Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Saturday, October 8th, 2022
     Irish architectural giltwood mirror attributed to John and Francis Booker. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Some fine examples of the kind of antique Irish furniture that remains much sought after and achieves high prices will come up at the James Adam Country House Collections sale at Townley Hall, Drogheda on October 17 and 18. Leading the auction is an Irish architectural carved giltwood mirror attributed to John and Francis Booker. This one, made c1760, has an arched plate with scrolled cresting and a triangular pediment supported on corbels embellished with leaves.  There is an attractive border of interlocking chains within an egg and dart frame.  A Booker mirror is indeed a trophy piece and the estimate here is €30,000-€40,000.

    A c1750 Irish mahogany side table with a white marble top, central carved scallop shell on cabriole legs with faceted, collared feet is estimated at €25,000-€30,000.  Other prime Irish lots among a large furniture selection are a fine c1740 Irish mahogany secretaire chest on chest (€15,000-€20,000), a late 19th century George II style side table by Hicks of Dublin (€10,000-€15,000) and an Irish yew wood library table by Arthur Jones and Co., Dublin (€10,000-€15,000).  Made for the 1851 Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace in London this table is a real conversation piece. Adams say (and I disagree) that it is one of only four known survivors of an 18 piece suite, the others being a teapoy (sold at Adams in 2014), a wine cooler bequeathed to the National Trust of Australia by Samuel Henry Ervin, now in Sydney and a card table in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

    Irish yew wood side table by Arthur Jones and Co. Dublin. UPDATE: THIS MADE 11,000 AT HAMMER

    The reason for doubt is a carved bog yew armchair carved to illustrate the history, antiquities, animals and vegetation of Ireland that I spotted at the  Masterpiece Fair in London in early July.  This too was made by Arthur Jones and Co. for the Great Exhibition. Perhaps it was a one off and not part of the suite and Adams is indeed correct, but it is enough to make me wonder.  Butchoff Antiques had worked hard on this fabulous throne chair since acquiring it at an auction in Ayr in December 2020.  They paid £44,000 at hammer, over a top estimate of £3,000, had it re-polished and painstakingly re-covered.  At  Masterpiece it was  labelled a highlight by the vetting committee and priced at £150,000.

    Social historians will find interest in a half length portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723) of Lady Mary Boyle nursing her son Charles.  It would have been unusual for a woman in the upper echelons of 17th century society to breastfeed her own children. A wet nurse would have normally been employed. Wife of Lt. Col. Henry Boyle of Castlemartyr and daughter of the Ist Earl of Inchiquin Lady Mary is featured with her third son Charles. At a time of high infant mortality he survived into adulthood and pursued a career in the Navy. The portrait is estimated at €20,000-€30,000. Viewing at Townley Hall gets underway next Saturday (October 15) and continues on Sunday week and Monday week.  Day one of the auction on October 17 is a timed online only sale with lots 1-281.  The live auction at St. Stephen’s Green on October 18 features lots 300-822.  The catalogue is online now.

    Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723) – Portrait of Lady Mary  Boyle nursing her son Charles. UPDATE: THIS MADE 34,000 AT HAMMER