Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    June 18th, 2020

    Barnett Newman’s  Onement V, 1948 will lead ONE: a Global Sale of the 20th Century at Christies on July 10.  Painted in an ink blue palette, dramatically interrupted by a solitary ‘zip’ of aquamarine, Onement V is estimated at $30-40 million. Created just four years after his breakthrough painting, Onement I (1948), it represents one of only two paintings from this early, landmark series to remain in a private collection. The other four are currently housed in major American museum collections including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford and the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin.


    June 18th, 2020

    A lost masterpiece of Chinese porcelain comes up at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Chinese works of art spring sale series on 11 July. The Harry Garner Reticulated Vase was found in a remote European house almost 60 years since it last came to market. It was rediscovered by Amsterdam-based art consultant Johan Bosch van Rosenthal in the country house of the elderly lady who inherited it, surviving the last 50 years almost unblemished in a lively home surrounded by countless cats and dogs. 

    The magnificent yangcai reticulated vase belonged to two major collectors of Chinese art, Sir Harry M. Garner (1891-1977), a mathematician and celebrated collector of Chinese art, and Henry M. Knight (1903-1970), a Dutch collector who assembled one of the finest collections of porcelain from 1930 up until his death. This masterpiece ranks amongst the most complex and exquisite porcelains from the Qianlong period ever to have emerged on the market.

     The extremely small group of pierced, double-walled vases that were produced for the Qianlong Emperor were a technical tour-de-force that was only attempted under the stewardship of Tang Ying (1682-1756), the eminent kiln supervisor, who produced such pieces in very limited quantities during the seventh and eighth years of the Qianlong reign, 1742 and 1743.  A record for the twelfth day in the eighth month, seventh year of Qianlong (1742) mentions a yangcai red-ground sgraffiato winter-green reticulated flower vase with a Xuande-style inner body which was praised as a masterwork by the emperor. It was to be stored at the Qianqinggong (Palace of Celestial Purity), where the Emperor held audiences and banquets. It is estimated at HK$ 70,000,000 – 90,000,000 / US$ 9,010,000 – 11,580,000 / £7,200,000 – 9,300,000.

    A Magnificent and Highly Important Yangcai Reticulated Vase
    Seal Mark and Period of Qianlong


    June 17th, 2020

    The Paris leg of ONE: A global sale of the 20th century at Christie’s on July 10 will be highlighted by an important rediscovery by Pierre Soulages. Estimated at €2-3 million the painting, executed in 1950, has been in the same private Australian collection since being first acquired in 1953 by the present owner’s father from the Galerie Louis Carré & Cie Paris, when it was included in a major exhibition that toured to Australia. It has been unseen in public since. Soulages celebrated his 100th birthday last December.


    June 17th, 2020

    While in some ways the June sales at Sotheby’s in New York mark the return to business as usual they have been completely re–imagined. Significant offerings of high value material will be brought to the market in flagship live sales conducted remotely by Oliver Barker in London. The New York Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary evening sales will be live-streamed to the world. Bidders will be able to take part either via the phones or online in the usual way. This truly global experience will usher in a new era of marquee auctions that marry the best of the established live auction format with the latest technology, and the modifications for safety that current circumstances require.

    IF by Sean Scully at the Contemporary Art evening auctions ($700,000-900,000). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $1,280,000


    June 16th, 2020

    The first major David Hockney at auction in Asia, 30 Sunflowers from 1996, comes up at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Contemporary Art evening sale on July 9. Bearing strong reminiscence to Vincent van Gogh’s iconic Sunflowers this is an update of the classic still life for contemporary times. Executed in 1996, on the brink of Hockney’s sixtieth year, 30 Sunflowers marks the epitome of the artist’s return to figurative painting after a decade primarily immersed in photography. Led by important masterpieces by Hockney and Liu Ye, the evening sale showcases an international line-up of works by blue-chip Western artists alongside the most prominent Asian names, including Clyfford Still, Albert Oehlen, Kazuo Shiraga, Yayoi Kusama and Yoshitomo Nara.



    June 16th, 2020

    Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels: Part I at Sotheby’s Geneva is open for bidding until June 24. There is a selection of jewellery from the 19th century to the present day from renowned houses such as Sterlé, Suzanne Belperron, René Boivin and Hemmerle.

    A sapphire and diamond ring by Harry Winston (CHF 30,000-50,000)


    June 15th, 2020

    AN online sale of works on paper and prints at Christe’s until July 1 showcases the breadth of artistic styles of modern masters from the 1890s to the 1990s. More than 100 lots from intimate drawings to suites of artist prints, prices in Modern Edition range from £800 to £150,000 providing price points for collectors of all stages.


    June 14th, 2020

    Here is a video from about Clyfford Still’s PH144 (1947-Y-No.1) which comes up at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening auction on June 29 in New York. The monumental work, with its forceful combination of deep black, bright yellow and crimson red, was selected by the artist for inclusion in his seminal 1959 exhibition. It leads a group from the collection of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson in the sale and is estimated at $25-35 million. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $28.7 million


    June 13th, 2020

    The daring heist that was Britain’s biggest robbery is recalled in the sale of a rare £1 million Treasury Bill at Dix Noonan Webb in London on June 24  A knifepoint mugging in broad daylight resulted in the theft of a staggering £292 million in treasury bills. Bought by financial institutions at less than face value and sold back to the government on maturity the secretive system of treasury bills enables the British government to manage short term borrowing. Bills collected by messenger from the Bank of England could be cashed in by whoever held them.

    On May 2, 1990 John Goddard, a 58 year-old messenger with money brokers Sheppards, was mugged by a thief who got away with 301 treasury bills and certificates of deposit. Only the $1 billion theft from the Central Bank of Iraq by one of Saddam Hussein’s sons in 2003 has exceeded this robbery.

    City of London Police and the FBI infiltrated the gang involved in laundering the bills and eventually recovered all but two of them. One man was jailed for his part but Patrick Thomas, the petty criminal from south London believed to have carried out the mugging, was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head before he could be charged.
    The system is in place today but it is computerised.  The last bills were produced in September 2003 and one of these comes up at the live online auction by Dix Noonan Webb. Effectively a one million pound note it is on watermarked paper bearing the signature of Andrew Turnbull, then Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, and stamped cancelled. It is estimated at £5,000-7,000. The auction will feature 188 Irish banknotes including a rare Munster and Leinster Bank £10 Ploughman’s Note from December 5, 1931 (£2,400-3,000) and a £50 Central Bank of Ireland note from May 1943 (£3,400-4,000).

    UPDATE: THE Treasury Bill sold for £4,400


    June 12th, 2020

    Wayne Thiebaud’s  Four Pinball Machines, 1962 will come up as a central highlight at Christie’s ONE: A global sale of the 20th century, on July 10. With an estimate of $18-25 million it is expected to more than double the artist’s world auction record currently held by Encased Cakes, 2011, which made $8.5 million in November 2019.

    Alex Rotter, Chairman of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s, remarked: “It is always a privilege to have the opportunity to present a painting that is categorically recognized as one of the best works that an artist has ever created, but in this case it is particularly exciting given its prominence within the canon of Pop art. This is precisely the case with Thiebaud’s Four Pinball Machines, 1962. In his centennial year, Thiebaud is among the most loved and revered artists of the 20th century, both for his extraordinary artistic talent and vision, but also for the delight that his paintings instill into anyone who stands before them. Four Pinball Machines is a painting that combines all of the qualities that people treasure about Thiebaud’s work: an iconic subject imbued with American nostalgia, the joyful palette and the masterly quality of the expressionistic brushstrokes. This work is the most important example by the artist in private hands

    Wayne Thiebaud – Four Pinball Machines, 1962