Subscriber OnlyFine Art & Antiques

Percy French painting for sale in Cork and a significant Francis Bacon in London

From whiskey to a Waterford Crystal chandelier, and art for every budget, this week’s auctions have much to appeal

The Off the Wall sale at Morgan O’Driscoll in Skibbereen has something for everyone, from the art lover on a fixed budget to the more serious collector.

A watercolour on paper, Turf Stack on a Bogland Lake, by Irish artist and musician William Percy French is one of the main items at the sale, with an estimate of €2,000-€3,000.

The painting was presented to Louis Pierre Marechal, then vice-president of Trans World Airlines and President of The Wings Club (1972-1973), by the American Region of Irish International Airlines (now Aer Lingus) in Galway, in November 1971.

Lot 48, Robert Ballagh’s Civil Rights, is a signed and numbered screen print from the artist, known in part for designing more than 70 postage stamps, as well as a series of banknotes (€300-€500).


Despite being considered an Irish artist, Egginton was born in England in November 1908, but spent time in Ireland during his life. Watercolours were his preferred medium, and his skill is evident in Lot 31, Herding them Home (€400-€600).

Early Spring, Letterfrack, by Lurgan-born artist Cecil Maguire, featuring a bucolic scene in Co Galway, is Lot 19 (€220).

Bidding ends Monday, March 4th.

Rare whiskey

Highlights of Dolan’s Spring online auction, which ends on Monday, March 4th, include the top lot, an oil painting by London-born, Irish-based artist Arthur Maderson, Fish & Chip Van, Tallow Horse Fair, Late Evening (€18,000-€22,000). Maderson was influenced by the impressionists, which is evident in this painting.

Also on the art front, is a painting from Irish landscape and portrait painter Charles Lamb. Achill Island (€4,000-€5,000), is an oil on board painting.

For the collector, a late Victorian doll house, which is being modelled as a school house, and comes with doll’s house furnishings, might appeal. It is being sold with an estimate of €800-€1,000, on behalf of the Dolan family.

A collection of 10 Midleton Very Rare Irish whiskeys also features (€7,000-€9,000).

Interesting items

In Waterford, RJ Keighery has an interesting collection of fine and antique furniture, art, Waterford Crystal chandeliers, carved eastern furniture, sovereigns, jewellery, rugs and more.

Items of interest include Lot 228, a “superb-quality” Waterford Crystal 24 branch chandelier, “Avonmore”, which has a 170cm drop (€20,000‑€30,000); and Lot 30, a pair of French birr walnut Bonheur du Jour ladies writing desk with ormolu mounts, dating from about 1860 (€4,000‑€5,000).

Those looking for a little sparkle might find it in Lot 280, a 9k yellow gold charm bracelet, with 28 charms (€2,200‑€3,200).

The “interesting” antique auction will take place on Monday, March 4th, at 10am.

London fair

In London, the Design & Crafts Council Ireland is bringing works by 23 Irish makers to the Collect Fair 2024.

The international fair for contemporary craft and design, which will take place at Somerset House, offers collectors an opportunity to acquire new, museum-quality handcrafted artworks from some of this century’s finest craft talent. It will feature specialist galleries, dealers and collectives, representing 400 artists from across the globe.

Ceramics, glass, lacquer, art jewellery, precious metalwork, textiles and fibre, wood and paper are all displayed side by side to create a unique opportunity for collectors and craft enthusiasts alike.

On the Irish front, exhibitors include ceramicists Deirdre McLoughlin, Antonio Julio López Castro and Alison Kay; artists Mary Nagle and Cathy Burke; and sculptors Nuala O’Donovan, Jennifer Hickey, Mary Conroy and Alan Meredith. Textile maker Helen O’Shea will exhibit alongside designers Annemarie O’Sullivan and Sasha Sykes.

Also in London, Sotheby’s will this week auction a significant Francis Bacon painting, Study of George Dyer, with an estimate of £5 million-£7 million. It is described as a “masterpiece of intense physiognomic analysis that perfectly summates his incredible working process”, and was painted by the Irish-born artist in 1970.

The Study of George Dyer was hand chosen by the artist for inclusion in the single most important exhibition in Bacon’s lifetime, the grand scale retrospective held at the Grand Palais in 1971 – an accolade only previously afforded to Pablo Picasso among living painters.

It is for sale as part of the auction house’s Modern & Contemporary Evening on March 6th.,,,

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