Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Thursday, April 30th, 2015
    Francis Bacon Self-Portrait, 1975 - copyright Sotheby's

    Francis Bacon
    Self-Portrait, 1975 – copyright Sotheby’s

    Led by a pair of re-discovered Francis Bacon self-portraits never seen in public before and each estimated at £10-15 million a private collection of rarely seen masterpieces comes up at Sotheby’s this summer.  The collection of 21 works will be offered across a series of sales in London, New York and Paris between May and July.  Assembled in the 1970s and 80s, the collection draws together terracotta heads from Nigeria and Ghana and works by the greats of 19th and 20th century art: Edgar Degas, Edouard Vuillard, Yves Tanguy, Henry Moore, Lynn Chadwick and R.B. Kitaj tracing the human form over 400 years.

    The Bacon portraits come up at the Contemporary Art evening sale in London on July 1.  More works will come up at the Impressionist and Modern evening sale on June 24. There will be African works in New York on May 15 and Paris on June 24.


    Monday, April 20th, 2015
    The Power by Michael Flatley

    The Power by Michael Flatley sold for 77,500 at hammer.

    Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley became the Lord of the Art Auction Salesroom in Dublin tonight when two of his artworks – created by tap dancing on canvas – sold for 77,500 and 44,000 respectively.

    The artworks attracted competitive bidding on the phone, over the internet and in the room at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish and International Art Auction at the RDS.

    The Power, just under six feet square, made 77,500 over an estimate of 70,000-90,000 and was bought by an international buyer. An Irish purchaser acquired Flight of the Quetzal, which sold for 44,000 over an estimate of 40,000-50,000.  These are hammer prices.

    The decision to hold a viewing in London for this sale proved wise, as UK bidders competed in numbers for the Irish and international art on offer.

    (See posts on for April 14, April 6 and April 1).


    Monday, April 6th, 2015

    The art of the Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley features large at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish and International art auction at the RDS on April 20. The two most expensively estimated lots on the catalogue are by the Riverdance artist. The Power, from the Castlehyde Private Collection, is estimated at 70,000-90,000, Flight of the Quetzal at  40,000-50,000. Global celebrity is a powerful tool and outsider art is popular.  Nevertheless estimates like that are light years ahead of the work of many long established Irish artists, living and dead, in the O’Driscoll catalogue.

    An emerging artist, Michael Flatley creates his art by dancing on the canvas. In advance of his first exhibition, entitled “Art of the Dance” and due to be held in London this summer, he has sold privately from Castlehyde. One of his works made 22,500 at Sheppards in Durrow late last year.

    (See post on for April 1, 2015).

    The Power by Michael Flatley

    The Power by Michael Flatley  UPDATE: THIS MADE 77,500 AT HAMMER

    Flight of the Quetzal by Michael Flatley.

    Flight of the Quetzal by Michael Flatley.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 44,000 AT HAMMER.


    Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

    Alice Neel, Richard at Age 5, 1945, oil on canvas. Copyright Estate of Alice Neel. Photo credit: Malcom Varon. (Click on image to enlarge).

    Dublin Contemporary, one of the most ambitious art exhibitions ever staged in Ireland, runs over the next eight weeks. It features paintings, sculpture, photography, installation art, performance art, videos and 12 street artists.

    Willie Doherty, Dead Pool II, 2011, c-print, mounted on aluminium. Courtesy of the Kerlin Gallery. (Click on image to enlarge).

    The former university site at Earlsfort Terrace is the hub and other venues include the Iveagh Gardens, the Douglas Hyde Gallery, the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and the Royal Hibernian Academy.  It features new and recent works from artists including Willie Doherty, Dexter Dalwood, Jim Lambie, Thomas Hirschhorn and Teresa Margolles.
    There is a Willie Doherty retrospective at the Dublin City Gallery, an exhibition of American painter Alice Neel at the Douglas Hyde Gallery and works by international artists and a new commission by the Irish artist Brian O’Doherty at the National Gallery. There is work by American painter Lisa Yuskavage and  a new commission by Irish artist James Coleman at the RHA.
    The Dublin Contemporary theme is Terrible Beauty—Art, Crisis, Change & The Office of Non-Compliance.  Work by over 90 international and Irish artists is on show at multiple locations in Dublin until October 31. Curated by New York-based curator and writer, Christian Viveros-Fauné, and Franco-Peruvian artist and curator, Jota Castro, the title is taken from William Butler Yeats’s poem, Easter, 1916.  The plan is to hold Dublin Contemporary every five years.


    Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
    Irish furniture and art work will feature at a carefully selected sale at Lynes and Lynes on Saturday, July 2 at noon. Lynes and Lynes have re-located from Cork city centre to Eastlink Business Park at Carrigtwohill in east Cork.
    This is a sale of under 150 lots.  Here is a small selection of what is on offer. The catalogue is on-line at

    This Irish antique mahogany hall bench of curved shape, circa 1860 is estimated at 1,500-2,000. (Click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,400

    George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson 1806-1884 Naval Squadron in Cork harbour 1862, estimated at 10,000-15,000. (Click to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD, BUT UNDER NEGOTIATION AFTERWARDS.

    A Regency two door bookcase fitted with drawers c1840 estimated at 2,000-3,000. (Click to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,500

    A Regency mahogany bookcase with brass trellis doors and panelled sides, circa 1830, estimated at 3,000-5,000. (Click to enlarge). UPDATE: SOLD AFTER AUCTION FOR 3,000


    Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

    Egon Schiele's world record painting entitled Houses with Laundry (Suburb II). (Click on image to enlarge).

    There was a world auction record for Egon Schiele at Sotheby’s on June 22. His Häuser mit bunter Wäsche (Vorstadt II) / Houses with Laundry (Suburb II) made £24,681,250, almost double the previous auction record for the Austrian artist.

    The painting, sold by the Leopold Museum in Vienna, was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder.  Executed in 1914 at the height of Egon Schiele’s short career (he died in 1918 at the age of just 28), the painting is one of the most impressive of the artist’s few monumental cityscapes and is loosely based on motifs drawn from Krumau, the town known to have inspired some of his greatest works. It was this town in Southern Bohemia in which Schiele’s mother was born, and to which Schiele and his lover Valerie (Wally) Neuzil moved in 1911 in order to escape what they perceived as the claustrophobic atmosphere of Vienna.

    Overall, the sale achieved £96,968,000, within the pre-sale estimate of £77 to £111 million. It was  91.4% sold by lot and 98.4% by value. Records were also set for Marc Chagall’s Au-Dessus de la ville, which made £1,833,250, a record for a work on paper by the artist  and Tamara de Lempicka’s  La Dormeuse of 1930 which made  £4,073,250/$6,617,809, a US dollar record for the artist.

    The June Impressionist & Modern Art sale at Sotheby’s made £14,622,250, bringing the total for the June series to £111,590,250.

    See post for May 5.


    Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

    Picasso - Femmes Lisant

    Gauguin Jeune tahitienne

    Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale at Sotheby’s New York on May 3 made $170,478,000.  This was within but very much at the lower end of the overall estimate of $158.9-229.7 million. The 59 lot auction was 74.6% sold by lot, and saw a total of 37 works sell for over $1 million.
    The top lot was Pablo Picasso’s Femmes lisant (Deux personnages). It made $21,362,500 in a sale where auction records were established for the Surrealist artist Paul Delvaux and for a sculpture by Paul Gauguin. Jeune tahitienne sold for 11,282,500.  It was carved during Gauguin’s first trip to Tahiti between 1890 and 1893, and is the only fully-worked bust portrait the artist is known to have created. It marks the eighth highest price for any work by Gauguin at auction.


    Les Cariatides by Paul Delvaux from 1946 made $9,042,500 in a sale which saw strong prices for Surrealist works.

    The Expressionist Alexej von Jawlensky’s Frau mit grünem Fächer (Woman with a green fan) made $11,282,500, just under its high estimate of $12 million. This is the second highest price for a work by Jawlensky.  There were strong prices too for Magritte and Dali.  The art illustrated represents the top five highest prices for the sale.
    The Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale on May 5 at Sotheby’s in New York brought in $38,982,225.


    Picasso - COUPLE À LA GUITARE made $9.6 million.


    Monday, April 18th, 2011

    A studio sale of the work of artist Ian Humphreys will be held by auctioneer Morgan O’Driscoll in Skibbereen, west Cork on Easter Sunday (April 24) at 4 p.m.  The British born (1956) artist and graduate of Exeter College of Art has work in a number of public and private collections.  He has lived on Heir Island off the west Cork coast since 1999.  The sale features 80 lots in a variety of media over dates from 1976 to 2010.

    There are no reserves.  Estimates are a guide. Here is a sample, click on any image to enlarge:

    UPDATE: All lots were sold in an auction that realised 120,000.  There were buyers from Texas, the UK, Holland, Germany and Ireland, some bidding on the internet.  The auction attracted a large crowd including people on holiday in west Cork for Easter.

    'Reencorren' by Ian Humphreys (est 800-1,400) UPDATE: THIS MADE 500 EURO.

    Ian Humpreys 'The Fisher King' (5,000-8,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,400 EURO.

    Ian Humphreys 'Juggling' (4,000-5,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,300 EURO.

    Ian Humphreys 'Skeams' (400-500) UPDATE: THIS MADE 900 EURO.


    Thursday, March 17th, 2011
    From Babar to Peter Rabbit, some of the most beloved children’s characters and stories will feature at a single owner sale of original illustration art at Sotheby’s in New York on April 11.  The sale of the collection of Kendra and Allan Daniel will present a selection of original illustrations.
    It features original artwork featuring characters such as Babar, Madeline, the Brownies, Christopher Robin and Raggedy Ann. Artists represented include Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, Peter Newell, Kate Greenaway, Beatrix Potter and Jessie Willcox Smith, Dr. Seuss, George Henry Boughton and Rose O’Neill.


    Saturday, February 19th, 2011
    THE recovery in art market prices continued over the London selling season in February.  According to our calculations Sotheby’s and Christie’s sold £423.6 million worth of Impressionist, Modern, Contemporary, Post-War and Surreal art over the past fortnight.
    Aided by an incredible private owner sale entitled Looking Closely, with 60 works by some of the greatest of all modern and contemporary masters, Sotheby’s led with a sales total of  £242,109,075. This is the second highest total for any sales season ever held at Sotheby’s in London.  Their sales featured property from 39 countries and attracted buyers from 47 countries spanning 5 continents.  The total at Christie’s series of sales amounted to £181.5 million.
    These results support a growing view that the international recovery in art market prices can be sustained.