Des O’Sullivan gives a preview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in Dublin
The selection of Irish art on offer at the James Adam sale in Dublin next Wednesday evening is deeply impressive. This private collection contains great examples of work by Yeats, Henry, Mainie Jellett, Evie Hone, May Guinness, Mary Swanzy, Nano Reid, Grace Henry, le Brocquy, Barrie Cook, Tony O’Malley and many more.
Without resorting to much hyperbole Adam’s describes the Antoinette and Patrick Murphy collection as the most important single-owner collection of Irish art ever to have taken place in Ireland. They expect the auction of 200 lots to bring in more than €1m.
Sotheby’s sold the US based Brian P Burns collection for more than £3.3 million (€3.8m) in London last year and will offer 12 works from the Murphy collection at sales in London and Paris in the coming months.
Patrick and Antoinette Murphy — he is a former chairman of the Arts Council, she opened the Peppercannister Gallery in 1999 — are downsizing. Adam’s is impressed with the breadth and depth of their collection where early works by artists like Nathaniel Hone were placed alongside contemporary artists like Basil Blackshaw.
Estimates vary widely. One of the highlights of the sale is Mary Swanzy’s White Tower which dates to 1926 and is estimated at €80,000-€100,000. This was one of the works from the acclaimed Swanzy exhibition at IMMA which was seen at the Crawford in Cork earlier this year.
A Barrie Cooke nude is estimated at €15,000-€25,000 and a major Mainie Jellett Abstract Composition with three elements is estimated at €50,000-€80,000.
The catalogue cover lot is a bronze standing female figure by Breon O’Casey (€6,000-€10,000) and is one of a number of eye-catching works of sculpture on offer.
The sale is at 6pm on Wednesday and is on view from 2pm to 5pm today and tomorrow and from 10am to 5pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The catalogue can be viewed online.
The Irish and International art auction by Morgan O’Driscoll next Monday evening is on view at the RDS from 11am to 6pm today and tomorrow and from 10am to 4pm on Monday. London viewings for this auction of 160 lots took place earlier this week.
The top two lots are Roderic O’Conor’s Seated Woman in a Red Dress and The Derelict Ship by Jack B Yeats. These two works are each estimated at €150,000-€250,000.
The international section includes work by Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, Robert Motherwell, Bridget Riley and Georges Braque and there is a strong selection of Irish art and sculpture.
This sale offers works with various estimates and will be of interest to collectors at all price levels. There is modern, contemporary, abstract and traditional Irish art on offer.
The artists featured include Grace Henry, Frank McKelvey, Percy French, John Shinnors, Estella Solomons, Hughie O’Donoghue, John Kingerlee,William Crozier, Felim Egan and Patrick Collins.