This year’s Irish Art sale made £1.8 million / €2.1 million, surpassing the low estimate and building upon the success of last year. Auction records were set for Patrick Scott, Gottfried Helnwein, Rita Duffy and for a work on paper by Sean Keating. Gerard Dillon’s Mending Nets, Aran – the top lot – sold just shy of the artist’s record at auction. Other notable prices were made for Henry, O’Conor, Lavery and Swanzy and contemporary artists again performed well. Though Yeats’ Water Lilies went unsold during the auction, we sold it privately immediately afterwards for the low estimate. To see new buyers entering the field and international bidding from Asia to Europe and the US was very encouraging for the health of the market.
Following the re-introduction of a dedicated Irish Art sale last year, Sotheby’s are delighted to present another rich and diverse collection of works to the market – from a fine early 19th century view of Dublin Bay to Rowan Gillespie’s sultry bronze, Lazy Lady. There have been discoveries from private collections, including a fiery Brittany seascape by Roderic O’Conor which appears at auction for the first time, along with an exquisite drawing by William Orpen, The Fiddler, which is a study for The Western Wedding, 1914, (since destroyed).
A superb group of works have come from the extraordinary collection of the late George McClelland, with Colin Middleton especially well represented. Alongside these familiar names of Irish art, including John Lavery, Jack B. Yeats, Paul Henry and Louis le Brocquy, we are thrilled to be presenting an equally exciting selection of contemporary Irish art to the international market.