Royal Dublin Society, Anglesea Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin .4.
A sale full of quality and many of the big names of Irish Art are represented.
Amongst the 211 Lots are fine landscapes by William Percy French, James Humbert Craig, Paul Henry, Maurice Canning Wilks, portraits by William Orpen, Seán O’Sullivan, Paul Nietsche, and Harry Kernoff. There’s also a fair dollop of Abstract rubbish in the sale including two Jack B Yeats works both of which carry the top estimates in the sale of €100,000 – €150,000 and which will undoubtedly reach or surpass their reserves.
Lot.9.”A Kerry Bog” 1934/35, oil on canvas (16″ x 18″) by Paul Henry which carries an estimate of €60/80,000.
Lot.19. “A Passage is Required” 1953, oil on board (9″ x 14″) by Jack Butler Yeats – Est: €100/150,000.
The star of the sale, for me, is the Harry Kernoff portrait of Aer Lingus Pilot, Captain John Tweddle (pictured below) which has an interesting back story.
Born in 1917, John Lawson Tweddle was a keen sportsman, winning medals for activities as diverse as diving and athletics, and being capped for Ulster rugby on at least four occasions. During World War II he served with the RAF and was made Flight Lieutenant. After the war, he worked for Aer Lingus and was one of the first pilots to fly BAC 1-11 jets in the early sixties. He was a close friend of Harry Kernoff. The painting comes with a copy of a 1965 newspaper article from the Daily Express, featuring Captain Tweddle who was shortly to appear in a musical. The paper reported that Tweddle (the “Singing Skipper”) was being allowed a week’s leave from Aer Lingus in order to play the part of Sultan Ali Ben Ali in the airline company’s own production of the “Desert Song”. Ref.Whytes.
Lot.42. “Portrait of Aer Lingus Pilot, John Tweddle” 1960, pastel (13.5″ x 10″), Harry Kernoff – Est: €800/1,200.
Viewing: Saturday 2nd to Monday 4th March from 10.00am – 6.00pm daily
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’s “The 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’s “The Cello Player” which sold for £90,000 against a pre-sale estimate of just £20/30k.
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.
Anyway, enough of my opinions – each to his/her own – and if you’re an Art Lover, of whatever description, you could do worse than check out the various catalogue links here: WHYTES IMPORTANT IRISH ART 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!
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.
Some interesting stats provided by Whyte’s show that their sale at the RDS on the 27th May, 2013, grossed €450,000 with 73% of the lots on offer sold. Sold above estimate 24% and within estimate 51%. The growing importance of Internet bidders is shown by the fact that they accounted for 25% of bids and bought 20% of the lots sold. Bidders were from Ireland , UK , France , Netherlands , Switzerland , UAE , USA , Canada , Hong Kong and Australia .
The top price was paid for Lot.69. a pair of 19th century equestrian paintings by the artist William Brocas (c.1794-1868) which reached the lower end of their estimate and were knocked down to a London buyer for €29,000.
Lot.38. “Bringing in the Turf” by William Conor achieved the second highest price going to an American buyer for €21,000.
The third highest price was paid by another London collector for Lot.45. an early Paul Henry (pic below) for €13,000 – (pre sale estimate €8,000-10,000). Surely a very shrewd investment!
Art Lovers – at least those with deep pockets – are spoilt for choice this coming week with Whyte’s sale of “Important Irish Art” at the RDS on Monday 27th May followed by James Adams sale on Wednesday 29th May also aptly titled “Important Irish Art”.
Both sales contain much to drool over and if only you hadn’t bought that second apartment in Bulgaria….Anyway, for those still with some spare cash, Whyte’s have some attractive early works by Paul Henry with relatively affordable estimates see video below. Also included are many landscape paintings by artists such as Frank Egginton, William Percy French, James Humbert Craig, Maurice Canning Wilks etc. many with very realistic estimates. Check out the sale details/catalogue links here: http://www.whytes.ie
James Adams sale at their St.Stephen’s Green salerooms on Wednesday 29th has more works by Paul Henry but this time with seriously high estimates – no Nama refugees need attend! Lot 21 a superb oil on canvas ‘The Potato Diggers’ has never been seen at auction before and carries a serious €250,000.00 – €350,000.00 estimate. Four other Paul Henry works make it into the top seven lots of the sale price-wise but none are as special.
Once away from the top ten lots, prices come down from the stratosphere to more affordable levels and include some nice William Percy French watercolours – just a pity that so many of his works are so small! Better value, and covering the same ground, are several larger works of more recent origin by Frank Egginton – Lot.169., below, carries a modest €500-700 estimate. Obviously the name doesn’t have the same cachet but if you’re buying for art rather than investment they are worth a look.
Whyte’s Sale of Important Irish Art on Monday grossed over €1.3 million. The star of the show was (Lot.47) the Louis le Brocquy Táin tapestries which sold for €245,000.
Generally prices met expectations but some of the big names only reached their lower pre-sale estimates. “The Pontoon” by Jack B Yeats (see pic further down this page) failed to set the world alight reaching only €49,000 against its pre-sale estimate of €50,000 – €70,000 ; probably more to do with the present economic climate than good taste! Even Paul Henry’s wonderful “Cottages, West of Ireland” Est.€60,000 – €80,000 only reached €56,000. Bucking the trend were works by Francis Bacon (Lot.27) “ Est.€6,000 – €8,000 sold for €25,000 and Sean Keating (Lot.69) Est.€25,000 – €35,000 which sold for €42,000.
Realisation list here: http://www.whytes.ie/AuctionPDFs/20120521PR.pdf
Monday 21st May next sees Whyte’s Sale of ‘Important Irish Art’ take place at the RDS in Ballsbridge. The company’s Managing Director, Ian Whyte, says it is one of the most valuable sales to have been held by his firm in recent years. Amongst the many undoubted treasures on offer are works by Louis le Brocquy, Paul Henry, Jack B Yeats, Sir John Lavery, James Humbert Craig, Frank McKelvey and a host of other big names. As Whyte’s pre-sale press release points out, in a sign of the times a number of the works come from a corporate collection in Northern Ireland being offered by the liquidator. With a lot of fine art now coming on the market in the next few weeks, in the middle of a very serious economic downturn, it will be interesting to see if prices hold up or will there be bargains to be had. Sotheby’s sale of ‘British & Irish Art’ on May 10th saw half the Irish lots on offer go unsold – including two works by Louis le Brocquy – whether this is a foretaste of things to come only time will tell. I imagine things will pan out in much the same way as the property market and quality will hold its value – so keep away from the work of Sean Scully, Michael Mulcahy, William Crozier etc.etc. To my mind the Paul Henry paintings in the sale are head and shoulders above the Le Brocquy and Yeats works and, in all probability, much more affordable!
I wouldn’t give either wall space but then I’m only a peasant and am not sophisticated enough to appreciate ‘fine’ art! Give me the chocolate box art that launched a thousand railway posters any time – Paul Henry, the undisputed master of the genre, has four wonderful paintings in the sale. No need for any member of the intelligentsia to explain what the artist was trying to convey either!
Pre-sale videos, online catalogues etc. here: http://www.whytes.ie/
Whyte’s Irish Art Sale on the 28th November saw Paul Henry’s ‘Altan Lough, Donegal’ eclipse the Jack B Yeats ‘The Street in Shadow’ for the top price realised – €75,000 and €72,000 respectively. The Paul Henry handsomely exceeded its pre-sale estimate of €40,000 – €50,000. The sale was a great success for Whyte’s, grossing in excess of €800,000 in total.
An interesting video clip of the sale highlights is available on http://myantiques.tv/ in the meantime here is the star of the sale – Altan Lough by Paul Henry – enjoy, as Ian Whyte said, “you won’t be seeing it again for sometime”!