Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    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

    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

    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 

    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.


    Wednesday, May 18th, 2022
    Pablo Picasso – Femme nue couchée SOLD FOR $67,541,000

    Picasso’s Femme nue couchée was the top lot at Sotheby’s Modern evening auction in New York last night. It made $67.5 million in a sale which realised $408.5 million. This was the third highest total for an auction at Sotheby’s. Monet’s view of the Grand Canal in Venice with Santa Maria della Salute made $56.6 million and The Glade by Paul Cezanne made $41.6 million. There were artists records for Milton Avery’s The Letter ($6.1 million) Leonora Carrington’s The Garden of Paracelsus ($3.3 million) and Jared French’s The Double ($1.1 million) and Robert Motherwell’s Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 59 ($1.2 million) set an auction record for a work on paper by the artist. 


    Tuesday, May 17th, 2022
    Mark Rothko – Untitled (signed and dated 1960) made $48 million

    The sale of 30 lots from the Macklowe Collection achieved $246.1 million at Sotheby’s in New York last night. When added to the results of the November auction the total comes to $922.2 million, making this the most valuable collection ever sold at auction. Highlights last night included Mark Rothko’s Untitled, which made $48 million, Gerhard Richter’s Seestuck (Seascape) which made $30.2 million, Andy Warhol’s Self Portrait which made $18.7 million, and Willem de Kooning’s Untitled which sold for $17.8 million.


    Saturday, May 14th, 2022
    Paul Cezanne – Clairiere (The Glade) at Sotheby’s in New York next Tuesday. UPDATE: THIS MADE $41,688,500

    THE big game hunters of the global art world are out in force right now.  There are rich pickings for the super rich in a stellar round of May sales in New York sales showcasing major artistic movements of the 20th and 21st centuries. At Christie’s last Monday evening Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn from the collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann of Zurich sold for a record $195 million (€184,421,250). The 40 square inch canvas became the most expensive 20th century artwork ever sold. In 1964 Warhol developed a time intensive new process and used it to create a limited number of portraits – including Shot Sage Blue Marilyn – before abandoning the technique.  The painting has been exhibited at galleries including the Guggenheim, New York, the Pompidou in Paris and Tate Modern in London. The 36 works from this collection realised $317.8 million (€300,610,198),  All proceeds will directly benefit the Ammann Foundation’s global efforts to create healthcare and education programmes for children.

    With everyone from Monet and Degas to Balthus and Wayne Thibaud Christie’s delivered in style this week. At this stage the running total for their Marquee Week spring sales is $1.36 billion. The Post War and Contemporary art day sale yesterday achieved $97 million.

    Next it is the turn of Sotheby’s.  Their six sales with 800 lots carry a combined estimate of over $1 billion (€950,800,000) on a level with their record setting season last November.  Then the Macklowe Collection of 35 artworks made $676 million (€642.9 million) after real estate mogul Harry Macklowe and his wife Linda were ordered by a judge to sell their collection and split the proceeds during their 2018 divorce trial. Another 30 works from their collection come up next Monday evening with artists like Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly, Sigmar Polke, Donald Judd, Cy Twombly, Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons, Anselm Kiefer, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and Andy Warhol.

    The Modern evening auction on Tuesday is the most expensively estimated in the category at Sotheby’s for 15 years.   It will feature one of Monet’s finest Venetian works, a 1932 portrait of Marie Therese Walter by Picasso and The Glade by Paul Cezanne.  These three works alone are expected to bring in around $150 million (€142.6 million).

    On Thursday the Now evening auction and the Contemporary evening auction will bring this months series of marquee evening auctions to a close.  The Now sale will open the evening with ten consecutive works by women artists including Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Christina Quarles, Jennifer Packer and Tracey Emin.
    Highlights of the Contemporary evening auction are Study for Red Pope 1962, 2nd version 1971 by Francis Bacon, Cy Twombly’s large scale Untitled from 1969, a silkscreen of Elvis by Andy Warhol and Cold Beer Beautiful Girls, a quintessential text painting by Ed Ruscha.  Who could ask for anything more?

    Francis Bacon Study of Red Pope 1962, 2nd version, 1971 at Sotheby’s, New York next Thursday evening. UPDATE: THIS MADE $46,284,500.


    Thursday, May 12th, 2022
    Jack B. Yeats- Market Day, Mayo / The Long Car
    Executed in 1920 Exhibited Paris, Galeries Barbazanges, l’Exposition d’Art Irlandais, 1922,

    This Yeats painting is again on show in Paris this week. Sotheby’s has included it in their exhibition and viewing of lots for Ireland / France: Art and Literature sale which is open online for bidding until May 16. The sale includes a strong group of paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures by Ireland’s leading artists from the 19th century to the present day, including Roderic O’Conor, John Lavery, Jack B. Yeats, Mainie Jellett, William Scott and Rowan Gillespie. In addition are a select group of books by Ireland’s celebrated writers including Joyce, Beckett and Yeats.

    The auction coincides with the centenary anniversary of the 1922 World Congress of the Irish Race – a significant event in modern Irish history in which the newly founded Irish State participated in a week-long international conference in Paris to promote the country’s national identity. In attendance were Irish politicians, diaspora delegates, writers, artists and musicians. It is on view in Paris until May 14.


    Saturday, May 7th, 2022
    Roderic O’Conor – Rocks and Foam, St. Guenole, 1893. UPDATE: THIS MADE 352,800

    A May celebration of Ireland by Sotheby’s in Paris will introduce Irish art to new European audiences and mark an important centenary.  Bidding on Ireland / France: Art and Literature opens May 9.  The online sale runs until May 16 and will be on view in the French capital from May 11 until May 14. The newly founded Irish state took part in a week long international conference in Paris in 1922 titled The World Congress of the Irish Race.  Irish politicians, diaspora delegates, writers, artists and musicians all turned up with the intention of promoting Ireland on the world stage and highlighting our artistic and cultural uniqueness. The auction this month –  staged in addition to the annual sale of Irish Art by Sotheby’s to be held in London next November – coincides with the centenary of that congress.

    In 1922 the then capital of the art world was witness to a major, month long Irish art exhibition of three hundred works at Galeries Barbazanges.Sotheby’s will avail of the viewing to exhibit three works on loan from private collections.  Two of them, The Rosary by Grace Henry and Market Day Mayo / The Long Car by Jack B Yeats, painted respectively in 1910 and 1920, were exhibited at l’Exposition d’Art Irlandais at Galeries Barbazanges. The third, The Bridge at the River Grez, was painted by John Lavery in 1883. Among the literary offerings are copies of Ulysses (first published in Paris in 1922) and Dubliners by James Joyce; Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnameable by Samuel Beckett and Stories of Red Hanrahan by William Butler Yeats.  There is a death mask of James Joyce by Victor McCaughan.

    William Scott – Bottle Still Life, 1958. UPDATE: THIS MADE 50,400

    Irish art on offer at this auction spans different generations and styles.  There are paintings by Jack B Yeats and Louis le Brocquy, Sir John Lavery and William Scott. Among our leading contemporary artists there is sculpture by Dorothy Cross, Rowan Gillespie and Patrick O’Reilly with painting by Hughie O’Donoghue and John Noel Smith. Cow up a Tree by the west Cork based Australian artist John Kelly is estimated at €24,000-€35,000. A French cafe scene from 1937 by Harry Kernoff – Sunday Evening, Place du Combat, Paris – is estimated at €40,000-€60,000.  Head of a Breton boy by Roderic O’Conor dates to 1883 and is estimated at €60,000-€80,000.  Work by Evie Hone, Mainie Jellett, Charles Lamb, Sean Keating, Sean O’Sullivan, Aloysius O’Kelly, Sean O’Sullivan, Sarah Purser, Mary Swanzy, William Orpen  and Leo Whelan features too.Among the most expensively estimated lots are Rocks and Foam, St. Guenole, 1883 by Roderic O’Conor (€300,000-€500,000), A Stranger by Sir John Lavery and Quatre Poires by Roderic O’Conor each estimated at €120,000-€180,000 and Statue of the Fragonard, Grasse, 1920’s by William Leech (€30,000-€50,000). There is much here to interest the French, the Irish and members of the Irish diaspora and their descendants located right around the globe.


    Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

    This early 20th century Donegal carpet in remarkably fine condition sold for 5,292 GBP at Sotheby’s in London today. It came up at a sale of Art of the Islamic World including fine rugs and carpets and had been estimated at 4,000-6,000. Made in Killybegs in the early 20th century the carpet, with the label of Maple and Co. London and Smyrna, was discovered about 40 years ago in a sealed room by an antique restorer working on some library panels. It was thought then to have been stored for at least 50 years. The father of the present owner bought it, but found it too big for his home and passed it on to son, who also found it to be too big. So it has been stored ever since. It measures 368 cm x 265 cm approximately.


    Wednesday, March 30th, 2022
    John Mitchel, Irish Patriot – Autograph letter signed, to Thomas Carlyle

    An 1848 letter on Irish Independence written from prison in Dublin by John Mitchel to Thomas Carlyle comes up at Sotheby’s in London on April 13. John Mitchel was the editor of the United Irishman, which called for Irish independence in the bitter aftermath of the Great Hunger. Carlyle had met him on a visit to Ireland in September 1846, and Mitchel was deeply influenced by Carlyle’s “great man” theory of history.  In May 1848 Mitchel was tried for seditious libel and sentenced to 14 years transportation. He was taken first to Ireland Island, Bermuda, to work on the construction of the British naval dockyard, then to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), from where he escaped in 1853. He spent much of the rest of his life in America, editing radical Irish Nationalist newspapers, but returned to Ireland to stand for election to Westminster in 1875. He won the election but was disqualified from sitting since he was a convicted felon. A second election was likewise decreed null. The estimate for the letter, in which he bids Carlyle farewell and sends his regards to Mrs. Carlyle, is 2,000-3,000 GBP.

    The sale includes an 1848 letter from Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington to General Sir Edward Blakeney, Commander in Chief of the British Army in Ireland, on the possibility of a Chartist rebellion. Also on offer is a letter from William Huskisson, Minister for War, on the French Invasion of Ireland, 1798.


    Wednesday, March 9th, 2022
    Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. – Hosiery & Factory. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £32,670

    Hosiery and Factory by L.S. Lowry comes up as lot 114 at Sotheby’s Made in Britain sale online, which runs from today until March 15. It is signed and dated 1970. The artist also signed the backboard – L S Lowry and inscribed In a Fishing Village about/ 30 miles north of Ireland. The estimate is £30,000-40,000. Sotheby’s say the sale offers something for everyone at every price point. The auction  is led by a selection of Damien Hirst prints, exceptional ceramics by Damie Lucie Rie and Gwyn Hanssen Piggot and a trio of beautiful Alfred Wallis works from the family of artist Basil Rakoczi, who was a prominent member of the Irish White Stag art group.