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    Sunday, May 28th, 2023
    Paddy Moloney (Piper) by Edward McGuire at Adams. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 35,000 AT HAMMER

    The way Edward McGuire paints portraits, Patrick Hennessy captures the essential essence of a red rose or William Conor evokes atmosphere can be overlooked in art auction catalogues where the big guns dominate. You can’t blame Yeats, Orpen, Henry, le Brocquy et al – all of whom loom large in major Irish art sales at Whyte’s and Adams in Dublin next week – for stealing the attention.  There is a great selection of scorching works by these artists at the upcoming sales. Yeats, in particular, dominates this time around for the sheer number and quality of his works on offer.

    Nevertheless it is heartening to see estimates on the up for artists who, though not exactly overlooked, might have been somewhat eclipsed.  This is a rising market and the tide has lifted many boats. Edward McGuire’s portrait of legendary musician Paddy Moloney dates to 1982 and depicts Moloney seated, uileann pipes in hand, with a faraway look as if waiting to perform.  It is estimated at €20,000-€30,000 at Adams evening sale on May 31. No less arresting is a small 1964 oil on canvas of a bouquet of roses by the Cork artist Patrick Hennessy.  You can practically savour their scent.  It comes up at Whyte’s evening sale on May 29 with an estimate of €3,500-€4,500. With an Indian ink and colour wash William Conor evokes the festive atmosphere of race days of yore like no one else in two works at Adams. These small drawings are each estimated at just €800-€1,200. Art is for everyone and estimates like this show that art auctions – even major sales – can be for everyone too even if the sales in the hundreds of thousands or more grab the headlines.  You don’t need to be a millionaire, you do need to really look and see what is waiting there ready to enhance your home, your life, your world.

    Bouquet of Roses by Patrick Hennessy at Whyte’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,600 AT HAMMER

    If money is no object then a trio of magnificent oils by Yeats at Whyte’s is worthy of the attention of any well heeled collector.  Glory to the Brave Singer is a late visionary work and shows a reclining woman pointing to a songbird. The estimate is €300,000-€400,000.  This sale offers 122 lots with major works by Paul Henry,  Mary Swanzy, Roderic O’Conor, Camille Souter, Louis le Brocquy, Francis Bacon, Sidney Nolan, Patrick Collins, Evie Hone, Tony O’Malley and many more.There are wonderful examples of the best Irish 19th, 20th and 21st century Irish art and sculpture among the 180 lots at Adams.  A 1945 oil on panel by Yeats, Near the Docks, is estimated at €100,000-€150,000 and there are eight works on paper by the artist from a private Irish collection at estimates of from €1,500 to €15,000.  There is art by Gerard Dillon, Daniel O’Neill, William Conor, Colin Middleton and Frank McKelvey, John Shinnors, Hughie O’Donoghue, Philip Flanagan, Basil Blackshaw, Camille Souter, Rowan Gillespie and others in a sale which will appeal to a wide variety of tastes. Both auctions are on view over this weekend and the catalogues are online.

     Le Loing at Sundown by Roderic O’Conor at Whyte’s. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Saturday, October 29th, 2022
     Touch Vessels by Niamh Barry at Adam. UPDATE: THESE WERE UNSOLD

    With notable exceptions like Eileen Grey and Joseph Walsh Irish designers tend to get overlooked when it comes to auctions of design. Upcoming timed online sales of  design at de Veres in Dublin on November 1 and at Adams on on November 8 feature the sort of  designer pieces from the middle of the last century and later that are increasingly in vogue here.

    There is a wide selection of Danish, Italian and French work available but where are the modernist Irish designers?  Artists like Felim Egan and Cecil King, couturier Sybil Connolly whose designs were used on porcelain by Tiffany and Co. and craft makers like the Dixon Carpet Company of Oughterard, established as V’Soske Joyce in 1957 were ahead of the curve. Did they flourish in isolation?  Hardly.
    We have designers, craftspeople and innovators in plenty who remain relatively  unknown or overlooked.  Half a century ago, when the Kilkenny Design Workshops was in its infancy, the international view was that the Irish produced only remarkable writers and poets.  That theory has been debunked enough to make one wonder whether as yet unheralded Irish designers are waiting to be discovered. Innnovative designers of every sort feature at crowd pulling events like the annual Crafts Fair at the RDS – the next one runs from November 30-December 4.

    Intrusion by Cecil King at de Veres. UPDATE; THIS MADE 2,200 AT HAMMER

    One of the most expensive pieces at Adams is from an Irish artist that few of us have heard of. Niamh Barry’s “Touch” vessels – hand raised, mirror polished, patinated and brushed solid bronze – are estimated at €20,000-€30,000. After graduating in ceramics from the NCAD in 1991 Niamh Barry turned to metalworking and began translating the natural landscape into metal forms. After decades of perfecting her craft critical acclaim followed her representation by Todd Merrill, the Manhattan dealer in 20th century design. Then her debut at Art Basel Switzerland led to a steady stream of commissions. Her work has been exhibited in London, New York, Switzerland, Dubai, Toronto, Miami and at a solo exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland.The catalogues for the sales at Adams and de Veres feature stylish design pieces for every nook and cranny of the contemporary home and are online.  There will be viewing at de Veres this Bank Holiday weekend and viewing gets underway at Adams on November 5.


    Saturday, September 10th, 2022
    Direct Provision by Brian Maguire at Morgan O’Driscoll. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,100 AT HAMMER

    The autumn Irish art selling season gets underway in a spirit of optimism this month.  It kicks off with Morgan O’Driscoll’s online sale on September 12 and there will be auctions of Important Irish Art at Whyte’s, and Adams on September 26 and 28 respectively. At James Adam the belief is that there has never been a better time to sell Irish art. Price records continue to be broken at auctions.  Sales of Important Irish Art at Adams in 2021 and 2022 have grossed over €8.5 million to date. The sale at Adams on September 28 will include art by Norah McGuinness, Roderic O’Conor, Daniel O’Neill, Louis le Brocquy and Hughie O’Donoghue.

    The selection at Whyte’s is appetising.  Here you will find work by Jack Butler Yeats, Roderic O’Conor, John Lavery, Seán Keating, Norah McGuinness, Harry Kernoff, Mainie Jellett, Colin Middleton, Grace Henry, William Scott, Pauline Bewick, Louis le Brocquy, John Shinnors, Donald Teskey, Joseph Edward Southall, Bob Dylan and many others. At the time of writing the catalogue for de Veres sale is not to hand. This is an auction house that rarely disappoints and you are likely to find a particularly good selection of fine contemporary Irish art.

    Rivermouth by Jack B Yeats at Whyte’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE 180,000 AT HAMMER

    With monthly online sales interspersed with auctions of Important Irish and International Art shown in normal times for viewing both in London and New York Skibbereen based Morgan O’Driscoll keeps the ball rolling more than any other auctioneer of art in Ireland.  The online catalogue for the auction next Monday offers much to choose from.  The selection ranges from Yeats,  Harry Kernoff, Nano Reid, May Guinness and Colin Middleton to Pauline Bewick, Felim Egan, Tony O’Malley and the French born Los Angeles based Mr. Brainwash whose work he has been successfully selling in latter years.

    Contemporary art is driven by the experiences of contemporary life. The artist Brian Maguire never shirks difficult subjects. He is driven by the struggle against inequality and violence and is represented in this sale by a challenging work entitled Direct Provision. It features faces, bright eyes and white teeth against a darkand brooding ground.  The acrylic on paper is estimated at €2,000-€3,000. Now firmly established as a first world country where refugees seek a haven it is no harm to be reminded that we Irish among the dispossessed not too long ago.  John Behan’s unique bronze Famine Ship, lot 89 at Morgan O’Driscoll with an estimate of €8,000-€12,000, is a reminder of a  dark and risky past that still exists for others today. In the 21st century the focus has shifted from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and the English Channel.  

    John Behan – West of Ireland, Famine Ship at Morgan O’Driscoll. UPDATE: THIS MADE 16,000 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, May 21st, 2022
    Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Lynch at Sheppards. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Great Irish Interiors at Sheppards, collectibles at Whyte’s and Mullen’s, art at Morgan O’Driscoll and James Adam, an Irish collection at Sotheby’s in London, design at de Veres and antique furniture at Woodwards should get a busy summer season off to a flying start over the next week or so. Kicking off with an Eclectic Collector sale online at Whyte’s in Dublin today buyers at all price points will find plenty to choose from.  Wine drinkers who enjoy Chateau Lynch Bages will no doubt be fascinated by a portrait at Sheppards of Jean Baptiste Lynch (1749-1835), Mayor of Bordeaux, Count of the French Empire, lawyer and son of Thomas Lynch who produced high quality wines under the name Cru de Lynch which eventually morphed into Lynch-Bages.  The Lynch family – one of the Tribes of Galway – fled persecution in Ireland in the 17th century and this portrait is from the Derk estate in Co. Limerick, thence by descent.  Lot 23 is estimated at €15,000-€25,000.

    Three days of sales at Sheppards get underway next Tuesday (May 24). Viewing starts in Durrow today and the catalogue with a fascinating selection of antique furniture, Chinese and African collectibles, ceramics, chandeliers, sllver, jewellery and collectibles is online.

    Along with Robert Emmet’s 1803 Proclamation Whyte’s sale today offers 1916 Rising and War of Independence documents and medals, Seamus Heaney signed first editions, Polar exploration volumes, maps, banknotes and coins and entertainment and sporting memorabilia. A Butterfly Spin by Damien Hirst  and a silkscreen print of John Wayne by Andy Warhol feature at Morgan O’Driscoll’s  online sale of affordable art which runs until next Monday evening (May 23) A strong selection of 20th century classic design furniture and Irish art will come under the hammer at de Veres next Tuesday afternoon (May 24).  There is Danish and Italian furniture and lighting by designers including Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, le Corbuser, Mies van der Rohe and Arne Vodder and art by Felim Egan, Robert Ballagh, Francis Tansey, Terry Frost and William Crozier.

    An Irish George III oval mirror at Sotheby’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE £10,080

    The sale of Monte Alverno: An Irish Collection at Sotheby’s in London next Thursday will give Irish and international collectors a chance to pick up something Irish and special like Regency peat buckets, gilt mirrors, antique furniture and art ranging from 18th century bird gouaches by Samuel Dixon through to Yeats, James Arthur O’Connor, John Luke and Patrick Swift.A pair of Georgian peat buckets and a pair of Edwardian demi-lune side tables are among the top antique furniture lots at Woodwards  sale in Cork next Saturday (May 24).  Among the Georgian lots are a three pillar dining table, a library table, a card table, a wine cooler, a bureau, a chest of drawers and a lowboy. An Edwardian inlaid sofa table and an office mahogany desk are among around 300 lots here.Next week is bookended by a sale of history, militaria and collectibles at Mullens of Laurel Park.

    Photograph of a female climber in Victorian days at Mullen’s  UPDATE: THIS LOT MADE 380 AT HAMMER

    Among the first photographs of rock climbers in action were those taken by the Abraham family at Keswick in the Lake District.  Mullens will offer a box of 50 glass stereoscope slides of 19th century images from Cumberland and North Wales featuring climbers in tweeds, flat caps and, in one memorable image, a skirt. In those Victorian times there was no lack of equality on the mountains.  The sale kicks off with a skull of a Great Irish Elk.  There is a poetry book inscribed by Roger Casement in Pentonville Prison on the night before his execution to Fr. Murnane of The Presbytery, Bermondsey.


    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