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Auction News across Ireland
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 ...
Lavery’s breezy golf scene among Irish art for sal... - Saturday, November 19, 2016
Some major paintings by Irish artists are due to be auctioned this week in London. On Wednesday (November 23rd) Bonhams Modern British & Irish Art auction starting at 3pm in the New Bond Street saleroom will offer a selection of Irish art led by Water Front, a painting by Jack B Yeats, unseen in public for more than 50 years, and estimated at £150,000-£200,000 (€175,000- €232,000). The oil-on-canvas measuring 36cm by 53cm, was painted in 1947, and depicts three men standing beside a west of Ireland quayside which, according to Bonhams, “evokes the world of work and commerce with which Yeats was familiar from his childhood. He spent his early years living with his grandparents in Sligo where the family ran a shipping business”. The auction also includes two other paintings by...
Monarch of the Glen: Famous Scottish painting to b... - Saturday, November 12, 2016
One of Scotland’s most famous – and copied – paintings and a masterpiece of Victorian art, The Monarch of the Glen by Sir Edwin Landseer, is to go under the hammer at Christie’s in London next month where it is expected to sell for £10 million. Christie’s described the painting as “one of the most celebrated works of British art and an icon of 19th-century European painting”. The Monarch of the Glen was originally commissioned in 1849 for the Refreshment Room in the House of Lords and depicts “a majestic portrait of a stag posed before a Scottish mountain landscape” believed to be Glen Affric in the Highlands. The painting – made in 1851 – was originally commissioned for the Refreshment Room in the House of Lords but when the redecoration plans for the building were changed the ...
How to build a pension pot from art - Thursday, November 17, 2016
Dublin art auctioneer John de Vere White recalls that 20 years ago he was “reaching a stage in life where the phrase ‘pension planning’ was being bandied around by trusted advisors”. He had “a modest pension under way” but didn’t find the stock market appealing. Casting around for an alternative investment, he did what many of his clients do and invested in art. He said he persuaded his business partner Barry Smyth to invest some of their income in art and began assembling a collection. Unlike stocks and shares, art doesn’t pay a dividend and there’s no financial gain unless there’s capital appreciation when (or, more frequently, if), it is sold for a higher amount than the purchase price. But de Vere White and Smyth were lucky. They managed a rare feat – to squeeze an annual inc...
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...
Auctions & Fairs: recent results and upcoming sale... - Saturday, November 12, 2016
Auction Results: Saturday (November 5th) Marshs Auctioneers, 16 South Mall, Cork. 80 per cent of lots sold. Lot 391, an 18th-century glass salad bowl made by the Cork Glass Co. €2,800 (€500-€600); Lot 164, a Georgian mahogany Cork serving table €2,500 (€2,000-€3,000). A Victorian walnut and marble-topped dental cabinet, estimated at €3,000-€4,000 failed to sell. Monday (November 7th) Morgan O’Driscoll Auctioneers, Skibbereen, Co Cork. ‘Off the Wall’ Online Art Auction. 89 per cent of lots sold. Lot 86, Gary and Paul at the Olympics – an oil-on-canvas of the west Cork O’Donovan brothers, 2016 Summer Olympic Games silver rowing medallists, by Charles Mountjoy sold for €300, surprisingly below the estimate (€500-€700). Lot 7, a photograph of Lady Diana Spencer, London, September ...
Life’s Work: Penny Day, head of Irish art, Bonhams... - Saturday, November 5, 2016
Irish woman Penny Day is head of Irish art and director of modern British art at Bonhams on New Bond Street in London. Bonhams is a privately owned British auction house and one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Bonhams has 60 specialist departments and offices worldwide, including in Ireland, and conducts some 400 annual sales in London, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Bonhams Ireland office is at 31 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. What’s your background? I grew up in Co Laois with a rector and teacher for parents and then went to co-ed boarding school, the King’s Hospital in Dublin; my best friends to this day are the ones I made there. I spent a year at the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV) on Baggo...
Auctions & Fairs: recent results and upcoming sale... - Saturday, November 5, 2016
Auction results: Saturday and Sunday (October 29th and 30th) Damien Matthews Auctioneers auction of the contents of Kilternan Lodge, Co Dublin – former home of the late Don Carroll, chairman of PJ Carroll & Co, the tobacco manufacturers, and a governor of the Bank of Ireland – 80 per cent of the 1,250 lots sold. A pair of Regency Coadestone garden pedestals with urns sold for €5,600 – well above the estimate (€2,500-€3,500). A portrait of Mr Carroll smoking a cigarette by the artist Derek Hill – that had been estimated at €1,000-€1,500 – was withdrawn by the family before the sale. Forthcoming auctions: Monday (November 7th) Mullen’s Laurel Park, Woodbrook, Bray, Co Wicklow. Interiors Auction at 11am includes the contents of Somerton House, Castleknock and consignments fr...
Painting of O’Donovan brothers to go under the ham... - Saturday, November 5, 2016
Two unconnected items at separate auctions in Cork have a “silver” theme. A painting titled Gary and Paul at the Olympics, estimated at €500-€700, is among the lots in Skibbereen-based Morgan O’Driscoll Auctioneers’s online art sale for which bidding ends on Monday evening (November 7th). The oil-on-canvas painting by artist Charles Mountjoy depicts West Cork brothers Gary and Paul O’Donovan competing at this summer’s Rio Olympics where they won silver in the lightweight double sculls rowing final. For further information about the auction, and to register for bidding, see morganodriscoll.com Silver tray Separately, Woodward Auctioneers of Cook Street in Cork will hold its “Bi-Annual Auction of Irish & English Silver” on Saturday, November 19th. Among the lots is a silve...
Auctions & Fairs - Saturday, October 29, 2016
Auction results: Thursday (October 20th) Sotheby’s, London. A previously undocumented and unpublished sketch-leaf for Ludwig van Beethoven’s most renowned piano concerto, his Emperor Concerto, sold for £377,000 (£150,000-£200,000). Saturday (October 22nd) Woodward’s Auctioneers, Cook Street, Cork. A Killarney-ware inlaid yew ‘Muckross House’ circular table 5,400 (4,000 - 6,000) Monday (October 24th) De Veres house contents auction at 51 Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4. 85 per cent of lots sold. Lot 572, a Maserati Quattroporte 2006, 4.3 litre V8 car, [see photograph] with 30,000 miles on the clock, sold for €24,500 (€15,000-€20,000); Lot 87, a Georgian mahogany double breakfront bookcase, €9,000 (€10,000-€15,000); Lot 131, a first edition copy of Ulysses by James Joyce, €7,600 (€5,000...
The multimillion dollar question: is modern art w... - Saturday, October 29, 2016
The big international auction houses are finalising plans for their end-of-year art auctions but 2016 prices seem unlikely to break any records. In 2015, Christie’s sold Pablo Picasso’s 1955 painting Les Femmes d’Alger (Version “O”), from his series known in English as The Women of Algiers, for $179.4 million (about €158 million at the then prevailing exchange rate) and its status as the most expensive painting – or any work of art – ever sold at auction is unlikely to be toppled this season. The top lot in the forthcoming sales is a painting, dating from 1902, entitled Pikene på broen (Girls on the Bridge, above) by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. It is estimated that it will achieve more than the (comparatively modest) $50 million when it goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s auct...
Advice for book collectors: get into local and fam... - Saturday, October 29, 2016
Who? PJ Tynan runs Courtwood Books, in Vicarstown, Stradbally, Co Laois, which specialises in selling rare and antiquarian books, mostly of Irish interest, at fairs and online. His main customer base is Ireland, with Britain and the United States providing around 20 per cent of sales. He also provides a valuations service. What’s your background? My background is in farming but at the at the end of the Swinging Sixties – some years after leaving school – I went to work in England. This was quite a change from downtown Vicarstown or a night out in one of Albert Reynolds' ballrooms with a bottle of lemonade and two straws. I spent four years in England and worked at various jobs finishing up in the Royal Mail in New Street, Birmingham. I have good memories – and still have frie...
Kilternan Lodge contents auction - Thursday, October 20, 2016
Kilternan Lodge contents auction promises to be a Halloween treat The contents of Kilternan Lodge, Kilternan, the family residence of Don Carroll Esq....
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