Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Saturday, September 10th, 2022
    Direct Provision by Brian Maguire at Morgan O’Driscoll. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,100 AT HAMMER

    The autumn Irish art selling season gets underway in a spirit of optimism this month.  It kicks off with Morgan O’Driscoll’s online sale on September 12 and there will be auctions of Important Irish Art at Whyte’s, and Adams on September 26 and 28 respectively. At James Adam the belief is that there has never been a better time to sell Irish art. Price records continue to be broken at auctions.  Sales of Important Irish Art at Adams in 2021 and 2022 have grossed over €8.5 million to date. The sale at Adams on September 28 will include art by Norah McGuinness, Roderic O’Conor, Daniel O’Neill, Louis le Brocquy and Hughie O’Donoghue.

    The selection at Whyte’s is appetising.  Here you will find work by Jack Butler Yeats, Roderic O’Conor, John Lavery, Seán Keating, Norah McGuinness, Harry Kernoff, Mainie Jellett, Colin Middleton, Grace Henry, William Scott, Pauline Bewick, Louis le Brocquy, John Shinnors, Donald Teskey, Joseph Edward Southall, Bob Dylan and many others. At the time of writing the catalogue for de Veres sale is not to hand. This is an auction house that rarely disappoints and you are likely to find a particularly good selection of fine contemporary Irish art.

    Rivermouth by Jack B Yeats at Whyte’s

    With monthly online sales interspersed with auctions of Important Irish and International Art shown in normal times for viewing both in London and New York Skibbereen based Morgan O’Driscoll keeps the ball rolling more than any other auctioneer of art in Ireland.  The online catalogue for the auction next Monday offers much to choose from.  The selection ranges from Yeats,  Harry Kernoff, Nano Reid, May Guinness and Colin Middleton to Pauline Bewick, Felim Egan, Tony O’Malley and the French born Los Angeles based Mr. Brainwash whose work he has been successfully selling in latter years.

    Contemporary art is driven by the experiences of contemporary life. The artist Brian Maguire never shirks difficult subjects. He is driven by the struggle against inequality and violence and is represented in this sale by a challenging work entitled Direct Provision. It features faces, bright eyes and white teeth against a darkand brooding ground.  The acrylic on paper is estimated at €2,000-€3,000. Now firmly established as a first world country where refugees seek a haven it is no harm to be reminded that we Irish among the dispossessed not too long ago.  John Behan’s unique bronze Famine Ship, lot 89 at Morgan O’Driscoll with an estimate of €8,000-€12,000, is a reminder of a  dark and risky past that still exists for others today. In the 21st century the focus has shifted from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and the English Channel.  

    John Behan – West of Ireland, Famine Ship at Morgan O’Driscoll. UPDATE: THIS MADE 16,000 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, June 1st, 2022
    Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) – The Bridge, Skibbereen made 440,000 at hammer

    The Bridge at Skibbereen by Jack B Yeats made a hammer price of €440,000 over an estimate of €400,000-€600,000 at the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin this evening. It was exhibited at The Dublin Society of Painters in 1920. A Pair of 18th century views of Dublin Bay Looking North and Looking South by William Ashford made €460,000 at hammer. Among the other top hammer prices were: Chiswick Baths by Sir John Lavery (€110,000); Sun Rising: An extensive wooded landscape by George Barret snr. (€90,000); Across from Inishlacken by Gerard Dillon (€65,000): Yellow Man by Hughie O’Donoghue (€57,000); Horse on Anvil by Barry Flanagan (€30,000); Arrieta-Orzola (Lanzarote) by Tony O’Malley (€28,000); Talk (Egglers) – egglers were men who dealt in eggs – by Jack Butler Yeats (€28,000); Sunday by Daniel O’Neill (€22,000); Drawing; Still Life by William Scott and Figure in Woodland by George Russell each made €20,000.


    Thursday, March 10th, 2022

    THIS painting of flower sellers in Grafton St. by Norman Teeling comes up as Lot 38 at Whyte’s Spring online art auction which runs until March 28. It is estimated at 800-1,200. The auction of 273 lots features many well known Irish artists, who are represented with affordable lots. The auction will be on view at Whyte’s at Molesworth St., Dublin from March 23 and the catalogue is online now.


    Thursday, March 10th, 2022
    STEVE BURGESS (B.1960) CANADIAN – Pint and a Packet (2021). UPDATE: THIS MADE 850 AT HAMMER

    REDOLENT of a pub culture slowly returning to Ireland Pint and a acket by Canadian artist Steve Burgess is lot 6 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s off the wall online art auction which runs until March 14. The oil on board, signed and dated ’21, is estimated at 800-1,200. There is a selection of highly affordable art and sculpture on offer. The catalogue is online and the sale is on view on March 10, 11 and 14 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s offices in Skibbereen.


    Tuesday, February 8th, 2022
    Lily Williams (Irish, 1874–1940), Hibernia, 1916, pastel, The O’Brien Collection, Chicago

    Who Do We Say We Are? Irish Art 1922 | 2022 runs at The Snite Museum at Notre Dame, Indiana until May 15. Paintings from the O’Brien Collection in Chicago by Seán Keating, Jack B. Yeats and Paul Henry are juxtaposed with contemporary artists Patrick Graham, Hughie O’Donoghue, and Diana Copperwhite and others to explore issues of national identity rooted in the diaspora and landscape. Expanding into the realm of photography, the rural landscapes of Amelia Stein, RHA, describe epic legends and folkloric memories that reveal history and evolving culture. An “In Dialogue” presentation of the Snite Museum’s recent acquisition of a painting by Walter Osborne – At the Breakfast Table (1894) – rounds out the discussion of home and homecoming.

    The Exposition d’Art Irlandais organized in conjunction with the Irish Race Congress in Paris in 1922 used culture as a signifier of Ireland’s distinctive character worthy of the independence from the United Kingdom just negotiated in the Anglo-Irish Treaty. As part of the Irish government’s Decade of Centenaries commemorations, the Snite Museum partners with Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the O’Brien Collection in Chicago to present an exhibition examining the use of art as a nation-building tool, asking “If we were to organise a similar exhibition today, who might be included and what themes continue to resonate?”


    Wednesday, December 8th, 2021
    Paul Henry RHA (1877-1958) – Bogland Connemara (1930 – 32) sold for €100,000 at hammer

    Bogland Connemara by Paul Henry was one of the top three lots at the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin this evening. It made a hammer price of €100,000. Through the streets to the hills, a 1950 oil by Jack B Yeats made €160,000 on the hammer and Cavanagh, an Aubusson tapestry by Louis le Brocquy made €80,000. This sale marked the culmination of a highly successful winter selling season for Irish art, which has finished the year on a high note. At least €12 million worth of Irish art changed hands during the season of winter sales at Sothebys, de Veres, Bonhams, Whyte’s, Morgan O’Driscoll and James Adam.


    Sunday, December 5th, 2021

    The sizzling winter season of Irish art sales is on track to surpass €10 million this week.   Sales at Sotheby’s, de Veres, Bonhams, Whyte’s and Morgan O’Driscoll have already achieved an aggregate of at least €9 million.  A big sale of Important Irish Art at James Adam next Wednesday is certain to bring this figure racing past the €10 million post. At Whyte’s the most expensively estimated Yeats painting ever at auction –  The Shouting at €1.5 million – €2 million – made a hammer price of €1.4 million (€1.74 million with fees and VAT).  Women artists fared particularly well and works by Grace Henry, Letitia Hamilton and Nano Reid shot past their top estimates.  The Fortune Teller by Grace Henry made €37,000 at hammer over a top estimate of just €7,000, a new world record for the artist. There was also a new world record for Graham Knuttel.

    This Aubusson tapestry by Louis le Brocquy at Adams was commissioned for Setanta House. UPDATE: THIS MADE 80,000 AT HAMMER

    Adams will offer major works by Yeats and Colin Middleton next Wednesday. Among the le Brocquy’s at Adams is Ancestral Head (€60,000-€80,000) and Cavannagh, an Aubusson tapestry commissioned from the artist for Setanta House (€80,000-€120,000).  There is a Composition by Evie Hone (€30,000-€40,000) and Cubist Landscape, Trees, Houses by Mary Swanzy (€20,000-€30,000). The auction features three landscapes by Paul Henry headed by Cottages and Turfstacks in the West of Ireland (€140,000-€180,000) along with sculpture by F E McWilliam, John Behan, Imogen Stuart, Breon O’Casey, Rory Breslin, Cliodna Cussen and paintings by Sir William Orpen, George Campbell, Camille Souter, Dan O’Neill, Tony O’Malley, Basil Blackshaw, John Shinnors, John Boyd and Donald Teskey.  This sale promises to bring a remarkable season to an exciting close.


    Saturday, November 20th, 2021

    An important group of 17 paintings from the collection of Sir Michael Smurfit is at the core of Sotheby’s sales of Modern British and Irish Art and Irish Art online  in London on November 23.  Then 17 works carry a pre-sale estimate of €1.3 million – €2 million.  Overall Sotheby’s estimate that more than 70  Irish works, from the 19th century to the present day and ranging from paintings to sculpture to ceramics, will make  €3 million – €4.6 million. Sotheby’s has run a global campaign in support of these sales which feature Ireland’s most famous painters, Jack B. Yeats, Sir John Lavery, Sir William Orpen, Paul Henry, Louis le Brocquy and Gerard Dillon as well as contemporary artists like Jack Coulter. Most of these works have emerged from private collections and many are making their first appearance at auction. The most expensively estimated Irish painting in the auction is a 1936 oil on canvas by Yeats entitled A Nor’ Western Town (€412,000-€650,000).  From a private collection in Ireland it was exhibited at a Yeats one man show in London in 1936 and at the National Gallery in 1942. Two Paul Henry’s, Connemara Landscape (€177,000-€236,000) and West of Ireland Landscape (€142,000-€212,000) are from a private US collection.A Welcome and South Pacific, both by Yeats and from the Smurfit collection, are estimated respectively at €177,000-€295,000 and €236,000-€354,000. Other highlights from Smurfit include Morning Tangier by Sir John Lavery and Image of W.B. Yeats by Louis le Brocquy.  An oil on board by Gerard Dillon from a private collection in Northern Ireland is entitled Across from Inishlacken and estimated at €94,500-€142,000.The online sale features a 1949 Yeats entitled The Face of Victory (€83,000-€119,000) and The Newly Married Man by Sean Keaing from 1919 (€71,000-€95,000), both from a UK collection.  The Artist’s Studio by Roderic O’Conor (€95,000-142,000) and Sir William Orpen’s Portrait of Grace (€59,000-€83,000). are both from the Smurfit collection.  On the contemporary side there is a bronze by Rowan Gillespie entitled Are You There? (€47,300-€71,000) and Heaven is a Place on Earth by the Belfast artist Jack Coulter.  Both of these works were made this year.

    Rowan Gillespie – Are You There?  at Sotheby’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE €107,100

    Outstanding Irish art at de Veres will come under the hammer next Tuesday evening.  This is a very good sale with top lots by Paul Henry estimated at €200,000-€300,000 and works by Roderic O’Conor and William Orpen each estimated at €150,000-€250,000. At Bonhams sale of Important British and Irish art at Bond St. in London on November 24 there are important works by William Scott, Paul Henry and John Luke. Bonhams Modern British and Irish art sale in Knightsbridge on Tuesday features a number of Irish artists as well.

    On November 29 Whyte’s may yet steal the show this art selling season with a large scale late Yeats painting.  Shouting, at €1.5 million – €2 million, is the most expensively estimated Irish artwork ever to come to auction.  And James Adam will have a great sale on December 8.


    Thursday, November 18th, 2021
    Sean Scully – Untitled (1993). UPDATE: THIS MADE £37,800

    Untitled (1993) by Sean Scully comes up at Sotheby’s online auction of Irish art which opens today and runs until November 23. The watercolour and pencil on paper is estimated at £25,000-£35,000. The sale features a selection of works by contemporary artists in Ireland across paintings, sculpture, ceramics and pottery.


    Saturday, November 13th, 2021

    Major works by Jack Yeats, Paul Henry, Roderic O’Conor, Sir William Orpen, Louis le Brocquy and Colin Middleton at de Veres on November 23 will kick off a sizzling winter season of Irish art auctions in Dublin and London. A very fine sale has been put together by de Veres with works they claim could grace any national collection. Viewing gets underway at Kildare St. on November 18 and the full catalogue is online now. A still life by Roderic O’Conor is signed and dated 1921 in which year it was exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in Paris. O’Conor still lives from these years were well received and were acquired by the French State (now the Musee d’Orsay), Roger Fry, Clive Bell, Somerset Maugham, Alden Brooks, Charles Hall Thorndike and the Contemporary Art Society.  This one is estimated at €150,000-€250,000. Another highlight with a similar estimate is William Orpen’s After the Ball, a work of imagination based on the Venice Carnivale. 

    There are four oils by Paul Henry with Lakeside Cottages and Fishing Boats, Dugort each estimated at €200,000-€300,000.  The auction features an across the board selection at varying price points.

    A Welcome by Jack B Yeats at Sothebys. UPDATE: THIS MADE £226,800

    A Welcome by Jack B Yeats will highlight Sotheby’s offerings at their flagship Modern British and Irish art sale in London on November 23.  Paintings of horses by Yeats, like this one, are particularly sought after. The auction will be followed by an online sale of Irish art on the same day. Over 70 works from Sotheby’s upcoming Irish art auction are on view at the RHA in Dublin this weekend.  Viewing times are from 10 am to 5 pm today and 10 am to 3 pm tomorrow. The sale at Sotheby’s  – supported by a global marketing campaign – will include property from the collection of Sir Michael Smurfit. 

    Four Pears by William Scott (1913-1989) from 1976 leads a strong selection of work by Irish artists at Bonhams Modern British and Irish art sale at New Bond St., London on November 24.  Estimated at €180,000-€290,000 it has not been seen in public since 1980 when it was exhibited at Irish Art in the Seventies: The International Connection. Kieran O’Boyle, Bonhams representative in Ireland said:  “This sale has a great representation of high quality works by Irish artists – from William Scott’s exquisite and subtle Four Pears to an archetypal Paul Henry and John Luke’s nostalgia filled Mountain Composition. Meantime Bonhams Modern British and Irish art sale in Knightsbridge on November 23 offers works by Patrick Hennessy, Pauline Bewick, Arthur Maderson, Graham Knuttel, Norah McGuinness, Markey Robinson and Augustus John. Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art takes place in Dublin on November 29.  The James Adam winter sale of Important Irish Art takes place on December 8.