Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Posts Tagged ‘CHISWICK AUCTIONS’


    Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

    This portrait miniature of Edward Smyth (1749-1812) is by John Comerford (1773-1832). An architect Smyth worked with James Gandon on most of his major projects including The Four Courts, the House of Lords and the King’s Inns in Dublin.  It sold for £2,875 at the sale of the collection of his descendants John and Pauline Comerford at Chiswick Auctions in London last week. Their collection of 121 works demonstrates the evolution of miniature painting in Ireland, Britain and Continental Europe from the late 16th to the 19th century. The entire collection was bought privately and will be displayed at the Silver Museum of the Waterford House of Treasures due to open later this year.

    Edward Smyth by John Comerford


    Monday, March 30th, 2020

    A private collector in Ireland acquired The Comerford Collection of predominantly Irish Miniatures at Chiswick Auctions in London last week and has offered it for display at a Waterford Museum. The collection of 121 lots achieved a total of £98,000 and attracted strong interest from Irish collectors. It was compiled over forty years by the late John and Pauline Comerford, who descended from the Irish miniaturist John Comerford (c.1770-1832).

    The couple’s love of the art form led them to source works by some of the leading Irish miniaturists of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The entire collection of 121 lots sold, achieving a total of £98,000.

    The collection was studiously added to over many years and demonstrates the evolution of miniature painting in Britain, Ireland and the Continent from the late 16th to the 19th Century. It features the work of some of the greatest exponents of the portrait miniature art form including Christian Friedrich Zincke, Jean Andre Rouquet, Nathaniel Hone, Jeremiah Meyer, Charles Robertson, George Engleheart, Abraham Daniel, William Wood, John Smart and Richard Cosway. It will go to the Waterford Museum House of Treasures and be displayed in the new silver museum. This had been scheduled to open in late May in Waterford and will now open sometime in the autumn. The collection was bought under the guidance of the curator by a private buyer.

    Specialist in charge of the sale Suzanne Zack commented: “We were delighted with the results of this first stand-alone sale of Fine Portrait Miniatures, which included the spectacular Comerford Collection. Good results throughout the sale show that the portrait miniature market is very much alive.”

    Highlights included lot 143, a portrait of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Holman Hunt by Edward Robert Hughes, which sold for £9,375 against a pre-sale estimate of £8,000-12,000. Other high prices were achieved for a fine portrait miniature of a dashing Officer (lot 18), dating from circa 1765/70 by Jeremiah Meyer R.A. (British 1735-1789), which achieved £4,500 and a portrait miniature of an unknown Lady, circa 1790 (lot 36), by Horace Hone A.R.A. (Irish 1754/6-1825), which sold for £4,125.

    The Pre-Raphaelite painter Holman Hunt by Edward Robert Hughes,


    Thursday, June 20th, 2019

    A capriccio or architectural fantasy by Giovanni Paolo Panini which has emerged from an Irish collection after 200 years comes up at Chiswick Auctions in London on June 25. The oil painting has been in the same family since being purchased by David Ker in 1785. A Capriccio of classical ruins is estimated at £18,000-25,000.

    David Ker (1751-1811) of Montalto in Co. Down was a wealthy landowner with several country estates. In 1771 he embarked on the ‘Grand Tour’ to Italy, where he met and eloped with the Venetian singer Madalena Guardi, believed to be the daughter of the painter Francesco Guardi. The couple married in Padua and thereafter resided in the Kers’ family estates in Ireland, where they had three daughters and a son.

    A Capriccio of Classical Ruins by Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765) 


    Monday, May 13th, 2019

    Photographic works including images of Irish travellers by the pioneering photographer Charles Harry Hewitt (1915-1987) will come up at Chiswick Auctions Photographica sale in London on May 16.

    Irish Travellers, Dublin c1950’s.

    Known as ‘Slim Hewitt’, due to his slender frame, he led the way in reportage photography at The Picture Post and on the BBC’s Tonight programme. His fly on the wall style photography and filming has been described by those that knew him as having “the drive and ability to bring the world and its events before its audience.” Starting out as a war photographer, taking photos of the Normandy landings and the inside of Belsen Prisoner of war camp, ‘Slim’ had a unique ability to retain all nuances of a situation and encapsulate them in his work.


    Saturday, May 4th, 2019

    This image is of a c1905 mourning locket and a late 19th century citrine seal. From an Irish family it comes up at Chiswick Auctions jewellery sale in London on May 14.   The sale contains mourning jewellery from the Bligh and Brownlow families of Co. Meath.

    John Bligh, Fourth Earl of Darnley (1767-1831) was an Irish peer and cricketer who took part in 27 first-class cricket matches between 1789 and 1796.  His wife was Elizabeth Brownlow and they had seven children.  Mourning jewellery was popular in Georgian and Victorian times. Georgian jewellery featured skulls, coffins and other symbols of death. This changed in Victorian times to memory pieces often containing hair of the dead person.  The locket and seal here are estimated at £80-120.