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    Tuesday, September 6th, 2022
    Joseph Walsh with his Gestures table.

    A new design series by Joseph Walsh, the Cork based internationally renowned furniture maker, will be offered by Sotheby’s as part of the London Design Festival. From September 17 – 29 there will be a selling exhibition of key pieces from the newly developed series ‘Gestures’ by the designer-maker at New Bond Street. There will be 12 works from the new series on display for the first time. Included is a large dining table, a sculptural bench, free form lounge chairs, dining chairs and various wall mounted sculptural shelves and consoles.

    ‘Gestures’ has emerged over the past three years, beginning with charcoal sketches which Walsh translates into scale model studies in wood. Wood is cut into layers, rebuilt and then carved to create an uninterrupted sculptural form. Finally, the works are finished in ebonised black. Each piece is functional and boldly sculptural, a unique free form composition designed to sit together in harmony with other works as an exhibition.

    Elena Checchi, Director, Specialist, 20th Century Design, Sotheby’s, said: “Joseph Walsh’s striking sculptural designs truly push the boundaries of working with wood. In the new Gestures series, Walsh distils furniture down to singular expressive gestural lines to bold and impactful effect. This collection of work, exhibited during London Design Festival, is testament to both the mastery of his craft and the technical innovation that this exceptional designer-maker pursues.”

    Gestures Bench.


    Friday, May 20th, 2022
    Sean Scully – Song sold for a record $2,046,500

    After four days of consecutive auctions, the Contemporary evening auction tipped Sotheby’s weeklong series over one billion US dollars. The $210.5 million Contemporary evening auction in New York last night was powered by towering figures of contemporary art, with Francis Bacon’s triumphant finale to his Pope paintings realising $46.3 million. Also leading the sale were: Cy Twombly’s Untitled ($38 million), Andy Warhol’s Elvis ($21.6 million), Ed Ruscha’s Cold Beer Beautiful Girls ($18.8 million) and Georg Baselitz’s Women of Dresden – Visit from Prague ($11.2 million, a new artist record). The evening’s final lot, Sean Scully’s Song ($2 million), earned the artist a new auction record.

    The Now evening auction realised $72.9 million. Work by women artists achieved $28 million (nearly double the $10.3–14.4 million estimate) and work by artists of colour realised $35.1 million (above the $15.9–22.9 estimate) or nearly half of the auction’s total sale value. In one energetic hour, nine out of 23 lots set records: Adrian Ghenie’s  Degenerate Art ($9.3 million), Matthew Wong’s  The Night Watcher  ($5.9 million), Avery Singer’s Happening  ($5.3 million), Christina Quarles’s Night Fell Upon Us Up On Us ($4.5 million), Jennifer Packer’s Fire Next Time ($2.3 million), Simone Leigh’s Birmingham ($2.2 million), Anna Weyant’s  Falling Woman ($1.6 million), Lucy Ball’s Special Guest ($907K, in her auction debut), and Virgil Abhloh’s Unique” Efforescence” Desk ($151K for a dedicated work of art).


    Thursday, May 19th, 2022
    Mid 18th century Irish side table. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A fascinating collection of  antique furniture and art comes under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London on May 26.  Monte Alverno: An Irish Private Collection will offer a collection of English and Irish furniture from a Dalkey home with views over the Irish Sea.  There is some beautifully carved and patinated Irish furniture from the mid 18th century through to later pieces by Hicks of Dublin as well as gilded mirrors and Chinese works of art.

    Among the Irish furniture lots of note is a pair of George III style demi lune side tables, a mid 18th century open armchair, a pair of Regency convex mirrors by Richard Jackson,  a George II style side table by Hicks, a Regency telescopic extending dining table, a harlequin set of 15 George II style dining chairs and a George III oval cut glass mirror.  A B. Yeats, William Scott, John Luke, Patrick Swift, James Arthur O’Connor and other renowned Irish artists.  The catalogue is online.

    (See post on for May 4, 2022)


    Wednesday, May 4th, 2022
    George I gilt and scarlet-japanned bureau-cabinet, circa 1720, in the manner of John Belchier. UPDATE: THIS MADE £151,200

    This spectacular early Georgian gilt and scarlet japanned bureau cabinet is the most expensively estimated lot at Sotheby’s sale of contents from Monte Alverno, Dalkey, Dublin in London on May 26. Formerly at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire it was acquired at Mallett’s in London in 1999 and is now estimated at £150,000-£250,000. The City by Jack B Yeats has a similar estimate. Monte Alverno; An Irish Private Collection contains a remarkable collection of English and Irish furniture and paintings from a home perched high on a terrace in Dalkey with views over the Irish Sea. There is beautifully carved and patinated Irish furniture dating from the mid-eighteenth century through to later pieces by Hicks of Dublin, partnered with gilded mirrors, Chinese works of art and fine English furniture along with paintings by Jack B. Yeats, William Scott, James Arthur O’Connor, Patrick Swift and other renowned Irish artists. The catalogue is online.

    A pair of George III mahogany torchères, circa 1770


    Monday, March 28th, 2022
    Robert Fagan – Emma Hamilton as a Bacchante. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    This portrait of Lady Hamilton by the Irish artist Robert Fagan (1761-1816) comes up at Sotheby’s online sale of Old Master Paintings which runs from March 31-April 6. Estimated at 20,000-30,000 GBP it is from the collection of Sir Michael Smurfit. Robert Fagan was born to an Irish family, from Cork, in around 1761. He grew up in Covent Garden and eventually settled in Rome and became a close acquaintance of Sir William Hamilton, British Ambassador to Naples. He had married Emma in London in 1791. She is best known as the mistress of Lord Nelson


    Sunday, November 14th, 2021

    Another exciting week of major international art sales in New York is in the offing. Next week it will be the turn of Sotheby’s to shine.  The landmark sale of part one of Macklowe Collection takes place on November 15.  The first of two sales will feature 35 works ranging in date from the 1940’s to art made less than a decade ago with masterworks by Alberto Giacometti, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol. The second part of the collection is to be offered in May 2022. The Modern evening auction on November 16 will be led by Claude Monet’s Coin de basin aux nympheas from 1918 and Frida Kahlo’s masterpiece Diego y yo (Diego and I) from 1949 which is poised to become the most valuable work of Latin American art ever sold at auction. Led by Yoshitomo Nara’s Nice to see you Again from 1996 the Now evening auction on November 18 focuses on art created during the last 20 years. It will be followed immediately by the Contemporary evening auction led by Basquiat’s Made in Japan II and Roy Lichtenstein’s iconic 1983 Two Paintings; Craig..

    Andy Warhol – Sixteen Jackies from the Macklowe Collection. UPDATE: THIS MADE $33,872,250


    Monday, November 8th, 2021
    Jack Butler Yeats, A Nor’ Western Town £350,000-550,000. UPDATE: THIS WAS BID TO £340,000 A REMAINED UNSOLD

    A Nor’ Western Town by Yeats is the most expensively estimated Irish artwork at Sotheby’s upcoming sales of Irish art. The sales are being presented in two formats formats, ‘Modern British & Irish Art’ and ‘Irish Art’, as part of British and Irish Art sale week, uniting the best of Modern British, Scottish and Irish art.

    The Irish works are highlighted by an important group of 17 paintings from The Collection of Sir Michael Smurfit,
    formed over the course of thirty years. This offering forms the second instalment of Irish works from Sir Michael’s
    collection to be presented at auction by Sotheby’s, following the sale of a group of pictures in the September 2020
    Irish Art sale. The 17 works carry a combined pre-sale estimate of £1.1 – 1.7 million / €1.3 – 2 million.

    In total, across both sales, over 70 Irish lots will be offered, spanning the 19th century to the present day and across
    media from paintings to sculpture to ceramics. The sales feature many of Ireland’s most famous painters, including
    Jack B. Yeats, John Lavery, William Orpen, Paul Henry, Louis le Brocquy and Gerard Dillon, alongside a diverse
    selection of works by exciting contemporary artists, such as Heaven is a Place on Earth by Jack Coulter, recently
    featured in Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30 Europe 2021/ Arts & Culture’. The majority of works on offer are emerging onto the market from long-held private collections, and many of them are making their first appearance at auction.

    Modern British and Irish art, with nine Irish artworks, will feature at a live auction at Sotheby’s on November 23. An online auction of Irish art with 66 lots runs from November 17-23. They will be on display at the RHA in Dublin from November 18 – 23.


    Saturday, November 6th, 2021
    Pablo Picasso – Mousquetaire a la pipe II at Christie’s UPDATE: THIS MADE $34,710,000

    In the era of shredded Banksy’s the New York sales over the next two weeks art will be presented in an innovative way that has broken away from traditional sale categories like Impressionism and Contemporary Art.
    Artists from Banksy and Basquiat to Peter Doig and El Anatsui to Cindy Sherman and Arcadia will kick off the non traditional art sale season in New York at Christie’s 21st century evening sale on November 9. Arcadia is an NFT – non fungible tokens allow people to buy the rights to online art – by contemporary visual artist Andres Reisinger, Grammy award winning musician RAC and poet Arch Hades. Combining music, visual art and poetry this is the first collaborative interdisciplinary NFT to come to auction.  RAC, who was born in 1985, is the oldest of the three. UPDATE: Arcadia sold for $525,000.

    A year ago few of us had heard of NFT’s – now they are big business. In March US artist Beeple (aka Mike Winklemann born 1981) made worldwide headlines when an NFT of his digital artwork “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” sold for $63.9 million. Beeple is back at Christie’s on November 9 with an NFT called Human One. By September Christie’s had shattered the $100 million dollar barrier for NFT sales. UPDATE: HUMAN ONE SOLD FOR $28,985,000.

    Sotheby’s has launched twice yearly sales of NFT’s. The jury is out on whether this is merely a temporary craze or a more permanent feature of the art market. The buyers of NFT’s, including cyber punks and crypto currency gazillionaires, tend towards the non traditional.

    Christie’s say their global 20th/21st century  auction series reflects evolving market demands and collecting habits.  It is also helping to discover new works, physical and digital.  The sale on Tuesday offers 39 lots with established contemporaries like Richard Prince and Christopher Wool being sold alongside new market darlings like Nicolas Party, Harold Ancart and Xinyi Cheng.

    On November 11 Christie’s will offer The Cox Collection: The Story of Impressionism. With masterpieces by Caillebotte, Cezanne and Van Gogh this is billed as one of the greatest American collections ever to appear on the market. Dallas based Edwin Cox, who died aged 99 a year ago, spent his career in oil and gas exploration and was ceo of his own investment company.  The auction will be followed immediately by the 20th Century evening sale. This ranges from Impressionism in Paris in 1880’s to Pop Art in New York in 1980’s with masterpieces by Picasso and Monet and a Warhol portrait of Jean Michel Basquiat.

    Untitled IV by William de Kooning at Sotheby’s in New York on November 15. UPDATE: THIS MADE $18,935,250

    On November 15 Sotheby’s will offer the Part One of the Macklowe Collection which they describe  as one of the most important collections of any kind ever to appear on the market.  The sale will include masterworks by Alberto Giacometti, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol. The Macklowes are a spectacularly rich warring New York couple in their ’80’s. A judge has ordered the sale of the collection as part of their protracted divorce proceedings.  Sotheby’s Modern evening auction is to take place on November 16 and this will be followed two nights later by an evening auction called Now focusing on art made in the last 20 years.


    Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

    The Central Park, Evening by Sir John Lavery comes up at Sotheby’s Modern Art day auction in New York on November 17. The sale will focus on works that capture the spirit of the various ways in which artists of the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century dared to challenge established norms of artistic practice to create a new and wholly modern vision of art. Ranging from Impressionism and Cubism to Abstract-Expressionism and the School of Paris, the Modern Day Auction spotlights these critical developments through the mid-20th century and will incorporate works by post-war artists to trace the origins and fulfillment of total abstraction.  Titled and dated New York 1926 the Lavery is estimated at $200,000-300,000. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    Sunday, October 24th, 2021

    The eleven Picasso masterworks from the MGM Resorts collection made a total of $108,873,350 at a Sotheby’s sale in Las Vegas last night which was livestreamed around the world. Femme au beret rouge orange which features Picasso’s lover and muse Marie-Thérèse Walter made $40,479,000 over a top estimate of $30 million. Homme et enfant made $24,393,000 and Nature Morte au panier de fruits et aux fleurs made $16,637,350. The Sotheby’s auction was held at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, where the works had been on display in the Picasso Restaurant for years. Picasso was born on October 25 exactly 140 years ago. MGM Resorts plans to diversity its collection to include  more art from women, people of colour and emerging nations as well as from LGBTQ artists and artists with disabilities.

    (See post on for August 11, 2021)

    Pablo Picasso – Femme au beret rouge orange. © 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. UPDATE: THIS MADE $40,479,000