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    Friday, July 8th, 2011

    Letters from Theodore Roosevelt at Mealy's book sale. (Click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,800

    US President Theodore Roosevelt and Irish poet William Butler Yeats are among the personalities to feature at a Mealy’s sale in Dublin on July 19. An archive of Yeats letters and a presidential correspondence  are among outstanding items in the 670 lot auction of the Fred Hanna Collection at the D4 Hotel.
    The Yeats archive comprises 13 letters and cards mostly from 1898 to journalist and former MP Thomas Gill.  T.P. Gill (1858 – 1931), from Co. Tipperary was an Irish Party M.P. 1885 – 1892. He resigned after failing to heal the breach over Parnell. In August 1898 he became editor of the Dublin Daily Express, with a brief to expand its arts coverage. Until he lost the job in Sept. 1899 he had considerable powers of artistic patronage, and so was of great interest to Yeats, and his literary colleagues. In 1900 Gill became Secretary of the Dept. of Agriculture and Technical Instruction in Dublin, another influential post which he held for 20 years.

    The Yeats Archive at Mealy's book sale. (Click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS LOT WAS WITHDRAWN.

    The letters show how, in 1899, Gill was consulted  over a disagreement with Edward Martyn over the theological soundness of ‘The Countess Cathleen’ (a verse drama by Yeats dedicated to Maud Gonne). In a letter of May 22 of that year Yeats suggests that the Express might quote Max Beerbohm’s comments on the play. In a 1900 note Yeats says he thinks George Moore would accept a seat in Parliament, ‘if he had a definite offer of a seat without a contest.’ An unsigned typescript letter to Yeats, probably from Gill, advises him to go ahead with ‘The Countess Cathleen’ and to pay no heed to the theologians.  The correspondence is estimated at 8,000-14,000.
    Lot 495 is a correspondence from Theordore Roosevelt to T.P. Gill, with whom there is apparently a family connection.  It includes a typescript signed letter on White House headed paper from Roosevelt to Gill, Sept. 1903, thanking him for sending the ‘Cucullain Saga.’ ‘I had ordered it myself and have now cancelled the order and have ordered Douglas Hyde’s “A Literary History of Ireland”. There is a presidential Visiting Card inscribed by Roosevelt  ‘With hearty thanks for your congratulations’ addressed to T.P. Gill, Department of Agriculture, Dublin.
    A typed signed letter from Roosevelt (in London) to Gill, 28 May 1910 confirms arrangements for a meeting, ‘It is as you know, the most difficult thing in the world for me to get any time for myself. But come in at 5.30 on Thursday next .. and I will do my best.’  There is banquet programme for Eighth Annual Banquet of New York Society of the Order of the Founders and Patriots of America, April, 29, 1904 and a collection of  Presidential documents and memorabilia.  The estimate for the correspondence is 2,000-3,000.
    The catalogue for the sale is on-line at


    Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

    Roundabout Ponies by Jack B. Yeats. (click to enlarge) IT SOLD FOR £5,760

    The last sketch by Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) has been consigned by the family of his former nurse to Bonhams first Irish art sale in London on February 9 next.  The pen and ink drawing, `Roundabout ponies’, measures just over 5 x 4 inches and is estimated at £1,500-2,000.

    It was gifted by the artist to the matron of Portobello Nursing Home in Dublin, where he died. They had been friends for a long time.
    Yeats Catalogue Raisonne author Hilary Pyle says of it: “He died on 28 March 1957. His last drawing, a tiny gay swirling sketch of two roundabout ponies on writing paper, was drawn two days before.”

    Penny Day, head of Irish art at Bonhams, said:  ”This little gem exhibits the unique artistic vitality he had right to the end.”
    See posts on for September 15 and December 22.


    Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

    Lingering Sun, O'Connell Bridge, Dublin by Jack B. Yeats at Adams on December 6. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 140,000

    Jack Yeats’ Lingering Sun, O’Connell Bridge, Dublin, once in the collection of film director John Huston, features at Adams sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on December 6.  Set along the quays in the centre of Dublin in the 1920’s it is a significant work from the artists mature style.

    Huston, an avid art collector whose great grandfather had emigrated from Co. Armagh in 1840, returned in 1952. He finally settled in St. Cleran’s House, Co. Galway for over 18 years.  He brought Marlon Brando to Ireland and shot Moby Dick in Youghal with Gregory Peck. John Huston owned Ireland’s first Monet and a Juan Gris. He bought the work of many Irish artists, but Yeats reflected his feelings for this country. He was forced to sell most of his collection before his death.
    This painting is estimated at 150,000-250,000.
    UDATE:  This was the top lot in sale which realised 1.53 million and where 80 per cent of lots found buyers.  It made 140,000.


    Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

    A horseman enters a town at night by Jack B. Yeats, owned by the novelist Graham Greene, will feature at Christie's sale of British and Irish art in London on November 11. UPDATE: IT MADE £349,250 AND WAS SOLD TO A EUROPEAN PRIVATE BUYER.

    The Christie’s sale of British and Irish art at King St. in London on November 11 features two works

    Man in a room thinking by Jack B. Yeats from the Christie's sale in London on November 11. UPDATE: IT MADE 77,560 Euro

    by Jack B. Yeats from the collection of the novelist Graham Greene. The estimate for A horseman enters a town at night is, at £300,00-£500,000, perhaps a little on the ambitious side.  It is a dark work painted in 1948, the year after the death of the artists wife Cottie.  A horseman enters a town at night shows a weary traveller, slumped on his steed, walking through an empty street perhaps in search of an inn before continuing his journey in the morning. It was sold through Leo Smith in 1949 to Graham Greene in Paris.

    The second Yeats work in the sale, Man in a Room Thinking, dates from 1947. It is estimated at £30,000-£50,000.  According to a note in Christie’s catalogue the Model Museum, Sligo, requests that the purchaser of this work allow its inclusion in a major exhibition of the artist’s work to take place between February and April 2011.

    The 143 lot sale, headlined by works by L.S. Lowry, a much loved British artist whose parents were Irish, features works by Augustus John, William Scott, Sean Scully, Markey Robinson, Sir John Lavery and George Campbell.

    The sale realised £9,897,625 and was 93% sold by value and 79% sold by lot.  The top lot was a 1928 work by L.S. Lowry which realised £713,250.