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    Saturday, September 17th, 2022

    A new design series by Joseph Walsh – Riverstick, Co. Cork based global design superstar – opens at Sotheby’s in London today.  On show is a selling exhibition of key pieces from his newly developed Gestures series on display for the first time.  The 12 sinuous works include a large dining table, a sculptural bench, free form lounge chairs, dining chairs and various wall mounted sculptural shelves.

    Now in mid career Joseph Walsh is the Eileen Gray of this generation – and not every generation throws up designer innovators of this calibre. A century ago Gray was making lacquered pieces in Paris. This new series by Joseph Walsh, whose work is celebrated by design cognoscenti from Tokyo to Chicago to Paris, is finished in ebonised black. Beginning with charcoal sketches which Walsh translates into scale model studies in wood Gestures has emerged over the past three years. Wood is cut into layers, rebuilt and carved to create an uninterrupted sculptural form and finished in black. Each piece is functional and boldly sculptural. The show at Sotheby’s, which coincides with the London Design Festival, runs until September 29.


    Thursday, August 11th, 2022
    Banksy – Love is in the Air. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £189,000

    Sotheby’s biannual Banksy sale opens for bidding online today. This much-anticipated auction surveys the activist’s groundbreaking work with a selection of prints from his initial foray into screen printing to one of his more recent editions, Banksquiat. The auction of 34 lots runs until August 17.


    Friday, July 29th, 2022

    A Gorgosaurus skeleton sold for $6,095,600 at Sotheby’s Natural History sale in New York on July 28. It had been excavated on private land at Judith River, Choteau River, Montana in 2018. The exhibition mounted skeleton measures nine feet, two and a half inches tall and just under 22 feet long. It is from the late Cretaceous Period and approximately 77 million years old. The Gorgosaurus was a relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.


    Thursday, July 14th, 2022

    A series of unpublished handwritten poems by Ted Hughes, written the in aftermath of the suicide of his partner Assia Wevill and their daughter Shura in 1969 – just six years after the suicide of his first wife Sylvia Plath – come up at Sotheby’s  Books, Manuscripts and Music from Medieval to Modern sale open for bidding until July 19. Estimated at £10,000- 15,000 they offer an insight into the overwhelming grief and loss that Hughes experienced. Wevill and Hughes began an affair in 1962 and this was one of the causes of the breakdown of his marriage to the American poet Sylvia Plath in the summer of that year. Following Plath’s suicide their relationship continued but was plagued with troubles, from money to Hughes’ lack of commitment. Wevill suffered from depression and in a terrible parallel with Plath’s death, gassed herself in her London flat in March 1969. The four pages of verse are written – sometimes illegibly – in ink, and are clearly early drafts, unintended for publication. Their fragmentary and incomplete structure suggests that Hughes found the subject too painful and abandoned the works. They are extensively revised and the beginning and endings of the poems are not always clear.

    The sale includes an inscribed copy of Plath’s first collection, The Colossus and Other Poems (£20,000- 30,000) gven by Plath to her husband and childhood items of Plath’s from a lock of hair as a toddler to her stamp collection.

    UPDATE: THE unpublished manuscript poems made £12,600, The Colossus and Other Poems by Sylvia Plath made £94,500.


    Tuesday, July 5th, 2022
    Peter Turnerelli (Belfast 1772-1839 London) -Bust of Henry Grattan (1746-1820)

    THIS 1813 marble bust of Henry Grattan sold for £13,860 over a top estimate of £12,000 at Sotheby’s sale of Old Master Sculptures and Early Jewellery in London today. The prime version of Turnerelli’s portrait of Henry Grattan is in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Born in Dublin in 1746 Henry Grattan was a brilliant politician and orator who, in his mid-thirties backed by the Protestant Volunteer movement, declared an independent parliament for Ireland. “Grattan’s Parliament” did not last long and when rebellion broke out in 1798 he was blamed by conservatives for having stirred up resentment against the status quo. He opposed the Act of Union in 1800, but this did not prevent him from later sitting as a MP in London. While he continued his efforts on behalf of Ireland his great days as a parliamentarian were over and he died in 1820.

    The bust is likely to have been acquired by Grattan’s contemporary Charles Kinnaird, 8th Lord Kinnaird. He was a prolific art collector who assembled one of the great Scottish collections of antique statuary and pictures. Many of his paintings, which included works by Rubens, Titian and Poussin, had come from the collection of Philippe Égalité, duc d’Orléans.


    Friday, June 24th, 2022
    Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, R.A. – Vanity. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £176,400

    This 1915 work by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, which comes up at Sotheby’s Modern British auction in London on June 30, was once in the collection of the world renowned Irish tenor Count John McCormack. He was an avid collector of up and coming artists in the early 20th century. The subject is the artist’s wife Anaïs. By 1915, the Brockhursts had moved to Ireland following the outbreak of war. Oliver St John Gogarty took them under their wing, and they were to remain in Ireland until 1919. Brockhurst produced some of his most experimental and exquisite works during this period, and he was friends with and worked alongside Augustus John and his circle. Vanity is estimated at £40,000-£60,000.


    Friday, June 17th, 2022
    Francis Bacon – Study for Portrait of Lucian Freud, 1964 (Estimate in excess of £35 million) Courtesy Sotheby’s. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £43,336,000

    Francis Bacon’s magnetic portrait of Lucian Freud will highlight British Art: The Jubilee Auction at Sotheby’s in London on June 29. Paintined in 1964 the full-length portrait illuminates the powerful dialogue of friendship and epochal rivalry which would engulf two titans of art history and spur them to create some of their greatest works. The pair had first met 20 years earlier and would go on to share an intense friendship for over 40 years until jealousy and petty rows would ultimately splinter relations forever in the mid-1980’s.

    Though their visual styles differed considerably, both artists were deeply committed to the human figure, painting each other on numerous occasions over the years. Indeed, for Bacon, Freud would become a recurrent – and one of the most significant – subjects of his work in the 1960’s. Bacon believed that: “the living quality is what you have to get. In painting a portrait, the problem is to find a technique by which you can give over all the pulsations of a person…The sitter is someone of flesh and blood and what has to be caught is their emanation.”

    The black and white photographs taken by their mutual friend John Deakin would become Bacon’s primary source material as he painted Freud obsessively. Of great personal significance, Bacon would keep these photographs with him for the rest of his life, and they were rediscovered torn, crumpled and splattered with paint in his studio following his death.


    Tuesday, May 31st, 2022
    Joseph Walsh – Unique “Lumenoria” Table. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    This unique Lumenoria table by Joseph Walsh comes up at Sotheby’s Important Design sale in New York on June 9 with an estimate of $150,000-200,000. This beautiful and dynamic dining table marks a pivotal moment in the career of celebrated contemporary Irish designer Joseph Walsh according to Sotheby’s. Since 1999, Walsh has been experimenting with laminating and bending wood, creating highly expressive and sculptural furniture and installations. Some of his career-defining commissions include work for the Embassy of Japan, the National Museum of Ireland, and the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.  The catalogue notes that: “In his woodworking practice, Walsh infuses techniques from his broad and deep understanding of other traditional craft methods. This innovative approach to making yields masterfully crafted furniture as evidenced in this dining table. Here, Walsh has expanded his material experiments by combining a slowly hand-poured clear resin top over a custom freeform base, resulting in poetic interplay between the materials. “Each piece is unique, speaking of the materials, process and a moment in time,” reads his artistic statement for the series. This unique dining table presents as a visual marvel where light twinkles through the transparent top to rain down and animate the swirling ash wood base below”. It was acquired directly from Joseph Walsh by the present owner. The catalogue also features an Enignum II chair by Walsh with an estimate of 10,000-15,000. UPDATE: THE CHAIR MADE $12,600.


    Monday, May 23rd, 2022

    THIS rare 1914 photograph of polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton on his ship Endurance is lot 109 at Sotheby’s sale online sale of Travel, Atlases, Maps and Photographs which runs until the afternoon of May 24. It is estimated at £5,000-7,000. Frank Hurley was the official photograph on Shackleton’s Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition which set out in 1914 and was marooned until August 1916.


    Saturday, May 21st, 2022
    Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Lynch at Sheppards. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Great Irish Interiors at Sheppards, collectibles at Whyte’s and Mullen’s, art at Morgan O’Driscoll and James Adam, an Irish collection at Sotheby’s in London, design at de Veres and antique furniture at Woodwards should get a busy summer season off to a flying start over the next week or so. Kicking off with an Eclectic Collector sale online at Whyte’s in Dublin today buyers at all price points will find plenty to choose from.  Wine drinkers who enjoy Chateau Lynch Bages will no doubt be fascinated by a portrait at Sheppards of Jean Baptiste Lynch (1749-1835), Mayor of Bordeaux, Count of the French Empire, lawyer and son of Thomas Lynch who produced high quality wines under the name Cru de Lynch which eventually morphed into Lynch-Bages.  The Lynch family – one of the Tribes of Galway – fled persecution in Ireland in the 17th century and this portrait is from the Derk estate in Co. Limerick, thence by descent.  Lot 23 is estimated at €15,000-€25,000.

    Three days of sales at Sheppards get underway next Tuesday (May 24). Viewing starts in Durrow today and the catalogue with a fascinating selection of antique furniture, Chinese and African collectibles, ceramics, chandeliers, sllver, jewellery and collectibles is online.

    Along with Robert Emmet’s 1803 Proclamation Whyte’s sale today offers 1916 Rising and War of Independence documents and medals, Seamus Heaney signed first editions, Polar exploration volumes, maps, banknotes and coins and entertainment and sporting memorabilia. A Butterfly Spin by Damien Hirst  and a silkscreen print of John Wayne by Andy Warhol feature at Morgan O’Driscoll’s  online sale of affordable art which runs until next Monday evening (May 23) A strong selection of 20th century classic design furniture and Irish art will come under the hammer at de Veres next Tuesday afternoon (May 24).  There is Danish and Italian furniture and lighting by designers including Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, le Corbuser, Mies van der Rohe and Arne Vodder and art by Felim Egan, Robert Ballagh, Francis Tansey, Terry Frost and William Crozier.

    An Irish George III oval mirror at Sotheby’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE £10,080

    The sale of Monte Alverno: An Irish Collection at Sotheby’s in London next Thursday will give Irish and international collectors a chance to pick up something Irish and special like Regency peat buckets, gilt mirrors, antique furniture and art ranging from 18th century bird gouaches by Samuel Dixon through to Yeats, James Arthur O’Connor, John Luke and Patrick Swift.A pair of Georgian peat buckets and a pair of Edwardian demi-lune side tables are among the top antique furniture lots at Woodwards  sale in Cork next Saturday (May 24).  Among the Georgian lots are a three pillar dining table, a library table, a card table, a wine cooler, a bureau, a chest of drawers and a lowboy. An Edwardian inlaid sofa table and an office mahogany desk are among around 300 lots here.Next week is bookended by a sale of history, militaria and collectibles at Mullens of Laurel Park.

    Photograph of a female climber in Victorian days at Mullen’s  UPDATE: THIS LOT MADE 380 AT HAMMER

    Among the first photographs of rock climbers in action were those taken by the Abraham family at Keswick in the Lake District.  Mullens will offer a box of 50 glass stereoscope slides of 19th century images from Cumberland and North Wales featuring climbers in tweeds, flat caps and, in one memorable image, a skirt. In those Victorian times there was no lack of equality on the mountains.  The sale kicks off with a skull of a Great Irish Elk.  There is a poetry book inscribed by Roger Casement in Pentonville Prison on the night before his execution to Fr. Murnane of The Presbytery, Bermondsey.