From Bandon to London: Covetable collectibles and artworks

There are oriental rugs, antique furniture, jewellery and a variety of collectibles at the sale at Hegarty’s in Bandon tomorrow afternoon at 3pm.
From Bandon to London: Covetable collectibles and artworks

There are oriental rugs, antique furniture, jewellery and a variety of collectibles at the sale at Hegarty’s in Bandon tomorrow afternoon at 3pm.

Even though this is an online-only event it has all the feel of auctions as they used to be, with some essential differences.

Hegarty’s, like auctioneers throughout Ireland, has risen the challenges posed by restrictions of movement in an industry which is proving well suited to the online model.

The auction of around 250 lots is smaller than what used to be the norm because online bidding tends to move at a slightly slower pace.

Auctioneer Ted Hegarty reckons on getting through from 50-70 lots in an hour.

COLLECTION

The sale includes the collection of Dr Harry Blake who was instrumental in setting up the first blood bank in Bahrain in the 1950s and 1960s.

His collection includes rugs, fine art and furniture.

Of note is a 20th-century wool rug handwoven over ten months by a master weaver with a minimum of 600,000 knots per square metre and using natural dyes.

It is estimated at €600- €800.

A c1830 regency tea table with figured mahogany and ebony strung top is estimated at €550-€750, an 18-carat white-gold sapphire and diamond cluster ring has an estimate of €2,500- €3,500 and there is a longcase clock with an estimate of €600-€800.

The auction will be live across three bidding platforms — The Saleroom, Easy Live Auctions and Invaluable — and Hegarty’s will accept absentee and commission bids.

Unless Sotheby’s estimates turn out to be conservative there has been precious little appreciation for Michael Smurfit’s art collection over the past 30 years.

More than 50 lots from the collection at the K Club and his Kildare residence will be auctioned in a series of sales this year and next.

A jewel from the collection at Sotheby’s Irish art sale in London on September 9 is le Brocquy’s Travelling Woman with Newspaper.

Twenty years ago when I last saw this powerful work, one of le Brocquy’s finest, at Sotheby’s in London it dominated the room.

ART APPRECIATION

There was an uncharacteristic urge to grab it off the wall and run out the door (it was too big and smash-and-grab is not really my style).

I don’t normally bother with jealousy either, but I was envious of Michael Smurfit’s purchase of a painting which I was blown away by.

He paid a record £1,158,500 in 2000 for a work that is now estimated at just £700,000-£1,000,000.

Similarly Lavery’s swagger portrait of Lady Evelyn Farquhar, which made £748,000 in 2007, is now estimated at £600,000-£800,000.

The Dublin Horse Show by William Conor, which sold for £192,000 in 2007, is now estimated at £80,000-£120,000 and Lavery’s Tennis Under the Orange Trees, which made £890,5000 at Christie’s in 2013 has an estimate now of £300,000-£500,000.

The lesson here seems to be that you buy art for the love of it and Smurfit is quoted as saying: “Collecting has been a wonderful adventure over the last 30 years or so.”

There is a selection of affordable art at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online off-the-wall sale which runs until next Monday evening.

These sales are regularly held online and the adjustments made necessary by Covid-19 have been relatively seamless.

A 1916 View of Roundstone by Yeats sold for a hammer price of €70,000 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s sale on Monday evening.

Westport Famine Ship by John Behan made €27,000.

Purcell Auctioneers of Birr will hold a sale of Irish interest books online on Wednesday, there is an online jewellery auction at O’Reilly’s of Francis Street in Dublin on Wednesday and in Waterford RJ Keighery will hold a sale of garden furniture and pub items next Saturday.

In a world where perception can trump substance the truth turned out to be over estimated in one lot at Victor Mee’s onlline sale in Cavan last weekend.

A hand-carved early 20th century oak pulpit by Louis Mascre, known as the Pulpit of Truth and estimated at €40,000-€80,000, sold for just €32,000 at hammer.

The Murphy’s Stout advertising sign with a painter featured last weekend on this page made €560 after competitive bids on the internet and on the telephone.

ONLINE AUCTION

An auction scheduled by Lynes & Lynes for late March is now to be held online on June 27 with Easy Live auctions.

Lynes & Lynes will have ten days of viewing for this sale starting next Wednesday, with limited numbers and all 330 lots are online.

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