Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Thursday, June 30th, 2011

    THE discriminating (and wealthy) collector can acquire anything from a World War II Spitfire fighter plane to the fourth bible ever printed at the Masterpiece London Fair.  Collectors of Irish pieces have plenty to choose from.  Masterpiece is at the South Grounds, Royal Hospital, Chelsea until July 5.

    Masterpiece was launched in 2010 to fill the gap left by the Grosvenor House Fair. It is a showcase for top quality antiques, art and luxury goods.  The World War II Spitfire, the only surviving fighter used by the RAF in World War II, is a cool £8 million, the bible from 1462 a mere £1 million.

    The eye of landed on some great rarities.  Here is a selection.

    This George II giltwood mirror c1750 by John Booker of Dublin is distinguished by its scale. It measures eight feet by fifty five and a quarter inches. The asking price? £320,000.

    The wonderful patina of this mid 18th century Irish hunt table shows all the signs of centuries of use. It is 79 inches long and asking £38,000.


    Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

    Cork Republican Silver strawberry dish. (click on image to enlarge)

    The rare Cork Republican Silver strawberry dish which was one of the highlights at Woodwards silver sale on April 6 is to be presented on long loan to Cork Public Museum.

    Estimated at 15,000-20,000 the dish was bid up to 9,500 at the sale at which point it was withdrawn.  It remained under active negotiation and was subsequently sold to a private bidder for 12,000.  This bidder intends to present the extremely rare item of Cork silverware dating to the most turbulent period of the Irish Civil War to the museum, which is located in Fitzgerald’s Park near the city centre.  With fluted sides the ten ounce dish is eight and a quarter inches in diameter.

    See post for February 24.


    Sunday, February 20th, 2011

    Cherry Brandon (1931-2007) mixed media on silk. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS PIECE DID NOT SELL.

    Eva Hamilton (1880-1959), Interior with flowers on table. (click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS PIECE DID NOT SELL

    Irish women artists Cherry Brandon and Eva Hamilton from successive generations feature at Sheppards two day sale in Durrow, Co. Laois.   Brandon, who was based in Co. Laois, worked as a media artist, international textile and fashion designer and illustrator.  Giorgio Armani was one of the people she worked for and the signed mixed media on silk illustrated on the left from her Banana Collection is a sample of her work for the noted Italian designer. It is estimated at 5,000-8,000 and is one of a number of her works in the sale.

    Eva Hamilton’s Interior with flowers on table also features on the first day of the auction.  Known for her portraits, landscapes and watercolours she was represented in the 1930 Exhibition of Irish Art at Brussels. The oil on canvas on the right is estimated at 2,000-3,000.

    The Sheppards sale, entitled Paradigms and the Unexpected, features jewellery, oriental rugs and carpets, prints, paintings, silver, porcelian and furniture.  It takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 1 and 2, at 10.30 a.m. on each day.

    UPDATE:  Sheppards had a successful auction at which about 85 per cent of the lots on offer found buyers.


    Monday, December 6th, 2010

    The Holy Office, a broadside from James Joyce, at Mealy's book auction. (click to enlarge and read) UPDATE: IT MADE 22,000

    A rare James Joyce broadside heads Mealy’s December sale of  books, literature, manuscripts, and maps on December 14 at the D-4 Hotel in Dublin.  Only a handful of copies of a caustic attack entitled “The Holy Office” are known.  It was distributed privately to friends. This one belonged to Thomas Keohler, poet and friend of Joyce. It is estimated at 15,000-20,000.

    A collection of four letters between Joyce and Keohler is estimated at 6,000-8,000 and a copy of the original recordings by Joyce of part of Finnegan’s Wake is estimated at 2,000-3,000.
    The 950 lot sale includes a first limited edition of Ulysses (7,000-9,000) and an original Cuala Press Visitor’s Book with 1,900 signatures. The most remarkable is an entry where W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne signed together on October 18, 1908. The poet and his muse were lovers for a brief time following the break up of her marriage to John MacBride. It is estimated at 8,000-12,000.  There is a collection of previously unrecorded letters by Sean O’Casey and first, signed, and limited editions by Oscar Wilde (The Ballad of Reading Gaol, and The Picture of Dorian Gray), Patrick Kavanagh, (The Green Fool, and Collected Poems), and Flann O’Brien (An Beal Bocht, At Swim Two Birds).
    UPDATE:  IN a highly successful sale the Joyce broadside sold for 22,000. It was bought by a private collector. A series of letters between Myles na gCopaleen (Brian O’Nolan) and his publishers and agents from the 1960’s also made 22,000.  The Cuala Press visitors book sold for 17,000 and the Sean O’Casey letters made 10,000.


    Monday, October 25th, 2010

    The Lee by Sunday's Well by John Claude Bosanquet. It is estimated at 2,000-4,000. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 1,800

    THE Woodwards autumn sale of silver and art on November 3 will feature 140 lots

    A silver tea set by William Egan. It is estimated at 3,000-5,000. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 2,000

    of silver and 60 of art. Irish silver on offer includes a three piece tea service on tray by William Egan of Cork and a 1771 silver salver by John Locker, Dublin.  There are pieces by Irish makers including Carden Terry, John Dalrymple, Mathew West, James le Bas, Robert Breading, Richard Sawyer, Samuel Neville, William Bateman, Philip Weekes, William Cummins, Joseph Kinselagh, John Fountain and Charles Townsend.

    The art sale features a private Cork collection put together over 40 a period of years including a 19th century watercolour by John Claude Bosanquet of the River Lee by Sunday’s Well, Cork.  The sale is on Wednesday, November 3 at 6 p.m.
    UPDATE:  WOODWARDS were generally happy with this sale and sold a high percentage of lots.  However, the hammer came down at or below the low estimates.


    Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

    A Gerard Dillon work from the Bank of Ireland collection (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 50,000

    A fascinating auction of Irish art with a strong emphasis on the 1970’s is due to come under the hammer at James Adam in Dublin on November 24. This is the first of what will be a series of sales in

    A le Brocquy head from the Bank of Ireland collection (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 50,000

    coming years of the Bank of Ireland Art Collection.

    Long before the foundation of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) the bank developed one of the largest and most impressive corporate collections in the country. Bank of Ireland started to collect Irish art in the 1970’s and won a European award in 1978 for the quality of its collection. In latter years the group donated significant pieces, including its only work by Yeats, a late oil entitled Eileen Aroon, to IMMA.
    Proceeds from the first major Irish corporate collection to be sold will go to charity. Overall the collection of around 2,000 works is valued at between four and five million euro.  The rest of the collection is to be auctioned piecemeal over a number of years.
    When putting together the lots for this first sale Adams set out to be comprehensive.  “We wanted to be representative of what was in the collection and to ensure there would not be a large number of works by one particular artist”, Adams Director Stuart Cole said. Highlights are to go on view at the Ava Gallery, Clandeboye, Belfast from October 21 to November 11, and around 50 works will be toured to the Glucksman Gallery in Cork from October 28 to October 31.  The entire sale will be on view at James Adam in Dublin from November 20 until the auction on Wednesday, November 24.


    Sunday, October 10th, 2010

    The Bog Road by Paul Henry estimated at 40,000-60,000. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR 72,000

    St. John's Point Lighthouse and Cliffs by Stephen McKenna estimated at 4,000-6,000. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR 3,800

    THESE works of art are among the 141 offerings at the James Adam sale of Irish art in Dublin on Wednesday October 13  at 6 p.m. Estimates are considerably lower than would have been the case a couple of years ago.

    The most expensively estimated paintings are Nathanial Hill’s Breton Peasants at a convent door (1884) estimated at 50,000-70,000, John Shinnors Over the Island, Coastal Composition 2007 estimated at 50,000-70,000 and Paul Henry’s The Bog Road estimated at 40,000-60,000.  This is a sale with something for everyone and estimates from 400 euro up.  The Hill work made 45,000, a new record for the artist, the Henry sold for 72,000 and the Shinnors failed to sell.

    Daughter of Lir c1923 by Joseph Higghs, estimated at 15,000-20,000. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT REMAINED UNSOLD

    Golgotha Good Friday by Tony O'Malley, estimated at 10,000-15,000. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT WAS UNSOLD

    UPDATE:  This turned out to be a very successful sale which achieved a 74 per cent sold rate, higher than had been achieved in other Irish art auctions of late.

    It brought in a hammer price of 460,000, which amounts to more than 550,000 when fees are added.



    Sunday, October 10th, 2010

    English Setter at work by Grace Cunningham (click to enlarge)

    Clonegal Corot by Mark O'Neill (click to enlarge)

    Treasures Irish Art in Athlone are regular attenders at Hibernian Antique Fairs around the country.  Among the newly acquired fresh to the market paintings they are bringing to current fairs are Clonegal Corot by Mark O’Neill and English Setter at Work by Grace Cunningham.

    Hibernian Antique Fairs will be at the West County Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare on Sunday November 17, at the Carlton Hotel, Tralee, Co. Kerry on Sunday October 31 and at the Park Hotel, Roscommon on Sunday November 7.  Fairs runs each day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    Middleton makes 27,000 at Whyte’s

    Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

    Coastal Landscape with Trees and Cottage by Colin Middleton made 27,000 at Whyte's in Dublin.

    Byzantine Madonna, 1934 by Harry Kernoff made 7,400 at Whyte's.

    Colin Middleton’s Coastal Landscape with Trees and Cottage, 1937 was the top lot at the Whyte’s Irish and British art sale in Dublin on October 4.

    The sale realised 360,000 and around 60 per cent of the 263 lots on offer found buyers.  A collection of works by Jack B. Yeats from a sketchbook made up the first 40 lots.  All found buyers and brought new purchasers to the salesroom.