Autumn kicks off with the sale of the Bryan Alton collection

Old Masters, furniture, and Irish silver are featured in the first auction of the new season, writes Des O’Sullivan.   

The collection of leading Dublin physician and polymath, Bryan Alton, will kick off the autumn auction season at James Adam in Dublin on September 6.

It includes fine furniture, porcelain, silver, objets d’art, Old Master and Modern paintings and graphics, icons, and exotic items from far-flung places.

Dr Alton, who died 25 years ago, served as President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, as Master Warden of the Corporation of Goldsmiths of Dublin, and on the board of the National Gallery of Ireland. He and his wife Winnie formed their collection in the years from the late 1940s to the 1970s.

Dr Alton’s passion was for Old Masters, and among the paintings are a signed and dated 1661 Dutch scene by Utrecht artist, Cornelius Droogsloot (€8,000-€12,000), and a mountainous landscape by Flemish painter, Marten Ryckaert (€10,000-€15,000). 

There are English paintings from the 18th and 19th century, notably a pair of marine oils of The Battle of the Nile (in which Nelson defeated Napoleon on August 1, 1798), attributed to Thomas Luny and estimated at €10,000-€15,000.

A View of Tintern Abbey, Co Wexford by George Barret is estimated at €8,000-€10,000 and there are two acquaints by Georges Roualt entitled Amazon and The Passion, as well as a signed and numbered lithograph by Picasso entitled Artist and Model. There are Mughal miniatures and mid- Eastern art.

The remarkable pieces of 18th century Meissen include a c1742 Indiscreet Harlequin modelled by JJ Kandler, which is estimated to make more than €25,000. There is a a set of four Irish Georgian silver candlesticks by Michael Cormick and William Townsend c1760 (€12,000-€14,000).

Antique furniture highlights are a George III bow- fronted side cabinet in the manner of Mayhew and Ince, and a pair of inlaid dining room pedestals and urns after a design by Gillows, both estimated at €15,000-€20,000. 

Curiosities in the auction include a 19th-century American papier mache figure of a pilgrim and an Art Deco Ivory figure by Paul Philippe entitled The Turbaned Dancer.


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