Portrait of a working woman in the spotlight

A depiction of a young, working milkmaid, writes Des O’Sullivan, is the highlight at an upcoming sale of Irish art.

LITTLE Peggy is one of the rarer offerings of the Irish art sale season now getting under way. Painted by the Bandon born artist Charles Henry Cook (c1830-c1906) it is part of Morgan O’Driscoll’s sale of Irish art in Dublin on Dec 2, on view this weekend in Skibbereen.

In a note to the catalogue, Dr Claudia Kinmonth points out that it is extremely unusual to find such a large, full length, exhibition-quality portrait of a working woman.

Cook depicts a young milkmaid, barefoot as was customary, holding a wooden staved piggin under her arm. The estimate is €7,000-€10,000. The auction of 174 lots is on view at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Skibbereen offices from noon to 5pm today and tomorrow.

Paul Henry’s The Lake, estimated at €80,000-€100,000, is the star lot at Whyte’s sale at the RDS next Monday, Nov 25 at 6 pm.

The sale of 228 lots, which is now on view, offers a good selection from Ireland’s best-known artists including Yeats, Roderic O’Conor; Sir John Lavery; Aloysius O’Kelly, and many of our best known more contemporary names.

Walter Osborne’s The Ferry is the top lot at de Vere’s sale at Thomas Prior House, Ballsbridge, Dublin next Wednesday, Nov 27, at 6 pm. It is estimated at €400,000-€600,000 and viewing gets under way at 2pm tomorrow. The auction of around 120 carefully selected works includes significant pieces by Gerard Dillon, Paul Henry; Colin Middleton; Beatrice Glenavy and Joseph Kavanagh. Both sales have an interesting selection of sculpture on offer.


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