Millions spent in online sales in Ireland last week

Pandemic has rapidly changed the  world of virtual art sales with previously unheard-of prices being fetched 
Millions spent in online sales in Ireland last week
Achill Cottage, Lough Corrib by Paul Henry.

THE success of the onward march of the virtual world of art and auctions in Ireland was cemented in two sales in particular last week. The Street Performer by Jack B. Yeats made a hammer price of €184,000 at de Veres and a copy of The Proclamation of 1916 made a hammer price of €190,000 at the Eclectic Collector sale at Whyte's.

Pre-pandemic, prices like these at online-only sales in Ireland would have been unheard of. Though many businesses continue to struggle this underlines how far the world of art and auctioneering has come, and how quickly. It is true that de Veres failed to get their top lot by Sean Scully away, but that could have happened at any time. Their auction realised €1.25 million and was 85% sold. Top hammer prices at de Veres, who reported that the market for top-end pictures remains very strong, included Achill Cottage, Lough Corrib by Paul Henry (€116,000); Life Study (in 15 parts) by Louis le Brocquy (€114,000); le Brocquy's Head of Francis Bacon (€90,000) and Peonies and Iris in a Vase by Roderic O'Conor (€78,000). At Whyte's, where 90% of lots sold for just under €1 million, Wolfe Tone's handwritten speech from the dock made €42,000 at hammer. An extremely rare Commonwealth period Irish silver porringer made €40,000. A bottle of 1916 whiskey by the Dublin Whiskey Distillery made €18,000, a pair of U2 drumsticks signed by Larry Mullen made €1,700 over a top estimate of €300 and a 1943 Lady Lavery £20 note with war code made €8,500.

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