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Auction News across Ireland
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...
Owner of $10m Flowing Hair coin open to offers at ... - Friday, March 11, 2016
The owner of the world’s most expensive coin, worth $10 million or more, is prepared to listen to offers for it in Dublin this weekend. The pure silver Flowing Hair coin was among the first batch of US dollars minted in Philadelphia in 1794. Businessman Bruce Morelan, who paid $10 million (€9m) for it in 2013, is believed to be willing to part with it should the right offer come along. It is on view in a number of European countries for the first time this year as part of an exhibition of historical gold and silver US dollar coins dating back to the establishment of the country as a sovereign nation. An original copy of the Declaration of Independence printed in 1776 is also on display. There are also historical coins of Irish significance in the exhibition, including 1916 Risin...
‘Lost’ Francis Bacon nude found on the backs of tw... - Wednesday, March 9, 2016
An unfinished “lost” painting of a male nude by Francis Bacon has been discovered on the reverse of two paintings by Irish artist Tony O’Malley which are being auctioned on St Patrick’s Day. The paintings by Co Kilkenny-born O’Malley were made in the early 1960s. They each measure about 30ins by 47ins. They will be sold as a pair at Christie’s in London and have an estimate of £20,000- £30,000 (€25,827-€38,753). O’Malley made the oil paintings using a board which he had cut in half. But the board had earlier been used by Bacon to create the unfinished picture. The two O’Malley paintings went to different owners but have now been reunited. When they are turned over and joined up they reveal the Bacon image, which has been assigned the title Figure, circa 1959. “For years these ...
What it went for: Auction results - Saturday, March 5, 2016
Monday (February 29th) Whyte’s Art Auction, RDS, Dublin. 79 per cent of lots sold. A Kerry Bog by Paul Henry (€60,000-€80,000); Cabins by a Lough: West Of Ireland by Paul Henry, ¤54,000 (€30,000-€50,000); Early Light, Inagh Valley, Connemara by Cecil Maguire, €9,000 (€4,000-€6,000); Summer Yachting by James Humbert Craig, €9,000 (€8,000- €12,000); Western Colleen, Connemara by Harry Kernoff, €8,800 (€8,000-€12,000); The Wild Ponies of Connemara by Patrick Hennessy (below) €7,500 (€8,000-€10,000); Kehoe’s, The Rower (Co Kilkenny) by Blaise Smith, €1,700 (€1,000-€1,500). The Quay Worker’s Home by Jack B Yeats, estimated at €60,000-€80,000, was unsold. Tuesday and Wednesday (March 1st-2nd) Sheppard’s Irish Auction House, Durrow, ...
An ugly bird with a pretty high price - Saturday, February 20, 2016
There are scores of beautiful objects for sale in Adam’s Fine Period Interiors auction in Dublin tomorrow – furniture, silver, bronzes and clocks – but the top lot is a long way off pretty. Lot 165 is a late Victorian glazed pottery tobacco jar and cover, 24cm high, modelled in the form of a standing bird with detachable head on an ebonised base. Despite its ugly mug it has an estimate of €15,000-€25,000 . It was made by the Martin Brothers in Southall, London, in 1895. The potters specialised in making jars in a style known as anthropomorphic; the birds were modelled on well-known characters in Victorian society. They’re keenly sought after by niche collectors of so-called Martinware. Kieran O’Boyle of Adam’s said: “Martin Brothers’ fantastic pieces have had a long history of ...
What it went for: auction highlights - Saturday, February 27, 2016
Auction results Thursday (February 18th) Christie’s, London. Charity auction (for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders) of memorabilia from Spectre, the 24th film in the James Bond series. All lots were sold, including an Aston Martin DB10 car for £2.4 million (£1 million-£1.5 million) and a Spectre Blu-ray (disc) signed by Daniel Craig, together with a pair of initialled “JB” Tom Ford lapis lazuli cufflinks worn by him in the opening scene of the film, £30,000 (£3,000-£5,000). Saturday (February 20th) Lynes & Lynes Auctioneers, Carrrigtwohill, Cork. A painting that formerly hung in the Cashel Palace Hotel, Co Tipperary, entitled Some Characters Seen at Cheltenham on Gold Cup Day by the English artist Waldron West €13,000 (€5,000-€10,000); the grandfath...
‘Poignant’ Jack B Yeats painting in RDS show - Saturday, February 27, 2016
Anyone attending the election count at the RDS in Dublin today and in need of a break from proceedings could pop next door (via the Anglesea Road entrance) to see an exhibition of Irish art by Whyte’s auctioneers. The paintings on view will be auctioned on Monday evening. The highlight is a Jack B Yeats painting, The Quay Worker’s Home, described as “a remarkably poignant and rare depiction of urban life in 1920s Ireland”, estimated at €60,000-€80,000. The painting was formerly in the collection of the McAlpine family, who owned one of Britain’s biggest construction companies. It employed thousands of emigrant Irishmen in Britain in the mid-20th century, who were McAlpine’s Fusilers in the song made famous by the Dubliners. The painting has often been loaned for exhibitions in D...
Map of Abbeyleix Manor reappears after 200 years - Saturday, February 27, 2016
The outgoing Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan took a brief break from election canvassing in his Laois constituency to drop into his local auctioneer, Sheppard’s in Durrow, to see an important estate wall map – long believed lost – that has been found almost 200 years after it was drawn. The map of the Abbeyleix Manor estate was discovered in the loft of an outhouse that once belonged to the Viscounts de Vesci. Aristocratic family It was made by surveyor John Hill in 1828 to delineate landholdings owned by the aristocratic Anglo-Irish family in the Abbeyleix area of Co Laois. It is on display today at Sheppard’s and will go under the hammer in its two-day auction that gets under way on Tuesday, March 1st. Auctioneer Philip Sheppard said: “It’s one of the most sign...
My Life’s Work: Erica Devine, consultant conservat... - Saturday, February 20, 2016
What is your area of expertise? I advise museums and collectors on the care and display of their collections of art and antiques, train house staff, and design and install exhibitions. What is your background? I grew up in Dublin. I was a very lucky child, as at one stage we lived on the grounds of an ice-cream factory where my father was the refrigeration engineer and then he worked for Rowntree Macintosh; it’s no wonder I had quite a few fillings as a child. Where do you live? I’m about to move into a Victorian house near the seafront in Bray, Co Wicklow, and am enjoying using my full repertoire of conservation skills to decorate it with plasterwork, murals and gilding. The house had been subdivided into flats, so we undertook a complete restoration. Lots of original Vict...
The legacy of the Duchess of Devonshire - Saturday, February 20, 2016
A previously unknown painting of Lismore Castle, Co Waterford, that hung in the Duchess of Devonshire’s bedroom in England, has come to light and is to be sold at auction next month. Deborah Cavendish – one of the Mitford sisters and the 11th Duchess of Devonshire – died in 2014, aged 94. Sotheby’s has announced the sale of items from her personal collection including furniture, jewels and art. The duchess was chatelaine of Chatsworth, one of England’s greatest stately homes, and also of Lismore Castle, the Irish seat of the Dukes of Devonshire since the 18th century. The duchess’s husband died in 2004 and her son Peregrine became the 12th Duke of Devonshire. She spent the last 10 years of her life at The Old Vicarage in Edensor, a village on the Chatsworth estate. More than 4...
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