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Auction News across Ireland
Life’s Work: Stuart Purcell, Head of collectibles,... - Saturday, May 28, 2016
Stuart Purcell is head of collectibles at Whyte’s, 38 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, one of Ireland’s leading auctioneers of art and collectibles. If someone has a medal, a rare coin, an old banknote, an antique gun, a classic poster, a signed album or a historic document they want to sell, Whyte’s can take care of it. Purcell’s job is to bridge the gap between seller and buyer. Often the seller will know very little about an object and his job is to complete the story and present it to collectors, who can then compete for it at auction. He says working with collectibles is fascinating. “I love collectors, we have curiosity and enthusiasm in common and, almost without exception, I have found them to be extraordinarily generous with their knowledge.” What’s your background? ...
The Irish art of summer: Bray, Sligo or Spain? - Saturday, May 28, 2016
Bray in Co Wicklow used to be a popular – even fashionable – seaside resort until the Irish public realised that guaranteed sunshine was just a shortish flight away to the Costa del Sol. But in the early 20th century travel to Spain was restricted to the very wealthy – or desperate. A nostalgic painting of Bray, dated 1935, entitled [Miscellaneous Objects], North Bray Harbour, County Wicklow by Harry Kernoff, estimated at €30,000-€50,000 is a highlight in Whyte’s pre-summer auction of Irish art at the RDS. A catalogue note, written by Kathryn Milligan, quotes from a 1930s Irish Times feature on “holiday attractions” that praised Bray for its “fine esplanade and good facilities for bathing” and the “best of hotels and boarding houses”. ‘Up Dev’ slogan Describing the paintin...
What it went for: auction and fair results - Saturday, May 28, 2016
Auction Results: Sunday (May 22nd) Adam’s, 26 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. Fine Period Interiors Auction. 77 per cent of lots sold. On the Lagoon, Venice (oil-on-canvas) by Pietro Fragiacomo €34,000 (€4,000-€6,000) Monday (May 23rd) Morgan O’Driscoll Auctioneers, Skibbereen, Co Cork. Online art auction. Wild Oats and Poppies by Kenneth Webb €4,400 (€5,000-€7,000); The Horse Fair by Liam O’Neill €3,800 (€4,000- €6,000); The Morning of the Horse Fair by Cecil Maguire €3,000 (€4,000-€6,000); Afternoon Tea by Mark O’Neill €2,400 (€2,000-€3,000). Wednesday (May 25th) De Veres, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Irish Art Auction. 80 per cent of lots sold. Lot 26, A Riverside Inn by Jack B Yeats €66,000 (€70,000-€90,000); Lot 28, The Ferry Boat by Jack B Yeats €61,000 (€50,000-€70,000); Lot...
Curtain falls on Lotabeg with more than 7,000 vis... - Saturday, May 28, 2016
Mealy’s sale of the contents of Lotabeg House in Cork this week attracted the biggest crowd to any auction in Ireland for years. More than 7,000 people attended the viewing last weekend resulting, inevitably, in some delays. Auctioneer George Gerard Mealy said “people were disgruntled by queues on the way in but were extremely happy on the way out”. He said there was “huge interest” both from Irish and international bidders and that more than 1,000 people had registered to bid – in person or via telephone or online. Overseas visitors to the auction included Nick Denning of Warehouse 51, a television production company based in London and Bristol, who was filming for a new series, Trading History, which explores the history of items sold at antiques auctions and by antiques dea...
Bidders snap up mementos of British Empire in Cork... - Tuesday, May 24, 2016
“Going, going – the moose head – gone, for €1,600.” Auctioneer George Mealy didn’t bat an eyelid as he brought down the hammer on the spectacularly antlered, stuffed and mounted Victorian hunting trophy. Lot 128 was among the unlikely attractions in yesterday’s auction of art, antiques and collectibles from Lotabeg House in Cork, a “merchant prince” mansion in Tivoli overlooking the River Lee. The “house that time forgot” had been virtually untouched since the 1930s and more than 7,000 people had queued to view the contents in the previous three days. Another piece of startling taxidermy – a lifesize mountain goat that had adorned the hallway – sold for €3,800. Auction-goers crammed into a temporary saleroom established by Mealy’s in the convention centre of the adjacent Clayt...
What it went for: auction results - Saturday, May 21, 2016
Auction Results: Saturday (May 14th) Whyte’s, The Eclectic Collector Auction, Freemasons’ Hall, Molesworth Street, Dublin. Some 80 per cent of lots sold including: Lot 125, a court document dated 1775 concerning Elvis Presley’s Co Wicklow ancestor William Presley €2,300 (€500-€700) bought by a collector in Co Wicklow, appropriately, and underbid by an institution in Co Carlow; Lot 306, A Currency Commission Ploughman Provincial Bank of Ireland 10 pounds banknote issued on July 17th, 1939, €10,500 (€1,200-€1,500); Lot 397, an unused Irish two-penny stamp issued in 1935, €10,000 (€8,000-€10,000); Lot 325, a 20 pound “Lady Lavery” note issued by the Central Bank of Ireland in 1944, €9,500 (€3,000-€4,000); Lot 163, six photographs of Bing Crosby playing golf during a charity...
‘Star of India’ shines at Lotabeg in Cork - Saturday, May 21, 2016
The contents of Lotabeg in Cork go on view from 10am this morning. Visitors entering the house will immediately notice a gilt-framed parchment issued in 1935 by King George V to honour the work of “our trusty and well-beloved Vincent Hart Esq, Indian Service of Engineers”. Hart had left his home by the Lee more than 30 years previously and gone out to India to serve the British Empire. His service in the city of Madras (today Chennai) – most notably overseeing the construction of the Mettur Dam, the biggest in the British Empire – had earned him the gratitude of the King who was also self-declared Emperor of India during the era of British colonial rule. George V made Vincent Hart a Companion of the Star of India or more formally, a Companion of the Most Exalted Order of the St...
Hibernian Antique Fairs announce very first Dublin... - Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Hibernian Antique Fairs and Robin O'Donnell are very proud to announce the very first Dublin National Antiques Art & Vintage Fair. For the last 26...
What it went for: auction results - Saturday, May 14, 2016
Auction Results: Sunday (May 8th, 2016) Christie’s, New York. Auction of Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art. A waxwork sculpture of Hitler entitled Him by the Italian artist Maurizo Cattelan sold – after five minutes of bidding – for $ 17.2 million (€15 million) – above the estimate ($ 10 million-$15 million) and creating a new world auction record for the 55-year-old artist. Monday (May 9th) Sotheby’s, New York. L’Éternel Printemps (a marble sculpture of embracing lovers) by Auguste Rodin, for $ 20.4 million (€17.5 million). The estimate had been $8 million-$12 million. Tuesday (May 10th) Christie’s, New York. Post-War & Contemporary Art auction. Untitled 1982, an oil-on-canvas painting by the American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat , who died, aged 27, in 1988, sold f...
Two Jack B Yeats paintings to be auctioned in Dubl... - Saturday, May 14, 2016
Two paintings by Jack B Yeats – one unseen by the public for 70 years and the other returning to Ireland after 45 years in a private collection overseas – will go under the hammer at Adam’s in Dublin next month. By Drumcliffe Strand, Long Ago, estimated at €80,000-€120,000, dates from 1934 and was acquired from the Leger Gallery in London in 1946 by the late Lord Killanin. David Britton of Adam’s said “it now comes directly for sale from his family”. According to the catalogue note: “In this work Yeats evokes the romance and adventure that he associated with Co Sligo since his childhood. Drumcliffe, with its rich mythological and historical connections, presented endless possibilities for the imagination. The painting depicts an encounter between a dark-skinned gentleman and a b...
The fine art of collecting collectibles - Saturday, May 7, 2016
Antiques auctions routinely include a selection of items which are described as “collectibles”. Some are mainstream and relatively popular including coins and banknotes, autographs, guns and uniforms, stamps, postcards and sporting and entertainment memorabilia. But some lots defy categorisation because people can – and do – collect pretty much everything. Whyte’s in Dublin is holding its annual auction entitled “The Eclectic Collector” next Saturday, May 14th, in the Freemasons’ Hall, 17 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 starting at 1pm. The 465 lots will go on view, in advance, at Whyte’s galleries at 38 Molesworth Street from 10am on Wednesday (May 11th). Among a selection of Irish stamps in the sale is Lot 397, “an unused two penny stamp issued in 1935 estimated at a whopping €8,...
A century of Irish literature for sale – in pictur... - Saturday, May 7, 2016
Hundreds of affordable paintings will go on sale at the 138th Dublin Painting and Sketching Club annual exhibition, which opens to the public on Monday in the Concourse Gallery at Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Hall. The event, sponsored by Whyte’s auctioneers, will run for two weeks and will feature a selection of some 300 oil and watercolour paintings, acrylics and pastels, lithographs, etchings and drawings. Prices start at €200 and it’s first come, first served. This year’s exhibition has a special centenary theme – not the Easter Rising but, instead, “100 years of Irish writing, 1916-2016” – and some of the paintings have been “specially created as a visual tribute to – and inspired by – the poems and other literary works by Irish authors of the past 100 years”. Among the h...
What it went for: auction results - Saturday, April 30, 2016
Auction results Saturday (April 23rd) Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers ‘History Sale’, Gresham Hotel, Dublin. An original copy of the 1916 Proclamation “believed to be the copy which hung in the GPO” and with “guaranteed provenance to Dr James Ryan, medical officer to the GPO Garrison” €150,000 (€100,000-€150,000); an archive relating to Capt Percival Lea-Wilson (who was killed by the IRA during the War of Independence) and his widow, Dr Marie Lea-Wilson, the Dublin doctor who, unbeknowingly, bought the Caravaggio painting that ended up in the National Gallery of Ireland €7,000 (€4,500-€6,500); a Tricolour reputedly flown in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford during the 1916 Rising €5,600 (€1,000-€1,500); keys reputedly found in the burnt-out GPO after the Rising €3,400 (€550-€750). A white linen...
Life’s Work: Joy Danker, antique silver dealer, Du... - Saturday, April 30, 2016
Joy Danker owns Danker Antiques in the Royal Hibernian Way on Dawson Street in Dublin city centre. It is a leading specialist in antique Irish silver and sells a wide range of antique Irish and English silverware, including cutlery, potato rings, candlesticks and tableware. The shop also sells antique jewellery including art deco and art nouveau pendants, rings, earrings, brooches and bracelets, and is especially known for Irish Celtic revival jewellery and silver. What’s your background? I’m a Dubliner and have been in the business all my working life. I went to school in the Avoca & Kingstown in Blackrock, which has since closed, and started working in the shop straight after I left school. There is no such thing as down time. If you are in this business, you are always ...
‘Hitler is everywhere’, even in a $15 million waxw... - Saturday, April 30, 2016
A waxwork figure of Hitler is the unlikely highlight of a Christie’s auction of Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art in New York on May 8th. Made in 2001 by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, the sculpture of the Nazi leader, entitled Him, has a top estimate of $15 million. Christie’s describes Him as a masterpiece of contemporary art and Cattelan as “among the greatest image makers of our time”, saying his Hitler piece “defied the taboos of representation, by disguising evil incarnate under a cloak of innocence”. The sculpture made of wax shows Hitler in “civvies” – a polyester suit – and is topped with real human hair. A catalogue note for the auction explains the lot: “Depicting Hitler’s likeness, Him is cast kneeling in prayer – raising challenging questions about ac...
Life’s Work: Oliver Usher, antiques auctioneer, Ke... - Monday, April 25, 2016
Oliver Usher holds monthly auctions of antiques in the salesroom at Usher’s Auction Rooms on John Street, Kells, Co Meath. He also provides on-the-premises house clearance sales, biannual antiquarian book auctions and a yearly horse tack and saddlery auction. What’s your background? I grew up and went to primary school in Kells, and attended secondary school in St Finian’s College in Mullingar. Growing up, I spent a lot of time helping my father, who was a plumbing contractor, and did a lot of work in period country houses in the locality. This helped to spark my interest in antiques and collectibles. My mother and my aunt Margaret had a passion for auctions and I would frequently travel the back-roads of the country with them, hunting for all sorts of bargains. How did you g...
What it went for: auction results - Saturday, April 16, 2016
Auction results Monday (April 11th) Dix Noonan Webb, London. Auction of “Paper Money”. A 1928 Irish Free State “Lady Lavery” £50 note – “one of only about 20 surviving examples available to collectors” – estimated at £14,000 to £18,000 – failed to sell. A Royal Bank of Ireland £10 dated May 6th, 1929, sold for £4,800 (£4,000-£5,000). Forthcoming auctions Tuesday (April 19th) John Weldon Auctioneers, Unit 2, The Music Hall, Cows Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin. Auction of jewellery, silver and gold coins at 2pm. A diamond- and jade-set butterfly brooch set in 18ct gold €1,500-€2,500; a sapphire and diamond three-stone ring set in 18ct gold €4,000-€5,000 ; an Irish silver dish ring, Dublin 1928, by Weirs, with a blue glass liner, €2,000-€3,000; a rare James II gold guinea, date...
Final anniversary auction of 1916 memorabilia - Saturday, April 16, 2016
The last of the 2016 history auctions will take place in Dublin next Saturday, April 23rd. It is the eve of the centenary of the Easter Rising, which began on April 24th, 1916. Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers has chosen an appropriate venue – as close as possible to the General Post Office (GPO) – in the Gresham Hotel on O’Connell Street. Viewing begins there on Thursday, and hundreds of lots will be on display including “an original copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, believed to be the copy which hung in the General Post Office in Dublin during the 1916 Rising, with guaranteed provenance to Dr James Ryan, Medical Officer to the GPO Garrison, later a Fianna Fáil Minister”. In a statement to The Irish Times, Jim Ryan, a grandson of Dr James Ryan, on behalf of members of th...
Sir Anthony O’Reilly’s winged horses take flight t... - Thursday, April 14, 2016
A three-part sculpture of Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology, has taken flight from Citywest in Dublin and ended up in Co Kildare. The triptych (three-part) sculpture became one of the best-known works of art in Ireland on account of its location outside Independent Newspapers’ printing plant on the Naas Road in Dublin. The life-size bronze horses mounted on steel columns were a familiar sight to tens of thousands of motorists on one of the country’s busiest roads. But Pegasus recently vanished, without fanfare, leaving behind empty plinths. Each of the metal horses weighs half a ton. The first statue shows the horse; in the second, the horse has sprouted wings; while the third statue depicts the winged horse about to take flight. Pegasus, made by the late sculptor Con...
‘Lady Lavery’ Irish Free State £50 banknote worth ... - Saturday, April 9, 2016
An old “Lady Lavery” Irish Free State £50 banknote is expected to sell for up to 360 times its face value at auction in London on Monday. Auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb’s specialist auction of paper money at the saleroom in Bolton Street, central London, includes “a rare 1928 Irish £50 note – one of only about 20 surviving examples available to collectors” which is expected to sell for up to £18,000 (€22,800). Following the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, a Currency Commission was set up to advise the government on a monetary system for the new country. The first series of banknotes for the Irish Free State was issued on September 10th, 1928. They were issued in denominations of 10 shillings, £1, £5, £10, £20, £50, and £100, in the colours orange, green brown, blu...
Diary reveals how hurlers absconded in New York - Monday, April 4, 2016
More than half the hurlers and athletes who participated in the GAA’s first “junket” to America absconded in New York and failed to return to Ireland. New information about the famous Gaelic Athletic Association’s “American Invasion Tour” of 1888 has emerged after 128 years in the original diary kept by one of the participants that has come to light. Pat Davin – a renowned Tipperary athlete from Carrick-on-Suir and brother of Maurice Davin (co-founder and first president of the GAA) – kept the diary during the month-long tour of US cities. The trip was planned to showcase the prowess of Irish athletes and hurlers and to raise funds for a planned revival of the ancient Tailteann Games. Rare books specialists Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers said Davin’s unpublished diary – written on l...
What it went for: Auction results - Saturday, March 26, 2016
Auction results Tuesday (March 22nd) Chorley’s Auctioneers, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. A hand-drawn map by Sir Roger Casement showing where he had buried valuables after arriving at Banna Strand on Good Friday 1916, along with notes made by his MI5 interrogator in Scotland Yard £7,000 (£1,500-£2,000). Wednesday (March 23rd) Adam’s ‘Important Irish Art’ 26 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. 81 per cent of lots sold. A Connemara Village by Paul Henry, from the collection of the former Fine Gael taoiseach John A Costello, sold for €119,000, comfortably exceeding the top estimate (€70,000-€100,000). Man Reading by Jack B Yeats €92,000 (€60,000-€90,000); Girl at Well by Jack B Yeats €40,000 (€40,000–€60,000); Nu Brun, Assis by Roderic O’Conor €30,000 (€8,000-€12,000); The Fie...
Rare Chinese books turn up in Co Offaly - Saturday, March 26, 2016
A fascinating, private Irish collection of rare, collectible and unusual books from the library of the late Mr Gill Ruttledge will go under the hammer on Wednesday, March 30th at Purcell Auctioneers in Birr, Co Offaly at 5pm. Auctioneer Conor Purcell said Ruttledge, who died in 1995, was the postmaster in Kilcormac, Co Offaly for most of his working life and “spent every available hour attending auctions and book fairs throughout Ireland in the hope of purchasing the very best possible example of every book that he wanted to add to his collection”. The collection is now being auctioned off in individual lots. While most of his vast collection of rare and antiquarian books is of Irish interest there is a selection of Chinese interest books including an exceptionally rare and imp...
Lost Francis Bacon nude fetches €550,000 at Christ... - Thursday, March 17, 2016
A pair of paintings by Irish artist Tony O’Malley which, when reversed and joined up reveal a lost, unfinished painting by fellow-artist Francis Bacon sold at Christie’s in London on Thursday afternoon for £435,000 (€554,000) – more than 14 times the top estimate of just £30,000. They were sold to an unnamed buyer during an auction of British and Irish Art in Christie’s South Kensington saleroom. Announcing the lot as “a pair of O’Malley’s with, of course the Bacon on the back” the auctioneer quipped: “It being St Patrick’s Day, the stars could not be more aligned”. Bidding opened at £26,000 and jumped quickly. When the hammer fell, there was applause in the saleroom. The paintings by the Callan, Co Kilkenny-born O’Malley, who died in 2003, were made in the early 1960s. “Currach,...
Original Beit art collection catalogue comes to li... - Saturday, March 12, 2016
An “extremely rare” catalogue of the original Alfred Beit art collection – as it was constituted in 1904 – has come to light at Healy Rare Books in Galway. Antiquarian book dealer Norman Healy has acquired a copy of the 66-page catalogue entitled The Art Collection of Mr Alfred Beit at his residence. 26, Park Lane, London, which is for sale priced at €1,500. Alfred Beit was the uncle of Sir Alfred Beit of Russborough House in Co Wicklow. The catalogue was compiled by a German art historian Dr Wilhelm Bode and published in Berlin in 1904. The copy for sale is No 43 of a limited proof edition of just 50 copies and is printed on Japanese handmade paper. It is inscribed: “Given to N.A.Nicholson by Lilian, Lady Beit 1946.” In 1904 the art collection of Alfred Beit, who had made a fo...
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