Edinburgh Festival, Exhibition of Dublin and Edinburgh Arts & Crafts, 1985
N. Gordon Bowe and E. Cumming, The Arts and Crafts Movements in Dublin and Edinburgh, 1880-1930, Irish Academic Press, 1998, no.220, illustrated
Painted circa 1901, the chest offers a fantasy scene of Hy Brasil, a mythical island said to lie in the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland, shrouded in mist and only visible once every seven years. Inset on the lid of the chest is a map, which seems to refer to a manuscript in the Royal Irish Academy that locates the island. The chest is referred to in a letter from Jack B. Yeats to his sister Lily, tentatively dated 1901 by Bruce Arnold: 'Cottie has decorated the big box in the drawing...room with a fine first class drawing of lords and ladies strolling on the green lawns[?] of Hy Brazil'.
The boarded chest is stable as is the painted surface. Old marks and abrasions across the surface consistent with age and use. There is wear to the metal hasps. Interior also with old marks and scratches, consistent with age and use. No traces of restoration or retouching. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."