Antique and fine arts: Viewing favourite sales on the internet

Des O’Sullivan on an Invaluable service to art lovers and buyers.

Antique and fine arts: Viewing favourite sales on the internet

These days you can view many auctions from the comfort of your own home.

The online portal Invaluable announced this week that it is teaming up with the prestigious European Fine Art Fair TEFAF to connect with a collector base in 180 countries.

TEFAF opens its debut fair outside Europe at the Park Avenue Armoury in New York today.

Closer to home there are two online sales of Irish art running this weekend, at Whyte’s and Morgan O’Driscoll.

River Bank I by Donald Teskey at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online art auction which runs until Monday (€4,000-€6,000).
River Bank I by Donald Teskey at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online art auction which runs until Monday (€4,000-€6,000).

Whyte’s are offering nearly 200 lots with estimates from €100 to €6,000 in an auction with examples from the McClelland Collection and work by Yeats, Lavery; William Conor; Nano Reid; Mainie Mellett; Harry Kernoff; Tony O’Malley and Basil Blackshaw.

There are 230 lots in Morgan O’Driscoll’s sale, which includes 13 works of sculpture.

The sale runs until 6.30 pm next Monday and is on view in Skibberen from noon to 5 pm today and tomorrow and from 11 am to 3 pm on Monday.

Whyte’s sale is on view at Molesworth St, Dublin from 1 pm to 5 pm today and from 10 am to 5 pm on Monday. Their auction starts at 6 pm.

Spider from Mars: David Bowie collection thought-provoking

Des O’Sullivan

says the sale of the late artist’s collection shows David Jones to have been a true aesthete

Many Irish collectors remain puzzled and a bit suspicious about contemporary art.

Damien Hirst with David Bowie Beautiful, hallo, space boy painting 1995, (ref: Bowie’s 1995 album Outside) from the Bowie collection. (£250,000- £350,000).
Damien Hirst with David Bowie Beautiful, hallo, space boy painting 1995, (ref: Bowie’s 1995 album Outside) from the Bowie collection. (£250,000- £350,000).

Important Irish art sales in these parts still reflect a taste that is overwhelmingly conservative.

David Bowie’s collection of a wide variety of contemporary art and design, to be auctioned at Sotheby’s in November, is instructive, insofar as it shows that in order to get it, you must engage with it.

An avid and genuine collector he was deeply involved with and sustained by art and design.

“I use it” he explained once. “It can change the way I feel in the mornings”.

Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) - Casablanca sideboard designed 1981, (Memphis Group), from the Bowie collection (£3,000-£5,000)
Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) - Casablanca sideboard designed 1981, (Memphis Group), from the Bowie collection (£3,000-£5,000)

His collection spans post-war British avant garde painting centred on St Ives to German Expressionism to Memphis furniture and works created in the aftermath of the first democratic elections in South Africa.

It includes a “spin” painting he made in collaboration with Damien Hirst, an altarpiece by the Renaissance master, Tintoretto and works by 20th century Modern British masters like David Bomberg, Stanley Spencer, Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff. There is a painting by Jack B Yeats entitled Sleep Sound.

Jacopo Robusti known as Jacopo Tintoretto and Studio — The Angel foretelling St. Catherine of Alexandria of her martyrdom from the Bowie collection.(£ 100,000-£150,000)
Jacopo Robusti known as Jacopo Tintoretto and Studio — The Angel foretelling St. Catherine of Alexandria of her martyrdom from the Bowie collection.(£ 100,000-£150,000)

This thought-provoking selection will be on view at Sotheby’s in London from November 1-10.

There will be three days of talks from November 4-6 which will explore his passion for collection and his influence on art and design.

He collected the eccentric Italian designer Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis group.

Bowie/Collector is a sale in three parts. It will begin with an evening sale of modern and contemporary art on November 10.

There will be a day auction of art the following morning and a design sale that afternoon.

A detail of Willie Bester (born 1956) —What happened in the Western Cape? from the Bowie collection. (£2,000-£3,000)
A detail of Willie Bester (born 1956) —What happened in the Western Cape? from the Bowie collection. (£2,000-£3,000)

All catalogues are online.

An 18th century Italian gem

An unrestored example of an 18th century Neapolitan violin comes up at Ingles and Hayday in London next Tuesday.

Made by Ferdinand Gagliano it was played for only a few years after its creation in 1789.

Expert luthier, Balthazar Soulier, considers this violin to be such a valuable witness to the craft of the Neapolitan violin-making tradition that it should not be restored to playing condition.

Instead, he recommends that it be preserved in its raw state.

“It is extremely rare to find an Italian violin from the 18th century in such a fine state of preservation” he said.

“I was deeply moved when I took it in my hands for the first time”. It is estimated at £65,000-£85,000.

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