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    IRISH ART SEASON BRINGS IN 6 MILLION AND A TALE OF THREE HENRY’S

    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.

    Christie's

    Whyte's

    Adams

    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 antiquesandartireland.com for May 29, May 28, May 27, May 20, May 19 and March 29.

    THE STORY OF THE HUNT AT ADAMS AND ANOTHER STORY

    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.
    UPDATE:  THIS SOLD FOR A HAMMER PRICE OF 47,000.
    See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for May 20, 2011 and September 11, 2010.

    TWO IRISH PROCLAMATIONS SEPARATED BY 113 YEARS

    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 antiquesandartireland.com 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.

    IN AN AUCTION WHICH REALISED 655,000 AT HAMMER THIS LOT FAILED TO SELL.

    LE BROCQUY AUBUSSON TAPESTRY TOP LOT AT ADAMS

    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

    EARLY OSBORNE PONT-AVEN OIL AT ADAMS

    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.

    ATTIC SALE AT JAMES ADAM ON FEBRUARY 16

    Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

    This 19th century cut glass celery vase is estimated at 100-150. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 120

    This 19th century Berlin porcelain urn of amphora form is estimated at 100-200. (click to enlarge) IT MADE 160

    In Dublin James Adam will hold a clearance auction, billed as an Attic Sale, on Wednesday, February 16 at 11 a.m.  As the name suggests, this is a mixed bag sale with around 600 lots, most with low estimates.  Here is a small sample.

    UPDATE: IT WAS A SUCCESSFUL SALE WHICH ATTRACTED GOOD NUMBER OF VIEWERS.  AROUND 90 PER CENT OF THE LOTS ON OFFER FOUND BUYERS.

    This Edwardian display cabinet in the chinoiserie style is estimated at 400-600. (click on image to enlarge) IT SOLD FOR 500

    An Art Nouveau brass fender and a pierced fender, estimated at 200-300. (click to enlarge) THESE MADE 650

    VALUATION DAYS AT JAMES ADAM

    Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

    Art and antique auctioneers James Adam intend to hold complimentary valuation days on the first Thursday of every month at their  premises at St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin.  There will be a valuation on Thursday, Feburuary 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    AFFORDABILITY THE KEY AT CHRISTMAS SALE AT JAMES ADAM

    Friday, December 10th, 2010

    This limited edition screenprint by Patrick Scott, entitled Christmas Greeting, dated '89, is estimated at 300-400. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: SOLD FOR 280

    Ger's Field is the title of this oil and wax on canvas by Coilin Murray at Adams. It is estimated at 300-500. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: SOLD FOR 320

    The Christmas sale at James Adam in Dublin on Tuesday, December 14 at 6 p.m. is made up of 318 affordable lots of paintings, prints, sculpture and literature.  There are sketches by artists like Estella Solomons, Thomas Ryan and Peter Curling, watercolours by Alexander Williams and Douglas Alexander, more contemporary works from artists Andrew Folan, Patrick Scott, Tigue O’Donoghue Ross, Paddy Lennon, Michael Mulcahy and Brian Maguire, Andy Warhol screenprints of Marylin Monroe, sculpture by Patrick McElroy and a small section with books, sketchbooks and catalogues of Irish interest.  Estimates range from ten and twenty euro upwards.

    YEATS WITH HUSTON CONNECTION AT ADAMS

    Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

    Lingering Sun, O'Connell Bridge, Dublin by Jack B. Yeats at Adams on December 6. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 140,000

    Jack Yeats’ Lingering Sun, O’Connell Bridge, Dublin, once in the collection of film director John Huston, features at Adams sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on December 6.  Set along the quays in the centre of Dublin in the 1920’s it is a significant work from the artists mature style.

    Huston, an avid art collector whose great grandfather had emigrated from Co. Armagh in 1840, returned in 1952. He finally settled in St. Cleran’s House, Co. Galway for over 18 years.  He brought Marlon Brando to Ireland and shot Moby Dick in Youghal with Gregory Peck. John Huston owned Ireland’s first Monet and a Juan Gris. He bought the work of many Irish artists, but Yeats reflected his feelings for this country. He was forced to sell most of his collection before his death.
    This painting is estimated at 150,000-250,000.
    UDATE:  This was the top lot in sale which realised 1.53 million and where 80 per cent of lots found buyers.  It made 140,000.

    HENRY THE BANKER AT ADAMS ART AUCTION

    Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

    Clouds at Sunset by Paul Henry made a hammer price of 55,000 at the Adams sale of the Bank of Ireland collection. It was the top price paid. The painting had been estimated at 30,000-50,000. (click to enlarge).

    Paul Henry’s Clouds at Sunset was the top lot at the James Adam sale of the Bank of Ireland collection in Dublin on November 24.  It made a hammer price of 55,000.  Such was the interest in the sale – 4,000 people turned up to view – that the venue had to  be moved from the Adams salesroom to the Great Room at the adjacent Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.

    Louis le Brocquy’s Study towards an image of James Joyce (est. 50,000-70,000) and Gerard Dillon’s Out with the Nets (est. 25,000-35,000) each sold for 50,000.  Next on the list were works by Patrick Collins and Basil Blackshaw, which each made a hammer price of 38,000.

    Paintings by Tony O’Malley and Basil Blackshaw made 36,000 at hammer, a le Brocquy and a work by Sean Keating each made 32,000 and and top ten was completed by another le Brocquy which sold for 30,000.

    The sale of 145 lots realised 1.5 million and achieved good prices across the board.  All but one painting, Barrie Cooke’s large museum quality triptych entitled Big Forest Borneo, found buyers.  A number of works went above the top estimate, most sold for well into the estimated price and some achieved their lower estimate.

    See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for October 20 and October 13, and the video posted on October 31.