antiquesandartireland.com

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

    ARTWORK RECALLS A LOCKDOWN ENFORCED BY THE MOB

    Sunday, May 24th, 2020

    We’ve all become unhappily accustomed to restrictions on our movement.  One lot at Woodwards first ever online only auction in Cork on May 30 demonstrates that lockdown comes in many forms, and there is nothing new about it.  People can be confined to their own property, then forced to flee in most dramatic circumstances, as happened in Cobh long ago.

    Lot 285 at Woodwards is a detailed painting of The Queens Hotel, Queenstown, Ireland (now the Commodore Hotel, Cobh) by Walter Richards. It dates to the first decade of the last century.  Around that time the hotel, which first opened in 1854, was taken over by Otto Humbert, a naturalised British subject of German birth. The noted hotelier had electricity and phones installed and an American style bar on the ground floor. Fast forward to May 1915. Survivors of the Lusitania were brought ashore at Cobh. Some were billeted in The Queen’s Hotel. Feelings about the killing of 1,200 civilians aboard a passenger liner torpedoed by a German U-boat ran very high. Survivors were horrified to discover the proprietor of the hotel was a German.  The fact that he was blameless, that nothing against him was known, counted for nothing.  A mob surrounded the hotel demanding it be burned to the ground.Otto Humbert and his family were forced to hide in the wine cellar for three days until the rioters dispersed. By then he had prudently decided to leave.  He fled from his own hotel and made it to Liverpool.  There he boarded a ship bound for New York, a fact reported by The New York Times on May 30, 1915.  Many of those who died on the Lusitania are buried at Old Church cemetery in Cobh, just five minutes from the hotel.The sinking propelled America into the First World War and Queenstown into global war headlines. The painting depicts a much more tranquil, Edwardian style, harbour front hotel with attractive red and white awnings.  It is estimated at just €400-500.  A few years earlier, in 1912, some of those who set off on the Titanic spent their last night ashore at this historic hotel with its long history of servicing the liner trade.

    Woodwards will offer 338 lots antique furniture, fine art, silver and collectibles in an online auction which has already aroused much interest. 

    The Queen’s Hotel, Queenstown by Walter Richards. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,500 AT HAMMER