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Auction News across Ireland
Grandfather clock damaged by Dáil hot air makes €1... - Tuesday, October 6, 2015
A grandfather clock that plays God Save the Queen when wound up, and that was withdrawn from loan to Leinster House, has sold at auction for €115,000. The 9ft 9in mahogany clock, which stood in the main hall of the Houses of the Oireachtas on Kildare Street, went under the hammer yesterday at Killashee House Hotel in Naas, Co Kildare.Bidding opened at €62,500 and rose quickly in increments until auctioneer Fonsie Mealy brought down the hammer, to applause, when a telephone bidder trumped the opposition in the saleroom and on the internet with a winning bid of €115,000. The name of the winning bidder was not disclosed. The bidder will also have to pay fees so the final price will be about €140,000.Although the clock exceeded its top estimate of €90,000, the price represents a huge...
Chinese vases fetch a record €560,000 at Laois auc... - Saturday, September 26, 2015
Downton Abbey’s return to TV screens last weekend, with an opening storyline about a country-house auction, provided the perfect curtain-raiser to Sheppard’s two-day auction of the contents of Capard House in Co Laois this week. And big spenders, who hadn’t quite all been diverted to the ploughing, in nearby Ratheniska, were out in force. A couple who had travelled from Beijing to Ireland, especially for the auction, successfully bid €560,000 for Lot 143 – a pair of large Chinese “Qing period” powder-blue vases, each 2.5ft high and on individual carved giltwood stands – trouncing the estimate of €30,000-€40,000. The result was greeted with warm applause. The price is the highest ever paid at auction in Ireland for Chinese porcelain. Earlier in the sale, Lot 117, a pair of unrema...
Watercolours in Dún Laoghaire - Saturday, September 26, 2015
The 161st exhibition of the Water Colour Society of Ireland, opening at the Concourse Gallery, Dún Laoghaire County Hall on Monday, features some 280 paintings in watercolour, gouache and pastels with drawings and limited-edition signed prints, on sale to the public with most prices in the €350-€850 range. Subjects include landscapes, seascapes, still life, animal and life studies, as well as botanical, floral, architectural and figure work. The exhibition includes two paintings by Cork-born Aine Divine “the only Irish artist and the only artist working in watercolour to make the finals of the Sky Portrait Artist of the Year Award” – a self portrait and a portrait of Neil Hannon, lead singer with The Divine Comedy.Among other artists exhibiting are the society’s president, Ann O’...
Rare album of Egyptian photos found in Meath - Saturday, September 26, 2015
An album of late 19th-century photographs of Egypt has come to light in Co Meath and will be auctioned in Matthews Auction Rooms in Oldcastle on Tuesday evening. In the 1870s, Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire but the British had a stake – and say – in running the country, having loaned huge sums for the building of the Suez Canal. The album, estimated at €700-€1,200, contains 38 photographs “of Egyptian & Islamic interest”. Auctioneer Damien Matthews said the photographs – some in rare large-plate format – “not only depict Egypt during this interesting time in her history, but rarer still, depict Egyptian Muslim life at that time” and the “original, dated library plate on the inside front cover of the album attests to the date of their execution (1877)”. He said “the cond...
15,000 visitors expected at RDS antiques fair - Saturday, September 19, 2015
“A good piece of furniture, picture or a small piece of silver, even from a mercenary point of view, is a good investment, but more important, it is surprising what even one single beautiful object can do to adorn our everyday lives”. That was the advice given to visitors attending the Irish Antique Dealers’ Fair at the RDS in Dublin in 1969 by then minister for finance Charles J Haughey – a man who appreciated the finer things in life. Haughey was given a gift – an exquisite piece of Irish silver – by the fair’s organisers and he praised “the growing appreciation of beautiful things as a reflection of rising standards of living and education”. Organisers of this year’s fair have invited Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys as their VIP guest. They expect about 15,000 people to at...
A matter of faith for Charles Darwin - Saturday, September 19, 2015
Charles Darwin, the Victorian naturalist who formulated the theory of evolution, revealed his private thoughts about religion to a young barrister in a private letter two years before he died. Bonhams auctioneers will offer the letter in its History of Science and Technology auction in New York on Monday.On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was published in 1859 and Darwin’s “faith” became the subject of public controversy. In a catalogue note explaining the background, Bonhams said Darwin refrained from public comment on religious matters, probably to respect the feelings of his friends and family. However, in November 1880, when Darwin was 71, a young barrister in London, Francis McDermott wrote to him with an unusual request: “If I am to have pleasure in read...
Remembering the artist Derek Hill - Saturday, August 22, 2015
Derek Hill may not be a household name but he is one of a select few Englishmen granted honorary Irish citizenship. President Mary McAleese conferred the honour on him in 1999. A year later Hill died on July 30th, 2000, aged 83. Born in 1916, he was a well-known artist in the second half of the 20th century mainly of landscapes and portraits. After working for the British Council in Rome, he moved to Ireland in 1953 after visiting Donegal, where he was commissioned to paint the portrait of Henry McIlhenny, a wealthy Irish-American who owned Glenveagh Castle. Hill settled in Co Donegal, where he bought a former rectory, Glebe House, at Churchill near what is now Glenveagh National Park. He spent months every year on Tory Island off the Donegal coast using a hut as his studio and e...
Sheppard’s to auction contents of Capard House - Saturday, August 15, 2015
Sheppard’s has announced a two-day auction in September of the contents of Capard House near Rosenallis, Co Laois. Both the viewing and the auction itself will take place “on-site” – a 13-bedroom Greek-revival Georgian mansion in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom mountains. The event looks set to become the biggest country house auction since summer 2012 when 13,000 people flocked to the sale of the contents of Mount Congreve in Co Waterford conducted jointly by Christie’s and Mealy’s. Capard House has been owned for the past 25 years by Dublin businessman John Farrington who runs an antique jewellery business on Drury Street and is also a well-known collector of art and antiques. The house – on 100 acres – has recently been sold for an undisclosed price. It went on the market la...
Moment of truth as Lucas Cranach painting makes €1... - Saturday, August 15, 2015
Irish interest in last month’s London week of ‘Old Master’ auctions waned following the withdrawal from Christie’s by the Alfred Beit Foundation of the Russborough House paintings, including two by Rubens.Instead, the highlight turned out to be a stunning 16th century painting entitled La Bocca della Verità (The Mouth of Truth) by German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder. It sold at Sotheby’s for £9.3 million (€13.3 million). That exceeded the estimate of £6 million-£8 million and set a new world record price for the artist at auction.Cranach (1472-1553), who is regarded as one of the greatest German painters, was a key figure in the Reformation and was close to Martin Luther whose portrait he painted. He was famous for his religious paintings and mythological scenes, most of which ...
Ireland’s Loch Ness monster resurfaces after 144 y... - Monday, August 10, 2015
An image of Co Clare’s sea-serpent - Victorian Ireland’s equivalent of the Loch Ness monster - has resurfaced after 144 years. The artist’s impression of the bizarre ocean creature, allegedly spotted off the coast of the resort village of Kilkee, has been found lurking in the depths of a London archive.The “monster” was the subject of various reported sightings in the 19th-century, including one in 1850 when it was seen, improbably, “sunning itself near the Clare coast off Kilkee”. The most notable sighting was in September 1871, when the “large and frightening sea monster” was seen by several people, who “all had their nerves considerably upset by the dreadful appearance of this extraordinary creature” .The story first appeared in the Limerick Chronicle and quickly caught the a...
Auctions & Fairs - Saturday, August 8, 2015
Auction Results: Monday and Tuesday (August 3rd and 4th) Dolan’s Connemara Summer Art and Antiques Auction, Clifden, Co Galway. Hobby Horses by Jack B Yeats €121,000 (€78,000-€85,000); The Mall, Castlebar (Co Mayo) by Harry Kernoff €9,000 (€6,000-€10,000). Tuesday (August 4th) Morgan O’Driscoll Auctioneers, Skibbereen, Co Cork. Off the Wall, online art auction. Le Marché de Nuit by Arthur K Maderson €4,200 (€3,000-€4,000); Summer Birds (bronze sculpture) by John Behan €3,000 (€2,500-€3,500); Coral Strand, Connemara, by Kenneth Webb €2,800 (€2,500-€3,500); Heron’s Cove From the Harbour by Jules Thomas €240 (€300-€500). Forthcoming Auctions: Tuesday (August 11th) John Weldon Auctioneers, Cows Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin. Jewellery, gold and watches. Hegarty’s Fine Art A...
Auction houses looking for autumn consignments - Saturday, August 8, 2015
Thinking of selling art or antiques? Some auctioneers have already announced auction dates and are actively seeking consignments this month. All offer valuations. Sheppard’s is holding an attic sale at its Durrow, Co Laois, saleroom on September 1st, and is seeking consignments by August 17th. Whyte’s will hold an Irish and international art sale in the RDS, Dublin, on September 28th and is seeking historical memorabilia – especially 1916-related items – for a history, literature and collectibles sale on October 17th. Adam’s of St Stephen’s Green is seeking consignments for its country house collections auction at Slane Castle on October 12th and 13th. Sotheby’s has announced the relaunch of The Irish Sale – in London on October 21st – and will provide free valuations of Irish ar...
The art of the Victorian seaside - Saturday, August 8, 2015
Like many of the best things in life, seaside outings were invented by the Victorians. The development of the railways in the mid-19th century opened up coastal resorts to the masses and destinations such as Bray and Tramore in Ireland and Blackpool, Ramsgate and Southport in England attracted huge numbers of day-trippers and longer-stay holidaymakers. Victorian artists responded enthusiastically to the newly found interest in all matters seaside. The most famous painting of the genre, Life at the Seaside: Ramsgate by William Powell Frith, was exhibited at London’s Royal Academy in 1854 and caused a sensation. It was bought for £1,000 by Queen Victoria who had visited Ramsgate (in Kent) seven years earlier and recorded in her journal that she “drove down to the beach with my maid...
Sotheby’s to relaunch ‘The Irish Sale’ in London - Thursday, August 6, 2015
Sotheby’s has signalled confidence in the Irish art market by announcing the relaunch of dedicated Irish art sales in London this autumn. The international auction house dropped the annual Irish Sale four years ago after Irish art prices crashed following the economic downturn.Arabella Bishop, head of Sotheby’s Ireland, said that over the last couple of years interest has increased and they had seen new collectors – both from Ireland and internationally – “actively buying and bidding” for Irish art. “The moment is right to relaunch a dedicated annual sale,” she said. Key event During the Celtic Tiger era, the Irish Sale was a key event in the social calendar and attracted high-spending bidders from Ireland and from throughout the diaspora to the Sotheby’s saleroom in London’s Ne...
Painting ‘en plein air’ – or plain rain - Saturday, August 1, 2015
Watching paint dry doesn’t sound promising as a tourism offering but it is the unexpectedly enjoyable aspect for visitors to Ireland’s outdoor painting festival under way in the southeast. Europe’s largest plein air (outdoor) painting festival Art in the Open – International Plein Air Festival now in its eighth year concludes this weekend in Wexford and involves some 145 artists from Ireland and worldwide including Australia, Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the UK and US. The artists travel daily to a pre-arranged venue for a “paint-out”, set up their easels at random spots and simply paint what they see. The public gets a rare chance to see painters at work and watch them interpret local landmarks and scenery. The locations vary each year and this year’s venues were all in Co ...
West Cork online auction - Saturday, August 1, 2015
The sea is one of the principal themes in Off the Wall, an online art auction being run by west Cork-based Morgan O’Driscoll Auctioneers. Some 320 lots – paintings, prints, photographs and sculpture – are on view in the Skibbereen saleroom from noon today until bidding ends on Tuesday evening (August 4th.) Some of the paintings – lots 58-70 in the catalogue – have been donated by local artists and the proceeds of these will go to Uillinn, the architecturally controversial new West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen. Most of the lots have estimates under €1,000 – with many under €500 – and the viewing should attract interest from bank holiday visitors to west Cork. Included among the crowd-pleasing artists are Mark O’Neill, Markey Robinson, Graham Knuttel, Arthur K Maderson, Kenneth W...
Wicklow’s stolen paintings - Saturday, August 1, 2015
Art theft is a difficult crime to track not least because some paintings undergo a name change through the years. On Tuesday, gardaí in Baltinglass said that they had “recovered all the paintings stolen” during a burglary at a house in Donard, Co Wicklow, last October. The paintings were found at another location in Donard in a bin bag that had, apparently, been thrown into a ditch. The discovery was made by Denis Russell, a native of the village who now lives in London, but home on holiday, while “strimming furze bushes” in a field beside his house. Gardaí named the paintings as Portrait of a Lady by Sir John Lavery; Landscape with Cottage by Paul Henry and The Fern in the Area by Jack B Yeats. They were sold at auction by Sotheby’s in London in 2001 for a combined total of appr...
Bank holiday auction roundup - Saturday, August 1, 2015
Monday (August 3rd) Victor Mee Auctions, Cloverhill, Belturbet, Co Cavan. Antiques and garden (furniture) auction at 2pm. A late 19th-century ladies’ crocodile-skin travel case, with silver-mounted contents, hallmarked London 1894, presented to Marchioness Conyngham “in memoriam of Victor George Henry Francis Fifth Marquess Conyngham, Slane, Co Meath 1885 – 1918 ADC to Lt – General Sir John Maxwell” (the British army leader who quelled the 1916 Rising) with a “letter of authenticity” €250-€350. Monday and Tuesday (August 3rd and 4th) Dolan’s Art Auction House, two-day bank holiday art and antiques auction, Harbour Road, Clifden, Co Galway, 12.30pm each day. Viewing under way. Hobby Horses by Jack B Yeats, €78,000-€85,000; The Mall, Castlebar (Co Mayo) by Harry K...
Roger Casement letter sells online for $11,025 - Saturday, July 25, 2015
A historically significant, unpublished letter written by Roger Casement in 1913 – three years before he was hanged for treason – has sold at auction for $11,025 (about €10,100).South Africa-based online auctioneers antiquarianauctions.com said the letter was sold to a private buyer in Ireland. Although headquartered in Cape Town, the company’s pricing is US dollar-based. The letter had been expected to sell for $5,500 and had a reserve price of $3,750.Casement wrote the eight-page letter to friends in South Africa while returning from a trip there in May 1913. It sheds new light on his growing disenchantment with the British empire and hints at his eventual downfall. Among the revealing quotes is his statement: “I only want to be ‘an Irishman’ – to me it is the proudest title up...
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