16 September 2003

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KITES AND CLIFF
KITES AND CLIFF
John Shinnors (b.1950)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 51

Published Estimate: €6,000-8,000

Price Realised: €10500

  • Signature: signed lower left; signed again and dated [1986] lower right; inscribed on reverse
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 21 by 23cm., 8.25 by 9in.
  • Provenance: Purchased directly from the artist by the present owner
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BOGLAND FIELDS and ROUGH GROUND, WICKLOW (A PAIR)
BOGLAND FIELDS and ROUGH GROUND, WICKLOW (A PAIR)
Seán McSweeney HRHA (b.1935)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 52

Published Estimate: €3,000-4,000

Price Realised: €4000


BLUE POOL
BLUE POOL
Seán McSweeney HRHA (b.1935)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 53

Published Estimate: €3,000-4,000

Price Realised: €2800

  • Signature: signed and dated [2001] lower left; inscribed and signed again on reverse
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 30 by 41cm., 12 by 16in.
  • Provenance: Taylor Gallery, Belfast
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GREY BOGLAND
GREY BOGLAND
Seán McSweeney HRHA (b.1935)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 54

Published Estimate: €3,000-4,000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed and dated [2002] lower left; inscribed and signed again on reverse
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 25 by 30cm., 10 by 12in.
  • Exhibited: Taylor Galleries, Dublin, October 2002, catalogue no. 8
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ANTRIM LANDSCAPE WITH FALLING LEAVES
ANTRIM LANDSCAPE WITH FALLING LEAVES
Basil Blackshaw RHA RUA (b.1932)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 55

Published Estimate: €8,000-10,000

Price Realised: 


ELEMENTS OF PORT SALON
ELEMENTS OF PORT SALON
Richard Kingston RHA (1922-2003)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 56

Published Estimate: €8,000-10,000

Price Realised: €9000


GIRLS AT VILLAGE PUMP
GIRLS AT VILLAGE PUMP
Patrick Leonard HRHA (b.1918)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 57

Published Estimate: €4,000-5,000

Price Realised: €6500


ACROSS THE CANAL FROM HERBERT PLACE
ACROSS THE CANAL FROM HERBERT PLACE
James le Jeune RHA (1910-1983)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 58

Published Estimate: €8,000-10,000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed lower left; original exhibition label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 41 by 51cm., 16 by 20in.
  • Provenance: Distinguished Artists Gallery, Dublin
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ARAN MóR
ARAN MóR
Thomas Ryan PPRHA (b.1929)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 59

Published Estimate: €2,000-3,000

Price Realised: 


GLEN LOUGH
GLEN LOUGH
Colin Middleton MBE RHA (1910-1983)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 60

Published Estimate: €25,000-35,000

Price Realised: €24000

  • Signature: signed lower left; inscribed, dated [1976] and signed again on reverse
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 61 by 61cm., 24 by 24in.
  • With an unfinished work on reverse. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Colin Middleton worked consistently on a series of square format paintings of the Irish landscape, predominantly of Co. Fermanagh and the Mournes. Together with the expressionist paintings of the post-war years, these are arguably the most impressive works of Middleton’s career. Glen Lough dates from towards the end of this period and is imbued with a deep sense of serenity. It has a less directly observational feel than most of the landscapes of this time and a wider tonal range, while the treatment of the image is quite conventional and readable, with a very even spatial recession. The short, even brushstrokes are reminiscent of Middleton’s 1940s and 1950s landscapes and they build up a surface glistening with light that suggests the physical structure of the landscape with great delicacy. Glen Lough glows with Middleton’s affection for the landscape that he has painted for several decades. Dickon Hall, Killinchy, August 2003

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THE CROCK OF GOLD
THE CROCK OF GOLD
Harry Kernoff RHA (1900-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 61

Published Estimate: €3,500-4,500

Price Realised: €3800

  • Signature: signed with initials and dated [1925] lower left; inscribed lower centre
  • Medium: watercolour, pen and ink
  • Dimensions: 30 by 19cm., 12 by 7.5in.
  • Exhibited: "Paintings, Decorative, Portraits and Genre by Harry A. Kernoff", The Little Theatre, Dublin, 8-21 March 1927; "Paintings by Harry A. Kernoff", Gieves Gallery, London, March 1931; "Spring Exhibition", The Frederick Gallery, Dublin, 2001, catalogue no. 45
  • Literature: Rosemary McAuley,A Fresh Way of Seeing: Harry Kernoff in his times, Irish Jewish Museum, Dublin, 2003, illustrated (plate 3)
  • McAuley has written of this work: “One of his earliest book illustrations was a watercolour for James Stephen’s Crock of Gold, a fantasy scene into which he infused some of the enchantment of this novel-cum-fairytale. The vibrant colour and sharply defined elongated figures would recall the work of Harry Clarke” (McAuley, op. cit., p. 9).

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AN CAPALLíN B¦N with A SIGNED MANUSCRIPT LETTER
AN CAPALLíN B¦N with A SIGNED MANUSCRIPT LETTER
Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 62

Published Estimate: €1,500-2,000

Price Realised: €22000

  • Signature: letter is signed and framed as one with the oil sketch
  • Medium: oil on canvas laid on board
  • Dimensions: 9 by 11cm., 3.5 by 4.5in.
  • Provenance: John Hewitt (1907-1987); Thence by descent
  • Dated 5th March, 1956, the letter is on Yeats’ Fitzwilliam Square letterhead, on which the address has been crossed out and substituted with that of his “winter quarters” at Portobello House. In the letter, Yeats thanks Hewitt (poet and Keeper of Art for the Ulster Museum, 1930-1957) for his catalogue foreword and for “the exhibition of my paintings in your gallery” – a reference to the 1956 CEMA exhibition of Yeats’ paintings at the Belfast Museum and Art Gallery (now the Ulster Museum). Yeats was not well enough at the time to travel to Belfast to see the exhibition, which was the last to be held in his lifetime. He died just twelve months later.

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RURAL LANDSCAPE
RURAL LANDSCAPE
George Campbell RHA (1917-1979)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 63

Published Estimate: €2,500-3,500

Price Realised: 


FLOWER GIRL
FLOWER GIRL
Daniel O'Neill (1920-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 64

Published Estimate: €15,000-20,000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed upper left
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 56 by 41cm., 22 by 16in.
  • Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist by John & Jane Adamson, Conlig, Co.Down; Thence to their son, Ian Gamble Adamson; Taylor Gallery, Belfast (since December 2002)
  • Accompanied by a letter of provenance from the former owners, John and Jane Adamson, who ran the General Merchant’s Store and Post Office in the small village of Conlig, near Newtownards, in the 1940s and ‘50s. O’Neill had taken a house at 4 Hall Street, around the corner from the Adamson’s store. He was known to locals as “Danny” O’Neill, an electrician by trade for whom “painting was a passion”. The Adamson’s son Ian delivered newspapers to 4 Hall Street and there spent many hours watching O’Neill, and his friends George Campbell and Gerard Dillon at work. Of O’Neill, Jane Adamson writes: “He often came to our store to buy groceries and cigarettes and in those days everybody bought things ‘on tick’. One day he came to see us, as he could not afford to pay his grocery bill and asked if we would accept one of his paintings instead”. The painting thus acquired was modelled on O’Neill’s wife and depicts poplars in the background - an echo of a trip O’Neill had then recently made to France, towards the end of 1949. It was later bequeathed to Ian Adamson and has since passed to the Taylor Gallery in Belfast.

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FIGURES IN A STREET, PARIS
FIGURES IN A STREET, PARIS
Markey Robinson (1918-1999)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 65

Published Estimate: €10,000-12,000

Price Realised: €19000

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 42 by 52cm., 16.5 by 20.5in.
  • Markey made repeated trips to France, where the cosmopolitan café life and bustling port scenes provided irresistible subjects for painting. In 1942, Boulogne was hung at the Ulster Academy of Arts exhibition and in his solo show at the Cottar’s Kitchen in Belfast in 1950, French works predominated. In this important painting we see all the characteristics of his best early work: the highly nuanced and earthy-toned palette, the focus on anecdotal details (seen here in the glass shades of the street lamps and the unmistakable French berets worn by some of the figures) and the charged, moody atmosphere created by the row of onlookers, all with their backs turned, gazing out over the city skyline.

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THE BRIDE
THE BRIDE
Daniel O'Neill (1920-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 66

Published Estimate: €20,000-30,000

Price Realised: €20000

  • Signature: signed upper right
  • Medium: oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 53 by 42cm., 21 by 16.5in.
  • Provenance: Markey made repeated trips to France, where the cosmopolitan café life and bustling port scenes provided irresistible subjects for painting. In 1942, Boulogne was hung at the Ulster Academy of Arts exhibition and in his solo show at the Cottar’s Kitchen in Belfast in 1950, French works predominated. In this important painting we see all the characteristics of his best early work: the highly nuanced and earthy-toned palette, the focus on anecdotal details (seen here in the glass shades of the street lamps and the unmistakable French berets worn by some of the figures) and the charged, moody atmosphere created by the row of onlookers, all with their backs turned, gazing out over the city skyline.
  • Exhibited: "Dan O'Neill: Selected Figurative Works", Octagon Gallery, Belfast, 5-29 August 1987 (on loan from George & Maura McClelland), catalogue no. 15
  • Painted circa 1957/1960, The Bride clearly displays the artist’s Parisian influences, in particular those of Rouault, Vlaminck and Utrillo. It was included in the only posthumous exhibition of O’Neill’s work, held at the Octagon Gallery in Belfast in 1987. In the catalogue to the exhibition, Liam Kelly wrote that in O’Neill’s work “women are seldom seen as lovers, despite being lovesick, but as large limbed, timeless beauties isolated and forlorn. The bride, the actress, the model are all taken out of time...”. His observations apply most aptly to The Bride.

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CONNEMARA CHURCHYARD
CONNEMARA CHURCHYARD
George Campbell RHA (1917-1979)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 67

Published Estimate: €4,000-5,000

Price Realised: 


SELF-PORTRAIT WITH PIERROT AND BIRD
SELF-PORTRAIT WITH PIERROT AND BIRD
Gerard Dillon (1916-1971)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 68

Published Estimate: €1,500-1,800

Price Realised: €1700

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: photomontage with gouache on paper
  • Dimensions: 23 by 28cm., 9.25 by 11in.
  • Provenance: A gift from the artist to James Maguire (see lot 25); Thence by descent
  • Dillon superimposed this profile photograph of himself on at least one other known work, illustrated on page 81 of James White’s monograph on Dillon. The present work has a second drawing of two semi-abstract figures in period costume, painted over, on reverse.

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SAND FLY
SAND FLY
Gerard Dillon (1916-1971)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 69

Published Estimate: €3,000-4,000

Price Realised: €3000


DON QUIXOTE AND SANCHO PANZA
DON QUIXOTE AND SANCHO PANZA
George Campbell RHA (1917-1979)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 70

Published Estimate: €20,000-25,000

Price Realised: €13000

  • Signature: signed lower left; inscribed on reverse
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 91 by 76cm., 36 by 30in.
  • Exhibited: "George Campbell RHA", David Hendriks Gallery, Dublin, October 1969, catalogue no. 1 (£200 gns)
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PATRICK LYNCH'S BOAT
PATRICK LYNCH'S BOAT
Seán Keating PRHA (1889-1977)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 71

Published Estimate: €50,000-70,000

Price Realised: €58000

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 53 by 66cm., 21 by 26in.
  • Provenance: Victor Waddington Galleries, Dublin; Whence purchased by Alfred Ernest Goodwin, Limerick; Thence by descent
  • Whyte’s are very pleased to offer the following fine selection of works by Seán Keating. These works come from various private hands, including two from the collection of fellow artist and friend Theo Gracey, and one (Patrick Lynch’s Boat) which was purchased from the art dealer Victor Waddington by Alfred Goodwin. On Waddington’s urging, Goodwin expanded his chinaware business and established the Goodwin Galleries, which for a long time was the only outlet for art in Limerick, showcasing the works of Keating, Leech and other RHA artists to an appreciative Limerick audience (they were also to give John Shinnors his first solo exhibition many years later). It was an appropriate development, given that Keating (and later his student and protégé, Thomas Ryan) hailed from Limerick; the western counties supplied their quota of talented artists to the Dublin Metropolitan Art School and the Hibernian Academy. Keating’s posthumous reputation as an artist has suffered the vagaries of art criticism in this country. His clear-cut academic painting fell decidedly out of fashion from the 1950s onwards, with the acceptance of international modernism amongst the country’s cultural arbiters. Recently however, historians have begun to reassess Keating’s contribution to Irish art. They see his depiction of highly charged, nationalist subjects in an academic style – sanctioned by the British art establishment – as subversive, at the same time as it was wholly pragmatic. Art historians are gradually coming full circle, and perhaps a third retrospective of Keating’s work will finally see him accorded the appropriate accolades. The following excerpt from the foreword to Seán Keating, PRHA 1889-1977, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, 1989, is reprinted here with kind permission of the author. ”Seán Keating was a national painter in that his interest and subject matter was found in the life and events of his own time and place. But he imbued his pictures with a quality outside their representational reference, he made them symbols. His long preoccupation with the Aran Islands had to do with this abstract imposition, the life and appearance of the islands being token of an ample Irishness more diluted and less noticeable in other parts. That the people of Aran attired themselves in picturesque apparel and that their Islands’ stony cliffs and walls caught the light in a dramatic and “painterly” manner made the illustration of island life all the more zestful. … Though Seán Keating was determinedly of Ireland he was anything but limited or insular. Like Goya, his mind jumped the frontiers and as in the work of the Spanish master his people see, in the art of Seán Keating, a reflection of themselves co-mingling with visions of a wider brotherhood in the generous profusion of his talent”. Tom Ryan PPRHA

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HEAD OF THE TURF GATHERER
HEAD OF THE TURF GATHERER
Seán Keating PRHA (1889-1977)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 72

Published Estimate: €6,000-8,000

Price Realised: €17000

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: pastel on tinted paper
  • Dimensions: 50 by 41cm., 19.5 by 16in.
  • Provenance: Acquired in 1939 by fellow artist Theo Gracey RUA (1895-1959); Thence by descent
  • A study for The Turf Gatherer, illustrated on the front cover of the 1989 Keating retrospective at the RHA and now in the collection of The Model Arts & Niland Gallery in Sligo.

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SELF PORTRAIT
SELF PORTRAIT
Seán Keating PRHA (1889-1977)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 73

Published Estimate: €4,000-5,000

Price Realised: €4500


GALWAY HOOKER
GALWAY HOOKER
Seán Keating PRHA (1889-1977)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 74

Published Estimate: €3,000-4,000

Price Realised: €4200


KING OF ARAN
KING OF ARAN
Seán Keating PRHA (1889-1977)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 75

Published Estimate: €3,000-4,000

Price Realised: €5700


MAN OF ARAN
MAN OF ARAN
Seán Keating PRHA (1889-1977)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 76

Published Estimate: €3,000-4,000

Price Realised: €3600

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: charcoal on paper
  • Dimensions: 74 by 51cm., 29 by 20in.
  • Provenance: The Lord Killanin, Ballsbridge; James Adam Salerooms, Dublin, 17 May 1990, Lot 176; whence purchased by the present owner
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PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG GIRL
PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG GIRL
Seán Keating PRHA (1889-1977)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 77

Published Estimate: €1,500-2,000

Price Realised: €6500


WATCH COTTAGE
WATCH COTTAGE
Charles Vincent Lamb RHA RUA (1893-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 78

Published Estimate: €8,000-10,000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 46 by 56cm., 18 by 22in.
  • Provenance: Taylor Gallery, London; Bell Gallery, Belfast; Private collection, Co. Tyrone
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CURRACHS, CONNEMARA
CURRACHS, CONNEMARA
Maurice MacGonigal PPRHA (1900-1979)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 79

Published Estimate: €6,000-8,000

Price Realised: 


STUDY OF A YOUNG GIRL IN PENSIVE MOOD
STUDY OF A YOUNG GIRL IN PENSIVE MOOD
William John Leech RHA ROI (1891-1968)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 80

Published Estimate: €2,500-3,500

Price Realised: €2800

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: conté crayon on paper
  • Dimensions: 61 by 48cm., 24 by 19in.
  • Literature: Denise Ferran, William John Leech: An Irish Painter Abroad, NGI, Dublin, 1997, p.268
  • A sketch of Suzanne Botterell, which was later used for the oil painting known as Woman by a Window, catalogue no. 99 in the 1996 National Gallery Leech retrospective and illustrated on p.271 of the catalogue.

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WORKMAN
WORKMAN
Maurice Canning Wilks RUA ARHA (1910-1984)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 81

Published Estimate: €15,000-18,000

Price Realised: 


A LANE IN COUNTY DOWN
A LANE IN COUNTY DOWN
James Humbert Craig RHA RUA (1877-1944)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 82

Published Estimate: €30,000-40,000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed and dated [1916] lower left; remains of three labels on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 76 by 61cm., 30 by 24in.
  • Provenance: John Magee, Belfast; McClure collection; Sold through Henry Morgan, Belfast, to the present owner
  • Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1917, catalogue no. 168
  • Although J. H. Craig was born in 1877 he began to paint seriously only around 1910 . Thus, while he was thirty-nine in 1916 when he painted this picture, it is, in reality, an early work. In these years, during which he lived with his parents in a large and commodious house, ‘Craigalea’, at Bangor in Co. Down, his subject matter was in the main drawn from areas close to home, namely Bangor, Groomsport and the shores of Belfast Lough. Only occasionally did he spread his wings to the north Antrim coast and Donegal and those other areas with which he is now so closely associated. A Lane in Co. Down, therefore, marks the end of the earliest phase of his work and looks forward to the whole of his later career. The lane depicted in this painting is located in an area known as the Minnowburn Beeches. The Minnowburn is a tiny tributary of the river Lagan, still surrounded as then by splendid beech trees. It joins with the Lagan close to Shaw’s Bridge on the southern outskirts of Belfast. It is most likely that Craig had painted the area previously, for in 1910 he showed a watercolour, Wood near Shaw’s Bridge, at the Belfast Art Society’s annual exhibition. Six years later, he showed there another watercolour - a possible study for the larger oil, also called A Lane in Co. Down. The most striking thing about the present picture is the theatrical juxtaposition of the heavily shaded foreground and trees with the patches of dappled sunlight which break through in the middle distance and the bright, wind-blown sky, the two areas dividing the picture almost diagonally. This tonal theatricality, which has a hint of Barbizon about it, is unusual for Craig who generally preferred to record with uncanny realism the essential visual effect of a scene. Or, as John Hewitt more poetically put it, to catch ‘the swift notation of the insistent effect, the momentary flicker, the flash of light, the passing shadow’, attributes which might be regarded as the hallmark of his art. The loose Impressionist palette and brushwork, however, are typical of Craig’s oeuvre in general. This work appears to have been early acquired by a private collector and has been in private hands ever since. For a discussion of Craig’s career see S. B. Kennedy, With an Angler’s Eye: the Art of James Humbert Craig, W & G Baird in association with the Ulster Museum, Belfast, 2001. 2 John Hewitt, Art in Ulster: 1, Blackstaff Press, Belfast, 1977, p. 83. Dr S. B. Kennedy Belfast, August 2003

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A KITCHEN GARDEN NEAR PARIS and LANDSCAPE, LES TERNES (A PAIR)
A KITCHEN GARDEN NEAR PARIS and LANDSCAPE, LES TERNES (A PAIR)
Sarah Henrietta Purser HRHA (1848-1943)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 83

Published Estimate: €4,000-6,000

Price Realised: €3800

  • Signature: the former work inscribed on reverse: "Mrs Geoghegan..36 Ridgeway"
  • Medium: oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 15 by 22cm., 6 by 8.5in.
  • Provenance: Frances Geoghegan (the artist's cousin); thence by descent; private collection, Dublin
  • Exhibited: RHA, 1944 (in memoriam), catalogue no. 129 or 134 (as Landscape near Paris)
  • Literature: John O'Grady, The Life and Work of Sarah Purser, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1996, the former work was listed as catalogue no. 100, illustrated plate 12
  • O’Grady has commented on A Kitchen Garden, that “the panel’s red-brown wood shows through the paint to good effect, and the treatment of the pollarded trees and palings recalls the Daily Express reference to ‘sketchy and free’ works done in France in May 1883”.

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ST REMY
ST REMY
Hans Iten RUA (1874-1930)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 84

Published Estimate: €4,000-5,000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed lower right; inscribed exhibition label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 33 by 41cm., 13 by 16in.
  • Exhibited: Belfast Art Society, October 1923, catalogue no. 213
  • Born in Zurich, Iten was an impressionist painter of considerable ability. After working for some years in Paris, he came to Belfast in 1904 having been engaged as a damask designer by the linen manufacturers McCrum, Watson & Mercer. Within just two years he was elected vice-president of the Belfast Art Society and was soon showing regularly with both the Society and the RHA. His flower studies and his smaller impressionist landscapes earned him an excellent reputation, so much so that he was one of the first nine academicians elected to the Ulster Academy in 1930.

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A BRITTAINY MAID
A BRITTAINY MAID
Jessie Ogsten Douglas (fl.1894-1925)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 85

Published Estimate: €2,000-3,000

Price Realised: €3200

  • Signature: signed lower right; original inscribed label on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 28 by 20cm., 11 by 8in.
  • Whilst it is now possible to trace only a handful of works by Jessie Douglas, these few would indicate that she was a gifted watercolourist, in a similar vein to Rose Barton and Mildred Anne Butler. Tantalisingly little is known however, about her background, other than that she lived at 1 Windsor Park Terrace in Belfast and was a regular exhibitor with the Watercolour Society of Ireland from 1892 to 1922. The titles of her exhibited works reveal she painted regularly in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as Donegal and Connemara. Her works were hung by the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, the Society of Women Artists, the Belfast Art Society (of which she was an honorary member), the RHA and the Royal Scottish Academy among others. As with her best known work, Cherry Ripe (much admired at the 1987 Irish Women Artists exhibition and now in the collection of the Ulster Museum), A Brittany Maid displays an extraordinarily delicate and assured touch for such an underrated artist.

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HEAD OF A YOUNG BOY
HEAD OF A YOUNG BOY
Sarah Henrietta Purser HRHA (1848-1943)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 86

Published Estimate: €2,000-3,000

Price Realised: €4800

  • Signature: inscribed "8 hours" upper right
  • Medium: oil on leather buckram laid on board
  • Dimensions: 25 by 20cm., 10 by 8in.
  • Provenance: Collection of Derek Hill; Private collection, Dublin
  • This study of a boy's head is in Purser's briskest mode, matching in style a series of sketches in various media which culminated in one of her most ambitious and well-received genre paintings, Penny dinners in Kevin Street – the boys' table, exhibited at the RHA in March 1891, no. 98. It was probably at that period that the boy now before us sat to Purser, though he found no place at that particular dining-table. This sketch is typical of her work, which ranges from the sensitive to the robust but always treats the model with understanding and sympathy, and the fact that it is unsigned does not detract from the certainty that it is by Purser. Dr John O’Grady Dublin, August 2003

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PAINTING IN A GARDEN
PAINTING IN A GARDEN
William John Leech RHA ROI (1881-1968)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 87

Published Estimate: €60,000-80,000

Price Realised: €50000

  • Signature: signed lower left; original inscribed label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 69 by 53cm., 27 by 21in.
  • Provenance: Dawson Gallery, Dublin; Private collection, Dublin
  • Exhibited: RHA, 1955, catalogue no. 85 (Where it was priced at £219-0-0, making it the most expensively priced painting Leech ever exhibited at the RHA, up until his final year of exhibiting there, in 1967.)
  • Painting in a Garden is one of a series of self portraits that Leech painted from the 1920s until his death in 1968. Inscribed in Leech’s handwriting on the reverse of this work is “No. 3 Painting in a Garden, W. J. Leech 20 Abbey Road, London, NW8”. This was the address of the fifth floor apartment that his future wife, Mrs May Botterell, had rented in Hampstead from 1938. Leech based himself in the apartment after his own studio space at Steele’s Studios was bombed in 1941. Even after Steele’s Studio was partially patched up, he remained at 20 Abbey Road, until 1958 when he and May moved to West Clandon, outside Guildford in Surrey. Painting in a Garden was thus probably painted during the 1940s when Leech was in his sixties. His annual extended trips to France were no longer possible and his subject matter focused on still-life, flower studies, portraits of his family and friends and his self portraits, which were painted outside in the sunlit garden of his studio. In this portrait Leech’s personality is portrayed in his attention to detail in his dress: his polished shoes, ironed trousers and white shirt – similar clothes to those he is wearing in Self Portrait (Painting in a Garden)1. However, in the present work, Leech has his shirt sleeves rolled up, he is tieless and hatless and his gaze is focusing on the canvas instead of looking out at his reflection in the mirror. In most of his self portraits Leech is formally dressed and in the series he painted in the last ten years of his life he is wearing his overcoat over his open necked white shirt. This work is similar in pose to his Self Portrait, painted in Steele’s Studios on the back of the canvas, Flowers in a Vase, except for the fact that there Leech is wearing a black jacket, a handkerchief in his top pocket, white shirt and tie and holding additional paint brushes in his left hand. In Painting in a Garden he adopts a happier, more relaxed pose as he leans towards his canvas, his right arm extended and his left arm loosely dropped at his side. He captures the sunlight on the grass in vivid greens and yellows framed by the frieze of darker trees in the top one third of the picture. The canvas deckchair, with stripes in Indian red, echoes the diagonal of Leech’s body and is the same deckchair seen in Steps to the Studio, painted outside his studio at Candy Cottage, West Clandon, Surrey, where he spent the final ten years of his life. 1 Illustrated on page 235 of Denise Ferran, William John Leech: An Irish Painter Abroad, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 1996, pp.234-235. Denise Ferran, Belfast, August 2003

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AN IRISH HOMESTEAD
AN IRISH HOMESTEAD
Joseph Poole Addey (1852-1922)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 88

Published Estimate: €1,800-2,200

Price Realised: €2400

  • Signature: signed and dated [1890] lower right
  • Medium: watercolour heightened with white
  • Dimensions: 33 by 51cm., 13 by 20in.
  • Provenance: Dr. Watson, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone; Private collection, Northern Ireland
  • In this admirable watercolour Addey has portrayed Irish rural life at its most prosperous and contented. Two young boys in the foreground look candidly at the viewer - relaxed, well dressed and shod. A woman and another boy stand at a discreet distance, whilst the man of the house takes his leisure, leaning against a half-door. The homestead itself shows signs of having been added to and enlarged, whilst goats, geese, a cow and turkeys are further material signs of sound economy and indeed moral virtuousness. At the time this was painted, Addey had relinquished a teaching post in Derry and was living in Dublin, painting neighbouring villages in north Co. Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford. Works such as this lend strength to the argument that he must be counted among the leading Irish watercolourists of his day.

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WORKING IN THE YARD
WORKING IN THE YARD
Frank McKelvey RHA RUA (1895-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 89

Published Estimate: €2,000-2,500

Price Realised: €4200


AUTUMN IN AN IRISH PARK
AUTUMN IN AN IRISH PARK
Mary Barton (1861-1949)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 90

Published Estimate: €2,500-3,500

Price Realised: 


THE BACK ROAD
THE BACK ROAD
Frank McKelvey RHA RUA (1895-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 91

Published Estimate: €30,000-40,000

Price Realised: €30000

  • Signature: signed lower left; original inscribed label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 51 by 69cm., 20 by 27in.
  • Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1956, catalogue no.1 (£60-0-0)
  • The Back Road was painted when McKelvey was sixty years of age and displays all the best qualities of his mature work. From a shaded road, dappled with light, the eye is drawn unerringly towards the gable-end of a simple farm building, with hens pecking at the ground below in a golden glow of light. Dr S. B. Kennedy has written of McKelvey’s work of this period: “In these the subject-matter is unchanged from earlier decades, but the scale of colours is brighter than before and the brushwork is more delicate with at times a feathery quality to it... These compositions of the 1950s, too, represent a way of life on the eve of change, when farming began to assume its contemporary ‘industrial’ character. The farm buildings depicted are traditional in style and construction, the chickens run freely about the farmyard, all exist in perpetual summer. It is the recording of such scenes that, apart from the aesthetic qualities of his art, makes the work of Frank McKelvey so appealing to us nowadays”. (S. B. Kennedy, Frank McKelvey, RHA, RUA: A Painter in His Time, Irish Academic Press, Dublin, 1993, p.70).

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GARRON POINT FROM CUSHENDUN
GARRON POINT FROM CUSHENDUN
James Humbert Craig RHA RUA (1877-1944)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 92

Published Estimate: €10,000-12,000

Price Realised: €13000


LANDSCAPE WITH FIGURE AND CATTLE ON A RIVER PATH
LANDSCAPE WITH FIGURE AND CATTLE ON A RIVER PATH
Frank McKelvey RHA RUA (1895-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 93

Published Estimate: €20,000-25,000

Price Realised: €19000


VIEW OF BELFAST LOUGH
VIEW OF BELFAST LOUGH
John Luke RUA (1906-1975)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 94

Published Estimate: €6,000-8,000

Price Realised: 


PORTRAIT OF A LADY WITH GREEN DROP EARRINGS
PORTRAIT OF A LADY WITH GREEN DROP EARRINGS
Frank McKelvey RHA RUA (1895-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 95

Published Estimate: €1,500-2,000

Price Realised: €3200


DAHLIAS IN A BLUE LUSTREWARE VASE
DAHLIAS IN A BLUE LUSTREWARE VASE
Lady kate Dobbin WCSI (1868-1955)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 96

Published Estimate: €1,000-1,200

Price Realised: €1050


FLOWERS FOR THE TEACHER
FLOWERS FOR THE TEACHER
Samuel McCloy (1831-1904)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 97

Published Estimate: €4,000-5,000

Price Realised: €10000

  • Signature: signed in monogram lower right
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 38 by 24cm., 15 by 9.5in.
  • Provenance: With the Bell Gallery, Belfast; Taggart, Jorgenson & Putman, Washington DC; Chris Beetles, London; Private collection, Co. Tyrone
  • Accompanied by a greetings card printed by the Bucentaur Gallery, London, for which the present work was used as an illustration.

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POPPIES, OX-EYE DAISIES, DANDELIONS AND FOXGLOVES AT THE EDGE OF A FIELD, WITH A VIEW OF LONDONDERRY
POPPIES, OX-EYE DAISIES, DANDELIONS AND FOXGLOVES AT THE EDGE OF A FIELD, WITH A VIEW OF LONDONDERRY
Andrew Nicholl RHA (1804-1886)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 98

Published Estimate: €15,000-20,000

Price Realised: €17000

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: watercolour with gum arabic and sgraffito
  • Dimensions: 34 by 52cm., 13.5 by 20.5in.
  • Both this work and the following lot belong to a particular genre of painting which Nicholl began around 1830 and practised throughout most of his career. It combines the dual arts of still-life nature studies with traditional topographic landscape painting. Nicholl’s patron, Sir James Emerson Tennant, funded a trip to London from 1830-1832, during which period Nicholl undertook intensive studies of works hanging in the Dulwich Picture Gallery and greatly improved in his technique. A letter from this period written to Nicholl from Emerson’s sister Eliza, thanks the artist for the “beautiful coloured drawing of flowers”; this appears to be the first reference to the series of floral studies. The flower studies usually depict poppies (both red and the imaginatively created blue variety), cornflowers and daisies. Nicholl also uses the technique of ‘sgraffito’ in amongst the grasses, literally scraping into the paint surface to create detail and variety. Comparative works include ‘(London)derry on the River Foyle, Co. Derry, Beyond a Bank of Flowers’ and ‘Pheasants in a Bank of Flowers’, both in the National Gallery of Ireland. Anne Crookshank and the Knight of Glin have written of these works: “They would appear to be totally original compositions, and because the scale of the flowers and buildings is so irrational they have a surrealist quality”¹. It is this quality which makes them “the most haunting Irish paintings of the early nineteenth century”² and undoubtedly Nicholl’s masterpieces. ¹ Anne Crookshank and the Knight of Glin, The Watercolours of Ireland: Works on Paper in Pencil, Pastel and Paint c.1600-1914, Barrie & Jenkins, London, 1994, p.168. ² Anne Crookshank and the Knight of Glin, The Painters of Ireland c.1600-1920, Barrie & Jenkins, London, 1978, p.202.

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BANK OF WILD FLOWERS WITH DUNSTAFFNAGE CASTLE BEYOND
BANK OF WILD FLOWERS WITH DUNSTAFFNAGE CASTLE BEYOND
Andrew Nicholl RHA (1804-1886)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 99

Published Estimate: €10,000-15,000

Price Realised: €11500

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: watercolour with bodycolour and scraffito
  • Dimensions: 36 by 51cm., 14 by 20in.
  • Dunstaffnage is a thirteenth century castle near Oban, Argyllshire. Formerly a MacDougall stronghold, it was seized by Robert the Bruce in 1309 and entrusted to the Campbell clan on behalf of the Crown. The castle achieved some notoriety in 1746 when Flora MacDonald (Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rescuer) was briefly imprisoned there.

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THREE CHILDREN PLAYING AT MARCHING SOLDIERS
THREE CHILDREN PLAYING AT MARCHING SOLDIERS
Erskine Nicol RSA ARA (1825-1904)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 16 September 2003 / 100

Published Estimate: €6,000-8,000

Price Realised: €9000


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