An Egg chair, Bono’s signed lithograph and Warhol photograph to feature in de Vere’s sale

The sale features 20 pieces from the estate of the late architect John Meagher

With furniture from the likes of Arne Jacobsen, Mies van der Rohe and Niels Møller, design aficionados will find much of interest at an upcoming sale. This Tuesday, May 23rd, de Vere’s of Kildare Street will hold an Irish Art and Design Sale of classic 20th pieces, notably of Danish and Italian furniture.

Highlights include Egg and Swan chairs by Arne Jacobsen, which were originally designed for Denmark’s first skyscraper and the world’s first designer hotel, The Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Deemed one of the triumphs of Jacobsen’s design, the curved form of the Egg chair was a sculptural contrast to the striking vertical features of the hotel. Listed at €3,000-€5,000, the chair in red leather bears a stamp and label, while the Swan chair, on an aluminium swivel base, is also stamped with the maker’s mark (€600-€900).

The top lot is Still Life by William Scott (€15,000-€20,000), a watercolour and gouache abstract work of two shapes against a watery backdrop. According to catalogue notes, Scott, “one of the few Irish artists who is recognised and collected internationally”, swings from figuration to complete abstraction, and was the focus of a major exhibition held at IMMA in 1998.

There is a choice of four desks in the sale including a fine rosewood Italian offering from the 1960s with a leather inset and four lockable drawers (€1,500-€2,500).


Twenty works from the estate of the late John Meagher, who passed away in 2021, are also included. The noted architect, often known as the Man in the Linen Jacket, described in his obituary as “brilliant, incorrigible, inspirational and generous to a fault”, established the multi-award winning firm de Blacam and Meagher Architects with Shane de Blacam. An aesthete, the legendary bon viveur was also an art collector. He penned a letter of complaint to American pop-art giant Andy Warhol, regarding the new format of Warhol’s Interview magazine, to which Meagher had a subscription. The response? A photograph of Warhol by Richard L Schulman. Signed by Warhol, Meagher inscribed the nature of the complaint on verso (€150-€250). Another Warhol from Meagher’s estate is a poster for the German film Querelle, also signed by Warhol (€100-€200).

With both Salvador Dali and Brigitte Bardot as clients, the late Italian designer and photographer Willy Rizzo was considered the epitome of design that embodied La Dolce Vita. His cool walnut cocktail table (€1,000-€1,500) has a centre inset ice holder, and is a nod to his style with the use of simple lines and well-marked geometric shapes.

For fans of Bono, lot 32A is a lithograph of Peter and the Wolf with a set of six sheets – one of which is signed. It comes with an edition of Sergei Prokofiev’s novel illustrated by Bono and his daughters Jordan and Eve, along with a CD performed by Gavin Friday (€1,200-€1,800). The book was originally created with Bono and Friday in 2003 to raise funds for the Irish Hospice Foundation, and the foundation announced this April that their continued relationship with the artists has now been transformed into a short animated film, which is scheduled to premiere later this year.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables