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Auction News across Ireland
Auctions & Fairs - Saturday, February 18, 2017
AUCTION RESULTS: Sunday (February 12th) Matthews Auction Rooms, house contents clearance at Beauparc Lodge, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath. Lot 433, “an African tribal mask” turned out to be a “sleeper” and sold for €5,000 – over 16 times the top estimate (€200-€300) – to an unnamed Irish buyer who beat off competition from French and American telephone bidders; Lot 147, a Victorian silver-mounted rhino-horn button hook, €260 (€200-€300); Lot 516, a set of six cast-iron avenue lanterns, €2,500 (€1,000-€1,500). Thursday (February 16th) Sotheby’s, London. “Erotic: Passion & Desire” auction featuring furniture, design, fine art, photography and contemporary sculpture. 76 per cent of lots sold. Lot 7, La Grande Névrose, a late 19th century white marble sculpture of a naked woman by Jac...
Life’s Work: Joan Murray, antiques fairs organiser... - Saturday, February 18, 2017
Joan Murray runs Antiques Fairs Ireland and organises antiques and vintage fairs in Dublin and throughout Leinster. She established the company in 1989 and arranges about 20 fairs a year. The main venues are the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire and Clontarf Castle Hotel. Some 30 to 40 traders regularly participate in the fairs. What’s your background? Having studied Spanish and German at Trinity College Dublin, I got the travel bug and, immediately on graduation in the late 1970s set off with my boyfriend to explore North and Central America for a few years – working for a time and then hitchhiking the length of the continent from Canada to Guatemala. We worked in Toronto and then hitched to Seattle on the US west coast and then decided to hitch right down to the tip of Sout...
Auction results and forthcoming sales - Saturday, February 11, 2017
Auction Results: Sunday & Monday (February 5th & 6th): Victor Mee Auctions, Cloverhill, Belturbet, Co Cavan. An 18th century Co Meath rushlight €1,700 (€500-€700); a Michael Collins jug €950 (€500-€750); a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) sword €775 (€400-€600). Monday (February 6th): Keighery’s City Auction Rooms, George’s Quay, Waterford. Lot 620, Red Apples – still-life oil painting – by Mark O’Neill €2,100 (€2,000-€3,000); Lot 640, an Art Deco mirror-door wardrobe €540 (€600-€1,000); Lot 663, a Victorian dining table €2,000 (€1,800-€2,400); Lot 758, an antique Irish crystal five-branch chandelier (“possibly ‘Old Waterford’”) €720 (€900-€1,200). Lot 501, a pair of 18th century silver George III candlesticks made in London in 1768 by John Chapman, estimated at €3,000 -€4...
Fine art, furs . . . and knickers - what got los... - Saturday, February 11, 2017
While the 1916 Rising may have precipitated Ireland’s freedom from British rule it also spawned one of the biggest mass-compensation claims in the country’s history. Details of the claims have come to light and reveal, in fascinating detail, the art, antiques, jewels and clothing that was either destroyed or looted in Dublin. The National Archives of Ireland has launched a new website detailing more than 6,500 compensation claims which were submitted to a committee established by the British authorities in the aftermath of the Rising. While most of the claims relate to damaged business and homes in Dublin, new light is also shed on personal effects that were lost. Archivist Niamh McDonnell, who managed the huge task of digitising the files, said the website will enable researc...
‘Love-boat’ bed star of first erotic art and desig... - Saturday, February 11, 2017
Love – or rather passion and desire – is in the air at Sotheby’s in the lead-up to St Valentine’s Day. The international auction house is holding its first auction of erotic art and design on Thursday, February 16th, and viewing – likely to raise a few eyebrows – begins at the New Bond Street salerooms today. The auction, titled: ‘Erotic: Passion & Desire’ features 107 lots of furniture, design, fine art, photography and contemporary sculpture that encompass representations of love and sex from antiquity to the present day, “exploring themes from the beauty of desire to representations of the male nude, to the carnal act itself, stripped of metaphor”, according to the auction house, which has posted a warning on its website that reads: “ Please be advised that this sale inclu...
Auction results and forthcoming sales - Saturday, January 28, 2017
Auction results Monday (January 23rd) Morgan O’Driscoll Auctioneers, “Irish Art Online Auction”. Ninety per cent of lots sold. Lot 15, Threshing by Patrick Leonard, sold for €6,500 (it had an estimated price of €3,000-€5,000); Lot 8, Belfast Shipyard Worker, wax crayon on paper, by William Conor signed and dated, April 15th, 1912 (the day Titanic sank) €1,200 (€1,500-€2,500). Tuesday (January 24th) John Weldon Auctioneers, Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar Dublin 8. A military OBE (Order of the British empire) medal awarded to Captain JW O’Kelly of Kinnegad, Co Westmeath, (a British army officer during the War of Independence in 1921) along with two first World War medals sold for €850 (€500-€1,500); a pair of 18ct gold Patek Philippe cufflinks €900 (€800-€1,200); a string of black pearls €...
Is Trump driving you to drink? Try his Scotch whis... - Friday, January 27, 2017
Whether you’re drowning your sorrows or toasting the inauguration – a glass of Trump Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky could be the perfect spirit. A bottle signed by Donald Trump – before he became US president – has sold for £6,000 (€7k) at auction in Glasgow. Bottled in 2012 to commemorate the opening of the Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire, the limited edition 26-year-old GlenDronach single malt whisky went under the hammer earlier this month at McTear’s Fine Art Auctioneers sale of Rare and Collectable Whisky in Glasgow on January 13th. The bottle had a pre-sale estimate of £2,500-£3,500 (€2.9k-€4.1k) but it sold after what the auctioneers said was “intense online, phone and in-room bidding” to an unnamed Canadian buyer for a hammer price of £6,000. They des...
‘The Monarch of the Glen’ is saved for the Scottis... - Saturday, January 21, 2017
Scotland’s most famous painting has been withdrawn from auction and is to remain on permanent public display in the country in a case which has parallels with the Beit paintings controversy in Ireland. The Monarch of the Glen – a masterpiece of Victorian art – had been on public display for the past 17 years at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh. The painting, by Sir Edwin Landseer, was on loan from Diageo, the international drinks company whose brands include Guinness. But the company decided to sell the painting and consigned it to a Christie’s auction last November where it was expected to sell for up to £10 million. However, the company has had a change of heart and has decided instead to “gift half the estimated market value of the painting” to the National Galleries...
Want to sell art and antiques in 2017? Then get cr... - Saturday, January 21, 2017
If you are planning to sell art and antiques at auction in 2017, then it is time to get cracking. Perhaps you’ve inherited at item you don’t really like or want? or you are downsizing or decluttering? Or just need to raise some cash? Auctioneers throughout Ireland are currently seeking consignments for the spring auctions and are offering free valuations. Good Irish paintings are especially in demand, according to auctioneers. Among some of the art auction dates already announced – and for which consignments are being sought – are: February 27th, Irish & International Art at Whyte’s in Dublin; March 29th, Important Irish Art at Adam’s in Dublin; April 4th, Irish Art at de Veres in Dublin; and April 27th; Classic Art at Sheppard’s in Durrow. One trend certain to accelerate i...
Auctions: forthcoming sales and fairs - Saturday, January 21, 2017
Today, Saturday (January 21st): Whyte’s, The Eclectic Collector auction at the Freemasons Hall, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 at noon, featuring maps, historical manuscripts and documents, medals and militaria, weapons, sports memorabilia, vintage advertising, travel posters, coins and banknotes. Tuesday (January 24th): John Weldon Auctioneers, Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar Dublin 8. Auction of jewellery, silver and gold coins at 2pm. A military OBE (Order of the British Empire) medal awarded to Captain J.W O’Kelly of Kinnegad, Co Westmeath (a British Army officer during the War of Independence in 1921), along with two first World War medals and associated paperwork, €500-€1,500; a pair of 18ct gold Patek Philippe cufflinks, €800-€1,200; a pair of 18ct gold diamond-set Boodles cufflinks,...
1950s cigarette lighter makes €4,600 at auction - Saturday, January 7, 2017
If you’ve quit smoking years ago – or have just done so for New Year – don’t throw out smoking accessories, especially vintage items, without at least checking their potential value. At one of the final auctions in Dublin of 2016 – a Christmas auction of art and collectibles at Whyte’s in Molesworth Street – a 1950s table cigarette lighter by British maker Alfred Dunhill sold for €4,600. The estimate was €3,000-€4,000. The “Aquarium” lighter features Lucite (acrylic glass) panels decorated with aquatic plants and fish and dates from the 1950s. The design was used on both the pocket and the table versions of the lighter. Whyte’s said “Aquarium” lighters were designed and hand-made from the early 1950s until the late 1960s by designer Ben Shillingford (1904-2000), who developed ...
Fine Art: Portraying former US presidents in a new... - Saturday, January 7, 2017
The recently announced decision by the Office of Public Works to commission an official portrait of former taoiseach Brian Cowen – after a long delay – is a timely reminder of an important artistic tradition. Countries worldwide have schemes to ensure that heads of state and government are recorded on canvas for posterity. The best-known subject is Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II who, according to the National Portrait Gallery in London, is “the most portrayed individual in history” and “associated with 918 portraits” – the most recent a portrait by Northern Ireland artist Colin Davidson that was unveiled late last year. In the United States, every president since the first, George Washington, has had his portrait painted. Washintgon’s portrait was painted by an artist called Gil...
Life’s Work: Ken Ryan, stained glass conservator, ... - Saturday, January 7, 2017
Who? Ken Ryan, stained glass conservator, Dublin Ken Ryan is chairman of Abbey Stained Glass Studios in Kilmainham, Dublin. It’s a family business, founded in 1944 by his grand uncle Tom Ryan and then run by his father, Frank. The company is involved in the conservation and restoration of church stained glass windows. Although now semi-retired, he is “delighted to give every assistance that I can as the business enters the fourth generation”. What’s your background? I was born in Dublin and brought up in Clontarf, where I attended Belgrove National School and then St Paul’s Vincentian College, Raheny. I studied quantity surveying at the College of Advanced Technology in Bolton Street. At the age of 21, I accepted an 18-month contract from John Sisk to go to Malawi in Central A...
Monet, Munch top sellers in 2016 art sales - Saturday, December 31, 2016
The top price for art at auction worldwide in 2016 was achieved at Christie’s, New York, where a French Impressionist painting Meule (Grainstack)by Claude Monet, sold for $84.4 million – also a world auction record for the artist. Christie’s also achieved the highest price worldwide in 2016 for an “Old Master” painting when, in July in London, Lot and his Daughters by 17th-century Flemish artist Rubens sold for £44.9 million. In the same sale, a Rubens painting titled Venus Supplicating Jupiter, consigned from Ireland by the Alfred Beit Foundation, made £1.3 million. Christie’s, incidentally, celebrated its 250th anniversary; the company’s first auction was held in Pall Mall, London in 1766. The highest price at Sotheby’s worldwide in 2016 was achieved in London in June when Fem...
Ten weird and wonderful lots that sold at auction ... - Friday, December 30, 2016
1 On St Patrick’s Day at Christie’s in London £435,000 (€554,000) was paid for a pair of paintings by the late Irish artist Tony O’Malley which – when reversed and joined up – revealed a lost, unfinished painting of a male nude by Francis Bacon. 2 A waxwork sculpture of Hitler entitled Him by Italian artist Maurizo Cattelan sold – after five minutes of bidding – for $17.2 million at Christie’s in New York in May. 3 Kerry County Museum paid €10,600 for a Treasure Island-style map drawn by Sir Roger Casement to show where he had buried gold and other valuables after landing at Banna Strand on Good Friday 1916. The map appeared at auction in Chorley’s Auctioneers in Cheltenham. 4 The original artwork for an Irish Times cartoon of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick ...
Joseph Plunkett’s Easter Rising medal is back on s... - Friday, December 30, 2016
The Easter Rising medal posthumously awarded to Joseph Plunkett, one of the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation, is to go on sale with a much-reduced reserve next month. Last spring, just ahead of the centenary commemorations, the medal had been valued at up to €100,000 but failed to sell at auction. Now the unnamed vendor has slashed the price and it will go under the hammer in Whyte’s auctioneers January 27th sale of historical collectibles in Dublin with a median estimate of €50,000. Auctioneer Ian Whyte said it was “an opportunity to buy a key piece of 1916- memorabilia at half-price”. The drop in value will alarm collectors who have bought Easter Rising collectibles in recent years. The market peaked a year ago when an original copy of the 1916 Proclamation made a...
Irish buyer pays €37,000 for Cromwellian porridge... - Tuesday, December 27, 2016
An “extremely rare” piece of 17th century Dublin silver – “made in Dublin at the time of Oliver Cromwell” – that turned up at auction in England has returned to Ireland. The silver porridge bowl, of a type known as a ‘porringer’, was described as “one of the rarest pieces of Irish silver ever to come to market” by Sworders auctioneers of Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex in November. It sold for £31,600 (about €37,000), over five times the top estimate of £6,000, to an anonymous bidder. It has since emerged that the buyer was a private Irish collector. Dublin auctioneer Ian Whyte told The Irish Times that he had successfully bid on behalf of an unnamed client. He said there had been “at least five phone bidders and a couple of people in the saleroom up to 10k”, and subsequently j...
Matthews Auctioneers to hold Seasonal Antique Auct... - Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Matthews Auctioneers in Oldcastle, Co Meath will host a Seasonal Antique Auction on Friday December 30th at 2pm. Over 600 Lots of antiques and other i...
Sale of old masters saves Russborough House - Monday, December 19, 2016
The threatened closure of Russborough House, the stately home in Co Wicklow, has been averted following the sale of old master paintings from its collection. The Alfred Beit Foundation – a non-profit organisation which looks after the house that was left in trust to the people of Ireland by Sir Alfred and Lady Beit, had warned last year that it needed “to create an endowment fund of up to €15 million to ensure the long-term viability of Russborough”. The Irish Times has learned the foundation has now amassed “a war chest” in the region of €7 million after selling old master paintings from the Beit Collection in a mix of auction and private sales. While details of the foundation’s finances for the past year have not yet been published, it is understood a further sale of a painting...
What became of Russborough House’s Old Masters for... - Saturday, December 17, 2016
For a few decades in the second half of the 20th century, Russborough House near Blessington, Co Wicklow was an unlikely home to one of the world’s most important – and valuable – privately owned art collections. But not any more. So where did all the art go, and who owns it now? In the 1950s, the opulent Anglo-Irish mansion was bought by English aristocrat Sir Alfred Beit, heir to both a diamond-mining fortune and a stunning collection of paintings. He and Lady Beit moved to Co Wicklow, settled into Irish country life and adorned Russborough House with museum-quality works of art and antiques. The couple had no children and so, after two decades, in 1976 they effectively handed over the house and their art collection to the people of Ireland by establishing the Alfred Beit Fou...
The Cork hero of Zulu – the war not the film - Saturday, December 17, 2016
Spare a thought for those Irish heroes of the British Empire who were consigned to the footnotes of history after Independence in 1922. Private Michael Minehan of Co Cork was one of 16 Irishmen among the 150-strong British garrison at Rorke’s Drift, during the late 19th century Anglo-Zulu War, which fought off an attack by up to 4,000 Zulu warriors in one of the most epic defences in military history. Although the event is well-remembered – thanks to the 1964 film Zulu starring Michael Caine – Minehan has largely been forgotten. But not quite. Last week in London, the ‘South Africa 1877-79 Medal won by Private Michael Minehan’’ sold for £84,000 (approximately €100,000) – way above the top estimate of £30,000 – in an auction at Dix Noonan Webb, the international medals specialist...
Oscar Wilde’s jail cell key up for auction in Lond... - Monday, December 12, 2016
The original key to Oscar Wilde’s prison cell, valued at about €6,000, is to go under the hammer at auction in London tomorrow. Sotheby’s auction of English literature-themed items includes “a key believed to have opened Cell 3.3 at Reading Gaol”. The Dublin-born writer was sentenced to two years’ hard labour in 1895 for the crime of “gross indecency” at a time when homosexual acts were not just illegal but taboo in Victorian society. Following his release, he went into exile in France and wrote his most famous poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol, which was published under the pseudonym “C.3.3” , a reference to cell block C, landing 3, cell 3. The key, mounted in a wooden presentation box, is being sold with a framed statement “from Leslie Portch, Governor of HM Prison Reading”, w...
Irish Jesuits to dispose of rare book collection ... - Saturday, December 10, 2016
The Jesuit Order in Ireland is to dispose of its internationally important collection of rare books and mediaeval manuscripts valued at more than €2 million. Thousands of books from the collection have already been shipped to London and will go under the hammer in a major auction at Sotheby’s next summer. The international auction house says the “rich collection” – owned for the last 117 years by the Jesuit Community at Milltown Park, Dublin – is “one of the most important of its kind to come to the market” and includes rare printed books from the 15th century, early editions of Shakespeare, English and continental literature and medieval manuscripts. A spokeswoman for Sotheby’s told The Irish Times that “before putting the books up for sale, the Jesuits contacted the National Li...
Exciting antique jewellery and collectable auction... - Monday, December 5, 2016
Well-known Meath antique auctioneers, Matthews of Oldcastle, conduct an interesting sale this Sunday at 2pm. Over 400 Lots of Jewellery Silver & C...
Mrs Lewisohn and Sir William Orpen are reunited in... - Saturday, December 3, 2016
“Some of the finest work by some of Ireland’s best artists, to appear at auction in some years” is how managing director of Adam’s James O’Halloran describes the last major Irish art auction of 2016 – Important Irish Art and Irish Historical Documents – which takes place on Wednesday. Viewing begins this afternoon at the St Stephen’s Green saleroom. Lot 33, by Sir William Orpen, is the stunning Portrait of Mrs Oscar Lewisohn, formerly Miss Edna May painted 101 years ago and estimated at €80,000-€120,000. Orpen, who was born in Stillorgan, Co Dublin achieved great renown as a portrait painter in London and this painting is likely to attract much interest – and many admirers – at the viewing. But if it seems vaguely familiar, that’s because it’s not the first time it has been o...
Auctions & Fairs: Results - Saturday, December 3, 2016
Auction Results: Monday (November 28th) Whyte’s art auction, RDS, Dublin. 78 per cent of lots sold. Lot 32a, West of Ireland Landscape by Paul Henry sold for €87,000, below its low estimate (€90,000-€120,000). Lot 82, Two Trees by Basil Blackshaw, €20,000 (€15,000-€18,000); Lot 89, Garden at Night by William Crozier, €19,000 (€20,000-€30,000); Lot 38, The Tram, Dublin Nocturne by Harry Kernoff, €16,000 (€12,000-€15,000); Lot 67, Morning Flight, Paradise Island, Bahamas by Tony O’Malley, €14,000 (€15,000-€20,000); Lot 114, Peacocks at Kilmurry, Co Kilkenny (watercolour) by Mildred Anne Butler, €1,900 (€2,000-€3,000); Lot 169, Three Men in a Boat by Liam O’Neill, €10,000 (€8,000-€10,000); Lot 10, Regatta Day, Hollywood, Co Down by Frank McKelvey, €10,000 (€5,000-€7,0000); Lot 197, ...
Top lots of 1916 memorabilia go under hammer - Saturday, December 3, 2016
Throughout this year, hundreds of items associated with the 1916 Rising have been sold at auction in Ireland and overseas, but the top lots are only now going under the hammer just as the centenary commemorations draw to a close. On Wednesday evening (December 7th) in Dublin, Adam’s will briefly pause its “Important Irish Art” auction to sell a small selection Irish historical documents, including a handwritten letter of surrender written by Patrick Pearse, estimated at €1 million to €1.5 million. Adam’s said they “have been trying to sell this to the Irish Government for a while” – for an undisclosed sum. But the Government declined on the grounds that it believes there are better ways to spend taxpayers’ money and, more pertinently, because there are already two surrender lett...
Vintage Porsche tractor – for the farmer who has... - Friday, December 2, 2016
A vintage Porsche tractor valued at up to €22,000 is on offer at Mealy’s auctioneers, Co Kilkenny where a two-day Winter Sale takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday (December 6th and 7th). Lot 870 is “a Porsche Diesel 329 Tractor” made in the early 1960s that the auction house said had “spent its working life on a large farm in the South of France” before being acquired and “painstakingly restored” by the current owner 10 years ago. Auctioneer George Mealy said the three-cylinder tractor was the highest quality model in the Porsche range and very few were produced so this is “a rare example, especially in such good condition”. The estimate is €17,500-€22,000. It is one of a number of vintage tractors in the auction – but despite the exclusive Porsche tag, not the most expensive. ...
Maureen O’Hara auction in New York draws strong Ir... - Wednesday, November 30, 2016
An Irish tweed jacket worn by Maureen O’Hara in the 1952 film The Quiet Man has sold for more than $16,000 (€15,000) at auction in New York. Bonhams auctioneers’ sale of documents, clothing, jewellery and film memorabilia owned by the late Hollywood star on Tuesday night realised $445,000. Born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, Dublin, in 1920, O’Hara died last year aged 95 in the United States. Her grandson Conor Beau FitzSimons had consigned more than 240 items to the auction. The top lot, a cache of “secret love letters” sent to O’Hara by Quiet Man director John Ford sold for $75,000 – far less than the “hundreds of thousands of dollars” predicted in advance by a spokesman for the auction. In a catalogue note, the letters were described as “so intimate and intense that O’Hara ...
Skibbereen art dealer to hold London preview of I... - Saturday, November 26, 2016
Skibbereen, Co Cork-based Morgan O’Driscoll art auctioneers is the only Irish auction house to hold sale previews in London. Viewing of the latest sale begins on Monday (November 28th) at La Galleria Pall Mall (30 Royal Arcade, Pall Mall, London SW1) and runs for three days. The collection then moves to Dublin for viewing at the RHA Gallery in Ely place from Friday, December 2nd, ahead of the auction there on Monday, December 5th at 6pm. This is the fourth auction in two years to be previewed in London and O’Driscoll says the response has been “overwhelming and extended far beyond the expat community” and 20 per cent of all his sales are now to clients in the UK. He says Irish art is regarded as good value in London and “not expensive compared to what collectors see in galleries...
Sheppard’s returns to base after series of off-sit... - Saturday, November 26, 2016
Sheppard’s saleroom in Durrow, Co Laois has been unusually quiet for the past six months as the auctioneers held two major sales off-site – first at Coolattin House in Co Wicklow and then, in September, at Loughton House in Co Offaly. But it’s back to base for the big winter auction this week. Viewing gets underway today, Saturday, November 26th for the two-day ‘Dublin & Provincial’ auction, featuring items from “town and country houses” on Tuesday and Wednesday (November 29th-30th) . The catalogue, starting with Persian carpets and ending with wine, has lots in all price ranges. The highest estimates (€15,000-€25,000 each) are for two lots of furniture: Lot 1093, a 19th-century Killarney-ware davenport (desk); and, Lot 1103, a pair of George III period console tables. Among ...
Whyte's to host important Irish art auction - Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Whyte's will host an important Irish art auction in the RDS (Anglesea Road entrance) in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 on Monday November 28th at 6pm. The full...
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