30 April 2007

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STUDY FOR A FAMILY, 1951
STUDY FOR A FAMILY, 1951
Louis le Brocquy HRHA (b.1916)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 51

Published Estimate: €60000-80000

Price Realised: €39000

  • Signature: signed and dated 22.1.51 lower left
  • Medium: pencil, pen and ink and wash on paper
  • Dimensions: 22 by 27cm., 8.5 by 10.5in.
  • Exhibited: Almost certainly exhibited at the Waddington Galleries, Dublin, 6-17 December 1951, catalogue no. 17 (30 guineas), as Study for A Family
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THE TAIN - A COMPLETE SET OF THIRTY-SIX LITHOGRAPHS, 1969
THE TAIN - A COMPLETE SET OF THIRTY-SIX LITHOGRAPHS, 1969
Louis le Brocquy HRHA (b.1916)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 52

Published Estimate: €80000-100000

Price Realised: €75000

  • Signature: each print signed, inscribed, dated and numbered with edition
  • Medium: thirty-six lithographs, individually framed (no. 53 from the
  • Dimensions: 62 by 38cm., 24.2 5 by 15in.
  • The complete set of this seminal series, consisting of portfolios 1, 2 and 3. Each portfolio contains twelve different prints, or “lithographic brush drawings”, illustrating the epic Ulster cycle of heroic tales. Printed in Dublin in 1969 by Frank O’Reilly in an edition of 70 plus one artist’s proof. Included with the lot are the three original black clamshell folio cases and the title pages, letterpress and black interleaves. A rare and highly desirable set, with each print individually framed.

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HEAD OF A CHILD, circa 1973-5
HEAD OF A CHILD, circa 1973-5
Louis le Brocquy HRHA (b.1916)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 53

Published Estimate: €100000-120000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed on reverse; Dawson Gallery label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 41 by 33cm., 16 by 13in.
  • Provenance: Dawson Gallery, Dublin; Whence purchased by the present owner in 1975
  • Original bill of receipt from the Dawson Gallery included with lot.

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HUBAND BRIDGE, GRAND CANAL, DUBLIN, 1936
HUBAND BRIDGE, GRAND CANAL, DUBLIN, 1936
Harry Kernoff RHA (1900-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 54

Published Estimate: €40000-50000

Price Realised: €39000

  • Signature: signed and dated lower right; inscribed with title and price (£10 guineas) on reverse
  • Medium: oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 30 by 41cm., 12 by 16in.
  • Provenance: Private collection, Westport, Co. Mayo; By descent from the aunt of the present owner
  • Exhibited: `Exhibition of Pictures by Harry Kernoff, RHA', Victor Waddington Galleries, Dublin, 13-22 October 1936, catalogue no. 18 (£10-0-0)
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THE OLD MILLHOUSE, MILLTOWN, COUNTY DUBLIN, 1936
THE OLD MILLHOUSE, MILLTOWN, COUNTY DUBLIN, 1936
Harry Kernoff RHA (1900-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 55

Published Estimate: €40000-50000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed and dated lower left; inscribed with title and price (12 guineas) on reverse
  • Medium: oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 30 by 41cm., 12 by 16in.
  • Provenance: Private collection, Westport, Co. Mayo; By descent from the aunt of the present owner
  • Exhibited: Possibly as Ancient House, Milltown, or The Old Bridge, Milltown, at an ‘Exhibition of Pictures by Harry Kernoff, RHA’, Victor Waddington Galleries, Dublin, 13-22 October 1936, catalogue nos. 7 and 15 respectively (£10-10-0 each)
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SKIPPER ALLEY, DUBLIN, circa 1949
SKIPPER ALLEY, DUBLIN, circa 1949
Fergus O'Ryan RHA ANCA (1911-1989)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 56

Published Estimate: €6000-8000

Price Realised: €7000

  • Signature: signed lower right; original label on reverse inscribed with title and price (57 gunieas)
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 60 by 72cm., 23.5 by 28.5in.
  • Provenance: Victor Waddington Galleries, Dublin; Whence purchased by Lily Coletta Vaughn, Principal of the Hall School at Monkstown; Thence by descent to the present owner
  • Exhibited: Possibly shown at the Oireachtas Art Exhibition, Dublin, 1949, catalogue no. 26 as St. Audeon's (£57-15-0)
  • A view of the Franciscan friary of Adam and Eve's on Merchant's Quay, with the rear facade of St. Audeon's visible beyond. In the original frame of the Victor Waddington Galleries, Dublin.

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EUSTON STATION, LONDON, circa 1937
EUSTON STATION, LONDON, circa 1937
Harry Kernoff RHA (1900-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 57

Published Estimate: €35000-45000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: pastel
  • Dimensions: 51 by 62cm., 20 by 24.5in.
  • Provenance: Private collection, Westport, Co. Mayo; By descent from the aunt of the present owner
  • Exhibited: Almost certainly exhibited under the title `Euston at Night' at `Recent Paintings by Harry Kernoff RHA', Mills Hall, Merrion Row, Dublin, 1-15 December 1937, catalogue no. 22 (£12-12-0)
  • Whilst scheduled air services between Dublin and London began in 1936, for many years the most common means of travelling between the two cities was the Irish Mail from Euston Station to Holyhead and thence by ferry to Dublin. The significance of Euston to the thousands of Irish who first arrived here to find work in London is indicated by Kernoff’s inclusion of the ‘Guinness is Good For You’ billboard and another poster advertising the L.M.S. rail service to Dublin.

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LIFFEY-BANK HOUSE, CHAPELIZOD, DUBLIN, 1954
LIFFEY-BANK HOUSE, CHAPELIZOD, DUBLIN, 1954
Harry Kernoff RHA (1900-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 58

Published Estimate: €6000-8000

Price Realised: €7400

  • Signature: signed and dated lower left; inscribed on reverse with title and price (£10-10-0)
  • Medium: watercolour and pencil
  • Dimensions: 26 by 32cm., 10.2 5 by 12.5in.
  • Provenance: Godolphin Gallery, Dublin; Private collection
  • Full inscription on reverse reads: "Liffey-Bank House Chapelizod Dublin £10-10-0 (Dismantled) 1954".

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TOWNLEY HALL, DROGHEDA
TOWNLEY HALL, DROGHEDA
Nano Reid (1900-1981)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 59

Published Estimate: €2000-3000

Price Realised: €4600

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 22 by 29cm., 8.5 by 11.5in.
  • With a parkland scene on reverse. Built in 1794 to the design of Francis Johnston, Townley Hall is widely regarded as Johnston’s classical masterpiece. The last member of the Townley family to reside there was Mrs Townley Balfour, on whose death in 1954 it was inherited by Mr David Crichton, who sold it to Trinity College Dublin in 1956.

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BUTT BRIDGE, DUBLIN
BUTT BRIDGE, DUBLIN
Robert Taylor Carson HRUA (b.1919)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 60

Published Estimate: €5000-7000

Price Realised: €8000

  • Signature: signed lower left; typed label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 30 by 44cm., 12 by 17.5in.
  • Provenance: Roy Edwards Fine Art, Portadown, Co. Armagh; Private collection
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LONDON STREET
LONDON STREET
Daniel O'Neill (1920-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 61

Published Estimate: €15000-20000

Price Realised: €14000

  • Signature: signed lower right; original label inscribed with title on reverse
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 41 by 37cm., 16 by 14.5in.
  • The artist's London home is depicted in this streetscape.

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WINETAVERN STREET, DUBLIN
WINETAVERN STREET, DUBLIN
Flora H. Mitchell (1890-1973)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 62

Published Estimate: €2000-3000

Price Realised: €4200

  • Signature: signed lower right; inscribed lower left; original gallery label on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour over pen and ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 20 by 30cm., 8 by 12in.
  • Provenance: Dawson Gallery, Dublin; Private collection
  • In the original frame of the Dawson Gallery, Dublin. A similar view, Windtavern Street (demolished 1964) from the Synod Hall Arch is in the collection of the National Gallery (NGI 7266).

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BRIDE STREET IN 1954, DUBLIN
BRIDE STREET IN 1954, DUBLIN
Flora H. Mitchell (1890-1973)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 63

Published Estimate: €1800-2200

Price Realised: €3600

  • Signature: signed lower right; inscribed and dated lower left; inscribed on label on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour, pen and ink
  • Dimensions: 20 by 25cm., 8 by 9.75in.
  • Provenance: Whyte's, 9 October 2001, lot 19; Whence purchased by the present owner
  • Artist’s inscription on reverse reads: “A few of these old houses remain in Bride St. though much of the street was rebuilt by the Iveagh Trust since 1900. The middle shop in the drawing was ‘Johnny Foxes’ (a noted character who claimed he would buy and sell anything in the world)”. A similar work is in the collection of the National Gallery (NGI 7308) and was used as an illustration in Vanishing Dublin.

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DAWSON STREET FROM STEPHEN'S GREEN
DAWSON STREET FROM STEPHEN'S GREEN
Flora H. Mitchell (1890-1973)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 64

Published Estimate: €2000-3000

Price Realised: €6000

  • Signature: signed lower right; inscribed lower left; inscribed label on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour, pen and ink
  • Dimensions: 32 by 25cm., 12.7 5 by 10in.
  • Provenance: Whyte's, 19 February 2002, lot 1; Whence purchased by the present owner
  • In the original frame of the Dawson Gallery, Dublin

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THE MUSIC ACADEMY, HOME OF JAMES JOYCE'S AUNTS, NO. 15 USHERS ISLAND, DUBLIN
THE MUSIC ACADEMY, HOME OF JAMES JOYCE'S AUNTS, NO. 15 USHERS ISLAND, DUBLIN
Flora H. Mitchell (1890-1973)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 65

Published Estimate: €1800-2200

Price Realised: €2700

  • Signature: signed lower right; inscribed lower left
  • Medium: watercolour, pen and ink
  • Dimensions: 25 by 23cm., 10 by 9.25in.
  • The home of Joyce’s aunts, Mrs Lyons and Mrs Callanan featured in The Dead, the most famous short story in Dubliners, his first published work of prose.

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LAST OF THE ARKLOW SCHOONERS, DUBLIN, 1959
LAST OF THE ARKLOW SCHOONERS, DUBLIN, 1959
Flora H. Mitchell (1890-1973)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 66

Published Estimate: €1800-2200

Price Realised: €3600

  • Signature: signed lower right; inscribed lower left; original label on reverse inscribed with title, date and price (8.5 guineas)
  • Medium: watercolour, pen and ink
  • Dimensions: 29 by 21cm., 11.5 by 8.25in.
  • A second label on reverse is typed with the following note: “Last of the Arklow Schooners. Till recently these Trading vessels could be seen passing up Dublin Bay a couple of times weekly, originally under sail but for the last ten years or so powered by engine. One of them was used in the film of Moby Dick”. A similar work is in the collection of the National Gallery (NGI 7298) and was used as an illustration in Vanishing Dublin.

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FRONT SQUARE, TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN
FRONT SQUARE, TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN
Flora H. Mitchell (1890-1973)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 67

Published Estimate: €2000-3000

Price Realised: €7200


AN IRISH BOG, circa 1939
AN IRISH BOG, circa 1939
Paul Henry RHA (1876-1958)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 68

Published Estimate: €100000-120000

Price Realised: €120000

  • Signature: signed "PAUL HENRY" lower left; inscribed and numbered "2" on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas board
  • Dimensions: 37 by 33cm., 14.7 5 by 13in.
  • Provenance: Combridge's Gallery, Dublin; Whence purchased in 1940 by the present owner
  • Exhibited: ’New Pictures by Paul Henry’, Combridge’s Gallery, Dublin, from 8 April 1940 (catalogue number unknown)
  • Literature: Seán Ó Faolain, An Irish Journey, Longmans, Green and Co., London, 1940, reproduced as frontispiece and (in later editions) on front of dust jacket; S. B. Kennedy, Paul Henry, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000, p. 126, reproduced
  • Painted during Henry’s tour of Ireland with Seán Ó Faolain in 1939 when gathering material for the latter’s book An Irish Journey. “Paul Henry and I want to rediscover that simpler, more racy Ireland of the people”, Ó Faolain wrote (An Irish Journey, p. 3), words that convey the nature of this picture. Painted directly to the canvas with little or no overworking, the surface of the picture is remarkably fresh and reflects the advice that Henry’s Parisian teacher, Whistler, the most important influence on his career, impressed upon his students, that is, that they should observe things in simple, direct terms and set them down harmoniously in closely modulated tones without attempting to obtain the “thousand changes of colour that there are in reality”, an approach which underpins much of Henry’s best work. Whistler also emphasized the need for an artist to understand how he had achieved certain qualities in a picture. “You must know how you did it, so that the next time you can do it again.…Remember which of the colours you employed, how you managed the turning of the shadow into the light.…You must be able to do every part equally well, for the greatness of a work of art lies in the perfect harmony of the whole, not in the fine painting of one or more details” (Stanley Weintraub, Whistler: A Biography, London: Collins, 1974, pp. 440-41). Henry absorbed Whistler’s instruction and it stood him in good stead throughout his career and never more so than in the group of late works, of which this is one, done specifically for O’Faolain’s book in 1939. Indeed these pictures represent the last creative flowering of Henry’s art, for within a year or two he suffered an illness which led to almost total blindness and thus the end of his painting career. There is an even film of paint throughout, with no emphasis of impasto. Erroneously titled Mountain Lake on the reverse, but not in the artist’s hand. An Irish Bog is numbered 996 in S. B. Kennedy’s forthcoming catalogue of Paul Henry’s Paintings, Drawings and Illustrations. A copy of An Irish Journey is included with this lot. S. B. Kennedy, Seaforde, Co. Down, March 2007

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IN COUNTY KERRY, circa 1933-35
IN COUNTY KERRY, circa 1933-35
Paul Henry RHA (1876-1958)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 69

Published Estimate: €60000-80000

Price Realised: €58000

  • Signature: signed "PAUL HENRY" lower right
  • Medium: oil on canvas laid on board
  • Dimensions: 34 by 40cm., 13.5 by 15.7 5in.
  • Provenance: Acquired by the present owner's mother, probably as a wedding gift in 1938; Thence by descent
  • Exhibited: Possibly included in ' Recent Paintings of Kerry and Connemara by Paul Henry RHA', Combridge's Gallery, Dublin, from 7 May 1935
  • Almost certainly a scene in County Kerry, this is possibly a picture entitled In Co. Kerry, which Henry exhibited in his 1935 Dublin exhibition. The lightness of the palette, the oil-rich pigment, which lends fluidity to the brushwork, and the general freshness of the scene all suggest a date of execution around the mid 1930s. Prior to his first visit to Co. Kerry, in 1933, when he stayed at Glenbeigh, Henry’s personal affairs had for a time been difficult and, as a consequence, his palette had grown dark, his paintwork often dry and lacking vigour. But with more settled circumstances, his trip to Kerry changed all that, and henceforth his mood, and thus his palette, brightened. This delightful composition exudes vitality, the artist clearly confident in his execution, settings things down with no reworking or overpainting. As with much of Henry’s work, the real joy of the picture lies in the sky, with it penetrating understanding of cumulus clouds and of the weather which blows westwards from the Atlantic ocean. In Co. Kerry is numbered 839 in S. B. Kennedy’s forthcoming catalogue of Paul Henry’s Illustrations, Drawings and Paintings. S. B. Kennedy, Seaforde, Co. Down, March 2007

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CROLLY, COUNTY DONEGAL, AUGUST 1938
CROLLY, COUNTY DONEGAL, AUGUST 1938
James Humbert Craig RHA RUA (1877-1944)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 70

Published Estimate: €12000-15000

Price Realised: €21000

  • Signature: signed lower left; inscribed, dated and signed again on reverse
  • Medium: oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 30 by 43cm., 11.7 5 by 17in.
  • Exhibited: Possibly exhibited as The River Crolly, Co. Donegal in 'Recent Paintings by James Humbert Craig, RHA', Victor Waddington Galleries, Dublin, 12-22 November 1940, as 'The River Crolly, Co. Donegal', catalogue no. 10 (£36-15-0)
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THE TWELVE PINS, CONNEMARA, circa 1933-34
THE TWELVE PINS, CONNEMARA, circa 1933-34
Paul Henry RHA (1876-1958)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 71

Published Estimate: €50000-70000

Price Realised: €50000

  • Signature: signed lower right; original label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 20 by 26cm., 8 by 10.2 5in.
  • Provenance: Combridge’s, Dublin; Whence purchased by Mrs Alexandra Lloyd of Belfast on 9 November 1934 (original receipt included with lot); Thence by descent
  • Probably painted from sketches done earlier, this little composition nevertheless illustrates the renewed vigour and energy that entered Henry’s work in the 1930s. The brushwork is vibrant, the colours are light in tone and the whole exudes a feeling of confidence. There is an even film of paint throughout with little emphasis of impasto. Titled on the reverse on a label in the artist’s hand. There is a label on the reverse of James Bourlet & Sons, London, with the number ‘A85505’. Dated c. 1933-4 on stylistic grounds. S. B. Kennedy, Seaforde, Co. Down, March 2007

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CHLOE ABBOTT, 1965
CHLOE ABBOTT, 1965
William John Leech RHA ROI (1881-1968)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 72

Published Estimate: €20000-30000

Price Realised: €42000

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 61 by 51cm., 24 by 20in.
  • Provenance: Commissioned by the sitter's father-in-law; Collection of Mrs. Chloe Abbott; Private Collection, Dublin
  • Literature: Denise Ferran, William John Leech: An Irish Painter Abroad, NGI, Dublin, 1996, p. 94, reproduced fig. 59
  • Leech was a fluent portrait painter, producing many portraits throughout his long career but the majority of these works were of family members, friends or acquaintances. Early in his career, after a dissatisfied female client rejected her portrait, he decided only to accept commissions from people he knew. His first wife, Elizabeth, was his favourite model from c. 1910 until 1918, exemplified in the works Convent Garden, Brittany and The Sunshade in the National Gallery and The Cigarette and The Tinsel Scarf in the Hugh Lane Gallery. After the First World War, when Leech returned to London, impoverished and his marriage to Elizabeth failing, he was unable to paint. To encourage Leech back into painting, his brother Cecil introduced him to Percy Botterell, a successful London solicitor, who commissioned Leech from 1919 until 1923, to paint his wife May, his two sons, Jim and Guy, his daughter Suzanne, and himself. May Botterell, then replaced Elizabeth as his favourite model and became his lifelong companion. Leech did not accept any further commissions until he undertook, this, his last portrait commission from Chloe Abbott’s father-in-law, in 1965, to paint his new daughter-in-law. Leech, at this time, was depressed after May’s death and felt unable to paint. The portrait took six months to complete with two or three sittings every week. Granted Leech was then over eighty and getting slower. He was not a prolific painter, often waiting long periods for inspiration, for a change of light or for suitable subject matter. His young neighbour in West Clandon, near Guildford in Surrey, Chloe Abbott, befriended him and kept a watchful eye on him because she knew he was depressed, not just because of his loneliness but also because he had been diagnosed with cancer. She was young, vivacious and interested in art and she encouraged Leech to begin painting again. As a result he completed some of his last self-portraits and views of his garden. The day he slipped out of the back of his house in West Clandon and walked to the railway bridge from which he fell, Chloe Abbott was entertaining a friend in her front sitting room and unfortunately missed his departure. Leech recounted his life as an artist to Chloe Abbott. He told her of his years painting in France, which he loved and then, his time in Steele’s Studios, Hampstead, London. He missed the company and the conversation of other artists and the loss of May, his constant companion for forty-six years. Leech has captured the soft youthfulness of this young bride with her hauntingly sad look, perhaps an early indication of a marriage that was not to last long. The artist has lost none of his painterly dexterity in depicting the light, falling on her face and arm, the diagonal thrust of her body, yet capturing a true likeness which made her instantly recognisable to me when I met her nearly a quarter of a century later. Dr Denise Ferran January 2007

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PORTRAIT OF JAMES BOTTERELL, 1926
PORTRAIT OF JAMES BOTTERELL, 1926
William John Leech RHA ROI (1881-1968)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 73

Published Estimate: €12000-15000

Price Realised: €12000

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 69 by 51cm., 27 by 20in.
  • Provenance: By family descent
  • Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1926, catalogue no. 11 (as "Jim")
  • Literature: Denise Ferran, William John Leech: An Irish Painter Abroad, NGI, Dublin, 1996, fig. 42, reproduced page 71
  • William John Leech met the Botterell family in London in 1919, at the end of the First World War, on his return from painting in France and the Botterell family’s return from Holland. Percy Botterell, an eminent London lawyer had been a commercial attaché to The Hague during the war, and through his wife May, they had met Leech’s older brother, Cecil. Cecil Leech had fought in the First World War, as a commissioned officer in the Royal Horse Artillery. He had spent four years in a prisoner of war camp and as a released prisoner met May Botterell in Holland, where she had organised a relief centre for released prisoners, providing clothes, money and information to aid prisoners on their return home. It was Cecil Leech who, on his return to London, organised the meeting between the Botterell family and the Leech family and it was Percy Botterell who commissioned W. J. Leech to paint portraits of himself, his wife, May and his three children, James, Guy and Suzanne. This meeting and the painting of May’s portrait was to change the Botterell family life irrevocably and was to begin the lifelong relationship between May Botterell and W. J. Leech, which culminated in their wedding in 1953, after the deaths of Percy Botterell in 1951 and Leech’s wife Elizabeth, in 1950. James Botterell was the eldest of the Botterell’s three children and he had remained at school in Winchester, England during the war years. Contemporary photographs show James (Jim) Botterell at Clayesmore School, Winchester, where he excelled at athletics and played the saxophone in the school’s band. Leech painted this portrait of him, c.1923, when he was a boarder at Winchester. A contemporary photograph of Jim1, taken at his mother’s apartment at 24 Hamilton Terrace, London, after she had moved out from the family home at Coombe-Edge, Hampstead, shows Jim as a tall, handsome young man, similar to the image captured by Leech in this portrait. As an artist, Leech had the ability to catch the likeness of his sitter as was the case in his portrait of Chloe Abbott in 1965, forty-three years later. Leech captures Jim, wiser beyond his years, resembling his father, in the shape of his head, the strength of his nose and forehead and the parting of his thick hair. He felt the break-up of his happy family home, very deeply, retaining a deep respect and love for his father and a love for his mother, a mood conveyed in this portrait. In conversation in the 1980s he recalled how vividly he remembered his mother’s visit to Winchester, when he was seventeen, to tell him of her new love affair and her intention to move out of the family home to Hamilton Terrace to be close to Leech’s studio in Hamilton Mews. However, May and Percy Botterell maintained a cordial relationship and family time was spent during the holidays at their large family home in Hampstead and later in the Botterell home in Burley in the New Forest, when Percy Botterell moved out of London. After his father’s death, Jim and his wife Eileen, still continued to entertain the couple at Burley for long visits, especially during May’s later illnesses. Dr Denise Ferran, March 2007

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SUNBATHERS, 1936
SUNBATHERS, 1936
Sir John Lavery RA RHA RSA (1856-1941)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 74

Published Estimate: €250000-350000

Price Realised: €240000

  • Signature: signed lower left; Paris Salon label and inscribed labels of former owners on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 141 by 110cm., 55.5 by 43.5in.
  • Provenance: Sir Patrick Ford, Bt, Edinburgh; Sotheby’s, Irish Sale, 21 May 1998, lot 343; Whence purchased by the present owners
  • Exhibited: RA, London, 1937, catalogue no. 320; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 1937; Société des Artistes Français, Paris Salon, 1938
  • Literature: Anon, ‘The Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy’, The Times, 1 May 1937, p. 20 (illustrated); Royal Academy Pictures 1937, Walter Judd Ltd, London, 1937, p. 80 (illustrated); Anon, ‘London Fashions – Portrait Studies at Burlington House’, The Times, 20 May 1937, p. 19; John Lavery, The Life of a Painter, Cassell and Co., London, 1940, p. 246; Kenneth McConkey, Sir John Lavery, Canongate, 1993, p. 200 (illustrated plate 239)
  • After the deaths of his wife, Hazel and his daughter, Eileen in 1935, Lavery was persuaded by his granddaughter, Diana, to visit Hollywood. Enthralled by the movies, Diana, (1913-1960) ran off with Goldie Butner, a cowboy performer at the ‘Dude’ Ranch Wild West Show at Bliss, Oklahoma, but returned to London in time to plan the trip, which would include Lillian Millar, a model who had been working for Lavery.1 This unlikely trio set off the following year and after an abortive attempt to paint the frenetic activities of film-making at the MGM studios, Lavery repaired to “a most wonderful retreat” in Palm Springs, where he was the guest of Gordon and Gertrude Coutts. Lavery arrived in April when the heat was “excessive” and the light, so “blinding” that it “necessitated wearing smoked glasses the greater part of the day”.2 Undeterred, the painter embarked upon an ambitious project to paint sunbathers (fig. 1). Looking down on Lillian and Diana, Lavery faced the task of painting foreshortened figures. He originally included himself in the upper portion of the composition, engaged in painting a more orthodox view of the figures, the back of the villa and the Coutts’ daughter, Mary (fig. 2). The empty deckchair under the arcade in the background of this unlocated picture-within-the-picture marks the spot from which the present canvas was painted. The upper section of Sunbathers, in the present canvas, was later removed, probably in Lavery’s lifetime, and it has not been recovered.3 His shoes, which would have been visible about six inches from the top of the present canvas, have been painted out. Very slight adjustments also appear to have been made to the edges of the shadow of his white sketching umbrella, while all other details remain the same. It is probable that since the picture’s first owner was Lavery’s old friend and patron, Sir Patrick Ford, that the proposed reduction was by mutual consent. 4 None of these issues surfaced when the picture was first exhibited at the Royal Academy. The Times for instance was more preoccupied with the fact that Lavery had forsaken “the furs and rich fabrics” of his usual portraiture for “a more carefree attitude to dress”. The incongruity of Lillian’s spotted shorts and high-heeled red evening shoes was noted.5 At the time of the picture’s completion, Ford was involved in a Lavery exhibition at the Victoria Art Galleries of the Albert Institute in Dundee. In his Foreword to the catalogue Ford hailed Lavery as a “sound craftsman” and “genius”; … through the experiences of years he preserves the freshness and courage of youth. No new subject daunts him, and some of his most successful achievements have resulted from adventure into fresh woods and pastures new. 6 Whilst there were no “fresh woods” at Palm Springs in 1936, Sunbathers amply demonstrates that the eighty-year old painter still retained something of the freshness and courage of youth. Prof. Kenneth McConkey Northumberland, March 2007 1 Diana was the daughter of Eileen Lavery and James Dickinson, her first husband. It is clear that she hoped to be discovered as an actress. Later she married Paul Dupuis (1913-1976), a French Canadian actor who took romantic leading roles in films of the 1940s and 50s. Her portrait by Lavery was shown at the Royal Academy in 1934 (no. 179, private collection). Little is known about Lillian Millar, other than that she entered Lavery’s studio around 1936 when she posed for Summer (Lillian at Ranelagh) (unlocated). A head and shoulders Study for ‘Summer’ was shown at Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin in 2001. Lavery made several attempts to work in the studios, but found that sets and lighting were changing so quickly that even he could not keep up. Apart from a series of unfinished sketches, the principal work which resulted from Hollywood studios was Shirley Temple and the Painter, 1936 (private collection). 2 Life, 1940, pp. 238 -245; McConkey, 1993, pp. 196-8. Lavery had met Coutts years before on the Riviera. 3 This self-portrait section was used as the dust-jacket illustration of The Life of a Painter, 1940 (Cassell and Co). There is no reason not to assume that in the re-stretching of the canvas, these minor alterations were made by Lavery himself. 4 Lavery may have felt that the spatial transition from foreground to background was unsuccessful. 5 The Times, 20 May 1937, p. 19. 6 Patrick Ford, ‘Foreword’, Exhibition of Paintings by Sir John Lavery, Kt., RA, RSA, September 1936 (exhibition catalogue, Victoria Art Galleries, Albert Institute, Dundee).

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CUBIST LANDSCAPE WITH BRIDGE PYLONS AND QUAY
CUBIST LANDSCAPE WITH BRIDGE PYLONS AND QUAY
Mary Swanzy HRHA (1882-1978)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 75

Published Estimate: €70000-90000

Price Realised: €82000

  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 61 by 51cm., 24 by 20in.
  • Provenance: The artist's sister, St Clair Swanzy; Thence by descent
  • This lyrically composed landscape was most likely painted after the Second World War, when the artist came back to London to rebuild her home and studio, which had suffered bomb damage during the Blitz. During the last two decades of her life Swanzy returned stylistically to ‘the School of Paris’ which had so deeply impressed her as a young woman travelling in fin de siècle France and Italy. In particular she looked back to the work of artists such as Marie Laurencin (1883-1956), with its delicate colouring and romantically veiled meanings, and Marc Chagall (1887-1985), whose dream-like compositions influenced so many artists of successive generations. She also began to work once more in a Cubist idiom, but with subtle differences from her earlier compositions of the 1920s. In this mature phase, the paint was applied in layers of almost transparent washes, in a manner akin to watercolour painting. Her colouring is rich and jewel-like: cobalt turquoise is offset against the alizarin crimson used in the bridge pylons and interwoven in the tree branches. Nature seems to have merged with the built environment, as the steel girders of the bridge morph out of the upper branches of the tree. At the junction of diagonal girders and massive upright pylons, Swanzy employs the three primary colours in sharp juxtaposition to one another to create an almost entirely abstract composition within the overall setting of an urban landscape. The work is very much in the vein of Orphic Cubism, such as was practiced in Paris shortly before the First World War by Jacques Villon and Robert and Sonia Delaunay. The Orphists fragmented space and shapes into rhythmic patterns, paving the way towards lyrical abstraction. However, where the Orphists ultimately dispelled any sort of subject matter, Swanzy has instead deployed the rich colouring and rhythmic fracturing of form to lend a heightened sense of drama to this avowedly modernist city scene.

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GROUP OF SORROWING WOMEN, 1942
GROUP OF SORROWING WOMEN, 1942
Mary Swanzy HRHA (1882-1978)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 76

Published Estimate: €15000-20000

Price Realised: €13000


NUDE IN LANDSCAPE, circa 1921
NUDE IN LANDSCAPE, circa 1921
Mainie Jellett (1897-1944)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 77

Published Estimate: €35000-45000

Price Realised: €35000

  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 51 by 66cm., 20 by 26in.
  • Provenance: The artist's studio; Neptune Gallery, Dublin; The Hon. Robert Fermor-Hesketh; Executors' sale, Sotheby's, London, 21 May 1999, lot 312; Whence purchased by the present owner
  • Exhibited: 'Mainie Jellett 1897-1944', Neptune Gallery, Dublin, 12 September - 26 October 1974, catalogue no. 20
  • Literature: Bruce Arnold, Mainie Jellett 1897-1944, exhibition catalogue, 1974, reproduced in black and white (unpaginated)
  • In the catalogue to the 1974 exhibition – the first such show of Jellett’s work since the retrospective of her work in the Dublin Municipal Gallery in 1962 – Bruce Arnold described the present work as: “A strongly linear treatment in the Lhote manner, with firm composition and contrast. The pose has precedents in classical painting from the Impressionists back to the sixteenth century and reflects the artist’s frequent stressing of her debt to the Old Masters”.

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NOEL
NOEL
Lady Beatrice Glenavy RHA (1881-1970)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 78

Published Estimate: €5000-7000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed in monogram lower right; inscribed with title and artist's address (Rockbrook House, Rathfarnham) on reverse
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 49 by 41cm., 19.2 5 by 16.2 5i
  • Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1947, catalogue no. 73 (£14-0-0); or RHA, Dublin, 1951, catalogue no. 122 (£20-0-0); Memorial section, RHA, Dublin, 1970, catalogue no. 6 (lent by previous owner)
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THE SAILOR'S RETURN
THE SAILOR'S RETURN
Lady Beatrice Glenavy RHA (1881-1970)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 79

Published Estimate: €10000-15000

Price Realised: €10000

  • Signature: signed in monogram lower right; inscribed with artist's name, address (Rockbrook House) and price (£15) on reverse.
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 38 by 46cm., 15 by 18in.
  • Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1942, catalogue no. 99; or RHA, Dublin, 1952, catalogue no. 156 (£13-0-0)
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CHORD ROAD GARDEN, DROGHEDA, circa 1945
CHORD ROAD GARDEN, DROGHEDA, circa 1945
Nano Reid (1900-1981)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 80

Published Estimate: €4000-6000

Price Realised: €13000

  • Signature: signed lower left; inscribed and with remains of label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas board
  • Dimensions: 30 by 41cm., 12 by 16in.
  • Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist by the previous owner; Adam's, Dublin, 7 December 2005, lot 197; Whence purchased by the present owner
  • In the artist's own frame inscribed with the title of another of her work (The Hanging Gate, which was exhibited at the 1945 IELA).

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FARMHOUSE, BALLYAGHAGAN, 1940
FARMHOUSE, BALLYAGHAGAN, 1940
John Luke RUA (1906-1975)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 81

Published Estimate: €1500-2000

Price Realised: €3400

  • Signature: signed lower right; inscribed lower left: "No 2 Farmhouse, Ballyaghagan"; dated on gallery label on reverse
  • Medium: woodblock in colours
  • Dimensions: 13 by 18cm., 5 by 7in.
  • Provenance: John Magee, Belfast; Private collection
  • In 1946 Luke painted a version of this composition in mirror image and with the addition of some animals and figures in the foreground. Two other examples of the print exist in The Ulster Museum and IMMA (on loan from the McClelland Collection).

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GALWAY LANDSCAPE
GALWAY LANDSCAPE
Harry Epworth Allen (1894-1958)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 82

Published Estimate: €10000-12000

Price Realised: €11500

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 38 by 49cm., 15 by 19.2 5in.
  • A similar work, also titled Galway Landscape, but with the additions of corn stooks, is illustrated in the recently published monograph on Allen, page 35.

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CHILDREN FEEDING A CALF, circa 1920
CHILDREN FEEDING A CALF, circa 1920
Frank McKelvey RHA RUA (1895-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 83

Published Estimate: €70000-90000

Price Realised: €76000

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 38 by 46cm., 15 by 18in.
  • Provenance: Probably collection of W. J. Finlay; Private collection
  • Exhibited: Almost certainly exhibited at the RHA, Dublin, 1920, catalogue no. 175, as Feeding Time; And again under the same title at the Belfast Art Society, 1920, catalogue no. 269; and at a Loan Exhibition of Paintings, Belfast, 1921, number 169, lent by W. J. Finlay
  • This spirited painting, which shows the easy fluency of McKelvey’s early style, may be the composition called Feeding Time, which he exhibited in the early 1920s. Certainly, judged stylistically and on the evidence of the form of the signature, it must date from about that time. Painted shortly after he left the Belfast College of Art, the picture shows the influence of A. R. Baker (1864-1939), his teacher at the College, who recorded genre scenes of country life, rendered in a loose Impressionist technique of great charm. The sense of atmosphere, of space, light and shade which are rendered so forcefully in Children Feeding a Calf, are typical of the Bakeresque features that remained characteristic of much of McKelvey’s oeuvre. The setting is probably the farm belonging to the artist’s in-laws, near Bessbrook, in County Armagh, the two children being relatives. The nervous stance of the calf is well observed, as is the sense of intrigue on the faces of the children, the whole image being captured skilfully without contrivance or awkwardness. The even film of paint applied throughout, with the exception of slight impasto used for emphasis on the calf’s back, is characteristic of McKelvey’s early work in general. The distinct delineation of space, from the foreground, where the narrative takes place, to the open pasture of the middle distance and the trees beyond, is also a general characteristic of the artist’ work. All has been set down directly, with little or no overpainting or other alteration — the brushwork in the sky is a minor tour de force — and the colours are delightfully fresh and strong in hue. As the Irish Times commented on 7 April 1924, McKelvey’s painting is “an accomplishment, and his pictures declare it. One feels the sunlight in every one of them”. The human element, or narrative, that is evident in so much of McKelvey’s art lends interest and frequently, as here, intrigue to his compositions, for often they mark the passing of a tradition that has all but disappeared from the countryside with the development of the semi-industrial complexes of modern times. S. B. Kennedy, Seaforde, Co. Down, March 2007

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IRISH COUNTRY SCENE WITH FIGURES AND A DONKEY ON A ROAD
IRISH COUNTRY SCENE WITH FIGURES AND A DONKEY ON A ROAD
Harry Epworth Allen RBA (1894-1958)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 84

Published Estimate: €6000-8000

Price Realised: €9000

  • Signature: signed twice lower left
  • Medium: tempera on millboard
  • Dimensions: 36 by 51cm., 14 by 20in.
  • Born in Sheffield, the son of a craftsman mark-maker in the cutlery industry, Epworth Allen first worked in Arthur Balfour’s steel factory. In 1915 he enlisted with the army, losing a leg during the war. On returning home he enrolled in night classes at the Sheffield College of Arts and Crafts, working by day at the steelworks. After being made redundant in 1931, he turned to art full-time. Two years later he had his first work accepted at the RA; more than three dozen works appeared in successive years. Despite his physical handicap, Allen painted in most areas of Derbyshire and visited the West of Ireland on numerous occasions. Scenes in Achill reoccur throughout his career, many of them sold through the Magee Gallery in Belfast. Others were exhibited at the RBA, the Manchester City Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. In the original gilt frame of T. P. Smith, 9-11 Leeds Road, Bradford.

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BELFAST MILL GIRLS, 1907
BELFAST MILL GIRLS, 1907
William Conor OBE RHA RUA ROI (1881-1965)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 85

Published Estimate: €5000-7000

Price Realised: €11500

  • Signature: signed upper left; inscribed on reverse in another hand with title, date and original price (6 guineas)
  • Medium: crayon on paper
  • Dimensions: 23 by 20cm., 9 by 8in.
  • Framed by the Dawson Gallery, Dublin.

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FACTORY WORKER, 1919
FACTORY WORKER, 1919
William Conor OBE RHA RUA ROI (1881-1965)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 86

Published Estimate: €4000-6000

Price Realised: €12000

  • Signature: signed lower left; inscribed on reverse with title, date and original price (8 guineas)
  • Medium: crayon on paper
  • Dimensions: 25 by 18cm., 9.75 by 7in.
  • Framed by the Dawson Gallery, Dublin.

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WALKING DOWN THE AVENUE DES CHAMPS ELYSEES, 1919
WALKING DOWN THE AVENUE DES CHAMPS ELYSEES, 1919
Sir William Orpen OBE RHA RUA ROI (1881-1965)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 87

Published Estimate: €1500-2000

Price Realised: €3200

  • Signature: signed upper left; inscribed and dated upper left and lower left
  • Medium: pencil and wash with pen and ink
  • Dimensions: 24 by 18cm., 9.5 by 7in.
  • Drawn on the front free-endpaper of Orpen's 'An Onlooker in France 1917-1919', published by Williams and Norgate, London, 1924. Inscribed "to my dear Mary Walker from Le Petit Major William Orpen / myself walking down the Avenue des Champs Elysees during the Peace Conference 1919".

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WOMAN IRONING
WOMAN IRONING
William Conor RHA RUA ROI OBE (1881-1968)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 88

Published Estimate: €4000-6000

Price Realised: €4000


NEAR SHAW'S BRIDGE and HILLSBOROUGH, COUNTY DOWN, 1935 (A PAIR)
NEAR SHAW'S BRIDGE and HILLSBOROUGH, COUNTY DOWN, 1935 (A PAIR)
William Conor RHA RUA ROI OBE (1881-1968)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 89

Published Estimate: €8000-10000

Price Realised: €8200

  • Signature: signed upper left and lower left respectively; each with original inscribed labels on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 28 by 36cm., 11 by 14.2in.
  • Provenance: Purchased from the artist by Dr J. C. Smyth, Wellington Park, Belfast (original receipt included with lot); Major Frazer Smyth, by descent; Private sale to the present owner, 1980
  • Accompanied by a signed manuscript letter from Conor to Dr Smyth, dated 12 August 1935, and a receipt for the sum of 10 guineas, the original amount paid for the two watercolours. Dr Smyth was a Belfast dentist who lived only a few hundred yards from Conor’s studio. Dr Smyth’s only son, the late Major Frazer Smyth, inherited the Wellington Park house and its contents, including the pair of Conor watercolours. In 1980 he and his wife sold the house and moved to Kesh, Co. Fermanagh. The present owner was a friend of Frazer Smyth and purchased the pair of watercolours at the time of the move. Letter and receipt now framed.

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ILLUSTRATIONS FOR THE 'PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD', 1922-27 (SET OF FIVE)
ILLUSTRATIONS FOR THE 'PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD', 1922-27 (SET OF FIVE)
Seán Keating PRHA HRA HRSA (1889-1977)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 90

Published Estimate: €150000-200000

Price Realised: €155000

  • Signature: variously signed lower left and lower right; two signed in Gaelic; two dated on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas (2) and oil on panel (3)
  • Dimensions: 91 by 75cm., 36 by 29.5in.
  • Provenance: Acquired at the Dawson Gallery, Dublin, early 1950s and thence by family descent to the present owner
  • Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1923, catalogue nos. 169 and 171; (?) RHA, Dublin, 1926 catalogue no. 42; RHA, Dublin, 1928, catalogue no. 52; Aonach Tailteann, Dublin, 1928
  • Literature: J. M. Synge, The Playboy of the Western World, George Allen and Unwin, London, 1927, reproduced as the frontispiece illustration and as plates 2, 4, 6 and 8 respectively.
  • The Irish Literary Theatre, later to become the Abbey Theatre, founded by Annie Horniman, Lady Gregory and W. B. Yeats, was to become essential in the dissemination of forms of drama that would help to fan the nationalist flame in Ireland. In January 1907 the first productions of John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World resulted in a riotous reaction from audiences. The author died in 1909, two years before Keating arrived to Dublin to study at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. There is no evidence to suggest that Keating met Synge but, inspired by a line from The Playboy of the Western World, the artist exhibited a painting titled The Outlandish Lovers in the RHA in 1917. Seán Keating first visited the Aran Islands with his friend Harry Clarke as early as 1913 where he discovered the people and the landscape that John Millington Synge and Jack B. Yeats had investigated on behalf of the Congested Districts Board just a few years previously. By the 1920s Keating was well known for his ability to paint the West of Ireland, and particularly the Aran Islands in a manner that located and mediated his nationalist intent in a recognisably emblematic form. The Synge family must have been aware of Keating’s professional standing in terms of a national art, as he won many awards and showed work in every major exhibition in Ireland and abroad. It was Hutchie Synge, nephew of the author, who approached Keating in 1922 to commission the artist to undertake a series of initially twelve colour illustrations for a proposed special limited edition of The Playboy of the Western World. Keating agreed to paint twelve illustrations, but as the project advanced, the number was reduced to ten in order to keep costs within certain limitations. The paintings were to have been ready for 1926, but Keating suffered a serious accident in 1925 which left him unable to work for a number of months and the project was not completed until 1927. In 1924 Sir John Lavery was called upon to inspect Keating’s first four illustrations for The Playboy of the Western World, three of which form part of this collection (i, ii and iii). Lavery was greatly impressed by the realism, colour, and artistic invention in the paintings and he considered them of enormous importance in terms of book illustration in Ireland. Keating eventually completed his commission and the book was published by George Allen and Unwin of London in 1927 as a numbered series of one thousand copies which have now become collectors’ items. Evidently, Keating was left to his own devices to decide on the aspects that appealed to him and he chose ten lines from the text from which he created a series of theatrical and colourful images. Interestingly, Keating includes portraits of a number of well known Abbey Theatre actors who performed in the play during the early 1920s. But what is even more fascinating is Keating’s self location as Christy Mahon’s father, into the centre of the story of patricide that the 1907 audiences seemed to largely ignore. By the time that Keating had completed the illustrations, The Playboy of the Western World had become essential to the repertoire of the Abbey Theatre, and no longer the focus of negative discourse. Keating adopted a scrupulously modern approach to his commission for The Playboy of the Western World in which he plays a pivotal role as the epitome of the man of the west who is variously killed, healed and killed again. Given the date of the commission, Keating’s acknowledgement of patricide is a challenging engagement with the narrative of the play, and also, of the ongoing Civil War in Ireland, the internecine violence of which he abhorred. Interestingly, Keating also chose to illustrate some scenes that occur off stage, thereby adding significantly to the imaginative sphere of the play. Notably too, Keating used a camera as a compositional tool in the development of the images. Although the illustrations are premised on a degree of theatrical caricature and wit, they still refute the stage Irish Paddy and the tragic Parnellite hero that had been so prevalent prior to Synge’s work for the Abbey Theatre. Through this series of important illustrations, Keating reinforced his artistic identity with the emblematic implications of the west of Ireland, and also with the realism of the work of John Millington Synge. (i) ‘God have mercy on your soul,’ says he, lifting a scythe. ‘Or on your own,’ says I, raising the loy.’ signed in Irish lower right; signed again, dated Aibreán [April] 1922 and numbered 1 on reverse oil on canvas 76 by 63.5cm., 30 by 25in. Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1923, as catalogue no. 117, Illustration for The Playboy of the Western World - Frontispiece This illustration is used as the frontispiece in the 1927 publication. The title of the work is taken from the point in The Playboy of the Western World where Christy Mahon describes how he killed his father with an Irish spade, otherwise known as a loy. Keating has depicted a scene that is described well by Christy, but is not part of the staging of the play. In order to illustrate the action between father and son, Keating sourced a scythe and loy and had a series of photographs taken while standing on a table at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. It is notable that Keating is attired as though from the Aran Islands, even though the play is set in Mayo, thereby fusing his identity with that of Synge and the play in terms of artistic realism. The illustration was one of the four that Sir John Lavery commented so favourably upon in 1924. (ii) ‘Going out into the yard as naked as an ash tree in the moon of May, and shying clods against the visage of the stars.’ signed in Irish lower right; signed again and dated Aibreán [April] 1922 on the reverse oil on canvas 76 by 63.5cm., 30 by 25in. Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1923, catalogue no. 169 as Illustration for the Playboy of the Western World, Act 1, Rising Up in the Red Dawn…’ This illustration is number two in the 1927 publication. Once again, Keating has expanded the story and depicted an imagined scene that evolves off stage and for which he posed at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art in 1922. The illustration refers to the point in the play where Christy Mahon wittingly but wrongly describes his father as a raging, swearing drunkard, hence his excuse for killing him. Keating, as Christy’s father, is shown delirious from drink, with his left hand shielding his eyes from ‘the visage of the stars’ and hallucinating in a dirty farm yard replete with hoe, paint can and broken pieces of machinery, as three huge and wild looking pigs that look like fugitives from a horror film, race across the yard in a demonic attempt to escape. The illustration is the only full length nude self-study that Keating ever produced. This is an early illustration and one of the four that Sir John Lavery commented so positively on in 1924. (iii) ‘That was a great blow! And who hit you? A robber, maybe?’ signed lower right; numbered 4 on reverse oil on panel 91.5 by 77cm., 36 by 30.25in. Exhibited: Possibly exhibited at the RHA, Dublin, 1926, catalogue no. 42 as Illustration for the Playboy of the Western World This illustration is number four in the series of ten in the publication. Keating’s model for the Widow Quin in this illustration was working at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art in the early 1920s. The veracity of detail in the woodwork and the fireplace in this scene, which takes place in a country kitchen, bear a strong resemblance to Keating’s home at the time, which was in the Dublin Mountains. Moreover, the gun that leans on the shelf to the right of the fireplace is similar to that used by the artist in paintings such as Men of the West (1916) and may well be the gun that he used to hunt when food was scarce. Keating leaves a door open in tacit acknowledgement that Christy Mahon is standing behind it listening as his father reveals the truth of the tale to the Widow Quin, who bandages his wounds with a palpable air of scepticism. Sir John Lavery also commented favourably on this work in 1924. (iv) ‘…Looking out on the schooners, hookers, trawlers is sailing the sea, and I thinking on the gallant hairy fellows are drifting beyond.’ signed lower left; numbered 8 on reverse oil on panel 91.5 by 76cm., 36 by 30in. Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1928, catalogue no. 52 as Illustration to the Playboy of the Western World - Hairy Gallant Fellows; Aonach Tailteann, Dublin, 1928, as Gallant Hairy Fellows The illustration is number five in the series of ten in the publication. In this illustration, Keating utilised the features of actors from a production of The Playboy of the Western World, which helps to date the image. In 1924 the play was staged at the Abbey Theatre with Sara Allgood (sister to Synge’s former fiancée, Molly Allgood) as Pegeen Mike, Michael Dolan as Shawn Keogh and also starring Barry Fitzgerald and F. J. McCormack, who are both featured in this entertaining illustration. Keating has again expanded the story of the play by featuring a scene that does not happen on stage, but is narrated by the Widow Quin while waxing lyrical about the apparent attractions of male company. The Widow Quin is an interesting character in the tale, given that in earlier years she managed to accidentally kill her husband by prodding him with a hay fork, thereby inducing the onset of a severe and lethal dose of blood poisoning. The illustration is loosely painted on a piece of panel and the sketchy nature of Keating’s brushwork has allowed the grain of the wood to show through and feature as the sail in the Galway hooker, which passes in the background. (v) ‘If the mitred bishops seen you… they’d be the like of the Holy Prophets do be straining the bars of paradise, to lay eyes on the lady Helen of Troy, and she abroad, pacing back and forward, with a nosegay in her golden shawl.’ signed lower right; numbered 5 on reverse oil on panel 91.5 by 75cm., 36 by 29.5in. Exhibited: Aonach Tailteann, Dublin, 1928 as Helen and the Holy Prophets The illustration is number eight in the series of ten for the publication. Once again, Keating expands the narrative of the play to picture a purely imaginative scene. The illustration can be dated by virtue of Keating’s visual reference to actors who took part in The Playboy of the Western World in the early 1920s. The image refers to a scene that Christy Mahon conjures for Pegeen Mike in which he likens her to Helen of Troy for her beauty. Keating places a group of Holy Prophets, or Abbey actors, behind ‘the bars of paradise’ in order to ‘lay eyes’ on her. The actress in question is Eileen Crowe, who starred as Pegeen Mike for a series of productions of The Playboy of the Western World between 1926 and 1936. Crowe, in the guise of Helen of Troy, carries a nosegay and turns as if to throw a look at the flower dropped on the ground by one of the Holy Prophets, one of whom appears to closely resemble Keating. Eimear O’Connor The Humanities Institute of Ireland University College Dublin Belfield Dublin 4

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HOW PRIME MINISTERS ARE PAINTED, 1909
HOW PRIME MINISTERS ARE PAINTED, 1909
Sir William Orpen RA RWS RHA (1878-1931)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 91

Published Estimate: €3000-4000

Price Realised: €1700

  • Signature: inscribed upper centre
  • Medium: pen and ink on headed writing paper from 8 South Bolton Gard
  • Dimensions: 25 by 20cm., 10 by 8in.
  • Exhibited: ‘William Orpen: Politics, Sex and Death’, held at the Imperial War Museum, London, 27 January – 2 May 2005 and at the NGI, Dublin, 1 June – 28 August 2005, catalogue no. 116.
  • Inscribed “This is to show you How Prime Ministers are painted at [8 South Bolton Gardens]”. Orpen was commissioned to paint Asquith’s portrait in 1909. However, the main subject of this sketch is not Asquith – only part of whom is visible, perched on a small platform – but rather the artist and his patron, muse and mistress, Mrs St George, who points at the canvas and bends down to talk to the diminutive artist.

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FROM SOMEWHERE ABOVE THE FIREPLACE, circa 1907-1912
FROM SOMEWHERE ABOVE THE FIREPLACE, circa 1907-1912
Sir William Orpen RA RWS RHA (1878-1931)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 92

Published Estimate: €3000-4000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: inscribed and signed "Woppy" lower centre
  • Medium: pen and ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 25 by 20cm., 10 by 8in.
  • Inscribed to Gardenia St George: “My dear Poppy this is a little picture of the family, taken from somewhere above the fireplace in the Hall – I think Buster is rather a success – of course mother is upstairs in bed or I should have put her in – Yours Woppy – Sorry the drawing is not more finished but sweet [indistinct] ave heard something so I had to clear out”.

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WHEN THE SITTING STOPS AT 21, NORFOLK STREET, circa 1908
WHEN THE SITTING STOPS AT 21, NORFOLK STREET, circa 1908
William Orpen RA RWS RHA (1878-1931)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 93

Published Estimate: €3000-4000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: inscribed with title upper centre
  • Medium: pen and ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 20 by 17cm., 8 by 6.5in.
  • This work depicts Orpen and the art dealer, Charles Wertheimer (1842-1911), who in 1904 succeeded Staats Forbe as Orpen’s most significant patron, commissioning portraits of himself, his wife, his solicitor and his riding master. In 1908 Orpen embarked on a second portrait of Wertheimer, depicting him in his home at 21 Norfolk Street, Park Lane, with a Gainsborough and a Lawrence hanging in the background. This work was to be Orpen’s first exhibit at the Royal Academy (for further reading on Wertheimer see Bruce Arnold, Mirror to an Age, pp. 216-220).

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IN CORRECT PROPORTION TO EACH OTHER, circa 1907-12
IN CORRECT PROPORTION TO EACH OTHER, circa 1907-12
Sir William Orpen RA RWS RHA (1878-1931)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 94

Published Estimate: €2000-3000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: inscribed lower centre
  • Medium: pen and ink on head writing paper from 8 Bolton Gardens Sout
  • Dimensions: 23 by 18cm., 9 by 7in.
  • Inscribed: “We are drawn in correct proportion to each other – but he has to wear the cast off clothes of his brother who is an army man”.

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THE BATHTUB, circa 1908-09
THE BATHTUB, circa 1908-09
William Orpen RA RWS RHA (1878-1931)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 95

Published Estimate: €2000-3000

Price Realised: €1900

  • Medium: pen and ink on headed paper from Clonsilla Lodge, County Dub
  • Dimensions: 20 by 16cm., 8 by 6.25in.
  • The infant depicted is almost certainly Mrs St. George's youngest child, Ferris (b.1908), known to the family as Alci.

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IN THE SEA WITH POPPY, circa 1907-12
IN THE SEA WITH POPPY, circa 1907-12
Sir William Orpen RA RWS RHA (1878-1931)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 96

Published Estimate: €2000-3000

Price Realised: €1900

  • Signature: signed "Your obedient servant Woppy" lower right and inscribed upper and lower centre
  • Medium: pen and ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 32 by 21cm., 12.7 5 by 8.25in.
  • Here Orpen writes to Gardenia (whom he called Poppy): “I wish I could go down and swim with you (does your “sister” swim?) but I fear I cannot get away at present – perhaps Sir Thornlay will go in with you – do you wear your ribbon in the water[?] This is a picture of Poppy and Woppy in the water – the old sport in the background is Thornlay – the other figure I won’t say who it is as I don’t want to get a bang in the eye the next time I see her – give Miss Smeaton and your “sister” my love when next you write and believe me to be your dear pop”. The arch references to Poppy’s “sister” almost certainly refer to her mother, Mrs St George.

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I MEET MY FATE, circa 1912
I MEET MY FATE, circa 1912
William Orpen RA RWS RHA (1878-1931)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 97

Published Estimate: €3000-4000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: inscribed lower centre
  • Medium: pen and ink on headed writing paper from 13 Royal Hospital R
  • Dimensions: 20 by 17cm., 8 by 6.5in.
  • Depicts Orpen with the rather short and matronly figure of a woman, possibly his wife Grace (née Knewstub). Orpen bows in mock acceptance of “his fate”, as if perhaps to signal the end of his affair with Mrs St George.

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AN ILLUSTRATED LETTER WITH ASQUITH'S PORTRAIT, 1909
AN ILLUSTRATED LETTER WITH ASQUITH'S PORTRAIT, 1909
Sir William Orpen RA RWS RHA (1878-1931)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 98

Published Estimate: €1000-1500

Price Realised: €1900

  • Signature: inscribed upper and lower centre
  • Medium: pen and ink on headed writing paper from 8 South Bolton Gard
  • Dimensions: 25 by 20cm., 10 by 8in.
  • In a letter to Mrs St George, Orpen relates that he had “lunch at Fitzh[enry?] yesterday – with old George Salting and Claude Philips (the D. T. man) who was most charming and interesting – I’ve been told he was a beast “. Underneath the drawing he writes: “this is a rotten shot at a drawing of the composition of Asquith’s portrait”.

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A BOXING MATCH, circa 1903
A BOXING MATCH, circa 1903
Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 99

Published Estimate: €30000-40000

Price Realised: €36000

  • Signature: signed lower right; inscribed with title lower centre beneath mount and on reverse
  • Medium: pen and ink over pencil on paper mounted on card
  • Dimensions: 28 by 39cm., 11 by 15.5in.
  • Provenance: Dan McInerney, Dublin; His sale, Christie's, Carrickmines House, 10 February 1986, lot 343 (reproduced in catalogue); Whence purchased by the present owner
  • Literature: Hilary Pyle, The Different Worlds of Jack B. Yeats: His Cartoons and Illustrations, Irish Academic Press, Dublin, 1994, catalogue no. 2148, page 308, illustrated page 309
  • Early in February 1903 Yeats visited a boxing tournament at the Wonderland arena in East London, making sketches there of the fight scenes and the crowd. The present work illustrates a novice’s competition, with a poster visible advertising the prize money of £35 for the winner of a ten-round contest. Hilary Pyle has suggested that this and a second work (no. 2149) may be late additions to Yeats’ Pastimes of the Londoners series, which appeared in serial form in the Manchester Guardian.

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A JUNE FAIR, 1912
A JUNE FAIR, 1912
Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 30 April 2007 / 100

Published Estimate: €20000-30000

Price Realised: €19000

  • Signature: signed "JACK B YEATS" upper left; inscribed with title on reverse
  • Medium: pen and ink with watercolour on card
  • Dimensions: 14 by 21cm., 5.5 by 8.25in.
  • Exhibited: 'Theatre Exhibition' (group show), Birmingham, 1917
  • Literature: Jack B. Yeats, Life in the West of Ireland, Drawn and Painted by Jack B. Yeats, Maunsel and Co., Dublin, 1912, reproduced p. 43; Hilary Pyle, The Different Worlds of Jack B. Yeats: His Cartoons and Illustrations, Irish Academic Press, Dublin, 1994, catalogue no. 1558, p. 221
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