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    Saturday, July 17th, 2021
    John Fergus O’Hea of the inaugural Prince of Wales Plate at Punchestown Racecourse in 1868

    THIS large and historic topographical painting by Cork artist John Fergus O’Hea of the inaugural Prince of Wales Plate at Punchestown Racecourse in 1868 made £694,500 (€811,590) over a top estimate of £150,000 (€175,289) at Christie’s sale of the collection of B.J. Eastwood in London.  Photography was in its infancy when the Prince of Wales went to Punchestown against the wishes of his mother Queen Victoria who worried about the reputation of the then 26 year old prince, his passion for horse racing and pursuit of amusement. The first known photographs of Punchestown Festival were taken that day by John Chancellor who ran a studio in Dublin. He commissioned O’Hea to make the painting.Trained at the Cork School of Design the artist was son of barrister James O’Hea who was active in the Young Ireland movement and secretary to Daniel O’Connell.  John Fergus was a political cartoonist and noted illustrator who sometimes published under the pseudonym Spex.  He was co-founder of Zozimus, a satirical magazine similar to Punch and painted trade union banners for Cork parades in the 1860’s, ’70’s and ’80’s.In 1883 the conservative British journal St. Stephen’s Review described him as an out and out nationalist and “one of the cleverest artists in the three kingdoms” who draws his marvellous cartoons for the most miserable of Irish comic papers.  Gladstone described his pencil as “directly guided by the spirit of patriotism”.  The trip to Punchestown began at Kingsbridge (now Heuston) Station with the Prince and Princess of Wales, Lord Abercorn (Lord Lieutenant) and an entourage including Lord Hamilton, Lady Georgia Hamilton, Lady Albertha, Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar and Prince Teck.  In those days the train went only as far as Sallins and the rest of the journey was completed by carriage. The painting, which measures 132 cm x 214 cm, was sold at Christie’s with a key to the principal characters. The annual Spring festival at Punchestown has been a fixture since 1850, but it did not become the popular national racing festival known to this day until that day in 1868.  It is reckoned that around 150,000 people turned up to see the inaugural Prince of Wales Plate.  The Royal visit to Punchestown was also painted by Henry Barraud. Prints of his painting became popular and still turn up occasionally at auction.


    Sunday, July 11th, 2021
    Paul Henry, R.H.A. (1876-1958) Mountains and Lake, Connemara, painted in 1934,

    There was a new auction record for Paul Henry at Christie’s sale of the B.J. Eastwood Collection of Important Sporting and Irish pictures in London on July 9. Mountains and Lake, Connemara is a classical Henry work. Estimated at £120,000-£180,000 it sold for £622,500. The collection of 30 pictures achieved £14,187,750, more than double the pre-sale low estimate. Over 70% of works sold for over the high sale estimate.


    Friday, July 9th, 2021
    BERNARDO BELLOTTO (VENICE 1721-1780 WARSAW)View of Verona with the Ponte delle Navi

    Bernardo Bellotto’s View of Verona and Leonardo da Vinci’s Head of a Bear were the top lots at Christie’s Classic Week evening sales in London. Last night there were artists records for for Bernardo Bellotto, Adriaen van de Velde, Francesco Tironi, Gregorio di Cecco da Lucca, the Master of Sterbini Diptych, Georges de La Tour and Marco Ricci. The Exceptional Sale and the  realised a combined total of £64,620,750 with registered bidders from 102 countries across 4 continents. The combined total of Classic Week sales to date is over £70 million.


    Thursday, July 8th, 2021

    This small drawing of a bear’s head by Leonardo da Vinci at Christie’s Exceptional Sale in London today is estimated at £8-12 million. It measures just 7x7cm and is among just a few drawings by the Italian Renaissance master which are still privately owned. The sketch previously belonged to British painter and collector Sir Thomas Lawrence, before being sold at Christie’s in 1860 for £2.50. It is one of fewer than eight surviving drawings by the artist still in private hands outside the Royal Collection and the Devonshire Collections at Chatsworth. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £8,857,500, A NEW WORLD RECORD FOR A DRAWING BY THE ARTIST.

    (See post on for May 8, 2021)


    Wednesday, July 7th, 2021
    Jack B. Yeats – Among Horses

    Among Horses by Jack B. Yeats comes up at Christie’s live online sale of the B.J. Eastwood Collection in London on July 9 with an estimate of £400,000-600,000. Painted in 1947 it was acquired in 1994 by Barney Eastwood. The 30 lots in the sale represent B.J. Eastwood’s deep interest in Irish painting and equestrian art. B.J. Eastwood started his collection in the mid 1970s, at a time when he was particularly drawn to collection and house sales. However, it was his abiding love of sport and his eye for quality and detail which translated into an intrigue and fascination specifically with Sporting and Irish artists.  He followed the great sales of the 1970s and 1980s, and over time built an outstanding collection of the genres’ greatest examples. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD. THE EASTWOOD SALE BROUGHT IN £14,187,750

    (See post on for June 18, 2021)


    Thursday, July 1st, 2021
    PABLO PICASSO –  L’ÉTREINTE (The Hug) SOLD FOR £14,697,000 courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2021

    PICASSO’S L’ÉTREINTE was the top lot at Christie’s 20th/21st Century London to Paris evening sale. It made £14.6 million in an auction which realised £153,592,611 and marked the best summer season since 2017. The livestreamed sale attracted bidders from 32 countries and five continents. Christie’s say it demonstrated the depth of the European market. The second highest price paid was for Alberto Giacometti’s Homme qui Chavire which sold for £13.7 million. The auction was sold 90% by lot and 96% by value.

    (SEE posts on for June 23, April 28 and April 29, 2021)

    20th/21st Century live streamed sales at Christie’s

    Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021
    Keith Haring, Untitled (1984) (£3,900,000-4,500,000) CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2021. UPDATE: THIS MADE £4,702,500

    Keith Haring’s Untitled (1984), a painting seen to have anticipated the digital era as one of the first depictions of a home computer, will be offered at Christie’s in London with the option to pay the final purchase price, including buyer’s premium, in cryptocurrency. It comes up as part of the 20th/21st century London to Paris evening sale series on June 30. Now online for browsing, the sale is anchored around the cities of London and Paris. The livestreamed auction will incorporate the salerooms in Hong Kong and New York. There are iconic artworks by artists who defined various diverse and influential movements including Picasso, Basquiat, Haring, Banksy, Kirchner, Kandinsky, Richter, Giacometti, Noguchi, Lynn Chadwick, Magritte, Elizabeth Peyton, Yayoi Kusama, Bridget Riley, Dubuffet, Soulages, de Stael, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni.

    Christie’s London to Paris live streamed evening sale series will be largely conducted by three leading female auctioneers: Camille de Foresta, Cécile Verdier and in her evening sale debut, Veronica Scarpati.

    Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkin (2009) (£1,200,000-1,800,000),CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2021. UPDATE: This sold for £2,662,500


    Friday, June 18th, 2021

    The wonderful Barney Eastwood Collection of Important Sporting and Irish Pictures comes up at Christie’s in London on July 9. The 30 lots range from 19th century sporting pictures through to defining representations of Munnings’ oeuvre, to an extraordinary group of Yeats’ illustrating key periods of his work. Other leading examples of Irish Art are included in the sale, with works by Walter Frederick Osborne, Sir William Orpen, Roderic O’Conor, Paul Henry, Sir John Lavery, and Gerard Dillon. The collection, which he started in the 1970’s, represent his deep interest in equestrian painting and Irish Art.

    Barney Eastwood, known to his friends and family as ‘BJ’, was born in Northern Ireland in 1932. A talented Gaelic football player he was a member of the Co. Tyrone team which won the All Ireland Minor Championship in 1948. Both horse and greyhound racing were significant sporting passions throughout his lifetime, and together with his great friend and erstwhile business partner Alfie McLean, he had many successful runners over the years.

    Charles Cator, deputy chairman, Christie’s International, commented: B.J. Eastwood was a very private man and the collection was intensely personal, acquired not for show or prestige but for the enjoyment of himself, his family and those close to him – it was the least ostentatious way of collecting and it was from the heart.’

    A SUMMER DAY BY JACK B. YEATS (£500,000-800,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE £1,162,500


    Wednesday, June 9th, 2021

    This unusual early 19th century Regency ormolu and patinated bronze mantel comes up at an online sale at Christie’s in New York from June 15-July 1. Treasures of a Storied Manhattan Collection features 130 lots of European furniture and decorative art, Chinese furniture and ceramics, 19th century porcelain and silver, and 20th/21st century works of art from the Park Avenue pied-à-terre formerly owned by Enid Annenberg Haupt, the American publisher and philanthropist. The mantel pictured here, made by Thomas Weeks, is estimated at $70,000-100,000.


    Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021
    ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727), Autograph manuscript, [Cambridge, c. May-July 1694],
    draft revisions to three sections of the first edition of the Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica,
    a heavily corrected draft with three additional notes by the Scottish mathematician
    and astronomer David Gregory. (£600,000–900,000)

    Isaac Newton’s (1642-1727) handwritten revisions to the Principia, arguably the most important single work in the history of science, will come up at Christie’s in London on July 8. The estimate for the work, which will feature at the Exceptional Sale, is £600,000–900,000. This is an unpublished, working manuscript for Newton’s projected and ultimately abandoned second edition, and includes additional notes by the Scottish mathematician and astronomer David Gregory (1659-1708). The manuscript was in the archive of Gregory until  the 1860’s, and was most recently in the notable collection of Maurice Car. UPDATE: THIS MADE £1,702,500