Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

    This Warhol self-portrait more than doubled its top estimate at Christie's. (click on image to enlarge). Picture courtesy of Christie's Images.

    A monumental-scale self-portrait by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) made £10,793,250 at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art evening sale in London on February 16. It had been estimated at £3-5 million.  In a private collection since 1974 this previously unpublished iconic work which dates to 1967 was recently discovered. It was bought by an anonymous bidder in the room.

    Warhol first used the image for a group of works in 1966, painted in a much smaller scale.  The following year he produced 11 monumental works in large scale six foot square format.   Six works from the series were shown at the American Pavilion at the 1967 Montreal Expo.

    The sale brought in £61,380,500 and was 92 per cent sold by lot.  It was the highest total for the category in London since June 2008.  The Warhol was the top lot and 16 lots sold for over one million pounds.  There were buyers from 21 different countries.  Six artists records were set, for Jenny Saville, Martial Raysse, Miquel Barcelo, Wade Guyton, Ged Quinn and Adriana Varejao.

    See post for January 11.


    Thursday, February 10th, 2011
    There were world records for Bonnard and Dali at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern art evening sale and auction of art of the Surreal.  The sales  made £84,879,800, selling 79% by lot and 84% by value, against a pre-sale estimate of £72,580,000 to £107,060,000.
    Purchasers came from 20 different countries with more than 10 clients competing on several lots. The most intense interest was for works released from private collections for the first time. Terrasse à Vernon by Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) realized £7,209,250. It dates from 1923.  Works by Derain and Degas also broke the £5 million barrier.  The four works offered by the Art Institute of Chicago, by Picasso (2), Braque and Matisse, brought in  £10,043,400.
    The Art of the Surreal sale realized £22,999,250. The top price was paid for by L’aimant (The Magnet) by René Magritte (1898-1967) which made £4,745,250. Dalí’s Etude pour ‘Le miel est plus doux que le sang’ from 1926-27 made £4,073,250.
    (See post for February 7)


    Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

    Sotheby’s day sale of Impressionist and Modern art on February 9 brought in £21,463,975 against a pre-sale estimate of  £16,934,000 – 23,608,000. The top was La Mandoline Noire, 1926, a late work by Juan Gris. It made £926,050.  Altogether 212 out of 266 lots sold, with strong bidding in all price ranges.  Over 500 people registered to bid from as far afield as Africa, US, Asia, Russia, Australia, North and South America and Europe. The total for Impressionist and Modern art at Sotheby’s over the last two days is £90,298,370.


    Monday, February 7th, 2011

    Georges Braque (1882-1963) Nature morte à la guitare (rideaux rouge) signed and dated 'G.Braque 38' is estimated at £3.5-£5.5 million. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £3.9 MILLION

    Hundreds of millions of pounds worth of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art will change hands in London this fortnight.  Two weeks of major art sales in London begin on  February 8.  It is anticipated that the market recovery will see more than £400m spent on art in the coming days

    Sotheby’s kick off with  with an evening sale of impressionist and modern art and continue into next week with contemporary works. Their 42-lot evening session is estimated at £55-£79 million.  This sale  includes the most expensive lot of the week, Picasso’s “La Lecture”. The high estimate of this portrait of his lover Marie-Thérèse dated 1932 is £18 million. Sotheby’s other evening sale, on Thursday, February 10, is a private collection estimated at £39-£55 million.
    At Christie’s there is an estimate of £73-£109 million for the the Impressionist and Modern  and the Art of the Surreal sales on February 9. This is the second highest pre-sale estimate for the February Impressionist sales at Christie’s in London. The highlight is Nature morte à “L’Espérance”, a still life painted by Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) in 1901 while he was living in Tahiti. It is expected to realise £7-£10 million. (See for January 7) The sale includes four works to be sold by the Art Institute of Chicago (two Picasso’s, a Braque and a Matisse), and will feature the artists Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Fernand Léger.
    Self-portraits by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat will star in contemporary-art auctions in London set to raise at least 72.5 million pounds ($116 million).


    Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
    Google’s Art Project, which is just launched, is a collaboration with 17 international museums, including the Met in New York, the Hermitage in St Petersburg, the Uffizi in Florence, and the National Gallery in London, to enable viewers take a virtual tour using “Street View” technology.
    Each institution has nominated a single piece as a “Gigapixel Artwork” which produces an electronic image containing 7 billion pixels, allowing viewers to study a work like Botticelli’s Birth of Venus or Holbein’s Ambassadors in microscopic detail.


    Friday, January 7th, 2011
    GAUGUIN’S Nature morte à “L’Espérance is the highlight of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in London on February 9. Christie’s Art of the Surreal sale takes place on the same evening.
    The pre-sale estimate of £73,880,000 to £109,060,000 is the second highest for the February Impressionist sales at Christie’s in London.  The corresponding estimate in 2010 was £56.5 million to £80.8 million.
    Paul Gauguin’s (1848-1903) historically important still life was painted in 1901 when he was still living in Tahiti.  The work has been exhibited at over 20 major museum exhibitions including the artist’s first landmark Retrospective at the Grand Palais, Paris, in 1906. It is expected to realise £7 million to £10 million.
    Four works to be sold by the Art Institute of Chicago are led by Nature morte à la guitare (rideaux rouge) by Georges Braque (1882-1963) (estimate: £3.5 million to £5.5 million).
    A collection of works on paper by Paul Gauguin made in France and Tahiti between 1894 and 1902 will be sold at Sotheby’s in London on March 30.  From the Collection of Stanley J. Seeger, the American privagte collector, the ten works have a well-recorded provenance. They can be traced back in most cases directly to the artist. The group will lead the sale of Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints, and is estimated at £430,000-574,000.
    UPDATE:   There was disappointment when this work failed to sell in an otherwise sucessful auction that realised £84.9 million.  It was suggested that the brown colour of the work had something to do with this.


    Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

    The Ploughed Field by Jay Murphy (estimated at 500-800) features at the Dolans Art Auction at the Marriott Hotel in Galway on Sunday, November 21. (click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    This watercolour by Annemarie Bourke entitled Aspects of Galway (estimated at 800-1,200) features at the Dolan's art auction on November 21. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 1,000

    Traditional and contemporary work by Irish artists features at the Dolans art auction at the Marriott Hotel in Galway on Sunday November 21 at 3 p.m.  The emphasis is on affordability.


    Monday, November 1st, 2010

    A pair of cast metal Chinese lions to be sold at Marshs estimated at 1,000-2,000. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: SOLD FOR 1,000

    A pair of Fereghan horses to be sold at Marshs, Cork on November 6. (click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: SOLD FOR 1,400

    The Marshs antique and art auction in Cork on Saturday November 6 at 12 noon

    A view of the Middle Lake, Killarney by Patrick Duffy (5,000-6,000) at Marshs on November 6. (click to enlarge) UPDATE; IT WAS UNSOLD

    will feature contents from the estate of the late Denis and Hilda Cullinane of Verdon House, Summerhill, Cork. There is a rare oil on canvas of the River Lee and Carrigrohane Castle signed W.H. Brennan and dated 1900  (3,000-4,000), a 1780 Cork clock by John Montjoy (5,000-6,000), a view of the Middle Lake, Killarney by Patrick Duffy (5,000-6,000).

    Among the more unusual lots on offer at this sale are a pair of five foot high Blackamoor figures, a pair of cast metal Chinese lions, a pair of painted metal figures of Renaissance style men carrying lamps, each 5’6″ tall, a pair of Chinese Fereghan horses (1,500-2,000) and a 40″ high figure of Napoleon which auctioneer Hugh McPhillips reckons will make 300-500.

    These painted metal figures in the Renaissance style, each 5'6" tall, feature in the Marshs sale in Cork on November 6. UPDATE; SOLD FOR 1,000

    A 40" high figure of Napoleon, estimated at 300-500. UPDATE. SOLD FOR 400

    This pair of Blackamoor figures is estimated at 800-1,000. UPDATE SOLD FOR 1,000


    Monday, November 1st, 2010

    Christie’s expects to achieve more than $500 million in a series of sales in New York in the first fortnight of November.  A total of 850 works will be offered in Impressionist, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary art in a spectacular line up of sales that includes museum quality works from the greatest artists.

    Auctions get underway with the evening sale of 85 works of Impressionist and Modern Art on Wednesday, November 3.  The global art market has exhibited depth and resilience.  Huge competition is expected for important works from masters including Juan Gris, Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol  and Gerhard Richter.


    Sunday, October 31st, 2010

    This is a video of highlights from the Bank of Ireland art collection to be sold at James Adam in Dublin on November 24 on view at the Glucksman Gallery in Cork in late October.  See posts for October 20 and October 13.