Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Posts Tagged ‘Whyte’s’


    Monday, December 4th, 2023

    Switzerland, Hazel and Alice by Sir John Lavery made a hammer price of €230,000 over a top estimate of €220,000 at Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin this evening. Dooega, Achill Island, Co. Mayo by Paul Henry made €155,000 on the hammer. London Hospital, 1914 by Lavery made €64,000, The Goose Girl by Sean Keating made €62,000 over a top estimate of €35,000, On the Beach by Gerard Dillon made €34,000 over a top estimate of €30,000, Abstract Composition c1929 by Mainie Jellett made €27,000 over a top estimate of €15,000, The Desert Charge by Aloyosius O’Kelly made €16,000 at hammer over a top estimate of €15,000, Wicklow Mountains by Peter Collis made €7,000 over a top estimate of €5,000, Aquainted with Grief by Leo Whelan made €4,600 over a top estimate of €2,000 and Tonight we Dance by William Conor made €5,200 over a top estimate of €2,000.

    SEÁN KEATING PRHA HRA HRSA (1889-1977) – THE GOOSE GIRL, 1917 made €62,000 at hammer.


    Friday, December 1st, 2023

    The December art selling season kicks off at Whyte’s evening sale of Important Irish Art on December 4, now on view in Dublin. This surprisingly modern looking scorching study of a tree in a courtyard by Nathaniel Hone, who died in his eighties in 1917, is undated but in excellent condition. It was exhibited at the Gorry Gallery exhibition on Hone in 2002. The oil on board is estimated at €4,000-€6,000. Artists in the auction include John Lavery, Paul Henry, William Orpen, Letitia Hamilton, William Leech, George Russell, Seán Keating, Mary Swanzy, Mainie Jellett, Gerard Dillon, George Campbell, Louis le Brocquy, Patrick Scott, Pauline Bewick, Tony O’Malley and Rowan Gillespie. The catalogue is online.


    Monday, November 27th, 2023
    Switzerland (Hazel and Alice) by Sir John Lavery at Whyte’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE 230,000 AT HAMMER

    Art by Lavery, Yeats, Paul Henry and Sean Keating will lead upcoming sales of Irish art at Whytes on December 4 and James Adam on December 6.  Lavery’s Switzerland (Hazel and Alice) at Whyte’s is estimated at €180,000-€220,000.  The top lot at Adams is The Captain by Yeats with an estimate of €100,000-€150,000 .Given the Lavery exhibition now on at the National Gallery in Dublin the auction of a major Lavery is timely. The catalogue cover lot was painted in Wengen, Switzerland early in 1913 at a time of intense painterly activity for the artist. The tranquility of the work belies the fact that In 1913 the world was on the brink of war. In sharp contrast is Lavery’s London Hospital, 1914 (€60,000-€80,000) at Whyte’s, which depicts early casualties of the First World War. After that one people fantasised about it being the war to end all wars.

    Aran Harbour by Sean Keating at Adams

    A deceptively idyllic 1940’s painting of Aran Harbour by Sean Keating (€80,000-€100,000) at Adams is in fact an antidote to the horrors of the Second World War then raging. It shows two women, one looking out to sea, the other peering at the viewer, with a focus on peace and quiet in a world yet again gone mad. Plus ca change.Sea captains feature in many Yeats paintings. The Captain at Adams dates to 1948 and harks back to his youth on the quays in Sligo where his grandfather had a shipping business. 
    There are rich pickings for collectors available at each sale.  A painting of Dooega, Achill Island by Paul Henry at Whyte’s is estimated at €150,000-€200,000. Among 133 works on the catalogue at Whyte’s is a wide ranging selection from Mary Swanzy to Rita Duffy, Gerard Dillon to Felim Egan and sculptors John Behan to Michael Warren.  Notable works by Aloysius O’Kelly, William Leech, Tony O’Malley, Patrick Scott and Pauline Bewick sit alongside small collections by Nathaniel Hone,  Letitia Hamilton and Patrick Hennessy.  The selection includes auction favourites like Arthur Maderson, Kenneth Webb, Mark O’Neill, Graham Knuttel and Markey Robinson.

    Black and Green Scarecrow, Maidstone Bridge by John Shinnors at Adams.

    Top lots at Adams include three classical Paul Henry paintings Near Leenane (1935-38) (€80,000-€120,000), Keem Bay (c1911) (€60,000-€80,000) and Paysage Sinistre (1914-15) (€50,000-€70,000).  The sale features many of Ireland’s finest 19th and 20th century artists including three works on paper by Harry Clarke at a time when there is talk of a Dublin museum dedicated to the artist.The Modernist School is represented with works by Edward McGuire, Patrick Hennessy, Colin Middleton, John Doherty, John Shinnors, Basil Blackshaw and Dan O’Neill. A 19th century painting by James Arthur O’Connor, Clearing in the forest with figures (€30,000-€40,000), was recently discovered in a French private collection.


    Saturday, November 4th, 2023
    Padraig Pearse’s membership card for the Irish Volunteers UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Padraig Pearse’s 1913 membership card for The Irish Volunteers will highlight The History Sale at Whyte’s in Dublin on November 11.  The rarity of this unique relic from the leader of the 1916 Rising inscribed in indelible pencil in his own hand is reflected in an estimate of €150,000-€250,000. Issued on December 9 it is signed by Pearse and renewals up to January 1914 are initialled by him.  Pearse left the Irish Volunteers when the organisation split over John Redmond agreeing to support Britain in the war with Germany. It is inscribed: Padraic Mac Piarais Sgoil Eanna and numbered 100.  Gifted by Pearse’s mother Margaret to Micheal Mac Ruaidhri who was with Pearse at the GPO on Easter Monday 1916 the provenance is impeccable.

    The 295 lots in the auction span four centuries, with maps from the 1660’s to autographed photographs of Taoisigh of the 1970’s and ’80’s. A group of medals awarded to Vinnie Byrne is estimated at €10,000-€15,000.  He was the most prominent member of the Michael Collins squad responsible for the assassination of British military intelligence officers during the War of Independence.  A 1916 Rising medal awarded to Dublin volunteer Sean O’Shaughnessy is part of a group including a War of Independence medal and estimated at €4,000-€6,000. The extraordinary collection of medals formed by the artist Thomas Ryan (1929-2021), former president of the Royal Hibernian Academy, is a major feature of the sale.  His interest was in the art and design of commemorative, history, educational and agricultural medals from the 17th to the 19th century. More than 250 medals will be sold in 130 lots.

    A Cork Agricultural Association 1843 medal for the best five acres of thorough draining land UPDATE: THIS MADE 500 AT HAMMER

    The earliest is a copper issued to Dorcas Brabazon, wife of the Secretary of State for Ireland George Lane. Other medals commemorate Oliver Goldsmith, Henry Grattan, the Duke of Wellington, Fr. Matthew, Wolfe Tone, Daniel O’Connell and Charles Stewart Parnell.  There are farming medals, schools and university medals and a selection of church medals depicting popes from the 17th to the 21st century. There are lithographs of two portraits by Sir John Lavery of Michael Collins and Arthur Griffiths, each signed by both artist and sitter. Lavery painted the portraits in 1921 while they were in London  negotiating the terms of the Irish Treaty. (€8,000-€12,000).  Two volumes of engravings by the English caricaturist James Gillray (1756-1811) are estimated at €6,000-€8,000.  There is a similar estimate on an extremely rare programme for the 1913 All Ireland Football Final between Kerry and Wexford. Among the other top lots is a selection of correspondence by Padraig Pearse from 1911-12 concerning St. Enda’s. regulations signed by Michael Collins as Minister for Finance, silver models of the domes of the Four Courts and Government Buildings by Lorcan Brereton and 1966 Rising Anniversary gold and silver medals.

    A 1922 image of the men who fought for Ireland’s freedom at Beggars Bush barracks by Panograph Photo Co., New York. UPDATE: THIS MADE 660 AT HAMMER


    Tuesday, October 24th, 2023
    1913 (9 December) Pádraig Pearse’s membership card for The Irish Volunteers

    Padraig Pearse’s 1913 membership card for The Irish Volunteers is the top lot at Whyte’s History sale on November 11. The rarity of this treasure is reflected in an estimate of €150,000-250,000. It is inscribed in Pearse’s own hand in indelible pencil: Pádraic Mac Piarais Sgoil Éanna and numbered 100. The card was gifted by Pearse’s mother Margaret to Micheál Mac Ruaidhrí, thence to his daughter Brid who gifted it to the family of the present owner.

    Micheál Mac Ruaidhrí was a mentor and confidant to Padraig Pearse. Dubbed ‘the greatest seanchaí of our time’ by the scholar and patriot Eoin MacNeill, and known to Professor Douglas Hyde, Ireland’s first President, as ‘The Mayo Poet’ because of the musical quality of his Irish he was born in Mayo in 1860. Mac Ruaidhri suffered from poor eyesight and as a result spent just two days in school, preferring instead to occupy his days with the elders of his area. In the process he amassed and retained a vast knowledge of folklore, sagas, history, song and music, all of which he dearly loved, whilst also gaining a genuine love for and understanding of the soil.

    As a young man Micheál went to Dublin and worked as a gardener at Stradbrook Estate, Blackrock, before striking up a relationship with the revolutionary and educationalist Patrick Pearse. From the foundation in 1908 of Pearse’s Cullenswood School in Ranelagh, Dublin, Micheaál taught practical gardening and horticulture and in 1910, he, together with his bride, the former Alice Wallace, relocated with Pearse to the Hermitage in Rathfarnham, the site of the future and much celebrated Scoil Eanna -‘St. Endas.’ The Hermitage was to be the site of a new school for boys based on the ancient Irish custom of fosterage, while Cullenswood became a girls school which Pearse named Scoil Íde. St. Enda’s influence on the 1916 Rising is evident by the list of those participants who taught at or attended the school. In addition to Mac Ruaidhri and his assistant Patrick Donnelly and the patriot Pearse brothers, Patrick and Willie, other revolutionaries such as Thomas MacDonagh, Eamon Ceannt, Con Colbert and Fergus de Burca also taught there, as did the writers Padraic Colum and Standish O Grady. Desmond Ryan who fought in the GPO and and Joseph Sweeney who was a sniper on the roof of the GPO were among the sixteen St. Enda’s pupils who participated in the 1916 Rising.

    Mac Ruaidhri was in the G.P.O. Dublin, with Pearse on Easter Monday 1916, and stood beside Pearse as he read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. Due to his bad eyesight and the fact that he was 56 years of age at the time, he was ordered back to St. Enda’s by Pearse with instructions to destroy or hide secret documents. Following the suppression of the 1916 Rebellion, Mac Ruaidhrí was arrested and imprisoned in Frongoch Prison, Wales: at the time he was the oldest prisoner in the gaol and spent his days teaching Irish and history to the other rebel inmates. On his release he returned to St. Enda’s and resumed his career as gardener. After the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1922, a treaty he disagreed with, MacRuaidhri took no further part in politics and concentrated instead on his writing and folklore collecting. Those who sought out his wisdom and knowledge included Eamon De Valera, Dr.Douglas Hyde and Micheál Ó Tiomaindhe (Michael Timoney 1870-1940). Micheál MacRuaidhrí died in May, 1936 aged 76 at his home, St Enda’s Lodge, was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.


    Saturday, October 21st, 2023
    Stacking the Turf by Desmond Kinney. UPDATE: THIS MADE 680 AT HAMMER

    Affordable art will come under the hammer at Whyte’s online autumn Irish art auction which closes on Monday October 23.  This sale offers an array of accessible art from Ireland and around the world.  The highest estimated lot, at €2,500-€3,500, is a set of eight Spanish scenes by John Frederick Lewis (1804-1876) in pencil heightened with white. There is art in a range of styles and tastes by artists from Mildred Anne Butler and Jeanne Rynhart to Andy Warhol and Sir William Orpen.  Lithographic prints by Paul Henry, a selection by Markey Robinson and artists like Patsy Dan Rodgers, Mark O’Neill, Geraldine O’Brien, Victor Richardson, Liam Treacy, Moyra Barry, Henry Healy, James English and Sir William Orpen make for an interesting catalogue.  The sale is on view this afternoon at Whyte’s in Dublin and the catalogue is online.



    Saturday, September 30th, 2023
    Brent Geese on the Salt Flats by Norah McGuinness. UPDATE: THIS MADE 21,000 AT HAMMER

    Brent Geese on the Salt Flats by Norah McGuinness at Whyte’s evening sale of Irish and International Art in Dublin on October 2 almost certainly dates to the 1960’s.  One of the founding members of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1943 she was selected alongside Nano Reid to represent Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 1957.  Norah McGuinness supplied illustrations to Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, worked in costume and set design for the Abbey and Peacock Theatres and as a window dresser for Altman’s on 5th Avenue in New York and at Brown Thomas in Dublin.  This work is estimated at €20,000-€30,000.  Viewing for the sale continues all weekend and the catalogue is online.


    Saturday, September 23rd, 2023
    Lemon Queen by Genieve Figgis at Whyte’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE 29,000 AT HAMMER

    Propelled on to the international stage by the use of Twitter Genieve Figgis has a contemporary rags to riches story that breaks the mould. In just a decade the Dublin born artist has gone from creating art on the kitchen table and working part time in a shop in order to get by to a secondary market (art already sold once) turnover of €2.6 million and a primary market at auction in Hong Kong. The work she posted on the social media platform attracted the attention of renowned American painter and photographer Richard Prince.  He bought some and subsequently introduced Figgis to New York where she is now represented by the Helwaser Gallery and has had a number of solo exhibitions. Figgis has been included in landmark exhibitions and is the first Irish artist commissioned by Dior to reinterpret their Lady Dior handbag.

    Lemon Queen by Genieve Figgis comes up at Whyte’s in Dublin with an estimate of €25,000-€35,000.  It is among an appetising selection at upcoming sales at Adams on September 27 and Whyte’s on October 2.

    The Kiss by Rowan Gillespie at James Adam. UPDATE: THIS MADE 22,000 AT HAMMER

    The sale of Important Irish Art at Adams offers sculpture, oil paintings, watercolours and tapestries by some of our most admired artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. An atmospheric Yeats – On a Western Quay – is one of a number of lots by the artist.  Evening by Paul Henry is a pure landscape dating to 1924/25 and Eden, a late 1940’s Aubusson tapestry designed by Louis le Brocquy are among the main lots. There is striking art by Gerard Dillon and William Conor. 19th century art on offer includes rare works by Sir Thomas Alfred Jones, William John Hennessy and Howard Helmick along with art by James Arthur O’Connor and Thomas Rose Miles. The Kiss by Rowan Gillespie is a 16″ high bronze – number eight from an edition of nine – of a popular public full sized sculpture by Gillespie opposite the National Concert Hall on Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin. It dates to 1990.  Torso by the same artist is from 1994.  Curiosities of the sale include a limited edition black and white photograph of Michael MacLiammoir by Fergus Bourke, the last ever stage photograph of the dramatist and actor and a leather bound journal by craft student  Norah O’Kelly with illustrations by Sir William Orpen and Harry Clarke.

     The last ever stage photograph of Micheal MacLiammoir at James Adam. UPDATE: THIS MADE 750 AT HAMMER

    The sale by Whyte’s takes place at Freemason’s Hall on Molesworth St. with viewing at Whyte’s galleries.  The catalogue cover lot is The Currach, Kilronan by Gerard Dillon. Still Waters by Sean Keating is an Aran Island work exhibited at the RHA in 1947.  Another important lot is ‘He won’t bite you” by Sir John Lavery depicting an infant’s cautious encounter with a curious dog in a Scottish garden. The sale offers paintings by Letitia Hamilton, an early work by John Shinnors of Christine Keeler and a watercolour of Nassau St. in Dublin by Rose Barton once in the Mount Juliet collection of racehorse breeder Major Victor McCalmont and included in the Crawford Gallery Retrospective in 1987. Among the artists featured at Whytes are William Orpen, William Leech, Tony O’Malley, Norah McGuinness and Louis le Brocquy.  There are small collections of art by Percy French, Charles Lamb and Patrick Leonard, an early portrait of Paul Henry by Robert Ponsonby Staples, and paintings by Arthur Maderson, Cecil Maguire, Ciaran Clear, Mark O’Neill, Graham Knuttel and Markey Robinson.

    Nassau St. from outside The Kildare St. Club by Rose Barton at Whyte’s. UPDATE: THIS MADE 13,000 AT HAMMER


    Tuesday, July 4th, 2023

    MAYO, a watercolour by Norah McGuinness, comes up at Whyte’s summer online art auction which ends from 6 pm on July 10. The sale is now on view at Whyte’s on Molesworth St. in Dublin and the catalogue is online. It offers accessible art from Ireland and around the world. Mayo is, at €2,500-3,500, one of the more expensively estimated lots.


    Thursday, May 25th, 2023

    Glory to the Brave Singer by Jack B. Yeats will lead Whyte’s sale of Irish and International Art in Dublin on May 29. It depicts a woman reclining in the landscape. She raises herself from the ground and extends her right arm in an exaggerated manner pointing towards a songbird which stands on the topmost branch of a tree, its neck extended and its beak open skywards as it fills the air with its music. Her closed eyes convey an expression of complete rapture as she listens to the singing of the thrush.  The estimate is €300,000-€400,000. Included in the sale are major works by Jack Butler Yeats, Paul Henry, Roderic O’Conor, Camille Souter, Mary Swanzy, George (Æ) Russell, Louis le Brocquy, Francis Bacon, Patrick Collins, Sir Sidney Robert Nolan, Arthur Armstrong, Evie Hone and others.
    Viewing is underway at Molesworth St. and the catalogue is online.