are no makers marks but the set is estimated at $12,000-$18,000. Other Irish lots on the catalogue include an Irish George II Revival mahogany side table with marble top and a silver porringer. UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR $20,160

    ORNATE 19TH CENTURY IRISH MIRROR AT ADAMS BLACKROCK

    April 13th, 2021

    Among the lots at the evening sale of The Fitzwilliam Square collection at Adams, Blackrock, Dublin today (April 13) is this ornate 19th century giltwood Irish pier mirror. There is a canopied pediment above seated figures flanked by birds and scrolled rockwork branches carved with dogs. It is conservatively estimated at €1,000-€1,500. There are 432 lots of fine art, furniture and silver and the auction gets underway at 6 pm.

    Giltwood Irish pier mirror. UPDATE: THIS MADE 9,500 AT HAMMER

    ART FROM STUDIO OF FERGUS O’RYAN AT ADAMS

    April 12th, 2021

    Watercolours, sketches and oil paintings from the studio of Fergus O’Ryan, who died in 1989 and was at one time one of Ireland’s most popular artists, are at a timed online sale at James Adam in Dublin until April 21. The “Travels, Painter and Palette” sale draws on his love of travel and penchant for locations that were off the beaten track. There are Dublin and Connemara views as well as work from France, Spain, Greece and Italy.   He and his wife May were keen hikers and much of his work is from the 1950’s, before mass travel and tourism began. He painted in Girona and Salamanca in Spain and made art in Venice and Santorini. Estimates range from €100-€800 and proceeds will be donated to Our Lady’s Hospice. Born in 1910 Fergus O’Ryan studied at the School of Art in his native Limerick, moved to Dublin, lectured at the National College of Art and was a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy.

    A view, possibly Santorini

    DEATH OF ARTIST CHARLIE WHISKER

    April 11th, 2021

    The Northern Irish artist Charlie Whisker has died. His work  is in the collections of the Arts Council, Allied Irish Banks, the Ulster Museum and private collectors such as members of U2, Steven Soderberg, John Boorman, Paul McGuinness and Henry Mountcharles. Born in 1949 he taught at the NCAD in the 1980’s and worked as a video director in Los Angeles with artists including Bob Dylan in the 1980’s. He was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers at the age of 63.

    ONCE BELOW A TIME by Charlie Whisker, with The Titanic in the background, sold for €2,900 at Whyte’s in 2012

    FORD COLLECTION AT CHRISTIE’S IN LONDON

    April 11th, 2021

    Decorative and fine arts from the London and country homes of Mrs. Henry Ford at Eaton Square and Turville Grange, Oxfordshire will come under the hammer at Christie’s on April 15.  The sale is led by Impressionist works including a self portrait by Edouard Vuillard.  The decorative arts are led by a Louis XV ormolu-mounted Chinese black-lacquer commode by Laurent Felix and a George III Pembroke table attributed to Thomas Chippendale. Silver includes a George VI silver cigar box inset with grass from the sod cut by Edsel Ford in 1929 when breaking ground for the Dagenham Ford motor factory.

    Louis XV c1755 black lacquered commode. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £137,500. THE SALE REALISED £3.98 MILLION

    RICOCHET EFFECT OF PANDEMIC ON NEW BUYERS

    April 10th, 2021

    The ricochet effect of the pandemic in our beckoning post lockdown world is a cause for speculation.  Many new online buyers at auction houses are tech savvy youngsters. This much needed infusion is a sign of hope for the future of the trade.  Whether they incline to online buying post lockdown, or turn up in person to bid is anyones guess. Auction action online is now normal, as distinct from new normal, and collectors can and do expect to range far and wide in pursuit of more variety and price points in any given week than ever before. So what next?  In the immediate future there is more than enough art, antique furniture, collectibles and historical memorabilia at auction in Ireland to keep us all occupied and out of trouble.

    Image of August Strindberg by Louis le Brocquy at Morgan O’Driscoll. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    An oil by Arthur Maderson (€6,000-€8,000) and a set of Cork 11 bar dining chairs (€1,500-€2,000) are among the highlights at Woodwards sale in Cork on April 17. More than 300 lots will come under the hammer.  Among them are a  Louis XV bonheur du jour (€1,000-€2,000), a George II card table (€750-€1,500), a Queen Anne walnut chest on stand (€1,000-€1,600), a five piece cast iron garden suite (€1,600-€2,200) and a Georgian walnut card table (€700-€1,500).

    The range of antique furniture at Woodwards includes a walnut davenport,  an Edwardian bow fronted sideboard, a William IV rosewood card table, a Regency tip top table, a Georgian drop leaf dining table, a three tier dumb waiter, an Edwardian knife box and a selection of cellos and violins.  There is a silver owl pepperette by George Richards, an ormolu figured mantel clock, a mariners brass theodolite, an Art Deco dancing figure and a Cork Distillers Irish Whiskey sign.

    A George II walnut chest on stand at Woodwards.

    The April version of the new monthly timed online auction at Hegarty’s features over 300 lots and closes on April 11. Highlights this time include a coloured limited edition lithograph by Mark Chagall of a stained glass window, a Royal Humane Society Award given in 1904, an oil of the Great Mosque, Cairo by Peter Sunderland, a collection of antique optometry equipment and an electric machine for nervous diseases patented in 1854.

    Among the 196 lots that Morgan O’Driscoll will offer at his Irish and International online art sale on April 19 are two major head studies by Louis le Brocquy of August Strindberg and William Shakespeare from 1980 and 1981 respectively.  Each one is estimated at €100,000-€150,000. In a catalogue note Peter Murray recounts how, one day in 1964 at a time when the artist was feeling dissatisfied and unable to find a way forward, he chanced to visit the Musee de l’Homme in Paris was inspired by a selection of Polynesian painted skulls.  The Celts visualised the head as a kind of magic box housing the spirit and le Brocquy was directed towards the idea of encapsulating a lost human presence rather than a living portrait subject. A three day house clearance auction by Matthews of Kells gets underway online at noon today.  On offer are contents from the Co. Louth home of the late Professor Kieran Taaffe, head of international affairs at Dublin Institute of Technology and a lifetime collector.  More than 2,100 lots will be sold including Irish and International art, old silver, antique furniture, rugs, gilded mirrors, books, oriental items and collectibles. 

    Meantime the Co. Cavan auctioneer Victor Mee will offer a selection of 1,206 lots at an online Easter interiors and historical sale on Aril 13 and 14.

    EARLIEST KNOWN PORTRAIT OF KING GEORGE II

    April 9th, 2021

    THIS gold medal from an old Irish collection showing the earliest known portrait of Georg August, Electoral Prince of Brunswick-Calenburg-Hanover, who would later become King George II, sold for £6,820 at Dix Noonan Webb in London this week. Dating from 1701, the year of his 18th birthday, the medal shows the Prince, who was the last British monarch born outside England, on one side and Schloss Herrenhausen, Hanover on the other. It went to a buyer in Holland.

    MASTERPIECE OF MEDIEVAL BOOK PAINTING AT CHRISTIE’S

    April 9th, 2021

    One the most important collections of illuminated manuscripts and early printed books comes up at Christie’s in New York on April 23 during Classic Week. The collection of Elaine and Alexandre P. Rosenberg includes 17 outstanding Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and over 200 Renaissance printed books. The highlight is a masterpiece of book painting, a Parisian Book of Hours, circa 1440, with 16 miniature paintings, the work of Master of the Paris Bartholomeus Anglicus. The collection is expected to achieve more than $8,000,000 and all proceeds will benefit designated museums for the support of their rare book departments. The illuminated manuscripts offered for sale represent the culmination of 15th– and 16th-century European manuscript painting.

    MASTER OF THE PARIS BARTHOLOMEUS ANGLICUS BOOK OF HOURS
    use of Paris, in Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum, Anjou or Le Mans, c.1440s $1,500,000-2,500,000

    GOOD LUCK FROM GILBERT & GEORGE AT SOTHEBY’S

    April 8th, 2021

    Good Luck by Gilbert & George is among Russell Tovey’s picks at Sotheby’s ‘Contemporary Curated’ auction in London open for bidding until April 13 April. The British actor-turned-collector, curator, podcast host and “art geek”, has teamed up with Sotheby’s for the online sale. With estimates ranging from £2,000 to £200,000 and beyond, ‘Contemporary Curated’ provides an opportunity for not only established buyers, but burgeoning collectors on the hunt to acquire art at accessible prices. Russell purchased his first artwork aged 25, acquiring a Mono-print etching by Tracey Emin – who he now counts among his closest friends and whose neon work, My Favourite Little Bird, is included in his edit – using his pay cheque from The History Boys.  Good Luck (2005) is from the series “SonofaGodPictures” by Gilbert & George. Tovey remembers the show at the White Cube in London causing great controversy with pickets and protests at the gallery. “I love the way you can always see Gilbert and George in their works” he said.

    CORK HARBOUR IN ART AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL

    April 7th, 2021
     Entrance to Cork Harbour (1874-75) by Richard Brydges Beechey (1808-1895)  €30,000-€50,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 38,000 AT HAMMER

    The magnificent entrance to Cork Harbour is depicted in detailed works by two 19th century artists at Morgan O’Driscoll’s sale of Irish and International Art on April 19.  Rear Admiral Richard Brydges Beechey shows two sailing vessels at Roches Point in what former Crawford Gallery curator Peter Murray describes in a catalogue note as one of his finest maritime paintings. The dramatic oil shows a small lugger in the foreground – almost certainly a Cork pilot vessel –  heading towards a two masted brigantine making its way with difficulty towards the open sea. Roches Point lighthouse and coastguard cottages are in the background and a signal tower dating to Napoleonic times is seen on the right.  The painting dates to 1874-75. In a painting dating to about 25 years earlier Cobh artist George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson shows a three masted barque passing Roches Point as it leaves Cork Harbour. The southerly wind is not in the ships favour. The lighthouse was rebuilt in 1839 and the picture is thought to be around 1850.  Peter Murray points to the acute observation of sky and cloud formations and   accurate rendering of ships and their rigging as testament to Atkinson’s training as a ships carpenter and his years as an inspector of shipping in Cork Harbour.

    A Barque passing Roches Point lighthouse, at the entrance to Cork Harbour (c.1850) by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (€6,000-€9,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 8,500 AT HAMMER