Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Sunday, September 19th, 2010
    THE  45TH Irish Antique Dealers Fair – an important annual showcase for the Irish trade – takes place at the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin from September 24 to September 26 with preview on Thursday, September 23 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    There will be over 40 dealers in attendance with a new layout in the  Main Hall.  Some of them, well known over years in the Irish antique business, no longer operate from shops so the fair is an unrivalled opportunity to see what they have on offer in a new layout is designed for easier access. Opening times are from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday, September 23, noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 25 and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on September 26.
    The video below gives a flavour of the fair.


    Sunday, September 19th, 2010

    Equestrian paintings by  Tipperary based artist Peter Curling are among the top lots at the Morgan O’Driscoll art auction at the Radisson Hotel at Little Island, Cork on Monday September 27 at 6.30 p.m.
    The catalogue lists 275 lots including works by John Shinnors, Liam
    Belton, Louis le Brocquy, Cecil Maguire, Basil Blackshaw, Kenneth
    Webb, Gerard Dillon, Markey Robinson, Colin Middleton, Frank McKelvey and Hector McDonnell.
    A watercolour by Louis le Brocquy from 1948 entitled Scene
    near Lucan is estimated at 12,00-15,000.  A set of eleven limited
    edition prints by Pauline Bewick, The Midnight Court series, is
    estimated at 1,500-2,000 and Colin Middleton’s landscape, Meadows,
    Killough, Co. Down is estimated at 40,000-50,000. Moonlight by Kenneth
    Webb is estimated at 15,000-25,000 and a mixed media work by Gerard
    Dillon, Landscape Artist is estimated at 20,000-30,000.

    More than 200 works of Irish art will come under the hammer at the De

    Veres sale at the D4 Berkley Hotel on Tuesday September 28 at 6


    Most of the work on offer is completely fresh to the market and

    estimates are competitive.  The sale includes major pieces by Patrick

    Collins, Camille Souter, John Shinnors, Letitia Hamilton, Edward

    McGuire and Daniel O’Neill.

    There is a strong offering of sculpture  including pieces by Conor

    Fallon, Rowan Gillespie, John Behan and Patrick O’Reilly.

    A particular highlight of the sale is a collection of paintings by

    Markey Robinson from two different Dublin private collections.

    Included among these is an Amsterdam street scene, a world away from

    the usual subject matter of this artist.  The gouache of Amsterdam above is estimated at 7,000-10,000



    Friday, September 17th, 2010

    Picasso’s La Minotauromachie made a world record for a print sold at auction. (click on image to enlarge)

    A new record  for any single print sold at auction was achieved at Sotheby’s in London on September 16.  Pablo Picasso’s La Minotauromachie made £1,273,250, eclipsing the pre-sale high estimate of £600,000. The previous record for any single print ever sold at auction was 14,200,000 NOK (Norwegian Kroner) / £1,271,370 for Vampire II by Edvard Munch, sold in Oslo in 2007

    In London on September 22 Christie’s  will offer a pair of rare 19th century photo albums by Esteban Gonnet entitled Recuerdos de Buenos-Ayres, discovered in an Oxfam shop in Newcastle upon Tyne. The albums, an early account of Argentine landscapes in the 19th century, are being offered by Oxfam with an estimate of £3,000-5,000.


    Friday, September 17th, 2010

    A video presentation by You can choose to watch it on full screen by clicking the little arrow box on the lower right hand corner, and return to the page by pressing escape on your keyboard.


    Thursday, September 16th, 2010

    This mid 18th century Irish card table made 26,000 at Hartley's in West Yorkshire on September 16, 2010. (click on image to enlarge)

    THIS fine mid 18th century Irish mahogany card table, almost certainly one of a pair, sold at Hartley’s in West Yorkshire for £26,000 on Thursday, September 16, 2010.  It had been estimated at 3,000-5,000, but the Irish antique trade had been very interested in the piece.  Hartley’s said it was bought by the local trade in West Yorkshire on behalf of a client.

    The lion paw of the Irish card table sold at Hartley's. (click on image to enlarge)

    The rounded oblong folding top was relined in green baize. The shaped frieze is carved with acanthus scrolls on a punched ground and centred by a lion mask in high relief.
    The fact that the mask faces in one direction indicates that it was once part of a pair of tables.  The acanthus carved cabriole legs terminate in lion paw feet.
    Hartley’s at Ilkley in West Yorkshire, is one of the leading auction houses for antiques and fine art sales outside London.
    In June 2010 an Irish George II mahogany side table, c1750 from Kinnaird Estate made a staggering £229,940 at Lyon and Turnbull, Edinburgh.  The piece was hotly contested by two bidders in the room and potential bidders lined up on ten telephone lines were unable to enter the fray.


    Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

    This 1939 oil on board by Jack B. Yeats, "The Cat Among the Stars", is a feature lot at the first sale of Irish Art at Bonhams in New Bond St., London scheduled for February 9, 2011. It is estimated at £50,000-70,000. Photo: Bonhams. (click on image to enlarge)

    Bonhams will hold its first sale of Irish Art on February 9,  2011 in New Bond Street, London.  This marks the end of the company’s 12 year association with Adams  in Dublin.
    Bonhams and Adams have decided to hold separate sales. One problem that arose is the issue of artists resale rights, the levy on the resale of work by living artists. Auction houses charge the buyer in Britain, in Ireland it is the seller who pays.  Given that some art has come down in value, vendors find it hard to pay the levy, particularly in cases where the art had been bought in Britain and  the levy had already been paid.
    The Irish Art Department at Bonhams is headed by Trinity College Dublin art history graduate Penny Day, who joined the company in 2006.  She plans to continue to develop Irish art and will offer an annual sale, including traditional and modern paintings, works on paper and sculpture.


    Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

    Jane Seymour, after Holbein. Update: it made 1,600. (click on image to enlarge)

    This antique Georgian portrait of Jane Seymour after Hans Holbein the Younger comes up at the Woodwards sale in Cork on September 22 next.

    Jane Seymour, Queen Consort of England, was the third wife of Henry VIII.  She married in 1536 shortly after the execution of Anne Boleyn and in 1537 gave him the male heir, Edward, he badly wanted. She was never crowned queen because there was plague in London when the coronation was to take place.
    Jane Seymour died of a childbirth infection. Her son became the short reigning Edward VI but he in turn died aged 15.
    The painting is estimated at 500-1,000.
    The sale features a selection of antique furniture. Georgian pieces include an Irish sideboard, a longcase clock by R.H. Thomas, Fermoy, an Irish mahogany peat bucket, a wine cooler, a teapoy, a chest of drawers, a three tier circular dumb waiter, a walnut card table, a linen press, a pair of ornate hall chairs and a pair of waterfall bookcases.
    There is a Regency brass inlaid card table, a set of six Chippendale dining chairs, a Victorian oval centre table, an inlaid satinwood kidney shaped desk, a rosewood chest, an inlaid display
    cabinet and a Regency display cabinet.
    The Woodwards sale is at 6 p.m. and features a selection antique furniture and some contemporary Irish art.
    UPDATE:  The painting made 1,600 and was sold to an Irish buyer.


    Saturday, September 11th, 2010

    A Wayside Chat by artist Thomas Hovenden, part of the French Connection exhibition at the Hunt Museum in Limerick until October 10. (click on image to enlarge)

    THERE are at least three works by Dunmanway born Thomas Hovenden (1840-1890) in the art collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.  Yet he is practically unknown in his native country.
    An exhibition now on at the Hunt Museum in Limerick may go some way towards redressing this imbalance.  Organised by James Adam The French Connection focuses on Irish artists who worked in France in the late 19th century and early 20th century.  This is a show of 35 works by artists including  Nathaniel Hone, Sir John Lavery, William John Leech, Roderic O’Conor,  Walter Frederick Osborne and  two paintings, A Wayside Chat and The Story of the Hunt, by Thomas Hovenden.
    Orphaned at the age of six during the Great Famine he went on to become a member of the Society of American Artists (1881), the Philadelphia Society of Artists (1883) and an Associate member of the National Academy of Design (1881). He succeeded Thomas Eakins as Professor of Painting and Drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1886-88) and his students included Alexander Calder and the leader of the Ashcan School, Robert Henri. Around the time of his untimely death in an accident academic painting went out of fashion and so he was soon to be forgotten.
    Hovenden arrived in America at the end of the Civil War and rose to fame painting patriotic scenes in sympathy with the American version of Victorian values, and later  for paintings of African Americans during the Abolitionist movement. Among his works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection are The Last Moments of John Brown. His work features in the collections of the Yale University Art Gallery, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Fine Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
    He spent time painting in Pont-Aven and his influence can be seen in the work of contemporaries, especially Aloysius O’Kelly. Hovenden was apprenticed to the Cork carver and gilder George Tolerton, who noted his skill at draughtsmanship and sent him to the Cork School of Design in 1858 (later to become the Crawford). Part of the South Kensington School (now the Victoria and Albert Museum), the Cork school promoted the ideas of Aestheticism and the teachings of John Ruskin at the time. Although the school focused on design, Hovenden subscribed to the notion of painting as a higher art with a social and moral purpose, and advanced his draughtsmanship by sketching the school’s collection of Antonio Canova’s plaster cast statuary as well as painting plein air watercolours. He was a medal
    winning student.  Later he studied in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts under Alexandre Cabanel.
    The French Connection is at the Hunt Museum until October 10.


    Friday, September 10th, 2010

    Leger's Cup of Tea is estimated at up to 12 million dollars. (click on image to enlarge)

    THE amazing collection of Max Palevsky comprising over 250 works is to be offered at multiple auctions at Christie’s in New York from October 2010. The sales are expected to realise from $53 million to $78 million.

    Palevsky (1924-2010) was a Chicago born innovator in systems technology. In 1951 he left his job as a philosophy professor at the University of California, Los Angeles to pursue the fledgling field of computers, working with firms like Bendix and Packard Bell.  In the early ’60’s he co-founded Scientific Data Systems, which he eventually sold to Xerox in 1969 for  close to $1 billion and helped found Intel Corp.
    He began collecting art later in life. The Collection of Max Palevsky comprises Antiquities, Impressionist and Modern Art, Post-War and Contemporary Art, 20th Century Decorative Arts and Design, Prints and Multiples, Japanese Art, Latin American Art, American Sculpture and  Modern British Art. The top lot, one of five works by Fernand Léger (1881-1955), is La Tasse de Thé 1921 estimated at  $8,000,000-12,000,000. It will be sold in early November. The sales include blue chip works by Rodin, Lichtenstein, Calder, Judd and Stella.


    Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

    An early map of Ireland published in Italy in 1646. (click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: It sold for a hammer price of 7,200

    THIS 1646 map of Ireland by Sir Robert Dudley features as lot 160 in the James Adam sale of the catography collection of Dr. Barry Hewson in Dublin on September 14.  (see post for September 4). Born in 1574 Dudley was an illegitimate son of the Earl of Leicester, a minister of Queen Elizabeth I,  one of her favourites, and brother in law of the circumnavigator Thomas Cavendish.  These were turbulent political times and problems led to his exile to Italy.

    Dudley was of a scientific mind and formed an ambitious project to map all the known world. Drawing on the original charts of Henry Hudson (the English explorer after whom the Hudson River is named) and notes from other navigators it took him the best part of 40 years. The first edition of the Atlas appeared in 1646 when Dudley was 73. A collection of all the naval knowledge of the age it surpassed anything previously published.  This was the first sea-atlas of the whole world published by an Englishman (although in Italian, and published in Italy) using original work; the first to use Mercator’s projection; the first to dispense with rhumb lines; the first to include information on magnetic variation, tides and weather; and the first to advocate the use of Great Circle sailing.
    The Mercator projection, a major breakthrough in the nautical cartography of the 16th century, is a cylindrical map projection by the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. Far ahead of its time it became the standard map projection for nautical purposes because of its ability to represent lines of constant course, known as rhumb lines or loxodromes, as straight segments.  Two main problems prevented its immediate application: the impossibility of determining the longitude at sea with adequate accuracy and the fact that magnetic directions, instead of geographical directions, were used in navigation. Only in the middle of the 18th century, after the marine chronometer was invented, could the Mercator projection be fully adopted by navigators.
    Lot 160, the Carte particolare dell Mare di Ierlandia e parte di Inghil terra e della Iscotia. Lalongitudine comincia da l’Isola di Picco d’Asores.~di Europa Carta XXVIII  761 x 481 From Dell’Arcano Del Mare, di D. Ruberto Dudleo, Duca di Nortumbria e Conte di Warwich. libri sei. In Firenze, Nella Stamperia di Francesco Onofri, is estimated at 3,000-3,500 euro.
    UPDATE:  IT MADE 7,200