Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Thursday, May 7th, 2015
    Lot 13 is the Tribunal Criminel death sentence.

    Lot 13 is the Tribunal Criminel death sentence. UPDATE: THIS WAS WITHDRAWN

    A gory memento of the French Revolution at Whyte’s sale of history and literature in Dublin on May 9 is a revolutionary Paris documentary death sentence dated May 21, 1793.  The document headed Tribunal Criminel passes the sentence of death on Manon Jeanne, formerly Baronne de Bois de Vauban. The sentence “Mort” in faded red ink and a large wax seal with the initials RF attached to the lower left hand corner with a green ribbon. The framed lot number 13 is estimated at 800-1,200.

    A Confederate Cavalry sabre from the American Civil War.

    A Confederate Cavalry sabre from the American Civil War.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 220

    An American Civil War Confederate cavalry sabre etched PDL for Peter D. Luneschloss is estimated at 150-200.

    A collection of five coloured maps of Russia and Poland dated 1785-1827 produced in France is estimated at 300-400.  (Update – these were unsold). Lot 57 is a rare 1803 pamphlet broadsheet from John Bull to Brother Patrick in Ireland looking for support against the Corsican imposter estimated at 150-200. (Update – this sold for 200 at hammer).

    A 1915 recruitment poster with a cheerful looking soldier with the words: “Come along boys, enlist today” and suggesting:  “The moment the order came to go forward there were smiling faces everywhere” published by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee in London is estimated at 100-150. (Update – this sold for 180). There are 388 lots in total and the catalogue is online.

    (See posts on for May 4, May 2 and April 11, 2015).


    Wednesday, May 6th, 2015
    Georgia O'Keeffe - White Calla Lily.

    Georgia O’Keeffe – White Calla Lily.  UPDATE: IT MADE $8,968,000

    An iconic flower painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, White Calla Lily, will lead Sotheby’s  American art auction in New York on May 20.  the artist kept the work in her own collection until her death in 1986.

    Between 1918 and 1932 O’Keeffe executed over 200 flower paintings, but it was arguably in the calla lily that the artist found her ideal motif, one that provided the perfect synthesis of subject and form that now defines her most celebrated work. White Calla Lily was acquired by the present owner in 1994 from Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has not been shown in public since. It is estimated at $8-12 million.

    The sale will feature 21 works by Martin Johnson Heade, Maxfield Parrish, Childe Hassam and more from a private collection, four paintings by Milton Avery and four works on paper by John Singer Sargent.

    UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR $8,968,000.  White Calla Lily follows the sale of Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 for $44.4 million in Sotheby’s previous sale of American Art (November 2014), which set the current auction record for O’Keeffe as well as for any female artist


    Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
    The Spitfire in flight © 2011 John Dibbs

    The Spitfire in flight © 2011 John Dibbs

    Souvenir of the Battle of Britain anyone?  A remarkable piece of British history at auction – an authentic and immaculately restored Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1A – P9374/G-MK1A – comes up at Christie’s in London this summer.  The fighter plane will be offered at The Exceptional Sale in London on July 9. This is the 75th anniversary of  the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain.  The Spitfire P9374 is estimated at £1.5-2.5 million.

    There are only two Mk.1 Spitfires restored to original condition and still flying, P9374 and N3200.  Both belong to the American philanthropist and art collector Robert Kaplan. P9374 will be sold to support the RAF Benevolent Fund and Panthera, a leading wildlife charity. Spitfire N3200 will be going to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. In September 1980 the wreckage of P9374 emerged from the sands at Calais beach where it had crash landed after being shot down in May 1940 during the air Battle of Dunkirk. Peter Cazenove, later a veteran of the Great Escape, was flying it when it was shot down.

    Robert Copley, Deputy Chairman Christie’s UK and Head of The Exceptional Sale: “Christie’s is proud to be entrusted with the sale of this Spitfire; a truly iconic aircraft which is symbol of the bravery ‘of the few’ in the Battle of Britain. We look forward to seeing this extraordinary Mk.1 Spitfire reach new heights at ‘The Exceptional Sale’, which will be a unique moment in auction house history.”


    Sunday, April 19th, 2015
    In the 1990’s in Ireland sales of contents from convents and monasteries were almost commonplace. They are more unusual now but Charleville, Co. Cork based P.J. O’Gorman will offer contents from the Convent of Mercy in Cahir, Co. Tipperary on April 25 at noon.  The auction will take place at the convent, which has been in operation in this location since 1881. Antique furnitures in these sales tends to have been well maintained and in good condition.  Prime lots this time include a four door Regency breakfront secretaire bookcase and a mahogany pedestal desk.  There are Victorian two and three door bookcases, sets of Victorian dining chairs, chaises longues, Victorian sideboards, a walnut davenport, church pews, religious prints, statues, porcelain, glass, brass candlesticks and plated silver among more than 500 lots.

    A Regency secrétaire four door bookcase.

    A Regency secrétaire four door bookcase.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 3,600

    A mahogany cylinder pedestal bureau.

       A mahogany cylinder pedestal bureau.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 800


    Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
    There is plenty to covet at a de Veres house contents auction at Westbury, Willowbank, Monkstown, Co. Dublin on September 19 at 2 p.m.  It was for many years the private residence of retired Dublin solicitor Noel Purcell, an avid collector.  Viewing is at the house, the auction will be held at the Presbyterian Hall at York Road, Dun Laoghaire. There are 350 lots on offer and the catalogue is on-line.  Here is a small selection (you can click on any image to enlarge it):

    A large Regency convex mirror, early 19th century, is estimated at 4,000-6,000. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

    A Meissen Group of Count Bruhl's tailor riding on a goat c1880. Count Bruhl (1700-1763) was prime minister of Saxony and director of the Meissen Porcelain factory. It is estimated at 2,000-3,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,500 AT HAMMER.

    An early 19th century mahogany extending dining table (6,000-9,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,500 AT HAMMER.

    Hugh Douglas Hamilton RHA 1739-1808, portrait of Mary Aylmer, daughter of Richard Aylmer of Lyons. (2,000-3,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,200 AT HAMMER.

    A c1830 rosewood library table, probably by Mack, Williams and Gibton (2,000-3,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,200 AT HAMMER.

    Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA 1878 - 1964, On the scent, The Kildare Hunt (1,500-2,500). UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,500 AT HAMMER.


    Thursday, July 7th, 2011
    Over 400 lots of European fine and decorative arts from the estate of Dr. Tony Ryan, the founder of Ryanair, will come under the hammer at Christie’s in London on July 14.  Spanning the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries they are from the Lyons Demesne in Co. Kildare. The sale is expected to bring in more than two million sterling.
    Highlights include an important full length portrait in pastel of Arthur Hill, 2nd Marquess of Downshire (1753-1801) by Hugh Douglas Hamilton, R.H.A., 1736-1801  (£200,000-300,000); a pair of George III giltwood and painted satinwood console tables in the manner of Thomas Chippendale the Younger (£50,000-80,000); a Louis XV Gobelins tapestry, by Claude Audran ( £30,000-50,000) and a white marble sculpture of Love Awakened by Giovanni Battista Lombardi, Rome, circa 1870 (£30,000-50,000).
    Dr. Ryan, who died in 2007, was one of Ireland’s biggest philathropists and supporter of the arts. There was a post about the sale on on April 14.  Here is a further selection of lots on offer:

    One of a pair of Irish George II armchairs c1750 estimated at £20,000-40,000. (Click on image to enlarge). Copyright Christie's Images. UPDATE: THE PAIR MADE £39,650.

    Nathaniel Hone, R.A. (Dublin 1718-1784 London) Portrait of Miss Gardner. (£10,000-15,000). (Click on image to enlarge). Copyright Christie's Images. UPDATE: THIS MADE £17,500

    Thomas Roberts (Waterford 1748-1778 Lisbon) A wooded landscape with a waterfall possibly at Powerscourt. (£40,000-60,000). Click to enlarge. Copyright Christie's Images. UPDATE: THIS MADE £73,250

    William John Leech (1881-1968) A self-portrait, seated in a garden. (£25,000-35,000). Click to enlarge. Copyright Christie's Images. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Sunday, May 1st, 2011
    More than 800 lots will come under the hammer at Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny on May 4. The fine and decorative art sale at Mealy’s will include 18th, 19th and 20th century furniture; contemporary Irish paintings;  silver and plate;  bronzes;  clocks and barometers; carpets and rugs; jewellery; light fittings; overmantels; porcelain and a single owner collection of whiskeys, brandy and other liquors.
    Here is a sample. The catalogue is on-line.
    See post for April 27.
    UPDATE: Around 35 per cent of lots remained unsold, which is higher than usual.  On an overall tough day the sale brought in a figure close to 150,000.  Garden furniture, silver and the alcohol collection sold well,  trading conditions were difficult for furniture and paintings.

    This c1900 mahogany bureau by Edwards and Roberts with satinwood and kingwood banding and profuse inlay is estimated at 4,000-6,000. (click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A c1900 Gothic style pitch pine writing table with tooled leather top is estimated at just 200-300. UPDATE: THIS MADE 200

    A west of Ireland watercolour by William Percy French (1854 - 1920) is estimated at 2,500-3,500. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    An old oak drop-leaf gateleg table with frieze drawer is estimated at 300-400. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    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


    Thursday, October 14th, 2010

    An Irish William IV astral glazed breakfront bookcase by Mack, Williams and Gibton, estimated at 15,000-25,000. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR 14,000.

    Curraghs at Roundstone by Eva Hamilton (1876-1960), estimated at 6,000-9,000. (click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR 9,000

    ANTIQUE Irish furniture features strongly in a 589 lot sale at Loughcrew, Oldcastle, Co. Meath on Sunday October 17 at noon. The sale will be conducted by auctioneer Damien Matthews who has a number of pieces by the Dublin makers Mack, Williams and Gibton.

    The origins of this firm can be traced to the latter part of the 18th century when John Mack established a cabinet-making business in Abbey Street, Dublin. Around 1801 he was joined by Robert Gibton, who had also worked as an auctioneer.  By 1803 the business had moved to larger premises in Stafford Street and in 1806 was appointed `Upholsterers & Cabinet Makers to his Majesty, His Excellency and Lord Lieutenant and His Majesty’s Board of Works’. Robert Gibton was succeeded by his son, William Gibton. A former apprentice, Zachariah Williams, who had married Robert Gibton’s daughter, joined the management creating the new partnership of Mack, Williams & Gibton, which retained its Royal Warrant for many years.
    There are around 30 paintings on offer and a collection of jewellery from a titled lady.
    Viewing is on Friday and Saturday October 15 and 16 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to the start of the sale at noon on Sunday, October 17.  Around three miles from Oldcastle, Loughcrew is under one hour from the M50 exit at the M3/Cavan junction.
    UPDATE:  Around 65 per cent of lots on offer in this sale found buyers.

    Good Morning Mr. Goya by Colin Middleton is estimated at 5,000-8,000. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 6,000

    This set of eight Victorian Chippendale style dining chairs is estimated at 2,500-3,500. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: THEY MADE 2,400


    Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

    A Gerard Dillon work from the Bank of Ireland collection (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 50,000

    A fascinating auction of Irish art with a strong emphasis on the 1970’s is due to come under the hammer at James Adam in Dublin on November 24. This is the first of what will be a series of sales in

    A le Brocquy head from the Bank of Ireland collection (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 50,000

    coming years of the Bank of Ireland Art Collection.

    Long before the foundation of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) the bank developed one of the largest and most impressive corporate collections in the country. Bank of Ireland started to collect Irish art in the 1970’s and won a European award in 1978 for the quality of its collection. In latter years the group donated significant pieces, including its only work by Yeats, a late oil entitled Eileen Aroon, to IMMA.
    Proceeds from the first major Irish corporate collection to be sold will go to charity. Overall the collection of around 2,000 works is valued at between four and five million euro.  The rest of the collection is to be auctioned piecemeal over a number of years.
    When putting together the lots for this first sale Adams set out to be comprehensive.  “We wanted to be representative of what was in the collection and to ensure there would not be a large number of works by one particular artist”, Adams Director Stuart Cole said. Highlights are to go on view at the Ava Gallery, Clandeboye, Belfast from October 21 to November 11, and around 50 works will be toured to the Glucksman Gallery in Cork from October 28 to October 31.  The entire sale will be on view at James Adam in Dublin from November 20 until the auction on Wednesday, November 24.