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Tuesday 12 December 2017

How €800 painting of Jesus went for €120,000 at Dublin auction

19th-Century oil-on-copper panel entitled ‘Jesus Wearing the Crown of Thorns’
19th-Century oil-on-copper panel entitled ‘Jesus Wearing the Crown of Thorns’
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

This 'sleeper' of a painting was estimated to sell at around €800 but racked up a €120,000 sale price at an auction in Dublin.

The 19th-Century oil-on-copper panel entitled 'Jesus Wearing the Crown of Thorns' - and measuring 34cm x 24cm - was part of a lot that was being cleared out from an institution.

Director of Adam's Auctioneers James O'Halloran told RTÉ news that he had a look "amongst about a hundred things that were in a corridor" and spotted the carved, painted frame.

Mr O'Halloran said he opened bidding at €500 - he anticipated a certain amount of interest, but the bidding was nothing short of miraculous.

"But one of the internet bidders pounced immediately and put in a bid of €2,000. So at that point then I knew that we were probably going to get some degree of fireworks," he said.

This type of sale - of an artwork whose value has been underestimated - is referred to as "a sleeper".

Irish Independent

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