“The White Stag” Group From 1940’s

Anyone interested in paintings by famous artists such as Basil Rakoczi, Kenneth Hall, will be able to view them in an exhibition until Feb 13th at Adams Showrooms, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.  The White Stag Group, founded in London in 1935,  moved to Ireland in 1939 where they stayed until after the Second World War.  Irish members included Thurloe Connolly, Paul Egestorff (his work on left), Stephen Gilbert and Dorothy Blackman.  The Exhibition was pieced together from paintings held in private Irish Collections and most of them are for sale.  The paintings display the quirky, Bohemian style that helped to liberalise Irish artwork from the grip of a conservative culture prevalent in the 40’s.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Napoleon’s Snuff Box And Victoria’s Bloomers

A solid gold presentation snuff box, (monogrammed with N for Napoleon and one of 100 gold boxes the emperor had made in 1806 as gifts for his friends and diplomats), was sold by Bonhams for £58,850.  Meanwhile over in Lyon & Turnbull’s Edinburgh auction a large pair of silk bloomers belonging to Queen Victoria made £9,375!

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Heirs Of Artists To Benefit From Resale

As and from January 1st 2012 the heirs of artists are entitled to a percentage of the sale price of works of art.  Currently this royalty only applies to living artists but the scheme has now been widened to any heir or estate of an artist for up to 70 years after the artist’s death.  The percentage would apply to anyone selling a work of art but is capped at €12500 for any single transaction and would this year come into play for any work sold after 1942 for example a sale price of €50,000 would mean a payment of €2000 to the artist’s estate. However, there are restrictions in place as the item must be by the artist him/herself and does not apply to a reproduction, copy or anything not deemed to be the “original” work of art, must bear the artist’s signature and has to be worth more than €3000.  This fee does not just apply to paintings but also to engravings, prints, lithographs, etchings, sculpture, tapestries, ceramics and glass and has been put in place in line with an EU directive.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

“Portrait of Mary” by Sir John Lavery

A painting by Sir John Lavery entitled “Portrait of Mary” together with a letter from the artist to the sitter is to be auctioned by McTears next week.  Estimated between £8000-£12000 the painting by the Belfast born artist is expected to go for more than the guide price.

UPDATE: Despite high expectation the painting failed to sell.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Rare Beethoven Letter Discovered

A rare letter by composer Ludwig van Beethoven has been bequeathed to the Brahms Institute in Luebeck, Germany.  The six page letter written in 1823 bears the signature and original seal of the composer.  The letter is an attempt to sell his “Missa Solemnis” Mass and gives details of the personal circumstances of the composer, his finances and an eye complaint from which he was suffering.  Beethoven died four years after writing this letter at the age of 57.  The full article by Reuters can be read at www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0110/breaking46.html

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Irish Giant Deer Antlers To Be Auctioned

A sixteen point set of Irish Giant Deer antlers is to be auctioned by Christies on January 22nd.  The antlers date from circa 10500-8500 BC and measure 54″ high, 91 1/2″ wide and 34 1/2″ deep and are expected to make between £15000-£25000.

UPDATE: The antlers made £43,250 well above the top guide price

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Irish Furniture Exhibition Opens in National Museum

The National Museum of Ireland houses an exhibition of Irish furniture at its furniture galleries in Collins Barracks.  This exhibition is unique because it shows the Irish furniture in the context of rooms of the period relevant to the pieces.  The list of Irish designers at the exhibit include Eileen Gray, Joseph Walsh, John Lee to mention but a few.  Among the rooms on display are an Irish Art Deco bedroom, a 17th century bedroom, a 1950s living room and a 19th century music room.  The pieces on view include a rare Flemish stand-bed, Art Nouveau chairs from the Paris Exhibition of 1900, the Egan Harp, various coffers, rare chests, silver, textiles, glass and ceramics.  The exhibition opened on the 31st of December on the second floor of the Collins Barracks branch of the Museum and is a must for anyone with an interest in furniture, design and Irish Modernism from 1900 to present day.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Farewell Letter By Scott Of The Antarctic To Be Sold

The farewell letter written by Scott of the Antarctic to his family is to be sold by Bonhams in March of this year.  In the letter Scott expresses his concerns, regrets and hopes for his family and friends as he faced certain death.  The letter was written in March of 1912, when Scott realised that they would not be returning home, but was not found until November of the same year.  This was the first farewell letter he wrote and it was addressed to financier Sir Edgar Speyer, who was fund-raiser and treasurer of the expedition.  Scott asked the nation to take care of his family and stated that both he and his team would die as gentlemen.  The public did look after his family and now the letter that brought about this sympathy is estimated to make somewhere in the region of £100,000 to £150,000.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Audrey Hepburn Dress Sells For £84000

The “Lucky” ivory coloured dress worn to the 1954 Oscars ceremony by iconic screen legend Audrey Hepburn was sold at the Kerry Taylor Auction Rooms in November 2011.  The dress designed by Edith Head appeared in the final scene of the 1952 film “Roman Holiday” for which Hepburn won the Oscar.  However, it was altered for the ceremony two years later in a style inspired by Givenchy, her favourite designer.  There was much speculation as to what happened the dress after the ceremony but Hepburn gave it to her mother, Ella van Heemstra, who in turn gave it to a friend living in America where it stayed until the auction, (having been stored in a box at the bottom of a wardrobe).  The dress, together with a letter of authenticity, was estimated at £40-£60,000 but was sold to a private collector for  £84,000.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Imperial Vase Sells for £1million Over Highest Estimate

A stunning Chinese Imperial vase estimated between £6 and £8million sold for £9,001,250 in Bonhams London Asian Art Week.  The turquoise vase decorated with chrysanthemums was one of 700 lots offered for sale in the auction and was purchased by a telephone bidder.  Once again the record price highlights the increasing interest in Chinese artifacts and the auction has placed Bonhams in a strong position of cornering a portion of the Chinese market and the huge demand for classic Chinese designs.

Posted in News | Leave a comment