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    Thursday, March 31st, 2022
    Peter Curling (b.1955) – Loose Schooling. UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,800 AT HAMMER

    This oil on canvas by Peter Curling is part of an online auction of artworks to aid the Irish Red Cross’s humanitarian work in delivering vital services to millions of people impacted by the conflict in Ukraine by Adams in conjunction with Suzanne MacDougald. The catalogue goes live today and will close for bidding on April 7. Peter Curling, Ireland’s best known equestrian painter and now also a novelist, has donated Loose Schooling which was painted in 2021 and is estimated at €4000-6000.  With over 35 choice lots there’s something to appeal to every taste. 


    Saturday, December 4th, 2021

    The hectic pace of 2021 continues as the auction world zooms into December.  A number of stunning sales in the offing next week in Ireland offer collectors a wide range of stellar choices in the fields of antiques, art and collectibles. Fonsie Mealy’s Christmas Rare Books and Collectors sale is at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan on Tuesday and Wednesday, four days of sales with amazing contents from the Cronin collection at Seafield House, Donabate, Co. Dublin get underway at Sheppards in Durrow next Tuesday and the Outstanding Irish Art sale at James Adam on Wednesday evening will follow a strong sale of fine jewellery and watches at Adams on Tuesday.  And Aidan Foley will offer more than 2,000 lots at three days of online sales from tomorrow with viewing in Sixmilebridge today.

    A full size replica in silver plate of the Liam McCarthy Cup at Fonsie Mealy. UPDATE: THIS MADE 9,000 AT HAMMER

    Among more than 1,000 lots at Fonsie Mealy is a prized first edition of Ulysses by James Joyce and full replicas in silver plate of both the Liam McCarthy Cup and the Sam Maguire Cup There will be international interest original engraved facsimile copy of the American Declaration of Independence issued by Order of Congress in 1823 when it was noted that the ink on the original document was fading. This particular copy has direct provenance by family descent  to Charles O’Connor, the Irish American democratic lawyer who in 1872 became the first catholic to be nominated for a US Presidential election.  With everything from the antiquities of Ireland to Monty Python this auction is on view at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan on tomorrow and Monday.

    One of a pair of museum quality late nineteenth century satinwood bookcases at Sheppards. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    Sheppards have a pair of museum quality 19th century satinwood bookcases from the collection of Cork businessman Liam Cronin. There is a Mannerist Mannerist painting of The baptism of Christ by John the Baptist, once owned by Augustine Roche, Lord Mayor of Cork.  His dispersal sale by Marshs, Cork in 1916 had to be postponed from April to July because of the Easter Rising. This is an online sale of 1,637 lots with everything from a Chinese Meiping vase to a 19th century neoclassical overmantle.  The auction is on view in Durrow on today, tomorrow and Monday.Adams will offer lots of diamonds, as well as rubies, sapphires, emeralds and all sort of gemstones at their fine jewellery sale in Dublin at 4 pm next Tuesday.  Viewing for this dazzling sale is now underway in Dubin.

    The Adams sale next Wednesday is particularly strong in mid 20th century art. Through the Streets to the Hills by Jack Yeats from 1950 is a view of Fitzwilliam St., Dublin where Yeats lived from 1919 until he retired to the Portobello Home.  It is estimated at €100,000-€150,000.  There will be much interest too in a contrasting work, Portrait of Lucian Freud in Patrick Swift’s Hatch St. (€20,000-€30,000) which depicts the young artist in Dublin.Other Modernist works include Edward McGuire’s Barn Owl (€6,000-€8,000) and How Many Miles to London Town (€30,000-€50,000), Trojan Horse (€15,000-€20,000) and Abstract with Toy Train (€20,000-€30,000) all by Colin Middleton.  


    Saturday, October 9th, 2021
     Irish George II secretaire inlaid with filigree marque. UPDATE: THIS MADE 18,000 AT HAMMER

    Serious collectors of fine Irish Georgian furniture will find much of interest at Adams annual Country House Collections on October 18 and 19.  Viewing for this annual auction, which this year offers a particularly good selection of 18th century Irish furniture alongside fine examples of classical Irish art and silver, gets underway at Townley Hall near Drogheda next Friday. Among various highly covetable rarities is a c1730/40 George II Irish secretaire cabinet with a scrolled broken pediment inlaid with filigree marquetry and Comedia dell’Arte figures. Adams estimate it at €20,000-€30,000. There is a similar example in Irish Furniture by The Knight of Glin and James Peill. Another mid Georgian Irish secretaire bookcase with a more traditional straight front design, at one stage in the home of Lord Monteagle at Mount Trenchard House near Foynes, is estimated at €30,000-€40,000.An Irish George II mahogany side table in the manner of Richard Cranfield, was in the collection of Lord Leverhulme of Sunlight Soap fame before being sold in New York in 1926.   It has an unusual design of corner truss legs and Greek key frieze and is estimated at €20,000-€30,000. A stunning Irish mahogany side table with an apron carved with scrolls and acanthus leaves and a centre scallop shell is estimated at €20,000-€30,000.  So is a compartmental George III pier mirror notable for the blue and clear glass bead decoration so associated with Irish mirrors.There is a wonderful dining table measuring over five metres long on three centre quadropod supports. It is estimated at €30,000-€40,000. A set of 18 Regency dining chairs come with an estimate of €20,000-€30,000. Collectible pieces of Irish furniture such as a Killarney work centre table (€2,000-€3,000) are on offer at less stratospheric prices and not everything in the sale is Irish.A remarkable nine piece suite of Anglo-Indian gilt wood furniture, latterly at Prehen House in Derry, was included in the Castletown House, Co. Kildare inventory of 1893 as “Bombay” furniture.  It is estimated at €20,000-€30,000. An example of fine English cabinet making is a George III knee hole desk after a design by Thomas Chippendale.Among the silverware is a pair of Dublin 1765 tureens by R. Holmes and a rare Irish George I bullet shaped teapot made in Cork in 1725 by William Clarke. There is a selection of gold boxes from the private collection of an Italian noblewoman. The sale contains two marble busts by the Irish sculptor Christopher Moore, one of the 3rd Duke of Leinster, one of William, 1st Baron Plunkett, Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Both date to 1843.Garret Morphy (c1650-1716) is regarded as the first Irish born artist of stature.  His 1696 portrait of Anne Boyle, 2nd Lady Mountjoy in a landscape holding a dove accompanied by Cupid, is estimated at €30,000-€40,000. There are two landscapes by James B. McCoy (c1750-1780), whose work is rare, and a double portrait by James Latham (1696-1747) considered the leading portrait painter in Dublin in the first half of the 18th century. A comparable example of this portrait of An Architect and his Son can be found in a family group at Fota.Adams advise that this spectacular sale ought to viewed in person and it can be seen in the elegant and neo-classical surroundings of Townley Hall for three days from next Friday.  The live and online auction takes place at Adams St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, saleroom on October 18 and 19.

    Garret Morphy (c1650-1716) – Portrait of Anne Boyle, 2nd Lady Mountjoy. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Monday, December 7th, 2020

    The winter art sale season in Dublin – online this year – kicks off this evening at Whyte’s, followed tomorrow by de Veres and on Wednesday at James Adam. These auctions, coupled with an online sale of affordable Irish art by Morgan O’Driscoll this evening, have never been more accessible. All you need these days is a computer and if 2020 has demonstrated anything it is that this does not bother buyers in the slightest. It promises to be a busy few days for Irish art with buyers out in force for an appetising and wide ranging selection across all price points.

    Bog Farm by Norah McGuinness at Whyte’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE 19,000 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, December 5th, 2020

    It is a mark of the healthy state of the Irish art market that just over 400 lots coming under the hammer at evening sales by Whytes, de Veres and Adams next week can be confidently expected to bring in millions. Collectors of Irish art across all price ranges have shown themselves to be not backward about coming forward in this year of pandemic.  There will be plenty of stiff competition for the appetising selection at these three major Dublin sales where no less than 11 lots have estimates in excess of €100,000.

    Artists like William Scott, Walter Osborne, Sean Scully, Jack B. Yeats, Paul Henry, Louis le Brocquy, William Orpen and Gerard Dillon contribute the most expensively estimated lots to the catalogues of these auctions.  But never mind if your budget will not stretch that far, there is much to choose from in the lower reaches. At Whytes on December 7 there is no shortage of work in the €1,000-€10,000 range with a wide selection from artists including Donald Teskey, Kenneth Webb, Peter Collis, Arthur Maderson, Maurice MacGonigal, John Kingerlee and Derek Hill.  A number of major Paul Henry’s, including The Blue Hills of Connemara (€200,000-€300,000), Killary Bay (€150,000-€200,000) and The Stony Fields of Kerry (€90,000-€150,000) feature. Other top estimated works are: A Tale of the Sea by Walter Osborne (€300,000-€400,000), Sergeant Murphy by Sir William Orpen (€250,000-€350,000), Sculling by Jack Butler Yeats €200,000-€300,000) and The Tinker Family by Gerard Dillon (€80,000-€120,000).

    William Scott’s Still Life with Frying Pan at de Veres on December 8 is estimated at €200,000-€300,000. Untitled 3-7-86 by Sean Scully has an estimate of €80,000-€120,000 in a sale which de Veres rightly describe as being of outstanding quality which includes significant works by Paul Henry, Jack B. Yeats, Dan O’Neill, Patrick Scott, Hughie O’Donoghue, Evie Hone, Roderic O’Conor, Norah McGuinness and Louis le Brocquy.

    A large colourful oil by Yeats, Sleep by Falling Water (€150,000-€200,000) is the most expensively estimated lot in the sale at Adams on December 9. There is a fine Aubusson tapestry by Louis le Brocquy entitled Mille Tetes B with an estimate of €50,000-€80,000 and a great selection which includes Walter Osborne, Tony O’Malley, Dan O’Neill, Colin Middleton and Norah McGuinness.All catalogues are online.

    Inscape by Tony O’Malley at Whyte’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE 11,000 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, October 9th, 2016
    A three meter long mid-Georgian Chippendale serving table is among a number of highly collectible lots at Adams Country House Collections auction at Townley Hall, Drogheda on October 11.  More than 600 lots will showcase Irish country house interior decoration. Irish Georgian furniture and some early portraits attributed to Robert Hunter, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir Anthony Van Dyke will create international interest. There is furniture and art, garden furniture, silver, porcelain, books, glass, carpets, prints and antique maps.  Among other lots of fine furniture are a pair of inlaid and painted satinwood pier tables (30,000-50,000), a mahogany breakfront bookcase (10,000-15,000), an Irish yew secretaire (5,000-8,000), a large brass bound turf bucket (15,000-20,000), several pairs of Irish Georgian games tables and large Williams and Gibton dining tables.

    A portrait by Robert Hunter of Robert King (1724-1755), MP for Boyle who became Baron Kingsborough at the age of 23, is estimated at 20,000-30,000.  A portrait from the studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds of John Byron, grandfather of the poet, is estimated at 35,000-45,000 and one of Thomas Butler, Earl of Ossory attributed to van Dyke is estimated at 10,000-15,000. A view by William Sadler of Dublin Bay from the South is estimated at 8,000-10,000 and a painting of the Meath Hunt by Thomas Walker Bretland is estimated at 30,000-40,000.  A c1767I Dublin silver freedom box by Bartholomew Stokes presented to Theophilus Jones is estimated at 10,000-15,000.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    A portrait of Thomas Butler, Earl of Ossory attributed to Sir Anthony van Dyke (10,000-15,000)

    A portrait of Thomas Butler, Earl of Ossory attributed to Sir Anthony van Dyke (10,000-15,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 68,000 AT HAMMER

    An exceptionally long George III Chippendale serving table (15,000-20,000)

    An exceptionally long George III Chippendale serving table (15,000-20,000)  UPDATE:THIS MADE 15,000 AT HAMMER

    A portrait of Capt. John Byron, grandfather to the poet, from the studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds (35,000-45,000)

    A portrait of Capt. John Byron, grandfather to the poet, from the studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds (35,000-45,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 32,000 AT HAMMER

    Two Cork Glass Company decanters with moulded target stoppers with another decanter (2,000-3,000)

    Two Cork Glass Company decanters with moulded target stoppers with another decanter (2,000-3,000) UPDATE: THIS LOT MADE 1,700 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, May 10th, 2015
    The backbone for the annual James Adam History Sale in Dublin on May 12 is formed by three strong collections. Books and documents from the late historian Dr.Tony Sweeney – who sought to have the best possible copy of every book or pamphlet shown to have a connection to Ireland pre-1700 – will make up lots 1-279. There are 94 lots of rare Irish maps from two private collectors with estimates from 50 to 8,000.  The rarest maps are by Antonio Lefreri (fl1540-1577) and two examples of early maps of Ireland are estimated at 5,000-7,000 and 6,000-8,0000 respectively.
    The MacManus Carbery collection comprises 22 lots from the Donegal writer Seumas MacManus (1868-1960); his first wife Anna Johnston (1866-1902) whose pen name was Ethna Carbery and his brother Padraic (1864-1929), a successful businessman in Argentina.  He was a supporter of Irish causes and the archive includes important original correspondence from Padraig Pearse, Arthur Griffith, Major John MacBride and others associated with the Irish revival.
    The sale is peppered by a long list of Irish personages from Michael Collins and Padraig Pearse to W.B. Yeats and Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.  The 824 lots will be sold in two sessions, at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    (See post on for May 3, 2015).

    Robert Boyle - New experiments physico mechanical touching the spring of the air (600-800).

    Robert Boyle – New experiments physico mechanical touching the spring of the air (600-800).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 950 AT HAMMER

    A gold Davis Cup medal, 1903 won by Harald Segerson Mahony, the last Irishman to win at Wimbledon (1896). (5,000-7,000).

    A gold Davis Cup medal, 1903 won by Harald Segerson Mahony, the last Irishman to win at Wimbledon (1896). (5,000-7,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A section of the direction United States transatlantic  telegraphic cable 1874 (500-800).

    A section of the direction United States transatlantic telegraphic cable 1874 (500-800).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,100 AT HAMMER

    A rare handbill issue of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic (3,000-5,000).

    A rare handbill issue of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic (3,000-5,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 7,500 AT HAMMER

    Antonio LaFreri - Rome Hibernia Sive Irlanda first published in 1560 (6,000-8,000).

    Antonio LaFreri – Rome Hibernia Sive Irlanda first published in 1560 (6,000-8,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 6,500 AT HAMMER

    A four page manuscript letter dated 1908 from Padraig Pearse to Padraic MacManus in Argentina appealing for funds to establish an Irish language high school in Dublin 912,000-15,000).

    A four page manuscript letter dated 1908 from Padraig Pearse to Padraic MacManus in Argentina appealing for funds to establish an Irish language high school in Dublin (12,000-15,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Monday, September 19th, 2011

    JACK B YEATS RHA (1871-1957), A Fair Day, Mayo. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR ONE MILLION EURO.

    THIS 1925 oil by Jack B. Yeats, once lent by the artist to Éamon De Valera for his office in Suffolk Place, Dublin, is the top lot at the James Adam art auction in Dublin on Wednesday, September 28 at 6 p.m.  A Fair Day, Mayo last changed hands in 1944 when it was purchased at the Dawson Gallery for £250. The work is estimated at 500,000-800,000 now.

    In 1944 it was bought by J.P. Reihill senior, then resident at Deepwell in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. It has been in the Reihill family ever since. It has featured in a number of exhibitions, most notably Images of Yeats in Monte Carlo in 1990. Altogether there are 212 lots in the Adams sale.


    UPDATE:  This made one million euro at hammer to become the highest priced painting ever sold at auction in Ireland.


    Tuesday, June 7th, 2011


    Precious objects from a spectacular interior at one of the most graceful squares in Ireland come under the hammer at Adams on June 21.  The contents of 24 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin will be on view in situ over the preceding three days.

    Kevin and Rose Kelly, synonymous with glossy publications such as World of Interiors and Image, are downsizing.  They are disposing of contents amassed over 40 years of collecting.  The catalogue for the 590 lot sale is on-line.
    The collection draws together paintings from the Irish, English and Dutch Schools, Fine English and French furniture, fine silver, china, objets d’art and a wide variety of decorative pieces. There is a small couture section including Dior and Chanel designer-wear.


    Furniture highlights include a magnificent pair of sumptuously upholstered Louis XV giltwood Marquise armchairs made by Jean Baptiste Lelarge (1743-1802). They are estimated at 40,000 plus. The Kellys purchased these chairs from Bond Street dealers, Partridge. A Louis XV ormolu mounted kingwood and tulipwood bureau plat is signed by Nicolas Petit. Purchased from Monaco dealers Sapjo it is estimated at €30,000/50,000. A Louis XV giltwood framed canapé by ebeniste E.T.Nauroy, also from Partridge, is estimated at €8,000/12,000.
    There are English, Irish and French side-tables, bookcases, a dining table and chairs, mirrors, couches, soft furnishings, garden furniture and beds complete with Lyon silk and silk damask bedspreads and canopies.
    There are 17th and 18th Century portraits include two by Dutch artist Cornelius Johnson (1593-1661) both dated c.1640 and estimated at €20,000+ each. A massive portrait by Godfrey Kneller of a young lady, believed to be the artist’s daughter, Agnes, is estimated at €25,000 +.  There is a family group believed to be of Gerrit Jacob Witszoon, Burgomaster of Delft with his wife and daughter probably painted by Michiel van Mierevelt in the early years of the 17th Century. Irish art includes watercolour sketches by Maurice MacGonigal, two oils by Grace Henry and still lifes by Nicolo Caracciolo RHA and Martin Mooney.


    Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
    The value of Irish art which has changed hands in the current season of sales amounts to around 6 million euro.  James Adam brought in around 1.1 million on June 1, Whyte’s and de Veres brought in 700,000 and 400,000 respectively in May, the Irish artists at Christie’s sale of British and Irish art on May 26 (including Sir John Lavery and William Scott) accounted for another 1.3 million euro and Sotheby’s annual Irish sale at the end of March brought in 2.1 million euro.  These bigger players achieved around 5.6 million.
    To this total must be added the achievements of smaller auction houses like Morgan O’Driscoll and Dolans which hold dedicated art sales and tend to deal in names that are less stellar.   In addition Irish art is a latter day mainstay of antique auctions around the country and features to a greater or lesser extent at most sales. All this increases the overall total. The six million euro figure is probably slightly conservative.




    These not dissimilar West of Ireland landscapes by Paul Henry boosted results at Christie’s, Whytes and Adams where they sold for £79,250, 106,000 euro and 110,000 euro respectively.
    Christie’s sold the single most expensive Irish artwork to change hands at auction thus far in 2011 when they achieved £657,250  for Sir John Lavery’s Played!!  Sotheby’s achieved the highest total for any Irish sale over the past two years.  Roderic O’Conor’s Landscape, Cassis was the top lot at Sotheby’s where it made £337,250.
    This website will make two comments on these results. The first is that these totals are highly respectable given that Ireland continues to be in deep recession.  The second is that the Irish art market urgently needs to find new ways of promoting in the salesrooms more contemporary Irish art. The best of Paul Henry, along with Yeats, Orpen, Lavery, O’Conor, Osborne , le Brocquy et all, is highly bankable, especially in recession.  But these are not the only Irish artists who deserve an outlet in the salesrooms. There is no shortage in Ireland of available quality work by contemporary artists. Many more are waiting in the wings for the recognition that is properly their due. The focus of the Irish art market is too narrow. This problem needs to be addressed by everyone involved in the art market in an effective way if stagnation is to be avoided in the salesrooms.

    See posts on for May 29, May 28, May 27, May 20, May 19 and March 29.