Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    September 8th, 2021

    The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) has virtually gathered a community of collectors, institutions, and art lovers from around the world for todays preview of TEFAF Online 2021. The fair will open to the public tomorrow and runs until September 13. This second edition of TEFAF’s digital fair brings the rich stories behind each work of art to life through TEFAF Collections, robust virtual programming, and the unsurpassed scholarship of over 267 top exhibitors. 

    “TEFAF Online 2021 is a celebration of expertise, art and storytelling.” said Charlotte van Leerdam, Managing Director of TEFAF. “We are grateful that our community is able to come together safely online during this time to enjoy the beauty of these works and continue participating in the top levels of the international art market from wherever they are in the world.”



    September 8th, 2021
    This baluster jar and cover made 14,000 at hammer

    Fonsie Mealy’s Howth Castle sale got off to a flying start today as collectors vied for blue a white and coloured Oriental porcelains. A 17th/early 18th century baluster vase and cover made 14,000 at hammer over a top estimate of 3,000. It has a six character mark to the base and is decorated with Royal subjects and attendants. Am 18th century Kangxi blue and white Gu vase with a top estimate of 3,000 made 12,000 on the hammer. An 18th century Famille Rose baluster shaped vase and cover with a top estimate of 1,800 made 4,800 on the hammer. A pair of Nankin blue and white platters with a set of three similar smaller dishes made 1,300 over a top estimate of 450 and two Xiangshi period triple gourd blue and white cafe au lait vases made 3,200 over a top estimate of 1,500. An 18th century blue and white jar and cover decorated with children at play made 7,500 over a top estimate of 1,000 and a large Chinese bronze gilt figure of a Buddha with a top estimate of 1,100 made 2,500. A large Majolica Palissy type oval dish made 8,600 at hammer over a top estimate of 350 and an 18th century bronze incense burner in the shape of a Foo dog with a top estimate of 600 made 5,000 on the hammer.


    September 7th, 2021

    The latest in the series of collectibles auctions at Mullen’s includes historical memorabilia, rare and antiquarian books, militaria, arms and armour and sporting memorabilia. The live and online auction, which takes place on September 11, offers a variety of collectibles from a 1913-16 Irish Volunteers captains tunic to 24 mostly signed books by the Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney. There are 55i lots in total.



    September 6th, 2021
    SEAN MCSWEENEY HRHA (1935-2018) – The Red Road. UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,800 AT HAMMER

    THE Red Road by Sean McSweeney comes up as lot 12 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online art sale, which runs until September 13 with an estimate of €2,000-3,000. The auction features more than 220 lots of art and sculpture by artists ranging from William Crozier and Kenneth Maguire to Kenneth Webb and Pauline Bewick. There is sculpture by John Behan, Imogen Stuart, Patrick O’Reilly, Melanie le Brocquy, Michael Foley and others.


    September 6th, 2021

    This presentation copy of Dubliners signed by James Joyce is among the highlights of The Exceptional Literature Collection of Theodore B. Baum, to be sold in two parts at Christie’s in New York this month. It is estimated at $150,000-250,000. Inscribed copies of Dubliners are very rare and only three have been recorded at auction in the past 80 years. This one is the only example still in its original dust jacket. It is inscribed by Joyce to his publisher Crosby Gaige: “To Crosby Gaige James Joyce Paris 25.V.28.” This inscription dates to just five months after Gaige published Anna Livia Plurabelle, a section of Finnegans Wake, in a signed limited edition of 850 copies.

    On November 28, 1905 Joyce mailed the manuscript of Dubliners to Grant Richards, who accepted it for publication in February 1906 and announced it the following month in The First Catalogue of Books Published by Grant Richards. In April, however, objections from the printer halted production. Joyce wrote an angry letter to Richards on 5 May: “You tell me in conclusion that I am endangering my future and your reputation. I have shown you earlier in the letter the frivolity of the printer’s objections and I do not see how the publication of Dubliners as it now stands in manuscript could possibly be considered an outrage on public morality…” (Herbert Gorman, James Joyce, pp.149). Although Joyce agreed to a few alterations, Richards soon abandoned his plans for Dubliners. Joyce offered the book to others, including Elkin Mathews and George Roberts at Maunsel. Maunsel printed an edition of 1,000 copies by July 1910 but this was destroyed by the printers because of objectionable passages. At the most, only a few sets of page proofs of this edition were retained by Joyce.

    Joyce returned to Richards on 23 November 1914, committed to publishing the book as it was written, which by then had grown by two stories, “A Little Cloud” and “The Dead,” the masterpiece with which the collection concludes. Joyce guaranteed the sale of 130 copies in Trieste. Richards agreed, signed a contract on 4 March 1914 and published the book on 15 June. 1,250 sets of sheets were printed, of which approximately 746 were bound in this edition. The remaining 504 sets were sold by Huebsch in New York.

    Mr. Baum’s library of literary first editions is among the finest ever assembled, built over the course of decades as he worked closely with top dealers and auction houses to locate the best copies of the most beloved books. The collection is particularly strong in works by English and American authors—from Edmund Spencer and John Milton in the 16th & 17th centuries through Jonathan Swift, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, and Charles Dickens in the 18th & 19th centuries, all the way to Kurt Vonnegut, Toni Morrison and more in the 20th century.

    The live online sale is on September 14. Part II of the online auction runs from September 2-17.


    September 6th, 2021

    There is water everywhere in William Roe’s 1837/38 views of Cork which come up as lot 17 at Mullens Collectors Cabinet online sale on September 11.  Much of the city as we know it today is built on reclaimed land.  The lot consists of seven framed sheets each with between two and four views of Cork city and environs.  It is estimated at €2,000-€3,000.  Works by Roe were displayed at the Cork Exhibition of 1852. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,000 AT HAMMER


    September 4th, 2021
    One of a pair of George II architectural pier mirrors by John Booker UPDATE: THE PAIR SOLD FOR 106,000 AT HAMMER

    From Booker mirrors to an original portrait of Jonathan Swift to a clock garniture gift from Marie-Antoinette and a pair of commodes attributed to James Hicks the Howth Castle sale by Fonsie Mealy next week promises to be a humdinger. This auction of 800 years of history for the Gaisford-St. Lawrence family and other important clients offers an appetising variety of antique furniture, art, ceramics, glass and all sorts of historic collectibles like a painted wooden model of HMS Victory, an 18th century Irish School relief of the legend of Grainne Uaile, a mourning dress worn by Queen Victoria and the Great Sword of Howth which has been in the St. Lawrence family for many generations. According to tradition, the sword was used by Sir Armoricus Tristram, who arrived at Howth with Sir John de Courcy in the year 1177 and commanded the Norman army which defeated the local inhabitants. A more sober assessment dates the sword to the late 15th century.  It is estimated at €10,000-€15,000.
    The live and online auction will take place at the Grand Hotel, Malahide on September 8 and 9 with admission subject to prevailing Covid conditions. The most expensively estimated lot, at €300,000-€400,000, is a unique full length portrait of Jonathan Swift painted in 1735 by Francis Bindon (1690-1765). There is an estimate of €50,000-€70,000 on Bull by Moonlight by Roderic O’Conor and A Birds Eye View of Howth Castle attributed to William Van Der Hagen or Joseph Tudor is estimated at €40,000-€60,000.. There are several Bruxelles and Flemish tapestries and an impressive set of prehistoric Giant Irish Elk antlers and skull.

    This Louis XVI French mantle clock by Regnault of Paris together with two candlesticks was a gift from Marie Antoinette to her lady in waiting Marie Therese de Barmont. UPDATE: THIS MADE 28,000 AT HAMMER.

    Among a number of lots certain to attract international interest is a pair of Irish George II carved giltwood and gesso architectural mirrors attributed to John Booker.  These are estimated at €50,000-€70,000.  A c1738 pair of Irish giltwood and gesso carved side tables believed to have been supplied to the 14th Lord Howth come with an estimate of €30,000-€50,000.A pair of satinwood and bow fronted commodes attributed to James Hicks are estimated at €7,000-€9,000 and a mid 18th century Irish side table is estimated at €8,000-€12,000. A magnificent Georgian mahogany dining table (€30,000-€40,000), a mid 18th century Irish mahogany decanter stand (€20,000-€30,000) and a Gothic Revival side table or alter attributed to Pugin (€4,000-€6,000) are among other remarkable furniture lots.A Louis XVI French ormolu mantel clock by Regnault of Paris with two matching candlesticks was a gift from Marie Antoinette to her lady in waiting Marie Therese de Barmont.  Marie Antoinette was 14 at the time of her wedding in 1770, Marie Therese de Barmont was 13.  The set is estimated at €4,000-€6,000.

    A mid 18th century Irish mahogany decanter stand. UPDATE: THIS MADE 48,000 AT HAMMER

    There is silver and plate, militaria, ceramics, porcelain, glassware and some estimates are as low as €80. With more than 970 lots on the catalogue and this truly a sale with something for everyone.  Lot 787 is a George IV silver gilt model of the Warwick Vase by Phillip Rundell, London 1820 (€8,000-€12,000), there are early Netherlandish School portraits of the Bishop of Meath George Montgomery and his wife Susan Steyning (€10,000-€15,000) and an early 19th century Cantonese bowl and cover is ex the collection of the O’Briens at Dromoland Castle with an estimate of just €180-€220.The clearance sale of Howth Castle will continue with the sale of the library on September 22 and 23. The castle has been home to the St. Lawrence family since the Norman Invasion. Since 1919 it has been held by the distraff heirs, the Gaisford-St. Lawrences.  In 2018 the family agreed to sell the castle, demesne and Ireland’s Eye to the Tetrarch investment group who intend to develop a hotel and a luxury resort. A seven acre portion has been sold to Glenveagh Homes who plan to build 200 apartments.

    (See posts on for August 12, 23 and 31)


    September 3rd, 2021

    This untitled mixed media work by Felim Egan, dated 1981, comes up as lot 27 at de Veres art and furniture online auction which runs to September 14. It is estimated at just 200-400. Felim Egan, who died last December, was one of Ireland’s leading contemporary artists. He exhibited in Ireland and Europe and represented Ireland at the Paris Biennale of 1981 and the Sao Paolo Biennale of 1985. His work hangs in numerous public and private collections. There are 132 lots in the sale. UPDATE: THIS MADE 340 AT HAMMER


    September 3rd, 2021

    Banksy’s shredded  Love is in the Bin will return to Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries this October, at four to six times the price. Passing through a hidden shredder just seconds after the hammer fell on a million pound bid, the “nation’s favourite artwork” – Girl with a Balloon – seemingly auto-destructed in 2018 while hanging on the wall in Sotheby’s packed auction room. Capturing the world by surprise, this unexpected piece of performance art became instant art history, making it the first time a new work had been created in the course of an auction.

    In the days that followed, the shredded artwork was granted a new certificate and date by Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication body, and given the new title, Love is in the Bin. The collector who had placed the record winning bid on Girl with Balloon decided to keep the new work.* Looking back on the event, she explains: “That surreal evening three years ago, I became the accidental – but very privileged – owner of Love is in the Bin. It has been an incredible journey to have been part of the story of how one of the most famous artworks in the world came to be, but now it is time to let the painting go.”

    It will come up at the Contemporary Art evening auction at Sotheby’s in London on October 14 – this time with an estimate of £4-£6 million.

    Banksy’s Love is in the Bin, 2018


    September 3rd, 2021

    The most valuable Einstein manuscript ever offered at auction comes up at the Exceptional Sale at Christie’s in Paris on November 23. The 54-page autograph manuscript written by Albert Einstein and Michele Besso between June 1913 and early 1914 documents a crucial stage in the development of the theory of general relativity. This theory re-shaped modern understanding of how the universe works. It is estimated at €2,000,000-3,000,000).

    The manuscript is also a particularly valuable record of Einstein’s relationship with Michele Besso, the Swiss engineer who was his collaborator, confidant, and lifelong friend. 

    Adrien Legendre, Director of the Books and Manuscripts department, commented: “We are delighted that Christie’s will be able to promote this extraordinary manuscript to its international network of collectors for our Exceptional Sale. Einstein’s autographs from this period, and more generally from before 1919, are extremely rare. As one of only two surviving manuscripts documenting the genesis of the General Theory (along with the so-called Zurich notebook from late 1912/early 1913 – now in the Einstein Archive at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem), it provides a remarkable insight into Einstein’s work and a fascinating dive into the mind of the greatest scientist of the 20th century.