Category Archives: Archived Art Auctions

Adams Sale of Important Irish Art – Wednesday 29th March 2017

Adams Important Irish Art Sale catalogue here: 

Celtic Tiger returns to the Art Salerooms!

Some serious prices paid at both Morgan O’Driscoll’s Important Irish Art Online Auction on 12th September and at Sotheby’s (London) Irish Art sale on the 13th September.

Plenty of quality art in both sales, but plenty of abstract rubbish too – particularly in Morgan O’Driscoll’s sale. That didn’t stop it selling though – surely a sign that the tiger’s back! No better item to illustrate my point than Lot.1. “The Horseman” by the late Basil Blackshaw. This piece – described as oil and mixed media – and which is in fact a poor daub on the back of an old cereal packet sold for an incredible €5,000 (€6,000+ when the Buyer’s Premium is included). A piece of jetsam from a greatly over-rated artist and probably something never intended to see the light of day in an auction room.


Lot.1. “TheHorseman” oil and mixed media. Basil Blackshaw RUA (1932-2016)

Still, there was plenty of quality including works by lesser known artists such as Maurice Canning Wilks, Percy French, Frank Egginton etc. and much of it remarkably good value.

Full catalogue with prices realized here.

Meanwhile over at Sotheby’s there were some good prices paid for big names including Paul Henry’sThe Road by the Lake” which sold at £150,000 (£185k incl. Buyer’s Premium) against a pre-sale estimate of £60/80k; and Sir John Lavery’sThe Cello Player” which sold for £90,000 against a pre-sale estimate of just £20/30k.

henry-paul-lot-12  lavery-lot-10-90000

Left to right: The Road to the Lake” by Paul Henry and “The Cello Player” by Sir John Lavery.


Above: An acrylic on canvas work by John Doherty Prescriptions accurately prepared” featuring Parke’s Chemist in Clonmel sold for a healthy £27,500 (pre-sale estimate £15/20k). A little too photographic for my liking but each to his own.

Full catalogue with prices realized here.

Woodward’s (Cork) forthcoming sale on the 17th September features several interesting works including this by George Mountsey Wheatley Atkinson – “HMS Conqueror off Queenstown” which carries an estimate of €5/7,000.


Catalogue here: catalogue gif


de Veres Irish Art Auction – Dublin – 25th May, 2016

de Veres

Catalogue available here: catalogue gif

Ashgrove Auction 21/7/2015: A tale of two paintings

Ashgrove Marathon

Strong Results at Whyte’s Sale of Irish & International Art

Whyte’s sale of Irish & International Art – Dublin 29th September, 2014

There were strong results for both contemporary and traditional works in last night’s Irish & International Art Auction.  The top result achieved was for the featured front cover entitled LE COURTISAN GROTESQUE (NO. 6) by Joan Miró which sold for €68,000 and Sir John Lavery remains ever popular with bidders battling it out for LADY IN GREEN (MRS. CARA H) which finally sold for €30,000.  Andy Warhol was in demand by both national and international bidders with DOUBLE DAISY exceeding its estimate to sell for €27,000. Whyte’s Press release.


Above: Lot.101. The child-like series of squiggles of Spanish painter Joan Miró “Le Courtisan Grotesque (No.6)” achieved, as expected, the top price – €68,000 (pre-sale Est.€60-80,000). As abstract stuff goes, it’s inoffensive, but not my cup of tea.

Below: Lot.100. the Andy Warhol screenprint “Double Daisy” again inoffensive is the best that I can say but at €27,000……


Suprisingly, Lot.22. an oil on canvas by Paul Henry “In the West of Ireland” failed to sell (the pre-sale estimate of €45-55,000) but you can still have it – see below.

Paul Henry

Many of the unsold lots are still available see list here:

Quality Irish Art at Ross’s (Belfast) Auction on Wednesday 26th March, 2014


Quality and value abound amongst the 231 Lots on offer in Ross’s Quarterly Irish Art Sale on Wednesday 26th March next.

All the usual suspects are here including the overrated Markey Robinson, the awful Graham Knuttel, the talented but repetitive Gregory Moore, Samuel McLarnon, Ken Hamilton and Dennis Orme Shaw but, for me, it’s the works by Maurice Canning Wilks and William Percy French that stand-out from the rest. Both artists are still just about within the budget of the ordinary art collector!


If there’s one criticism that I have of many of William Percy French’s paintings, it is that they are too damn small – I like a bigger bang for my buck and that is where the likes of Maurice Canning Wilks, Dennis Orme Shaw etc. win out. Big walls need big paintings but it’s hard not to be seduced by the beauty and simplicity of French’s watercolours. There are two included in this sale with low four figure estimates.

W P French


Monday 24th March from 10:00am – 8:00pm

Tuesday 25th March from 10:00am – 8:00am

Day of sale from 10:00am – 5:00pm

Dennis Orme Shaw

John Ross & Company  (MIAVI),

37 Montgomery Street, Belfast, Co.Antrim, BT1 4NX

Tel: (028) 9032 5448  Fax. (028) 9033 3642

Searchable catalogue here: Catalogue icon

Enquiries about this sale:  

(028) 9032 5448 or email:

* (048) prefix from the Republic.

Strong Results for Quality Irish Art at Whyte’s November 25th RDS Sale

‘It was a night for the master artists of Irish art at our auction on Monday with top results for Paul Henry, John Lavery, Walter Osborne, Mainie Jellett and Daniel O’Neill’. – Whytes Press Release.

Once again proof that if the quality is there the price will be right and more signs that the price for Irish Art is on the increase again. The top price was paid for a superb work by Paul Henry (see below) and another painting by Daniel O’Neill – ‘Two Women by the Sea’ – considerably exceeded expectations. A selection of watercolours from William Percy French also drew strong bidding and his work is now approaching the outer limit for the more modest collector – this one anyway!

Lot 14 Paul Henry

Two Women by the Sea

 Full results/unsold lots etc. click here: Catalogue icon

Adams sale of Art from The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation exceeds expectations!

Well, the results are in from Adams’ auction of Art from The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation and while the sale raised more than anticipated – €281,000 against the pre-sale estimate of €150,000-200,000 – it says more about the ability of James Adams’ marketing department than the shrewdness of purchases by Anglo Irish Bank. I wonder how much was spent on their original acquisition?

Pauline Bewick’s six wonderful paintings exceeded their pre-sale estimates and contributed some €44k or about 15% of the total proceeds of the sale. Inexplicably, rubbish by Felim Egan and Sean Scully continues to find buyers but surely it can only be as an investment? Just like property, the chickens will come home to roost one day. I mean would you really hang this on your wall?

Felim Egan

134 lots were offered for sale and only 9 remained unsold. The most expensive item was a painting by artist Stephen McKenna which was sold for €17,000.

The full results may be viewed here: Catalogue icon


The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd Art Sale at James Adams – Weds.3rd September, 2013

Judging from most of the offerings contained in Adams forthcoming sale from The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, the bankers were as poor investors in Art as they were in running the banks. Amongst the works on offer there are pages of low grade abstract art prints (!) by Sean Scully, and mixed media by Felim Egan – both once very much in vogue with the intelligentsia of Corporate Ireland. In fairness, to Adams, they can only sell what’s before them but there’s mighty little worthy of wall space in the sale and I will await the results with interest. The six wonderful Pauline Bewick paintings stand out like beacons amongst the dross; there’s some value – and art – amongst the cheaper lots by lesser known artists. Paintings that you would enjoy looking at and showing off to your friends.


Above one of the finest paintings in the sale and below some overpriced office boardroom/hotel lobby fodder.


Scully Lot.55.

World record price for a Paul Henry at Adam’s Dublin Auction


As expected, Lot.21. Paul Henry’s “The Potato Diggers” topped the bill at Adam’s sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin yesterday (29th May, 2013) – and exceeded the high end of its pre-sale estimate by €50,000!

The second highest price paid was for another work by the same artist – Lot.22. “Thatched Cottages with Lakes & Mountains Beyond” which went for €130,000.

The third highest price was paid for a fine work by Walter Osborne Lot.44. “A Grey Morning in a Breton Farmyard” (pictured below) which sold for €100,000.


The full catalogue with results is available here: Catalogue icon