Wednesday 23 August 2017

The salerooms year

Bust of Homer dating from 1757
Bust of Homer dating from 1757
Three stone diamond ring
Irish Tricolour raised by volunteers during the 1916 rising

ADAMS: A collection of paintings from the ESB Collection will be auctioned at Adams, St Stephen's Green, on December 16. Citing a move to open-plan office space, the ESB is ridding itself of some of its smaller works, largely landscape paintings, domestic in scale, with many guide prices from €400.

More high-profile pieces include Spring Planting by Norah McGuinness (est €5,000/€7,000) and a photo-realistic oil by Patrick Henessy entitled The Road to the Beach (est €3,000/€5,000). Adams' auction of Important Irish Art on December 3 saw €160,000 paid for Paul Henry's Early Morning in Donegal, while a small watercolour by William Bartlett (est €2,000-€3,000) reached €13,000.

Whytes

Auction highlights of 2014 at Whytes include a mistakenly reversed tricolour flag flown over a building occupied by the Irish Volunteers during the Easter Rising. It sold at the History & Literature Auction in November for €20,000.

In the most recent Pop & Rock memorabilia auction, a Fender Stratocaster Replica once owned by Rory Gallagher sold for €7,000, along with his original backstage amplifier. Earlier in the year, a painting by Walter Frederick Osborne, Sunshine And Shadow (1883), sold for €69,000 while Gerard Dillon's Home With The Catch raised €60,000, reflecting the artist's increasing popularity.

John Weldon

John Weldon Auctioneers reported increased activity in the latter part of the year with gold coins remaining strong. A sovereign, for example, currently sells around the €200 level. Waterford Crystal items are largely selling within guide, but a footed claret decanter achieved €620 (est €150-€250). Sale of jewellery, often through economic necessity, continues and a three stone diamond ring sold in November for €13,600.

Sothebys

A bust of Homer dating from 1757 was recently rediscovered in Ireland and sold at Sothebys on December 3 for £242,500 (€308,886). The bust was carved in marble by the 18th century British sculptor Francis Harwood, who worked for most of his life in Italy, and would most likely have been purchased by a rich 18th century tourist as a souvenir.

It reputedly came from Powerscourt House, Co Wicklow. The sculpture shows the blind poet with a furrowed brow and follows in the footsteps of an antique model, though interpreted with a certain 18th century flourish.

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