Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Saturday, December 31st, 2022
    This Georgian mahogany card table sold for €100 at Woodwards

    It has been a very good year in 2022 for the art and collectibles market in Ireland. Generally prices were strong and the auction houses had a busy time.  Yet it is abundantly clear that one particular New Year Resolution for 2023 – to buy antique furniture – would be highly rewarding.  No matter what the future holds for us there is enormous value to be had right now. In this furniture buyers market a few examples from Cork city sales earlier this month – a situation repeated up and down the country –  make the point.  At Marshs a Victorian toilet mirror on barley twist uprights sold for €50 at hammer, a pair of Georgian brass firedogs made €30, an Irish Georgian side table on pad feet made €190, an Edwardian two tier centre table made €45, a Victorian hall table on turned legs made €60 and an inlaid Edwardian centre table made €50.  At Woodwards a pair of Edwardian wine tables made €20, a carved ships wheel with brass mounts made €90, a Georgian bureau bookcase made €130, an Edwardian Pembroke table made €25, a serpentine fronted hall table with shaped drawer made €100 as did a Georgian mahogany card table, a circular Victorian occasional table made €40 and a Victorian two tier sewing table made €70.  Not everything was at a giveaway price and many other lots made more.  Nevertheless there are rich pickings for those of us who love old furniture.

    This Victorian mirror sold for €50 at Marshs.


    Saturday, December 5th, 2020

    It is a mark of the healthy state of the Irish art market that just over 400 lots coming under the hammer at evening sales by Whytes, de Veres and Adams next week can be confidently expected to bring in millions. Collectors of Irish art across all price ranges have shown themselves to be not backward about coming forward in this year of pandemic.  There will be plenty of stiff competition for the appetising selection at these three major Dublin sales where no less than 11 lots have estimates in excess of €100,000.

    Artists like William Scott, Walter Osborne, Sean Scully, Jack B. Yeats, Paul Henry, Louis le Brocquy, William Orpen and Gerard Dillon contribute the most expensively estimated lots to the catalogues of these auctions.  But never mind if your budget will not stretch that far, there is much to choose from in the lower reaches. At Whytes on December 7 there is no shortage of work in the €1,000-€10,000 range with a wide selection from artists including Donald Teskey, Kenneth Webb, Peter Collis, Arthur Maderson, Maurice MacGonigal, John Kingerlee and Derek Hill.  A number of major Paul Henry’s, including The Blue Hills of Connemara (€200,000-€300,000), Killary Bay (€150,000-€200,000) and The Stony Fields of Kerry (€90,000-€150,000) feature. Other top estimated works are: A Tale of the Sea by Walter Osborne (€300,000-€400,000), Sergeant Murphy by Sir William Orpen (€250,000-€350,000), Sculling by Jack Butler Yeats €200,000-€300,000) and The Tinker Family by Gerard Dillon (€80,000-€120,000).

    William Scott’s Still Life with Frying Pan at de Veres on December 8 is estimated at €200,000-€300,000. Untitled 3-7-86 by Sean Scully has an estimate of €80,000-€120,000 in a sale which de Veres rightly describe as being of outstanding quality which includes significant works by Paul Henry, Jack B. Yeats, Dan O’Neill, Patrick Scott, Hughie O’Donoghue, Evie Hone, Roderic O’Conor, Norah McGuinness and Louis le Brocquy.

    A large colourful oil by Yeats, Sleep by Falling Water (€150,000-€200,000) is the most expensively estimated lot in the sale at Adams on December 9. There is a fine Aubusson tapestry by Louis le Brocquy entitled Mille Tetes B with an estimate of €50,000-€80,000 and a great selection which includes Walter Osborne, Tony O’Malley, Dan O’Neill, Colin Middleton and Norah McGuinness.All catalogues are online.

    Inscape by Tony O’Malley at Whyte’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE 11,000 AT HAMMER


    Monday, December 19th, 2016
    The big winter Irish art sales – by de Veres, Whytes, Morgan O’Driscoll and James Adam – grossed almost five million euro. This figure suggests that market for Irish art is in a state of rude good health.  The real story is more complex.  Bidding is brisk, turnover is up and the market has its problems. All auctioneers are finding it difficult to source top quality works.  “What incentive is there to sell when you can get no interest on your money” one asked.
    Right now this remains very much a buyer’s market. Prices are deflated and a correction upwards is long overdue.  The view is that this has to happen, the only question is when.  Meantime prices are far from stratospheric across all levels and ranges. Todays art buyer has become both discriminating and picky and there is a price above which they will not venture.
    The market in 2016 was unpredictable and threw up some surprising results.  Adams failed to get their main Yeats away at the latest sale but still grossed 1.35 million with 76% of lots on offer finding buyers. Morgan O’Driscoll capped off what he described as an unbelievable year with a Dublin sale that drew bidders from 12 countries and grossed over a million this month. The September sale at Whyte’s was the most successful since 2008 and a small west of Ireland landscape by Paul Henry made a hammer price of 87,000 at their latest sale. A large pastel by Sean Scully sold for 165,000 at the late November auction by de Veres, which grossed around 1.6 million. And Sean Keating’s Aran Woman and her Children sold for 130,000 at hammer a Mealy’s this month – the first time since 2008 that a Keating sold for a six figure sum. Sell through rates of around 75%-80% are being reported from most sales.

    The Bronze Horses of St. Marks by Patrick Hennessy made a hammer price of 32,000 at James Adam.

    The Bronze Horses of St. Marks by Patrick Hennessy made a hammer price of 32,000 at James Adam.

    Garden at Night by William Crozier sold for a hammer price of 19,000 at Whyte's

    Garden at Night by William Crozier sold for a hammer price of 19,000 at Whyte’s