Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Tuesday, September 14th, 2021
    Alberto Giacometti – Le Nez (this is being sold with an estimate in the region of $70 million)

    One of the most important collections of any kind ever to come to market – the Macklowe Collection – will come up at two landmark sales at Sotheby’s in New York on November 15 and in May of 2022. The 65 artworks are estimated in excess of $600 million which is the highest estimate ever placed on any collection at auction. The first sale will feature 34 works which encompass an extraordinary breadth of 20th and 21st century art, ranging in date from the 1940s to works painted less than a decade ago, and including masterworks by Alberto Giacometti, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol. Jeff Koons, Agnes Martin, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter and Brice Marden all feature. The works will be on view in London, Taipei, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Paris before the first sale in New York. Here is a short video on the sale:

    The collection of the spectacularly rich New York couple Harry and Linda Macklowe is being sold on the orders of a judge as part of an acrimonious divorce. After 59 years of marriage the couple, both in their ’80’s, began divorce proceedings five years ago. Harry Macklowe is one of New York’s best known property developers, his ex-wife Linda is an honorary trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a trustee of the Guggenheim Foundation.

    Franz Kline – Crosstown and Willem de Kooning – Untitled


    Saturday, July 24th, 2021

    Bill Bowerman’s handmade prototype logo track spikes with waffle sole from the heart of Nike will be a highlight of Sotheby’s Olympic Collection, running online in New York until August 2.  When it came to shoe ingenuity and design Nike co-founder Bowerman –  obsessed with weight and performance – was one of the greatest innovators of his generation. He made this pair for Canadian track and field sprinter and Olympian Harry Jerome, who set seven world records in his career. Produced in the 1960’s and modified in the 1970’s these shoes are an important milestone in the origin of Nike and feature four prototype logos which resemble the Nike swoosh.   The waffle soles under each set of track spikes was the first notable innovation introduced by Nike when they premiered the moon shoe at the 1972 Olympic trials.  Not just any old pair they are estimated at $800,000-$1.2 million.  The online sale is an assemblage of over 50 lots of memorabilia, sneakers and collectibles related to Olympic athletes.

    These handmade Bowerman Nike shoes are estimated at $800,000-$1.2 million. UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR $315,500


    Sunday, July 4th, 2021
    Hugh Douglas Hamilton
    Triple portrait of Emma, Lady Hamilton (1765–1815), as the three Muses (£400,000-600,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE £500,000 AT HAMMER

    This triple portrait by the Dublin artist Hugh Douglas Hamilton of Emma, Lady Hamilton, as the Three Muses comes up at Sotheby’s Old Master’s evening sale in London on July 7. A celebrated model, entertainer and artist’s muse; famous for her ‘Attitudes’ and her creative collaboration with international artists, particularly George Romney; her marriage to the great diplomat, antiquarian and collector Sir William Hamilton, British Envoy to Naples; and her relationship with Admiral Lord Nelson, the ‘Nation’s Hero’; Emma, Lady Hamilton was a cultural icon and European celebrity in the early nineteenth century. Born Amy Lyon, the daughter of a blacksmith from Cheshire, and later changing her name to Emma Hart, the young girl who was to become Lady Hamilton began her ascent as an actresses’ maid at the Drury Lane Theatre. 

    The auction includes an impressive group of early Netherlandish paintings from a Spanish private collection; masterpieces by some of the finest artists of the late 16th and 17th centuries, such as Jan Brueghel the Elder, Balthasar van der Ast and Ambrosius Bosschaert and a particularly strong offering of British works from private collections, many fresh to the market.


    Saturday, July 3rd, 2021

    These back to back library tables are among the highlights at Sotheby’s Treasures sale in London on July 6. Attributed to William Kent they formed part of the original furnishings of Tottenham Park, Wiltshire, a house designed by Richard Boyle (1694-1753), 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork, for his sister Juliana. Known as the Architect Earl he is remembered for bringing Palladian architecture to England and Ireland. Tottenham was one of his first professional projects and among the earliest manifestations of the neo-Palladian aesthetic he championed with his protege William Kent. Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, now home to the Royal Academy, is one of his designs.  The George II tables are estimated at £400,000-£600,000. UPDATE: THESE WERE UNSOLD


    Monday, May 10th, 2021

    This pair of c1790 Irish George III mirror chandeliers is among the highights at Sotheby’s sale of furniture, clocks and works of art. They are estimated at £40,000-£60,000. Bidding on this online sale is now open and continues until May 18. UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR £50,400


    Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

    The international art market is increasingly evolving towards the now.  Developments  happening at breakneck pace are reflected in the annual  May New York sales of big league international art, livestreamed of course, and available to view around the world. Christie’s has torn up the rule book to create an entirely new category of turn of the 21st century contemporary art.  Established contemporaries like Gerhard Richter and Christopher Wool will be offered alongside newcomer artists like Jordan Casteel.

    Two tables with floral pattern by Jonas Wood (born 1977) at Christies.  Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2021. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $6,510,000

    This follows the discovery of a growing appetite for masterpieces by a new generation of artists reported by Christie’s in 2020.  The auction house recorded no less than seven new auction records by 21st century artists in the livestreamed Hong Kong to New York evening sale last December.  Many of these artists are unknown to those of us familiar with the glorious range of art from Monet to Hockney and beyond.  The 21st century evening sale at Christie’s on May 11 will be led by work from artists like Martin Kippenberger, Jordan Casteel and  Gerhard Richter. Mark Rothko’s Untitled, painted in 1970 during the final months of his life, will highlight the 20th century evening sale on May 13.

    Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) by Pablo Picasso at Christie’s.  Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2021 (estimate in the region of $55 million). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $103,410,000

    Even though there are growing numbers of new kids on the block there will be no shortage  of names that are familiar.  Sotheby’s Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art sales will include highlights from Jean-Michel Basquiat, Clyfford Still, Warhol, Hockney, Willem de Kooning, Alexander Calder, Childe Hassan, Degas, Monet, Picasso and more.  An exquisite example of Monet’s Waterlilies series will highlight Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern sale and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Versus Medici will take centre stage at the Contemporary Art evening auction.  Both sales will be livestreamed on May 12. Contemporary auctions reflect the response of todays artists to our changing world and offer a fascinating glimpse of the development of abstract and figurative art from the Post-War period to the present day. To further mark the changes Sotheby’s will hold its first auction entirely devoted to women artists across the centuries later this month.

    Le Bassin aux nympheas by Claude Monet at Sothebys on May 12. ($40-$60 million). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $70,353,000

    The future beckons and it looks exciting. The mix of online and live sales is here to stay. We will not go back to what was there before Covid. If a signpost to the future can be discerned it points in the direction of a more diverse and multicultural art market focused on gender equality, the rights of minorities and masterpieces waiting to be discovered by artists yet largely unknown.

    Versus Medici by Jean Michel Basquiat at Sothebys on May 12 ($35-$50 million). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $50,820,000


    Friday, April 30th, 2021

    A rare and early rugby painting by L S Lowry comes up at Sotheby’s inaugural British Art: Modern/ Contemporary live-stream auction in London on June 29. Painted in 1928, Going to the Match is among the earliest known depiction of one of Lowry’s most iconic and timeless subjects – that of spectators thronging to a sporting occasion. Famed for his images of football, it is significant that it is a rugby match he chose to paint first, no doubt testament to the importance of the Rugby League to Northern communities. The red flag seen flying by the ground, as well as the red scarves worn by several of the crowd members, hints at the Salford Red Devils – Lowry’s local team. It is estimated at £2-£3 million.

    L.S. Lowry – Going to the Match


    Saturday, April 3rd, 2021

    The story of a fractured relationship between a portrait artist and his client lies behind the Knatchbull family portrait. Painted by John Singleton Copley in 1800 it was commissioned by Tory politician Sir Edward Knatchbull, who wanted a portrait of his second wife and ten children.  His first wife was to be included so Copley depicted her as one of a group of angels. When his second wife died two years later Knatchbull married again and wanted her included. Then his pregnant wife’s child had to be added. When after three years the portrait was finally unveiled he was mortified when people laughed openly at the spectacle of past and present wives in the same painting. He had it taken down and ordered Copley to paint over the angels. The fee was to be cut too, forcing a legal dispute which the artist won.  The oil sketch from the collection of Patricia Mountbatten sold at Sotheby’s for £88,200. Singleton Copley was an Irish American whose father was from Limerick and whose mother was from Clare.

    John Singleton Copley – The Knatchbull Family Portrait


    Monday, March 15th, 2021

    A parody by Banksy of actress Demi Moore’s iconic Vanity Fair cover comes up at Sotheby’s livestreamed marquee auction on March 25 with an estimate of £2-3 million. The two-metre-tall canvas was first unveiled in 2006 as the poster image for Banksy’s debut and breakthrough U.S. exhibition, which cemented his status. Titled ‘Barely Legal’, the self-proclaimed “three-day vandalised warehouse extravaganza” took place in an impoverished area of Los Angeles. The location was kept secret until hours before the opening. Advertisements featuring the poster juxtaposed against the Hollywood sign were pasted around the city in the lead up and to promote the show, Banksy also left an inflatable replica of a Guantánamo Bay detainee in Disneyland. During the three-day view the exhibition famously drew 30,000 visitors – among them Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jude Law, Keanu Reeves, Orlando Bloom, Dennis Hopper, Cameron Diaz and Sacha Baron Cohen. The LA Times reported that $5 million worth of art was sold during the opening two hours.

    Banksy –  Original Concept for Barely Legal Poster (After Demi Moore), 2006. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £2,677,000


    Thursday, February 25th, 2021

    The most significant collection to come to auction for years comes up at various sales at Sotheby’s in New York next May. At the heart of Anne Marion’s collection are masterworks by three of the greatest American artists of the post-War period: Andy Warhol’s iconic Elvis 2 Times, Richard Diebenkorn’s sublime Ocean Park No. 40; and Clyfford Still’s staggering PH-125 (1948-No. 1). All three works are estimated to achieve in excess of $20 million.

    Legendary Texan rancher and businesswoman Anne Marion (1938-2020) was celebrated for her generous support of cultural institutions, critical contributions to education and healthcare, and her passion for the life and traditions of the American Southwest where her family had been rooted for generations. The treasures of her own private collection have remained – until now – largely unknown.  It is estimated in the region of $150 million.

    The great-granddaughter of Captain Samuel Burk Burnett (1849-1922) she was heiress to the historic, world-renowned Four Sixes Ranch in King County, Texas. Samuel took the unusual step of willing the bulk of his estate to his 22-year-old granddaughter, ‘Big Anne’, to be held in trust for her unborn child (the future ‘Little Anne’ Marion), thereby launching the tradition of female leadership of one of Texas’ greatest family businesses. Following her mother’s death in 1980, ‘Little Anne’ took over management of the business and ran it for the next forty years.  She was a trusted board director and benefactor of the Kimbell Art Museum for four decades, and a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

    Hugh Hildesley, who joined Sotheby’s in 1961 and played an integral role in the company’s formative years in the US, was a longstanding colleague of Sotheby’s eminent chairman and auctioneer John L. Marion, Anne’s husband for the last 32 years of her life. He remembers: He remembers: “The sheer scope of Anne’s astounding achievements will prove influential and transformative for generations to come: from her role as President of the Burnett Foundation to founding the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum; donor of the Marion Emergency Care Center in Fort Worth, to tireless Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Anne knew quality when she saw it”.

    Richard Diebenkorn – Ocean Park No. 40