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Auction News across Ireland
Paul Henry landscape with a political pedigree - Saturday, February 6, 2016
A painting of a west of Ireland landscape owned by a former Fine Gael taoiseach, the late John A Costello ,has come to light and will be sold at auction next month. A Connemara Village by Paul Henry is among the highlights in the auction of Important Irish Art in Adam’s auctioneers, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, on March 23rd. James O’Halloran, the managing director of Adam’s said the oil-on-board painting, that measures 14x15¾ inches and dates from the 1930s, has “never been on the open market before”. Although Adam’s did not name the vendor, it is understood to be a family descendant of the late taoiseach as it has been “in the family of John A. Costello, Taoiseach, since it was painted”. The estimate is €70,000-€100,000. Costello (1891-1976) served as taoiseach between 1948-19...
Francis Bacon’s ‘Two Figures’ set for sale - Saturday, February 6, 2016
In 1975, Francis Bacon made a startling (and typically shocking) painting of himself and his lover George Dyer, who had taken his own life in 1971, observed by a dwarf-like voyeur. He later cut the painting in two – the “dwarf” half is now, reputedly in a private collection in Australia but the 6-feet-high, vertical format half of the painting depicting Two Figures is to go on sale at Christie’s in London on February 11th. The estimate is £5 million-£7 million. The painting is being sold by Michael Peppiatt, a friend and confidant of the artist and a curator and biographer of his work. The Daily Telegraph said Peppiatt’s ownership was “one of the art world’s best kept secrets” until now and that “now in his mid-70s” he’s decided to sell “mainly, he says, because he can’t affor...
Auction results - Saturday, January 23, 2016
Results: Monday , January 18th Morgan O’Driscoll Auctioneers, Off the Wall Irish Art auction, with 89 per cent sold. The Shaded Corner, Ville Franche by Mark O’Neill €6,000 (€4,000-€6,000); Evening Study, Venice by Arthur K Maderson €5,500 (€3,000-€5,000); Church Gates by Eugene Conway €4,400 (€1,500-€2,500); Three Birds from Window (drawing) by Tony O’Malley €3,000 (€800-€1,200); The Hurler (bronze sculpture) by Jarlath Daly €3,000 (€1,000-€1,400). Forthcoming Auctions: Tuesday, January 26th at Sheppard’s Irish Auction House, Durrow, Co Laois, attic sale at 10.30am. Viewing today, tomorrow and Monday 10am-5pm. More than 600 lots. See sheppards.ie Tuesday, January 26th at Matthews Auction Rooms, Oldcastle, Co Meath, antiques auction at 6.30pm. Furniture, crystal chandeliers,...
Cashing in on 1916 memorabilia - Saturday, January 23, 2016
Cometh the hour, cometh the auctioneer. After much anticipation, collectors of 1916 Rising memorabilia will discover the real value of their mementoes in the months ahead. Dates have been announced for three major history auctions in Dublin. The first, at Whyte’s in Molesworth Street, is on Sunday, March 13th, followed by an auction at Adam’s in St Stephen’s Green on Tuesday, April 19th. And finally, Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers will hold their sale in the Gresham Hotel on O’Connell Street – opposite the GPO and chosen specially for the occasion – on Saturday, April 23rd, the eve of the centenary of the Rising, which began on April 24th, 1916. All three auction houses are still accepting consignments – and while the emphasis is on items relating to the Rising, the sales will also in...
‘Extremely rare’ book by Patrick Pearse has €3,750... - Saturday, January 23, 2016
Until he attained fame as a rebel leader and signatory of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, Patrick Pearse was better known as a teacher and writer. His last book was published just a few weeks before the Rising – a collection of short stories in Irish called An Mháthair agus Sgéalta Eile (The Mother and Other Stories). It was published in Dundalk, Co Louth, in early 1916 by William Tempest of the Dundalgan Press under the author’s Irish name, P Mac Piarais. One hundred years later, an “extremely rare” copy of the book has turned up in the spring 2016 catalogue from De Búrca Rare Books in Blackrock, Co Dublin. The price – €3,750 – is explained by the inscription of Pearse on the front endpaper: “Do Sheaghán Binéid / ó Phádraic Mac Piarais / 19. 2. 16”, in Pearse’s characte...
Auction results - Saturday, December 12, 2015
Results Friday (December 4th) Sotheby’s, New York. A manuscript draft of Juno and the Paycock by Sean O’Casey, $187,500 ($200,000-$ 300,000). Wednesday (December 9th) Sotheby’s Old Masters art auction, London. The Lock by John Constable, £9.1 million (€12.5 million) within the estimate (£8 million- £12 million). Forthcoming Auctions Sunday (December 13th) Postponed from last Sunday because of inclement weather, Matthews Auction Rooms’ off-site antiques auction is re-scheduled for 1pm in Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Viewing today in the castle, 11am-5pm. For further details and online catalogue, see matthewsauctionrooms.com Monday (December 14th) Mealy’s, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny. The Christmas Sale Auction, 10am, with 750 lots, mostly without reserve, includ...
Bacon’s brilliance bound up in a new catalogue - Saturday, January 16, 2016
A new catalogue listing all the paintings of Dublin-born artist Francis Bacon is to be published in April and will sell for £1,000 (approximately €1,300). The late artist’s estate has announced that Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné will present “the entire oeuvre of the artist’s work for the first time”. Catalogue raisonné is a French term used to describe a definitive list of an artist’s entire output. The book, which has taken more than a decade to prepare, will consist of five hardcover, cloth-bound volumes within a cloth slipcase, containing almost 2,000 pages and colour illustrations of all his known paintings, including 100 previously unpublished paintings. Bacon, who spent his working life in London, and died in 1992, is one of the best-known artists of the 20th century ...
‘Ski sale’ to move travel posters - Saturday, January 16, 2016
A 1938 Swiss travel poster promoting the unique combination of skiing and sunbathing would be unthinkable today. There’s not a sign of sunblock as a mahogany-tanned man in shirtsleeves (above) reclines in a deckchair, smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee against a dramatic backdrop of skiers on snow-clad Alpine peaks. The poster, Winter in der Schweiz designed by Erich Hermès, is expected to sell for up to £5,000 (€6,575) at Christie’s annual “ski” sale in South Kensington, London, on Thursday (January 21st). The auction features almost 200 posters mainly relating to Swiss resorts. These are among the most collectable of all vintage travel posters and can be very valuable. The top lot in the sale – a poster of a skier in St Moritz, designed by Carl Moos – has a top estimate o...
Sculpture from Ireland hits jackpot at Sotheby’s - Saturday, January 16, 2016
In recent years, sculpture consigned from Ireland to auction at Sotheby’s in London has achieved some remarkable prices. The latest success story unfolded unexpectedly during a sale in the new Bond Street saleroom before Christmas, on December 10th, when a late 16th-century, four-inch-high bronze figure of a lion (above) consigned from a private Northern Ireland collection sold for a remarkable £81,250 (approximately €112,000). The estimate had been £40,000-£60,000. Pacing Lion (bronze, measuring 10.9cm by 19.5cm) was made by French sculptor Barthelémy Prieur (circa 1536-1611). The lion is mounted on an ebonised wooden base from a later date. Sotheby’s said the 16th-century artist was “among the most prolific and successful makers of bronzes of his time” and similar casts of the...
First auctions and sales of 2016 - Saturday, January 9, 2016
In Bray, Co Wicklow an auction of fine art and furniture will take place at Mullen’s Laurel Park, on Monday (January 11th) at 11am with over 850 lots including 19th and 20th century Irish, English and continental paintings, a selection of chandeliers; antique furniture, silver, china, light fittings and garden statuary. Viewing today and tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm. For further details see mullenslaurelpark.com. In Mulranny, Co Mayo, rare books dealer Vanessa Parker and antiques dealer Roger Grimes are offering a reduction of at least 20 per cent until the end of January in their shop, The Old Thatch, and online: vanessaparkerrarebooks.com and rogergrimesantiques.com In Skibbereen, Co Cork, Morgan O’Driscoll is holding an online art auction, “off the Wall” and biddin...
Quinns gift €2m painting to State - Saturday, January 9, 2016
One of the Beit paintings withdrawn from auction in London last year has been bought for €2 million and donated to the State. Businessman Lochlann Quinn, part- owner of Dublin’s five-star Merrion Hotel, has confirmed to The Irish Times that he and his wife Brenda have purchased A Village Kermesse near Antwerp by Flemish artist David Teniers II and donated it to the National Gallery of Ireland. Quinn is a brother of the former Labour Party leader Ruairí Quinn. The painting is one of six “Old Masters” that the Alfred Beit Foundation had planned to sell at auction, at Christie’s in London, to raise funds for the upkeep and conservation of Russborough House in Blessington, Co Wicklow. However, following a public outcry, the paintings were withdrawn from sale and efforts were launc...
Book on James Barry wins Berger prize - Saturday, January 9, 2016
An American professor’s book about murals painted in 18th century London by Cork-born painter James Barry has won the 2015 William M B Berger Prize for British art history, a prestigious international award for art books. James Barry’s Murals at the Royal Society of Arts: Envisioning a New Public Art by William L Pressly was published by Cork University Press last January. The £5,000 (€6,800) prize was awarded by the art critic Loyd Grossman at the Royal Society of Antiquaries in London before Christmas. The richly-illustrated 272-page book sells for €60. James Barry (1741-1806) moved to London in his 20s and achieved great fame as an artist. He was commissioned to paint a series of six murals, known collectively as “The progress of human knowledge and culture”, for the Great R...
Margaret Thatcher’s ‘free market’ triumphs at au... - Saturday, December 19, 2015
In May 1979, arriving at No 10 Downing Street as Britain’s first woman prime minister, Mrs Thatcher famously quoted the prayer attributed to St Francis of Assisi: “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.” A typed page with this prayer, signed by her, sold for £37,500 and was one of many highlights in the auction of her personal effects at Christie’s in London on Tuesday. Mrs Thatcher was the first woman to lead the Conservative Party and served as British Prime Minister from 1979 until she resigned in 1990. She later sat in the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven. Lady Thatcher died in 2013 and her clothes, jewellery and other meme...
Auction results - Saturday, December 19, 2015
MONDAY (December 14th) Whyte’s, Molesworth Street, Dublin. “Sport and entertainment.” A 1912 All-Ireland medal awarded to a member of the Louth GAA football team, mounted as a brooch, €6,400 (€2,000-€3,000); a football signed by members of the Manchester United team known as the “Busby Babes” in 1957 and who later perished in the Munich air disaster €6,000 (€6,000- €8,000). Phil Lynnott’s passport €3,400 (€2,000-€2,500); schoolboy autographs by all four members of U2 €2,300 (€2,000-€3,000). The rugby jersey worn by William (Billy) Grant Byron in 1899 when Ireland won the Triple Crown. It was estimated at €25,000-€35,000 but failed to sell. MONDAY (December 14th) Adam’s, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. “The Tim Vignoles collection of Irish books.” Some 82 per cent of lots sold. A B...
Auctions of rare Irish books, manuscripts and maps... - Saturday, December 12, 2015
Three auctions in Dublin this week offer a wonderful selection of rare books and maps of interest to both collectors and anyone seeking a unique gift. On Monday (December 14th), Adam’s in St Stephen’s Green will auction “The Tim Vignoles Collection of Irish Books” at 11.30am. Highlights include numerous signed first and special editions of books by Séamus Heaney including Bog Poems, illustrated by the artist Barrie Cooke, number 15 of a limited edition of 150, published by the Rainbow Press in May 1975, and estimated at €2,500-€3,500. A copy of The Táin, translated by Thomas Kinsella from the Irish Táin Bo Cuailnge, with 131 brush drawings by Louis Le Brocquy, number 35 of a limited edition of 50, published by the Dolmen Press in 1969 is €4,000-€6,000. On Tuesday (December 15t...
Strong demand at Dublin art sales - Saturday, December 5, 2015
Three major art auctions in Dublin this week – on three consecutive evenings – saw strong demand in all price brackets. Following Whyte’s auction in the RDS on Monday evening, where 80 per cent of lots sold, auctioneer Ian Whyte said “this was a further indication that the improvement in the demand for art of quality continues”. The highest price was achieved for Being – an oil-on-canvas dated 2000 – by Louis le Brocquy which failed to reach its low estimate but sold for €78,000 (€80,000-€100,000. Among other highlights: Connemara by Paul Henry exceeded its top estimate and made €66,000 (€40,000-€60,000); as did Harvest Light by Tony O’ Malley which made €34,000 (€20,000-€30,000). Portrait of Dan O’Neill by Gerard Dillon made €21,000 (€20,000-€30,000); and, Airman Of Inisheer by...
Dromoland diamonds sparkle at Sheppard’s - Saturday, December 5, 2015
Sheppard’s ended a busy year with a one-day sale in Durrow, Co Laois, on Tuesday where the top lot was, to general surprise, Lot 514, “two polychrome painted enamel and silver cups” made in late 19th century Vienna by Austrian craftsman, Herman Boehm which made €24,000 – three times the top estimate (€5,000-€8,000). The cornucopia-shaped cups, decorated with mythological scenes were bought by a bidder in London. The winning bid of €20,000 for a diamond tiara – the most admired lot in the auction – also came from London and beat strong competition. The price was more than twice the top estimate (€6,000-€9,000). The tiara, in its original leather case, from London jeweller Hancocks and Co and believed to date from the 1930s was once owned by the Honourable Doreen O’Brien, a daught...
Irish rugby and U2 memorabilia to go on view at Wh... - Saturday, December 5, 2015
A fascinating mix of sport and entertainment memorabilia will go on view at Whyte’s on Molesworth Street, Dublin, from Friday, December 11th, ahead of an auction in the adjacent Freemasons’ Hall on Monday week (December 14th) at 5.30pm. Some of the lots will appeal to serious collectors; others would make the perfect – if costly – Christmas gift for fans of rugby, soccer or GAA. Reputedly the oldest Irish international rugby jersey in the world – worn by William (Billy) Grant Byron in 1899 when Ireland won the Triple Crown – is estimated at €25,000-€35,000. Whyte’s said “the market for rugby memorabilia is very hot at the moment” and that a 1904 New Zealand jersey had sold recently for £180,000. Among numerous lots of interest to soccer fans is a football signed by various membe...
Three major Irish art auctions in a row to end 201... - Saturday, November 28, 2015
“Since the beginning of 2015 the Irish art market has experienced a resurgence and there is a palpable confidence in the saleroom with collectors willing to bid competitively again on the lots they desire,” according to auctioneer Ian Whyte. Well, the proof of the, Christmas, pudding will be revealed this week when all three of the big Dublin art auctioneers hold their winter auctions on consecutive evenings. Whyte’s First up is Whyte’s, at the RDS where viewing is underway ahead of the auction on Monday (November 30th ) at 6pm. The highest estimate in the sale (€80,000-€100,000) has been assigned to Lot 70, an abstract painting, described as “ethereal”, titled Being by Louis le Brocquy whose prices have plummeted since the economic crash. The Irish public ha...
Jack B Yeats’ ‘The Boat Builder’ fetches €600,000... - Saturday, November 28, 2015
After modest results in recent London auctions at both Bonhams and Sotheby’s, Irish art had a good night in London on Wednesday at Christie’s “Modern British & Irish Art Evening Sale”. Four paintings by Irish artists went under the hammer and all sold. The top lot was The Boat Builder, a 1913 painting by Jack B Yeats that sold for £422,500 (approximately €600,000) within the estimate (£300,000- £500,000). The Maid was in the Garden Hanging out the Clothes by Sir John Lavery had a similar estimate but sold for £338,500. The Village by the Lake, a classic west of Ireland mid-1920s painting by Paul Henry sold for £182,500 (£100,000-£150,000). Baigneuse à la mer, depicting a female nude bather, by Roderic O’Conor sold for £134,500 (£120,000-£180,000). All four paintings...
Auctions and results - Saturday, November 21, 2015
Results: Wednesday (November 18th) Bonhams, London, modern British and Irish art. House Tops, Tetuan, View from the House of the British Minister by Sir John Lavery, sold for £45,000 (estimate £20,000- £30,000); Lemon by Louis le Brocquy £28,750 (£25,000- £35,000); Margarita by Daniel O’Neill, £27,500 (£20,000- £30,000); Cabins by a Lough: West of Ireland by Paul Henry – unsold (£20,000-£30,000). Forthcoming Auctions: Tomorrow, Sunday: Adam’s, 26 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. Fine period interiors auction from noon. Antique furniture, pictures, porcelain and various collectibles, including rare chess sets. Viewing today, Saturday, 11am-5pm. Tomorrow, Sunday: Dolan’s Art Auction House – art and antiques auction at 2pm in the Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick, at 2pm. Includes painti...
Many statues moved at convent auction - Saturday, November 21, 2015
An auction of contents of two Mercy convents has unexpectedly turned out to be the most successful auction in Ireland in 2015 with 100 per cent of the 532 lots sold. Carrigtwohill, Co Cork-based auctioneers Lynes & Lynes held the sale last Saturday at the Mercy Convent, Balloonagh, Tralee, Co Kerry, and the sale also included some items from another Mercy convent at Rosscarbery in west Cork. Auctioneer Denis Lynes said it was his first “white-glove” auction (in which every lot is sold) in more than 40 years in the business. He said interest had been “phenomenal” and bidders – from Ireland and overseas – included past pupils and priests “from Belfast to Cork”. He described the crowds attending the three days of viewing – over 1,000 people a day – as “unreal”, and said so many...
Moving souvenirs of first World War Dublin brother... - Saturday, November 21, 2015
Poignant mementoes recalling the lives of two Dublin brothers – soldiers who died in the first World War – will go under the hammer at John Weldon Auctioneers in Temple Bar on Tuesday (November 24th). The items, on view in the saleroom at Cow’s Lane from noon today, have been consigned to auction by a descendant of Alexander and Frederick Hamilton who served with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, a British army regiment. The items, being sold as a single lot with a guide price of €300-€500, include “ Two first World War medals, two next- of-kin memorial plaques, a letter from Buckingham Palace and a tankard”. The first medal is engraved: “19555 Pte F Hamilton RDF”, and the second, “19556 Pte A Hamilton’. The bronze memorial plaques are also each inscribed with the men’s names. After th...
Yeats painting with a sorry story - Saturday, November 21, 2015
Earlier this year, a mechanic in California lost out on a $1 million lottery prize because he could not find his winning ticket. Although he was identified in security camera footage from the shop where he had bought the ticket, he was unable to produce the crucial paper slip despite searching his house from top to bottom. Tough luck, indeed. While rare, the circumstance of losing a winning lottery ticket is dreaded by all gamblers. Unusually, the topic inspired an important painting by Jack B Yeats that goes under the hammer in de Veres Outstanding Irish Art auction in Dublin next month. The painting, Man In A Train, Thinking, measuring 18in by 24in, is estimated at €200,000- €300,000. Woebegone expression The painting depicts a man whom Yeats met on a train from Dublin ...
How to look after a Big House - Saturday, November 21, 2015
How to control woodworm? Clean a chandelier? Prevent the west-wing roof leaking? Owners of private houses of historical significance – as well as curators of heritage properties – are among the target audience for a study day in the saloon at Russborough House, Blessington, Co Wicklow, on Thursday. Titled Heritage Housekeeping: Philosophy and Practice, it is being run jointly by the Irish Georgian Society and the Institute of Conservators-Restorers in Ireland. Running from 9.30am-5.15pm, it includes formal presentations “about the appropriate care and cleaning of furniture, paintings and frames, carpets and other textiles, glassware, ceramics, silver, paper and photographs”. There will also be a “handling session using art objects from Russborough’s own collection” and a guided ...
Auctions and results - Saturday, November 14, 2015
Results: Wednesday (November 11th) Bonhams, London. A copy of the so-called Wicked Bible – published in London in 1631 – containing the infamously misprinted seventh commandment “Thou Shalt Commit Adultery” sold for £31,250 (€44,113), over double the top estimate (£10,000-£15,000). Forthcoming auctions: Monday (November 14th) Milltown Country Auction Rooms, Milltown, Dromiskin, Dundalk, Co Louth. Antiques auction at 5pm includes a selection of clocks from a private collection. Wednesday (November 18th) O’Reilly’s, Francis Street, Dublin 8. Auction of jewellery, watches and silver at 1pm. Viewing tomorrow . Sunday from noon-4pm. Lot 182 is an antique banded agate “relic ring”, also known as a “poison” ring, as there is a compartment underneath for keeping poison, a lock of hair o...
‘Rolls Royce’ of chess sets - Saturday, November 14, 2015
Fans of chess are likely to be among the bidders in Adam’s saleroom in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, next Sunday, November 22nd. The “Fine Period Interiors” auction includes four versions of the board game. Lot 91 is an early 19th century English ivory chess set, one side stained red, the other left natural, estimated at €1,500-€2,000. Lot 93, by contrast, is a Spanish “white metal” set portraying the Conquistadors and Aztecs (€800-€1,200). But the highlights are two Jacques Staunton sets. Jaques of London was a family company that was famous for its redesign of chess sets named after the renowned Victorian chess master and author Howard Staunton. Kieran O’Boyle of Adam’s said “Jaques Staunton chess sets have been dubbed the Rolls Royce of chess sets and continue to be highly prize...
Lady Thatcher’s inimitable style - Saturday, November 7, 2015
As briefcases go, there’s none more exclusive than the red leather prime ministerial dispatch box embossed, in gold, with the royal cypher of Queen Elizabeth II. The famous “red box” owned by Margaret Thatcher – accompanied by a bound copy of her final speech to the House of Commons in November 1990 – is expected to attract worldwide interest when it is auctioned at Christie’s in London next month with a top estimate of £5,000 (€7,019) – a figure likely to prove very conservative. Thatcher, British prime minister from 1979 until she resigned in 1990, later sat in the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven. Lady Thatcher died in 2013 and her personal collection is being sold by her heirs: daughter Carol and son, Sir Mark Thatcher. Christie’s said some 350 lots – clothes (...
Auctions & Fairs - Saturday, November 7, 2015
Auction Results Tuesday (November 3rd) Sotheby’s, New York. Winter in Florida (oil on canvas) by Sir John Lavery, $200,000 ($200,000- $250,000). Forthcoming Auctions Monday (November 9th) Mullen’s, Laurel Park, Bray, Co Wicklow. Fine art and furniture auction at 11am. Tuesday (November 10th) Adams Blackrock, 38 Main Street, Blackrock, Co Dublin. Interiors and fine art auction at 11am. Tuesday (November 10th) Matthews Auction Rooms, Oldcastle, Co Meath. Antiques auction at 6.30pm with more than 600 lots. Wednesday (November 11th) Woodward’s, Cook Street, Cork. Biannual auction of silver and art at 2pm. Highlights include items of provincial Irish Georgian silver. Forthcoming fairs Sunday (November 8th) Antiques and vintage fair, Clontarf Castle Hotel, Dublin 3. 11am-6pm Saturda...
A ‘Wicked Bible’ for sale - Saturday, November 7, 2015
One of the greatest howlers in English publishing history occurred in 1631 when a version of The Holy Bible was published in London with the word “not” omitted from the Seventh Commandment in Exodus XX, 14. As a result, “Thou Shalt Commit Adultery” appeared in print for the first, and presumably only, time. When the error was discovered, the royal printers Robert Barker and Martin Lucas were hauled before the Star Chamber by order of King Charles I, fined £300 (€421) and deprived of their printing license. The entire impression of 1,000 copies – of what became known as The Wicked Bible, also referred to as the “Adulterous” or “Sinners’ Bible” – was called in and the majority burned. But a few copies survived – believed to be fewer than 10. A copy of this “infamous and extremely s...
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