Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Posts Tagged ‘George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson’


    Saturday, May 20th, 2023
    A c1845 oil of a merchant frigate moored in Cork Harbour by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson. UPDATE: THIS MADE 25,000 AT HAMMER

    From George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson to Hughie O’Donoghue, Charles Tyrrell to Nano Reid the art online sale by Morgan O’Driscoll which runs until 6.30 pm next Monday covers a broad range of Irish art.  There will be particular local interest in an Atkinson showing Cork Harbour almost two centuries ago.  It is estimated at €20,000-€30,000.  The sale will be on view in Skibbereen next Monday and the catalogue is online.  Work by Sean McSweeney, Tony O’Malley, Norah McGuinness, Basil Blackshaw and many other artists is included.


    Saturday, February 26th, 2022
    George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1888) – one of a pair of large seascapes of Dutch sailing vessels on rough seas UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    The impressive four day sale which gets underway at Sheppards on March 1 goes on view in Durrow from today. The sale of the Governey Collection from Erindale House and other important Irish estates offers 1,584 lots with much to tempt collectors at all levels. A pair of Louis XVI gilt console tables is, at €10,000-€14,000, the most expensively estimated furniture lot.  The highly ornate c1780 tables have rouge royale demi lune shaped marble tops above a central bell petal cartouche each one is raised on four square tapered and fluted legs.  A pair of Edwardian satinwood bookcases is estimated at €10,000-€15,000.

    When it comes to top lots these days jewellery tends to trump furniture every time.  This sale is no exception. A platinum diamond and sapphire ring (€20,000-€25,000) is the most expensively estimated lot.Undoubtedly there will be Cork interest in a pair of large seascapes by renowned Cobh artist George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson.  Featured are Dutch sailing vessels in rough seas. Lot 1019 is estimated at €5,000-€7,000. Collectors of all things Irish will be interested in a large Dun Emer carpet on a red ground with a circular Celtic cartouche and enclosed by Celtic bird quadrants (€4,000-€6,000).  The Dun Emer Guild (1902-1964) was an Irish Arts and Crafts textile studio founded in 1902 by Evelyn Gleeson initially in partnership with Elizabeth and Lily Yeats.  They made tapestries for the Honan Chapel in Cork and a carpet presented to Pope Pius XI in 1931 as part of Ireland’s effort to host the 1932 Eucharistic Congress. Another lot of great interest to Irish collectors is a 19th century Killarney arbutus wood chess set. The tallest of the 32 pieces measures 10 cms.  Lot 97 is estimated at €2,000-€3,000.  Lot 98 is the profusely inlaid Killarney wood chess folding board with backgammon to the interior (€800-€1,200. Sales get underway at 10 am next Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with over 400 lots on most days.

    A Killarney wood chess set  UPDATE: THE CHESS SET MADE 3,600 AT HAMMER, THE BOARD 850


    Wednesday, April 7th, 2021
     Entrance to Cork Harbour (1874-75) by Richard Brydges Beechey (1808-1895)  €30,000-€50,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 38,000 AT HAMMER

    The magnificent entrance to Cork Harbour is depicted in detailed works by two 19th century artists at Morgan O’Driscoll’s sale of Irish and International Art on April 19.  Rear Admiral Richard Brydges Beechey shows two sailing vessels at Roches Point in what former Crawford Gallery curator Peter Murray describes in a catalogue note as one of his finest maritime paintings. The dramatic oil shows a small lugger in the foreground – almost certainly a Cork pilot vessel –  heading towards a two masted brigantine making its way with difficulty towards the open sea. Roches Point lighthouse and coastguard cottages are in the background and a signal tower dating to Napoleonic times is seen on the right.  The painting dates to 1874-75. In a painting dating to about 25 years earlier Cobh artist George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson shows a three masted barque passing Roches Point as it leaves Cork Harbour. The southerly wind is not in the ships favour. The lighthouse was rebuilt in 1839 and the picture is thought to be around 1850.  Peter Murray points to the acute observation of sky and cloud formations and   accurate rendering of ships and their rigging as testament to Atkinson’s training as a ships carpenter and his years as an inspector of shipping in Cork Harbour.

    A Barque passing Roches Point lighthouse, at the entrance to Cork Harbour (c.1850) by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (€6,000-€9,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 8,500 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, November 21st, 2020

    With a span of artists ranging from Yeats and Henry to Scott and le Brocquy the online Irish and International art auction which runs at Morgan O’Driscoll until November 23  is impressive. History buffs will find much interest in The Close of the Battle of the Nile by the Cobh painter George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884).  The 1798 battle between the British Royal Navy led by Admiral Nelson and the French resulted in victory for the British. The victory meant that Napoleon’s army in Egypt, cut off from help, vwas also forced to surrender. Napoleon had sought access to Egypt as a first step in a campaign against British India.Shown at The Cork Exhibition of 1883 Peter Murray notes that  Atkinson, who spent some years at sea as a ships carpenter, brought his skills as a seaman and an artist to bear.  The impressive composition accurately depicts at least 19 individual ships, their position and condition.  The work is estimated at €6,000-€9,000.

    The Close of the Battle of the Nile by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884). UPDATE: THIS MADE 6,200 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, June 15th, 2016
    Woodwards will offer a small maritime painting by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884) at their auction in Cork on June 18.  HMS Conqueror off Queenstown (Cobh) is estimated at 5,000-8,000. There is a pair of watercolours of the Lakes of Killarney by Douglas Alexander and other art on offer includes At Tallow Horse Fair by Arthur Maderson.  Antique furniture includes a Georgian bureau bookcase, a Regency rosewood card table, an inlaid revolving bookcase, a Georgian sofa table, a long case clock, a Georgian chest of drawers, a large gilt mirror, an inlaid twin pillar dining table and a Victorian davenport.  A pair of cast iron garden vases, a five piece garden set and a pair of cast iron seats are seasonal offerings.

    GEORGE MOUNSEY WHEATLEY ATKINSON 'HMS Conqueror off Queenstown, Cobh'

    ‘HMS Conqueror off Queenstown, Cobh’

    Arthur Maderson ‘At Tallow Horse Fair’ (3,000-4,000)

    Arthur Maderson ‘At Tallow Horse Fair’ (3,000-4,000)


    Saturday, May 14th, 2016

    The Royal Squadron visiting Cork harbour by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson  at Woodwards (40,000-60,000).

    The Royal Squadron visiting Cork harbour by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson at Woodwards (40,000-60,000).

    A visit from the White Squadron to Cork Harbour in 1843 is recalled at Woodward’s auction on May 21.  The sale will include a depiction of the event by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson estimated at 40,000-60,000.  The ships are the Caledonian, the Camperdoiun and the St. Vincent. The painting is subtitled An event in the history of Ireland, two admirals in command of three first rate ships in the Cove of Cork.

    The visit coincided with the 13th annual meeting of the British Association in Cork  The Admiral of the White Squadron was Sir Charles Rowley and the white flag on St. Vincent indicates that this was his flagship. The second Admiral was Sir William Bowles, rear admiral of the Blue Squadron.   The work was exhibited at the RHA in 1844 and failed to sell. It was bought for £25 at the Art Union exhibition of 1845.
    The sale will include original drawings by William Harrington for Seamus Murphy’s Stone Mad (1,000-1,500) and Harrington’s paintings of Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera (4,000-5,000).  There is an abstract by Patrick Hennessy, a view of Kinsale by Arthur Maderson and two Cork scenes by Kevin Sanquest as well as furniture, garden furniture and collectibles.


    Saturday, March 12th, 2016

    A painting depicting the Royal Yacht Squadron escorting Queen Victoria to Cork Harbour in 1849 sold for a hammer price of 28,000 at Woodwards auction in Cork today.  It is by the Cobh based painter George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson, and it will return to Cobh, where it is to be part of a private collection. Based in Cobh George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson responded enthusiastically to the brief visit, after the which Cove was renamed Queenstown, reverting to Cobh in the late 1920’s. He provided pictorial evidence of the visit, which is extremely rare.  Last sold for 40,000 the work had an estimate of 25,000-35,000 this time around.

    Woodwards reported a highly successful auction.  Three pencil and wash drawings by the Cork artist William Harrington, whose work is not widely known outside Cork but whose early work from the 1960’s and ’70’s is especially keenly collected locally, made hammer prices of 2,600, 2,500 and 2,500 respectively.  They included The Apple Seller, illustrated below.

    (See post on for February 18, 2016).

    George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson - The Royal Yacht Squadron escorting Queen Victoria to Cork Harbour, 1849 sold for 28,000 at hammer.

    George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson – The Royal Yacht Squadron escorting Queen Victoria to Cork Harbour, 1849 sold for 28,000 at hammer.

    William Harrington - The Apple Seller sold for 2,500 at hammer.

    William Harrington – The Apple Seller sold for 2,500 at hammer.


    Thursday, February 18th, 2016

    George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson - The Royal Yacht squadron bringing Queen Victoria to Cork Harbour, August 1849.

    George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884) – The Royal Yacht Squadron bringing Queen Victoria to Cork Harbour, August 1849.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR A HAMMER PRICE OF 28,000

    A rare painting of the Royal Yacht Squadron escorting Queen Victoria to Cork Harbour in August 1849 will highlight the sale at Woodwards  on March 12.  Visual records of this event – for which the harbour town of Cove was renamed Queenstown  which remained its name until the late 1920’s when it reverted to the Irish name Cobh (pronounced cove) – are very rare.  It was as Queenstown that it achieved worldwide fame as the last port of call of the Titanic and the place to where bodies recovered from the Lusitania were taken and eventually buried.   Queenstown provided hundreds of thousands of Irish emigrants with a last heartbreaking glimpse of their home country.

    The Cobh based painter George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson provided one of the rare visual records of this event. He made several paintings of  the Royal Squadron in the harbour and the landing of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Woodwards say that apart from a lithograph based on a drawing by one of the ship’s officers published in aid of the female orphan asylum in Cork  and some wood engravings in the Illustrated London News  that Atkinson’s paintings appear to be the only visual records to have survived. A one time ship’s carpenter, inspector of shipping and self taught marine painter, George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson was one of a family of Cobh painters. Now estimated at 25,000-25,000 it was last sold for 40,000 a couple of decades ago.