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    AUCTIONEERS MUST ADAPT TO THE NEW REALITY

    Sunday, April 19th, 2020

    Adapt or perish might well be the mantra for an art and antiques market in a state of flux.  Tough times are sending a strong signal to the tough to get going.  The future will be different.  The pandemic has accelerated the movement towards online sales.  Change has come quickly. Locally, nationally and internationally many auctioneers who had previously featured a mix of online and in house sales are adapting fast to a market where the uncertain future is rapidly becoming less short term. Many report that website traffic is busier than ever before.  Those auctioneers who took the plunge immediately after the lockdown have been finding significant success. True, many auctions have been postponed. As of now the schedule of upcoming sales in Ireland is a bit thin.  In a highly varied market place it is not a case of one size fits all.  Some lots lend themselves to online sales better than others. Those that have gone ahead, often in a revised manner, are demonstrating that it can work, in some cases marvellously well. Julien’s achieved spectacular results with their Beatles online only sale.  The top lot at an online auction originally to have taken place at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York was Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics to “Hey Jude”. This sold for $910,000 over an estimate of $160,000-180,000 in an auction which attracted a global audience of registered bidders.

    Contemporary art,  the most speculative segment of the market, has taken a hit in the lockdown.  This proved true at Morgan O’Driscoll’s sale when three works by Jeff Koons failed to find buyers.  Koons is one of the world’s most expensive living artists.  Damien Hirst also failed to sell. Perhaps the time has come to put your faith, and investment money, in Old Masters. Morgan O’Driscoll did have a highly successful sale.  The top lot, Paul Henry’s Celtic Cross in a West of Ireland landscape made €105,000 at hammer.  Other top hammer prices were: George Barret,  Landscape with Figures, €36,000; Gerard Dillon,Shawl, €24,000; Daniel O’Neill, Choosing Flowers, €24,000;  Paul Henry, Mountain Landscape with lake and road €22,000; Tony O’Malley, Clare Island Greys, €19,000;  Louis le Brocquy, William Butler Yeats, €18,000; Hughie O’Donoghue, Medusa Hold €17,000; William Conor, Forty Winks, €14,000; John Shinnors, Roxboro Road bus stop €14,000; Donald Teskey, Longshore IV.  €14,000; Norah McGuinness, The Black Swan, €14,000; Spring Bogland, Ballinaboy by Kenneth Webb €12,000;   Sir John Lavery,  Portrait of William Burton Harris €12,000; Abstract Composition by William Scott €10,500; Patrick O’Reilly, Pegasus, €10,000 and John Behan, Wild Swans at Coole, €9,500.

    Aidan Foley was pleased with two days of online sales at Sixmilebridge and plans more on the May Bank Holiday weekend.  Among his main lots were Spring Evening by Arthur Maderson which made €2,100 at hammer and The Stars Serenade by Annie Robinson which made €1,350.At Matthews 437 lot online sale, which lasted from 6.30 pm until nearly midnight on Tuesday, a Zambian emerald ring made €17,200 at hammer and a sapphire and diamond target ring made €10,000. All of which goes to suggest that those auctioneers who are adapting to the new realities are not perishing.

    Shawl by Gerard Dillon made €24,000 at hammer

    ADARE MANOR CLOSES AND AUCTIONS ITS CONTENTS

    Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

    An aerial shot of luxurious Adare Mano

    An aerial shot of luxurious Adare Mano

    A two day on the premises auction at Adare Manor Hotel will take place on January 28 and 29. The hotel and golf resort shut down yesterday for a refurbishment which will take an estimated 18 months to complete. Limerick buainessman JP McManus, his wife Noreen and the McManus family bought the hotel for a reported 30 million a year ago. Doneraile based auctioneer Aidan Foley will offer 1,400 lots from the manor and the golf clubhouse over the two days.  This is a sale with something for all collectors, from the 19th century walnut reception desk in the hotel lobby to about a dozen stuffed deer and antelope heads.

    Estimates are reasonable for glass and brass chandeliers, three baby grand pianos, desks, dining tables, chairs, dining room equipment and furniture, all the pairs of wing back armchairs from the oak drawing room, coffee tables,  glassware, serving dishes, large silver plated candelabra, kitchen contents and all the clubhouse bar furniture.  This includes about 45 red tub armchairs. There are curtains, carpets, lamps, lighting, mirrors, paintings and prints. The contents of about 30 bedrooms were purchased by another hotel in a private deal, but the sale will include entire contents from bedrooms like the State Room and the Presidential Suite.  The sale will be live on the internet at easyliveauctions.com  Here is a small selection:

    The heavily carved late 19th century walnut reception desk.

    The heavily carved late 19th century walnut reception desk.

    The contents from this State bedroom at Adare are to be sold.

    The contents from this State bedroom at Adare are to be sold.

    Contents from this bedroom will be sold

    Contents from this bedroom will be sold

    A Natural history specimen stags head.

    A Natural history specimen stags head.