Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Posts Tagged ‘adams’


    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.


    Sunday, May 29th, 2011

    The Story of the Hunt by Thomas Hovenden. (click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR 47,000

    THE Story of the Hunt by Thomas Hovenden at the Adams Irish art sale in Dublin on June 1 is a rare example of work by the Cork born artist at auction.
    Thomas Hovenden was born in Dunmanway in December 1840, son of the town goaler. Orphaned in the Great Famine at the age of 6 he was placed in the Cork Orphanage. Later he was apprenticed to George Tolerton, a carver and gilder in Cork, who noted his skill at draughtsmanship.  Tolerton paid for him to attend the Cork School of Art which promoted ideas of aestheticism and the teachings of John Ruskin. Hovenden advanced his draughtsmanship by sketching the school’s collection of Antonio Canova’s plaster cast statuary and painting plein air watercolours.  A medal winning student he graduated in 1862.
    Hovenden arrived in America at the end of the Civil War and rose to fame painting patriotic scenes in sympathy with the American version of Victorian values, and later  for paintings of African Americans during the Abolitionist movement. Among his works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection are The Last Moments of John Brown. His work features in the collections of the Yale University Art Gallery, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Fine Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
    He studied in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts under Alexandre Cabanel.  He was sent there with funding from the art collector John McCoy and his business partner William Walters.  From there he went to Pont Aven where he met Irish artists and his future wife, Helen Corson.  He returned to America in 1881 and became  a member of the Society of American Artists (1881), the Philadelphia Society of Artists (1883) and an Associate member of the National Academy of Design (1881). He succeeded Thomas Eakins as Professor of Painting and Drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1886-88) and his students included Alexander Calder and the leader of the Ashcan School, Robert Henri. Around the time of his untimely death in 1895  in an accident – he died saving a child on a railway track – academic painting went out of fashion and so he was soon to be forgotten.
    Painted in Brittany in 1880 The Story of the Hunt is estimated at 50,000-70,000.
    See posts on for May 20, 2011 and September 11, 2010.


    Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

    Robert Emmet's 1803 Proclamation. (click to enlarge)

    Lot 41 at Whyte’s History, Literature and Collectibles sale in Dublin  on Saturday, April 16 is Robert Emmet’s Proclamation of 1803.  Allegedly 10,000 were printed but it was dangerous to be in possession of one, so most were destroyed.  This is one of only three known examples in private hands.  It begins:   “The Provisional Government TO THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND” and is estimated to make 30,000-50,000.  This is a sale of 628 lots.

    SEE post for April 8.

    UPDATE:  This Proclamation made 25,000 in a sale that grossed over 300,000 with a selling rate of 70 per cent.

    The 1916 Proclamation at Adams-Mealy's. (click to enlarge)

    Lot 527 at Adams Mealy’s Independence sale in Dublin on Tuesday, April 19 is this 1916 Proclamation. There are thought to be no more than 50 surviving copies, many in public collections. This one is estimated at €100,000-150,000.  There are 631 lots in total in this sale.



    Friday, March 25th, 2011

    This colour inverted Aubusson tapestry by Louis le Brocquy is the top lot at Adams sale of Irish art in Dublin on April 6.  Conceived in 1948 it was executed in 1998 as an edition of nine.

    Louis le Brocquy’s first tapestry, Travellers was designed in 1948 and produced by Tabard Frères et Soeurs at Aubusson. It was one of a series that also included The Garlanded Goat and the Eden Series. Le Brocquy described the technique of designing these tapestries as something he learned directly from the master in this medium, Jean Lurcat.
    The present work, however is from the later ‘colour-inverted’ tapestries that were produced at Aubusson by the Lissier René Duché. This series was first exhibited at Taylor Galleries in Dublin, where it was bought by the present owner, and then exhibited at Agnews in London.  It is estimated at 40,000-60,000.
    The sale at Adams is rich in 20th century landscapes and contains over 240 lots.
    UPDATE: IT made a hammer price of 60,000


    Sunday, March 13th, 2011

    The Pont-Aven work by Walter Osborne.

    AN early oil on panel by Walter Frederick Osborne is included in the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art on Wednesday, April 6.  It was painted when the artist was visiting Pont Aven in Brittany in 1883.

    The work is from the family of Dublin solicitor F.X. Murray, who was a significant collector in the 1940’s/’50’s.  This is the first time it has been on the market.  The estimate is 10,000-15,000.