28 April 2008

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CURRACHS OFF ROUNDSTONE
CURRACHS OFF ROUNDSTONE
Gerard Dillon (1916-1971)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 51

Published Estimate: €50000-70000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 51 by 61cm., 20 by 24in.
  • Provenance: Catherine Walston; Thence by descent to previous owner; Whyte's, 29 November 2005, lot 87; Whence purchased by present owner
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COUNTY DOWN FARMYARD, 1952
COUNTY DOWN FARMYARD, 1952
Basil Blackshaw HRHA RUA (b.1932)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 52

Published Estimate: €30000-50000

Price Realised: €38000

  • Signature: signed and dated lower left
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 76 by 112cm., 30 by 44in.
  • Provenance: Presented by the artist to Mrs Irene Calvert; Thence by descent
  • Exhibited: Joint show with Martin MacKeown, CEMA Gallery, Belfast, September 1952
  • Irene Calvert was an Independent MP at Stormont and President of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce. She opened Blackshaw and Martin MacKeown's first exhibition at the CEMA (Council for the Encouragement of Music and Art) Gallery, Belfast, in September 1952.

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CHILD WITH DOLL, HOMMAGE A JANKEL ADLER, 1949
CHILD WITH DOLL, HOMMAGE A JANKEL ADLER, 1949
Louis le Brocquy HRHA (b.1916)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 53

Published Estimate: €80000-100000

Price Realised: €80000

  • Signature: signed and dated 'Jan. 49' lower right; inscribed and signed again on reverse
  • Medium: drawing in carbon with watercolour and bodycolour
  • Dimensions: 62 by 46cm., 24.5 by 18.2 5in.
  • Provenance: Acquired by the present owner in 1951
  • Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1949, catalogue no. 231; 'New Irish Painters', touring exhibition, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Baltimore Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Delaware Art Centre, Wilmington, J. B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, and the Toledo M
  • Child with Doll was made in London in January 1949, at a crucial point in the development of Louis le Brocquy’s art. Created between his celebrated Traveller paintings and the Grey Period works, of which A Family, 1951 (National Gallery of Ireland), is the best-known example, Child with Doll includes elements of both series. In form, the ragged toddler who trots along while embracing a smiling doll is reminiscent of the Traveller children who hang on their mother’s skirts in paintings such as Tinkers Enter the City, 1947, and Tinkers Break Whitethorn, 1947. Yet in setting and theme Child with Doll presages many of the Grey Period works. Like A Family, Child in a Yard, 1953 (Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane), and several of the other paintings that le Brocquy exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1956, this image features a child whose humanity is contrasted with its stark surroundings. Dating from the post-war period when atomic catastrophe seemed a very real threat, these works combine the existential angst that dominated the work of le Brocquy’s friend, Francis Bacon, with a humanistic celebration of the innocence of youth. Writing in 1950, James White suggested that the toddler in Child with Doll was based on the figure of a girl hugging a doll in The Fair at Bray Head, 1949. Arguing that from this moment the figure of the child took on a symbolic significance within le Brocquy’s imagination, White wrote that the child became “... charged with a meaning of its own as a symbol of the lost children of Europe, wandering through a cruel world with wonder and only half-understanding. When it was recreated as a separate work (Child with Doll), the doll remained with it, as a symbol of yet another future generation that these children carry with them. In short, the child with doll is a parable of recurrent life, springing up through the ruins as fireweed grows on the rubble of a bombed house”.1 Le Brocquy has recalled how he heard of the horrors of the Holocaust first hand from his friend, the French–Jewish art dealer Charles Gimpel. Both the Traveller series and the stark interiors of the Grey Period works have been related to the multitudes of refugees displaced during World War II and its aftermath. 2 The connections between Child with Doll and the horrors of war are strengthened by an inscription on the verso of the work which reads Homage á Jankel Adler. Born in 1895 into an Orthodox Jewish community in Poland, Adler made his home in Germany until the rise of National Socialism forced him to flee, firstly to France, and then to London. Adler, whom le Brocquy met in London in 1947, soon became both a friend and an inspiration to the young Irish man. Despite the contrasts in their ages and backgrounds, these two artists from opposite ends of Europe combined a strong allegiance to their cultural roots with an appreciation of the international avant-garde. The influence of Picasso is particularly palpable in Adler’s work and although le Brocquy knew his work first hand, in Child with Doll Picasso’s influence is filtered through the eyes of Adler. While Child with Doll does not appear to relate directly to a particular work by Adler, the subject of the wandering child of le Brocquy’s homage can be connected to the plight of Adler’s family. All of Adler’s sisters and brothers perished in the Holocaust, leaving only a niece and a nephew to join the orphans of Europe. One of a series of works that resulted from the technical experiments that le Brocquy undertook while he was an instructor at the Central School of Arts & Crafts, London, Child with Doll combines watercolour with a line created by drawing onto tracing paper and then using carbon-coated paper to transfer the drawing onto the final page. The purpose of this technique was to sabotage the artist’s technical facility and thereby introduce an element of chance into his method. The resulting line – slightly blurred and lacking the confident mark-making of the artist’s unadulterated hand – increases the undercurrent of unease that pervades the image. In Child with Doll, le Brocquy’s experiments proved so successful that he later made a series of twenty lithographs based on the same theme. Throughout his long and fruitful career, Louis le Brocquy has often acknowledged his artistic influences by creating homages to their work. While recent shows in Dublin and London included homages to Velaquez, Goya, Manet and Cezanne, Child with Doll is both one of his earliest homages and a transitional work that lies at an important crossroads between the Irish orbit of the Travellers and the international arena of the Grey Period. Dr Riann Coulter April 2008 1 James White, ‘Contemporary Irish Artists (VI): Louis le Brocquy’, Envoy, vol. 2, no. 6, Dublin, May 6, 1950, p. 59. 2 See for example Yvonne Scott, Louis le Brocquy Allegory and Legend, exhib. cat. Hunt Museum, Limerick, 2006, p. 24. We would also like to thank Pierre le Brocquy for his assistance in cataloguing this work.

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TWO SIDES
TWO SIDES
Gerard Dillon (1916-1971)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 54

Published Estimate: €5000-7000

Price Realised: €6500


UNTITLED, 1956
UNTITLED, 1956
Camille Souter HRHA (b.1929)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 55

Published Estimate: €10000-15000

Price Realised: €10000

  • Signature: signed and dated lower right
  • Medium: oil on paper
  • Dimensions: 20 by 29cm., 7.75 by 11.2 5in.
  • Exhibited: Dawson Gallery, Dublin; Exhibition of modern Irish painting organised by the Friends of the National Collections, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, 1969, loaned by present owner (catalogue untraced)
  • Literature: Garrett Cormican, Camille Souter: The Mirror in the Sea, Whyte's, 2006, catalogue no. 20, full page illustration page 215
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COTTAGES IN THE BOG, 1961
COTTAGES IN THE BOG, 1961
Patrick Collins HRHA (1910-1994)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 56

Published Estimate: €20000-30000

Price Realised: €27000

  • Signature: signed lower right; exhibition label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 36 by 46cm., 14 by 18in.
  • Provenance: Hendriks Gallery, Dublin; Whence purchased by Mr and Mrs Harry Sions, Philadelphia, August 1961; Private collection
  • Exhibited: 'Patrick Collins', Hendriks Gallery, Dublin, August 1961, catalogue no. 12
  • With the original invoice from the Hendriks Gallery accompanying the lot. Landscape dominates the art of Patrick Collins, though, like Cottages in the Bog, his images of rural Ireland are not picturesque scenic views or topographically identifiable places. They draw on his memories of his Sligo childhood, condensing the elemental character of the isolated West. His attraction to the bog reflects his preoccupation with motifs that are strongly associated with Ireland as well as his absorption with the land. At the beginning of the 1960s Patrick Collins began to briefly embrace a more sensuous style of painting and this robust approach is evident in Cottages in the Bog. The bog, saturated with moisture, is a subject that continued to interest Collins, culminating a decade later in a series of austere bog paintings. In this picture the paint is applied energetically in luscious horizontal strokes and the artist uses flashes of light and dark to emphasise the drama of a stormy, windswept landscape. The scene has an electric intensity, with a cloud and some cottages illuminated with unusual brilliance, glimmering like jewels against the darkness. Collins is known for using a restrained palette, undoubtedly influenced by Irish weather. In this painting he has used a wide range of subtle grey and blue-grey tones, but has enlivened the surface with restrained touches of vivid colour. Collins has cleverly avoided the monotony of a horizontal landscape format by introducing a circular movement in the composition. He does this by pivoting the composition around a central point, moving the eye around the painting in a circular counter-clockwise movement. This infuses the painting with enormous energy, reinforcing the drama of this scene. Frances Ruane April 2008

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TINKER WOMAN AND CHILD, 1961
TINKER WOMAN AND CHILD, 1961
Patrick Collins HRHA (1910-1994)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 57

Published Estimate: €20000-30000

Price Realised: €22000

  • Signature: signed lower left; exhibition label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 61 by 41cm., 24 by 16in.
  • Provenance: Hendriks Gallery, Dublin; Whence purchased by Mr and Mrs Harry Sions, Philadelphia, August 1961; Private collection
  • Exhibited: 'Patrick Collins', Hendriks Gallery, Dublin, August 1961, catalogue no. 9
  • With the original invoice from the Hendriks Gallery accompanying the lot. Reviewing Collins’ exhibition of new work in the Irish Times, 26 August 1961, James White, who subsequently became Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, wrote: “Looking at his Tinker Woman and Child, one gets the feeling that they have been walking a long time up a valley, and the weariness of the journey, the suspiciousness of their gaze, and the aloof dignity of bearing has been carved by a slow process into their features. All the land and air behind seems to fall away in receding waves which are caught up once again in the shadows of the horizon”. Writing in Social and Personal around the same time, another reviewer noted that Collins’ “…Irish peasants are portrayed without any concessions to the highly coloured and the picturesque; the gaunt and skeletal figures in Tinker Woman and Child haunt the mind in a way that more conventional methods could never achieve”. In 1957 Collins painted Travelling Women, the first picture to draw on a theme that would become very prevalent in his work. A few years later, Tinker Woman and Child develops a similar subject more forcefully while still retaining the same feeling of intimacy. He would have been familiar with the paintings of travellers done by Jack B. Yeats as well as those by Louis le Brocquy, sharing with them a romantic and rather idealised attraction to the idea of gypsy life as well as a desire to find indigenous subjects. But unlike Yeats or le Brocquy, Collins’s figures are more impalpable. Blurred by mist and memory, the substance of this woman and her child dissolves in the surrounding atmosphere. The painting grows not out of direct observation, but more likely from the artist’s recollection of the gypsy camp between the Collins family house and the Cranmore Prison which had a romantic appeal for him as a young boy in Sligo. Although by the end of the decade Collins began to treat the traveller theme as an epic set in a vast countryside, this picture still focuses on the figure, surrounding it with a golden aura that connects it with Madonna and Child religious imagery. This aura frames the image and this ‘frame within a frame’ is characteristic of the artist’s work, a device that separates the image from the real world and isolates it so that there is the suggestion that it is a fragment of the artist’s imagination. Frances Ruane April 2008

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RIVER MOUTH, 1946
RIVER MOUTH, 1946
Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 58

Published Estimate: €200000-300000

Price Realised: €205000

  • Signature: signed lower left; exhibition labels on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 36 by 53cm., 14 by 21in.
  • Provenance: Bought at the 1946 catalogue by Mrs Cahill; Collection of Balbinder Gill; Montpelier Sandelson, Modern British Art and Contemporary Art; Private collection, Dublin
  • Exhibited: 'Jack B. Yets: Oil Paintings', Victor Waddington Galleries, Dublin, 30 October to 8 November 1946, catalogue no. 3
  • Literature: Hilary Pyle, Jack B. Yeats: A Catalogue Raisonne of the Oil Paintings, Andre Deutsch, London, 1992, Vol.II, p.686, catalogue no. 761
  • In this nocturnal view of the mouth of a wide river at the point where it flows into the open sea, the diagonal expanse of the fast flowing water dominates the composition, creating a tremendous sense of movement. In contrast to this dynamic force, a man is depicted seated on the left bank of the river. His hands folded, he calmly surveys the scene. The enclosed form of his body, with hands and knees drawn together, suggest the coldness of the night but, more crucially, act as a counterpoint to the freedom of the flowing water in front of him. To balance the composition Yeats depicts glimpses of the farther bank. Part of this, a tiny island with green and yellow foliage, is just visible in the distance. Beyond it a larger form, the same dark blue colour as that of the water, can just be made out. It appears to be a ship in the bay beyond the river. Its large scale and its position on the open water contrast with the static and contemplative quality of the figure in the foreground. The man’s black peaked hat and prominent moustache give him the appearance of earlier nautical figures by Yeats, such as his sailors and pilots. The latter, whom Yeats had known as a boy in Sligo, took on almost heroic proportion in his work. The pilot relied on his knowledge of the local terrain and of the dangers of the tides and currents to fulfil his important task of guiding ships in and out of the harbour. His skills were greatly valued particularly in a community which relied so heavily on the sea. Yeats, whose family were merchants and ship-owners, was well aware of the significance of the pilot and the experienced sailor to Irish life. But later such figures came to be associated with the free spirited travellers who peopled so many of Yeats’s paintings. In this context the sailor was depicted as an unconventional, romantic figure who understood the power of the natural world and was able to survive within it. Similar figures to the one depicted here recur in Early Afloat, (private collection, 1947), where the sailor is shown walking with his oars towards a boat, and in the much earlier, On a Western Quay, Sligo, (private collection, 1923). In River Mouth, the dramatic lighting, coming from the lower left hand corner of the composition, spotlights the man and his strange, nomadic surroundings. He sits outside a shack and the two handles of his oars are clearly visible behind him. The theme of the river recurs in many of Yeats’s oil paintings, a large group of them dating, like this example, to the mid 1940s. The fast flowing river was used by Yeats in both his painting and his writing as a metaphor for the power of the natural world, and by extension, for life itself. When watched by the human figure, the river becomes a symbol of universality and timelessness as opposed to the ego of the individual. Such a contemplation of the natural world represented a vital communion between the individual and the more enduring forces of nature. Yeats’s father, John Butler Yeats, remembered how Jack always regretted not spending more time looking over the bridge into the river in Sligo, as a young boy.1 He clearly felt that such an activity was not wasting time but was a way of connecting to the earth itself. As an old man, as Yeats was when he painted this work, the metaphor was even more poignant. Dr Róisín Kennedy April 2008 1 Quoted in Hilary Pyle, Jack B. Yeats. A Biography, 1970, p. 19, and Nora A. McGuinness, The Literary Universe of Jack B. Yeats, 1992, p. 115.

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GLENCAR, SLIGO, 1949
GLENCAR, SLIGO, 1949
Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 59

Published Estimate: €60000-80000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed lower left; inscribed on reverse; also with exhibition labels on reverse
  • Medium: oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 23 by 36cm., 9 by 14in.
  • Provenance: Waddington Galleries, London; Whence purchased by Capt. C. S. Collinson, Jan. 1950; Harold Diamond, New York, 1958; Joseph H. Hirschhorn, New York, 1958-66; Hirschhorn Museum, Washington DC; Christies, London, 10 May 2007, lot 93; Whence purchased by pre
  • Glencar Waterfall is situated north of Sligo town and is made up of three falls, the highest of which is fifty feet. It flows into the lake of Glencar, inland from Drumcliffe, where Yeats’s grandfather was rector for many years and where his brother, William was buried. Jack Yeats and his siblings visited Glencar as children when they were staying with their mother’s family in Sligo. There are two crannógs in the nearby lake, adding to the sense of mystery evoked by the waterfall and the surrounding countryside. W. B. Yeats used the locality as a setting for his early poem, The Stolen Child – Where the wandering water gushes From the hills above Glen-Car, In pools among the rushes That scarce would bathe a star ... (W. B. Yeats, The Stolen Child, 1886) The waterfall became an important symbol of Jack’s youth and of the beauty of the West in his oil paintings. Glencar Waterfall appears in a number of works, most famously as the backdrop to In Memory of Boucicault and Bianconi, (1937, National Gallery of Ireland). Glencar is known for its rich vegetation. According to Hilary Pyle’s description of the waterfall, it flows through fields of wild garlic and rhododendrons and tall trees surround it.1 Yeats’s painting, with its use of rich blues and greens, and its touches of yellow and deep red, recreates the sensuous experience of standing in such a place. The pale form of the water contrasts with its verdant surroundings. Yeats uses a low viewpoint which brings the viewer into the centre of the landscape. Rather than setting the waterfall in the middle of the composition, Yeats sets it to the left hand side and frames it with the surrounding shrubbery, as if one had suddenly come across this wondrous sight. In its evocation of the lushness of the Irish countryside the painting is prophetic of the later treatment of the Irish landscape as an intimate and mysterious subject by such artists as Seán McSweeney and Barrie Cooke. Yeats’s treatment of the pigment in the painting is also interesting in terms of later Irish landscape painting. He is very concerned with the handling of the paint surface. The waterfall is painted, at least partly, over the dark green pigment of the foliage. It is a flat, opaque element in the composition which differentiates it from its surroundings. Yeats departs from all the usual landscape conventions and creates, instead, a remarkable painting in which his complex treatment of the surface takes precedence over other pictorial concerns. Dr Róisín Kennedy April 2008 1 Hilary Pyle, Jack B. Yeats. A Biography, 1970, p. 19.

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A GARDEN IN SPRING, WITH RIVER AND HOUSE BEYOND
A GARDEN IN SPRING, WITH RIVER AND HOUSE BEYOND
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 60

Published Estimate: €10000-15000

Price Realised: €10000

  • Signature: signed with initials lower right
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 61 by 51cm., 24 by 20in.
  • Provenance: The artist's family by descent
  • In the original Dawson Gallery frame.

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A CANAL IN VENICE
A CANAL IN VENICE
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 61

Published Estimate: €15000-20000

Price Realised: €19000

  • Signature: signed with initials lower right; inscribed with original price of signed with initials lower right; inscribed with original price of £20 on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 51 by 61cm., 20 by 24in.
  • Provenance: The artist's family by descent
  • In the original Dawson Gallery frame.

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BOG, UPPER LOUGH MASK, COUNTY MAYO
BOG, UPPER LOUGH MASK, COUNTY MAYO
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 62

Published Estimate: €20000-30000

Price Realised: €20000

  • Signature: signed with initials lower left; original label on reverse inscribed with title and artist;s address (Woodville House, Lucan)
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 51 by 61cm., 20 by 24in.
  • Provenance: The artist's family by descent
  • A companion to this work, The Upper Lake, Lough Mask, is illustrated in Kenneth McConkey’s A Free Spirit: Irish Art 1860-1960 (Antique Collectors Club, 1990), p. 178. Commenting on this work, McConkey noted that “the human inhabitants of the landscape are dwarfed by its scale”, and that the presence of “the wild yellow gorse and wind blown trees”, or in the present case, the unruly clumps of heather, “suggest that the labour of the field hand … may ultimately be ineffective”.

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A BRIDGE IN VENICE
A BRIDGE IN VENICE
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 63

Published Estimate: €10000-15000

Price Realised: €11000

  • Signature: signed with initials lowre right; inscribed with original price of £20 on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 61 by 46cm., 24 by 18in.
  • Provenance: The artist's family by descent
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IRELAND'S EYE FROM PORTMARNOCK
IRELAND'S EYE FROM PORTMARNOCK
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 64

Published Estimate: €3000-5000

Price Realised: €7000

  • Signature: signed with initials lower right; inscribed on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas board
  • Dimensions: 20 by 25cm., 8 by 10in.
  • Provenance: The artist's family by descent
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FARMHOUSE IN A VALLEY, PROBABLY COUNTY WICKLOW, WITH AN ITALIAN LAKESIDE TOWN ON REVERSE
FARMHOUSE IN A VALLEY, PROBABLY COUNTY WICKLOW, WITH AN ITALIAN LAKESIDE TOWN ON REVERSE
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 65

Published Estimate: €15000-20000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed with initials lower right
  • Medium: oil on canvas, double-sided
  • Dimensions: 50 by 66cm., 19.7 5 by 26in.
  • Provenance: The artist's family by descent
  • The Italian scene is possibly a view of Gravedona on Lake Como, where Hamilton was based circa 1936.

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THE RHODODENDRON TREE
THE RHODODENDRON TREE
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 66

Published Estimate: €8000-10000

Price Realised: €7400

  • Signature: signed with initials lower left; original inscriebd label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 61 by 51cm., 24 by 20in.
  • Provenance: The artist's family by descent
  • Exhibited: Dublin Painters' Gallery, 1954, catalogue no. 28; or Dublin Painters' Gallery, 1957, catalogue no. 3
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IRISES AND LUPINS
IRISES AND LUPINS
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 67

Published Estimate: €6000-8000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed with initials lower left; original label on reverse; inscribed with title and artist's address (11 Garden Avenue, Bishopsthorpe)
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 51 by 41cm., 20 by 16in.
  • Provenance: The artist's family by descent
  • Painted circa 1934 when the artist was in Yorkshire.

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CONNEMARA LANDSCAPE WITH THE TWELVE PINS IN THE DISTANCE
CONNEMARA LANDSCAPE WITH THE TWELVE PINS IN THE DISTANCE
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 68

Published Estimate: €8000-10000

Price Realised: €7800


ACHILL STREET SCENE
ACHILL STREET SCENE
Eva Henrietta Hamilton (1876-1960)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 69

Published Estimate: €10000-12000

Price Realised: €9500


ROSES
ROSES
Grace Henry HRHA (1868-1953)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 70

Published Estimate: €5000-7000

Price Realised: €6400


MOUNTAIN ROAD, AUTUMN
MOUNTAIN ROAD, AUTUMN
Mabel Young (1889-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 71

Published Estimate: €2000-3000

Price Realised: €2000

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: oil on canvas board
  • Dimensions: 30 by 41cm., 12 by 16in.
  • Provenance: Presented to Mrs Holmes by the Meath Councils of the Mother's Union and Girls Friendly Society, June 1945; Private collection
  • In the original frame of the Victor Waddington Galleries, Dublin

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WEST OF IRELAND LANDSCAPE WITH STONE WALLS AND GATE AND VILLAGE BEYOND
WEST OF IRELAND LANDSCAPE WITH STONE WALLS AND GATE AND VILLAGE BEYOND
Mabel Young (1889-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 72

Published Estimate: €3000-5000

Price Realised: €7700


LEAVES
LEAVES
Beatrice Elvery (Lady Glenavy) RHA (1881-1970)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 73

Published Estimate: €3000-5000

Price Realised: €3500

  • Signature: signed in monogram lower right; inscribed on reverse with title and artist's address (Rockbrook House, Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin)
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 38 by 27cm., 15 by 10.7 5in.
  • Exhibited:  IELA, Dublin, 1943 (inaugural exhibition), catalogue no. 96
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PREPARING THE MEAL, SAMOA, circa 1919-25
PREPARING THE MEAL, SAMOA, circa 1919-25
Mary Swanzy HRHA (1882-1978)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 74

Published Estimate: €40000-60000

Price Realised: €36000

  • Signature: signed lower right, inscribed label on reverse and with studio stamp on stretcher
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 61 by 51cm., 24 by 20in.
  • Provenance: The artist's studio; Estate sale, Christie's, South Kensington, 9 May 2007, lot 312
  • Exhibited: 'Mary Swanzy: Paintings of Samoa 1919-1925', Dawson Gallery, Dublin, 28 April - 12 May 1976, catalogue no. 13
  • As a young woman of independent means, Mary Swanzy travelled widely throughout Europe in the years preceding the First World War. She attended a lycée in Versaille and a day school in Freiburg, Germany. Upon returning to Dublin she took art lessons from May Manning, who encouraged her to go to Paris. This she did in 1905, enrolling at Delacluse’s academy. In Paris she was a regular visitor to Gertrude Stein’s house, where she encountered works by Picasso, Cezanne, Matisse and Gauguin. She also spent periods painting in Grasse and in Florence, sending works back to Dublin for inclusion in the annual RHA exhibitions. In 1920 she joined her sister in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, where she helped with relief work in a Protestant mission. Swanzy also had relations in Hawaii, and around 1923 joined her aunt, Mrs F. M. Swanzy, at her home in Manoa, a suburb of Honolulu. In February 1924 she held a small exhibition of Czechoslovakian and Hawaiian paintings at her aunt’s house. The following month she ventured further west into the South Pacific, to visit Samoa, where she sketched and painted more than a dozen canvases. These were exhibited on her return to Honolulu in July 1924, and again in September 1924 at the Santa Barbara Art Club Gallery. Swanzy returned to Dublin early in 1925, in time to submit three of her Samoan scenes to the RHA, before continuing on to Paris, where she held an exhibition of fourteen Samoan paintings at the Galerie Bernheim Jeune. Whilst it is unknown whether Preparing the Meal, Samoa, was included in any of the three exhibitions in 1924 or ’25, it is certain that it was exhibited at the Dawson Gallery in 1976, at the last solo show to be held in Swanzy’s lifetime. Swanzy’s time in the South Pacific marked a watershed in her development as an artist. In the warmth of the tropics she shed the influence of her various painting masters from Paris, and evolved her own distinct style. Inevitably perhaps, her Polynesian paintings have been compared to Gauguin’s Tahitian scenes from thirty years previously. However, where Gauguin sought to evoke symbolic or mythical references, Swanzy tended to respond intuitively and spontaneously to the colourful exotic surroundings, painting them in a style, as Julian Campbell has noted, that is more akin to Matisse than Gauguin. Of all of Swanzy’s known South Pacific paintings, Preparing the Meal, Samoa is the most concerned with the painting of the human figure. The central figure of the woman is given a statuesque grace and calm as she prepares the eponymous meal, whilst her companions serve as decorative adjuncts, their tapa cloth skirts forming a visual triangle for the eye to follow around the canvas. The interlaced vegetation in the background provides as it were a flattened backdrop, returning the eye to centre stage. The paint is applied rapidly, with confidence, in a striking display of painterly bravura that is as arresting today as it must have been when painted eighty years ago.

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SAINT ON A BOOK
SAINT ON A BOOK
Evie Hone HRHA (1894-1955)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 75

Published Estimate: €3000-4000

Price Realised: €2000

  • Signature: original Dawson Gallery label on reverse
  • Medium: gouache on paper
  • Dimensions: 23 by 17cm., 9 by 6.5in.
  • Provenance: Christie's, Belfast, 16 September 1992, lot 46; Private collection
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EARLY STUDIES TOWARDS JAIRUS' DAUGHTER, WASHINGTON CATHEDRAL, 1953
EARLY STUDIES TOWARDS JAIRUS' DAUGHTER, WASHINGTON CATHEDRAL, 1953
Evie Hone HRHA (1894-1955)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 76

Published Estimate: €2000-3000

Price Realised: €2200

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: gouache over pencil
  • Dimensions: 33 by 10cm., 13 by 4in.
  • Provenance: Taylor de Vere's, Dublin, 1992, lot 4; Private collection
  • Exhibited: Possibly exhibited as 'The Raising of Jairus' Daughter (for Washington Cathedral D.C.'), Dawson Gallery, May 1953, catalogue no. 46
  • Two preparatory sketches, each measuring 13 by 4 inches (framed as one), for a window in the Washington Cathedral (Mount St. Alban, Washington DC, USA), which was built in 1953.

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LOUGH CONG, COUNTY GALWAY
LOUGH CONG, COUNTY GALWAY
Evie Hone HRHA (1894-1955)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 77

Published Estimate: €3000-4000

Price Realised: €4200

  • Signature: signed lower right; inscribed on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour and gouache
  • Dimensions: 24 by 32cm., 9.5 by 12.5in.
  • Exhibited: Possibly exhibited as 'Cong, Co. Mayo', Dawson Gallery, May 1953, catalogue no. 16 (18 gns)
  • Lough Cong is on the border of counties Galway and Mayo. The central placement of the tree echoes the composition of A Landscape with a Tree (NGI 4322), exhibited at the 1943 IELA and illustrated on p. 138 of Irish Women Artists (1987). In both works the flattened patterning of the shrubs, rocks and lake reveal Hone’s earlier Cubist studies in Paris.

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THE YELLOW POOL
THE YELLOW POOL
Mary Swanzy HRHA (1882-1978)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 78

Published Estimate: €4000-6000

Price Realised: €5600


AHAKISTA, COUNTY CORK
AHAKISTA, COUNTY CORK
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 79

Published Estimate: €15000-20000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed with initials lower left; original label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 51 by 66cm., 20 by 26in.
  • Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1958, catalogue no. 102
  • In the original frame of the Dawson Gallery, Dublin. Ahakista is a village on the Sheep's Head Peninsula overlooking Dunmanus Bay.

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THE CHAPEL, ROUNDSTONE
THE CHAPEL, ROUNDSTONE
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 80

Published Estimate: €30000-40000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed with initials lower left; original label on reverse inscribed with title and artist's address (Diswellsttown, Castleknock)
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 69 by 91cm., 27 by 35.7 5in.
  • Provenance: Pyms Gallery, London; Whence purchased by the present owner in 1989
  • Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1946, catalogue no. 124
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A WESTMEATH BOG
A WESTMEATH BOG
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 81

Published Estimate: €6000-8000

Price Realised: €6800


A MOUNTAIN STREAM
A MOUNTAIN STREAM
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 82

Published Estimate: €6000-8000

Price Realised: €6000

  • Signature: signed with initials lower right; original inscribed label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 41 by 51cm., 16 by 20in.
  • Provenance: Dawson Gallery, Dublin; Private collection
  • Exhibited: Dublin Painters' Gallery, 1949, catalogue no. 19; Gorry Gallery, Dublin, 28 April to 11 May 1989, catalogue no. 61 (illustrated in catalogue)
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THE RIVER DUN WITH GORSE IN FLOWER AND COTTAGES BEYOND
THE RIVER DUN WITH GORSE IN FLOWER AND COTTAGES BEYOND
James Humbert Craig RHA RUA (1877-1944)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 83

Published Estimate: €6000-8000

Price Realised: €8000


DONEGAL LANDSCAPE, circa 1939
DONEGAL LANDSCAPE, circa 1939
Theodore James Gracey RUA (1895-1959)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 84

Published Estimate: €1500-2000

Price Realised: 


IRISH FREE STATE CHICKEN, 1928
IRISH FREE STATE CHICKEN, 1928
Seán Keating PRHA HRA HRSA (1889-1977)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 85

Published Estimate: €30000-40000

Price Realised: €28000

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: gouache, pencil and coloured chalk
  • Dimensions: 99 by 150cm., 39 by 59in.
  • Provenance: Paul Conran; From whom purchased by the previous owner in October 1982
  • The Empire Marketing Board (EMB) was established in London in 1926 for the purpose of promoting the sale of produce from countries associated with the British Empire. The methods of advertising included posters for shop windows and outdoor billboards. Continued access to the British market was of vital economic necessity to the newly established Irish Free State, a point that was given recognition when in 1927 the EMB commissioned Seán Keating to undertake the design of three posters, Irish Free State Dairying, Irish Free State Bacon and Irish Free State Chicken, to advertise Irish produce to the English market. The three posters were used around England between June and July 1929 on specially designed outdoor billboards. Keating was familiar with the skills necessary for large-scale poster design owing to his training at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin. His brief was firmly controlled by the EMB, and at the same time, the artist knew that the designs had to be visually specific and immediately legible. The drawing illustrated is Keating’s innovative design for Irish Free State Chicken, which is replete with the visual iconography that was expected of Ireland in the 1920s. However, this is a design by Keating, and arguably therefore, there is more to the image than immediately apparent. When Keating received the commission from the EMB, he was under enormous time constraints. Along with maintaining a successful portrait practice, he was also teaching at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art, he had just completed a series of ten illustrations for John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, and he was working on paintings and drawings of the hydro-electric project at Ardnacrusha in County Clare, known as ‘The Shannon Scheme’. Although he was busy, Keating was anxious to facilitate the EMB within the required time schedule. Therefore, he photographed the buildings in a local farmyard which he then used as the background for all three posters. In the case of Irish Free State Chicken Keating also re-used vignettes from previous paintings. The old man to the right of the drawing featured as the model in various paintings from the same time including The Turf Buyer (1928) and the couple made an appearance in Aran Couple with Donkey and Cart (1927-28). Keating’s work for the EMB appears at first glance, to reflect an imagined view of Ireland as a rural ideal and idyll, as dictated by the advertising concerns of the EMB. But arguably, there is degree of artistic subterfuge in the image. There are no green rolling hills, shamrocks, shillelaghs or white thatched cottages. Instead, Keating posited an image of a peaceful and prosperous peasantry within a well maintained farmyard, which refutes the age-old vision of misery and deprivation in Ireland of the 1920s. The close range view and the stage-like setting combined with clear architectural and figurative detail serves to further engage the viewer with the atmosphere of a real and flourishing farm. The appeal in the work is therefore premised on Keating’s ability to suitably advertise Irish Free State Chicken within the limits of the constraints set by the EMB, but without reducing the images to mere pastiche. The survival of Keating’s original design for Irish Free State Chicken, which was intentionally ephemeral, is noteworthy. But even more remarkable is that the poster made from this design is also to be sold in this sale as a separate lot. They are in fact, exceptionally rare surviving examples of Keating’s extensive career as an artist of ephemeral work. Éimear O’Connor School of Art History and Cultural Policy University College Dublin April 2008

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IRISH FREE STATE POULTRY
IRISH FREE STATE POULTRY
Seán Keating PRHA HRA HRSA (1889-1977)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 86

Published Estimate: €800-1000

Price Realised: €750

  • Signature: signed in the plate lower left
  • Medium: offset lithographis poster printed in colour
  • Dimensions: 51 by 74cm., 20 by 29in.
  • Printed by Thomas Forman and Sons, Nottingham, for the Empire Marketing Board.

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STILL LIFE WITH ORANGE-PATTERN CLOTH
STILL LIFE WITH ORANGE-PATTERN CLOTH
John Luke RUA (1906-1975)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 87

Published Estimate: €4000-6000

Price Realised: €2800


STILL LIFE WITH DRAPERY, 1926
STILL LIFE WITH DRAPERY, 1926
John Luke RUA (1906-1975)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 88

Published Estimate: €5000-7000

Price Realised: €3700

  • Signature: signed and dated lower left
  • Medium: watercolour and gouache over pencil on paper
  • Dimensions: 34 by 41cm., 13.5 by 16.2 5in.
  • The present work dates to Luke’s time as a student at the Belfast College of Art. Arrangements of still life objects – in this case a small porcelain vase juxtaposed next to a large and apparently weighty sphere – were set before students in order that they study such elements of drawing as line, shape, proportion, colour and tone. S. B. Kennedy has commented on “the underlying architecture of the arrangement emphasised through geometry and line”, which in this particular instance “becomes more important than the visual appearance of the objects”. The outline of the objects is “tight, precise and economical”, a feature that would come to characterise Luke’s mature works.

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SELF PORTRAIT
SELF PORTRAIT
Seán Keating PRHA HRA HRSA (1879-1972)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 89

Published Estimate: €15000-20000

Price Realised: €18000

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: charcoal with white chalk
  • Dimensions: 55 by 55cm., 21.5 by 21.5in.
  • Provenance: Mr Herbert Bell of the Bell Gallery, Belfast; Thence to his son, Nelson of the Bell Gallery, Belfast; from whom purchased by the present owner
  • Exhibited: Solo exhibition, Bell Gallery, Belfast April - May 1965, catalogue no. 55; 'Seán Keating', RHA, Dublin, 1989, catalogue no. 82 (lent by Herbert Bell)
  • Study for the self-portrait in oils now in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland. Included with lot is a photograph of the artist with Herbert Bell outside the Bell Gallery, Adelaide Park, Belfast.

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LOUGH FEE, COUNTY MONAGHAN
LOUGH FEE, COUNTY MONAGHAN
James Humbert Craig RHA RUA (1877-1944)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 90

Published Estimate: €20000-30000

Price Realised: 


A WOODED RIVER WITH A GROUP OF FIGURES ON THE FAR BANK, circa 1916-20
A WOODED RIVER WITH A GROUP OF FIGURES ON THE FAR BANK, circa 1916-20
James Humbert Craig RHA RUA (1877-1944)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 91

Published Estimate: €30000-40000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 66 by 79cm., 26 by 31in.
  • Provenance: Single private collection since the 1930s
  • Exhibited: Possibly exhibited at the RHA, Dublin, 1918, as The Dun River, catalogue no. 130 (£40-0-0); or the following year, RHA, 1919, as Glen Den, Co. Antrim, catalogue no. 158 (£50-0-0)
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GOLDEN CAVES, CONCARNEAU, circa 1912
GOLDEN CAVES, CONCARNEAU, circa 1912
William John Leech RHA ROI (1881-1968)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 92

Published Estimate: €100000-150000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed lower right; exhibition labels on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 52 by 84cm., 20.5 by 33.2in.
  • Provenance: Family of the artist; Pyms Gallery, London; Private collection since 1991
  • Exhibited: ’Life and Landscape in French, British and Irish Painting at the Turn of the Century’, Pyms Gallery, London, 22 May to 22 June 1991, catalogue no. 19; 'Impressionism in Britain', Barbican Centre, London, 1995, catalogue no. 123 ‘William John Leech: An Irish Painter Abroad’, National Gallery of Ireland, 23 October to 15 December 1996, catalogue no. 33; toured to Musee des Beaux Arts, Quimper, 10 January to 10 March 1997, and the Ulster Museum, Belfast, 28 March to 22 June 1997
  • Literature: Alan and Mary Hobart, Life and Landscape in French British and Irish Painting at the Turn of the Century, Pyms Gallery, London, 1991, pages 48-9, illustrated page 49; Kenneth McConkey, Impressionism in Britain, Yale University Press, 1995, page 152; Denise Ferran, William John Leech: An Irish Painter Abroad, NGI, Dublin, 1996, pages 152-3, illustrated page 152
  • This bold dramatic painting exemplifies Leech’s confidence in his use of strident oranges, yellows and pinks in portraying the simple shapes of the caves, just outside the Breton fishing village of Concarneau. The earlier muted palette of Waving Things, Concarneau (National Gallery of Ireland), which revealed the legacy of Whistler, has given way to a palette of primary colours, influenced more by Monet, who in works such as Study of Rocks, Creuse, 1889 (collection of the late Queen Mother; see lot 94), used pink tones in the foreground to intensify the contrast of orange and cadmium yellow against blue. In Caves at Concarneau Leech uses a similar palette, but his brush has the fluid stroke of later Impressionist paintings and of the Fauves. The striped patterning of paint also suggests the influence of Roderic O’Conor, whose work Leech could have seen as a student in Paris or in the Hugh Lane exhibition in Dublin in 1904. Caves in Corncarneau epitomises Leech’s approach in seeing a resplendent subject in simple forms. It was probably painted in the period 1910 to 1913, when Leech had attained a supreme confidence and mastery of painting colour and light; a time before the outbreak of the Great War, the break-up of his marriage to Elizabeth and the depression he suffered on his return to London in 1919, penniless and unable to paint. His meeting May Botterell in London that year began a new relationship for Leech, ending not only his marriage but also his sixteen years of almost continuous painting in Concarneau and his integration with its artistic colony. He still visited France but his long sojourns in Concarneau were replaced by short annual visits to the South of France, to Marseilles, Grasse, Cagnes-sur-Mer and to St. Jeannet, in the hills above the Côte d’Azur. However, it was during the years at Concarneau, between 1903 and 1919, when he was engaged in a sustained quest for “trying to evolve sunlight and reflections”, that Leech progressed most as a painter. Caves at Concarneau is a major work from this period. Dr Denise Ferran April 2008

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THE COURTYARD OF THE DOGE'S PALACE, VENICE, circa 1924-5
THE COURTYARD OF THE DOGE'S PALACE, VENICE, circa 1924-5
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 93

Published Estimate: €15000-20000

Price Realised: €14500

  • Signature: signed with initials lower left; inscribed label and later exhibition labels on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 56 by 66cm., 22 by 26in.
  • Provenance: James Adam's, Dublin, 8 May 1986, lot 21; Gorry Gallery, Dublin, November 2003; Whyte's, 27 April 2004, lot 51; Whence purchased by the present owner
  • Exhibited: ’Exhibition of Pictures, Venice, by Eva H. Hamilton and Letitia M. Hamilton’, The Stephen’s Green Gallery, 11-23 February 1924, catalogue no. 8; ’An Exhibition of 18th-21st Century Irish Paintings’, Gorry Gallery, Dublin, 26 November to 6 December 2003, catalogue no. 40, illustrated page 32
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LE BLOC, CREUSE AFTER MONET,1938
LE BLOC, CREUSE AFTER MONET,1938
Sir Gerald Festus Kelly KCVO PRA RHA (1879-1972)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 94

Published Estimate: €12000-15000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: exhibition labels on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 74 by 94cm., 29.2 5 by 37in.
  • Provenance: Artist's studio sale; Gorry Gallery, Dublin; Private collection since 1988
  • Exhibited: Royal Academy, London, 1957, catalogue no 203; Art Exhibition Bureau, travelling exhibition, 1962, catalogue no. 8; ’An exhibition of 18th, 19th and 20th century Irish paintings’, Gorry Gallery, Dublin, 22 April to 5 May 1988, catalogue no. 22 (illustrated in catalogue)
  • Painted in September 1938 after Monet’s Le Bloc, Creuse, 1898, in the collection of the late Queen Mother (1900-2002). As President of the Royal Academy, Festus Kelly was a favoured painter among the royal family, receiving commissions for portraits of both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother (both in the UK Government Art Collection). His portrait of the Queen Mother was reproduced in aquatint photogravure in 1947. In the present work he depicts a monumental outcrop of rock near Creuse in the province of Berry, between Orleans and Limoges in western France.

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MA SEYN SIN AS A PRINCE
MA SEYN SIN AS A PRINCE
Sir Gerald Festus Kelly KCVO PRA RHA (1879-1972)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 95

Published Estimate: €20000-30000

Price Realised: €18000


THE CHINA HORSE
THE CHINA HORSE
William John Leech RHA ROI (1881-1968)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 96

Published Estimate: €20000-30000

Price Realised: €15000

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 46 by 38cm., 18 by 15in.
  • Provenance: Collection of Letitia Hamilton; Thence by descent
  • Exhibited: Possibly exhibited as The Honiton Horse in 'Paintings by William John Leech RHA', Dawson Gallery, Dublin, 8 June 1945, catalogue no. 34 (£18-0-0)
  • Leech once advised a friend and fellow painter: “Choose simple things, they are the most interesting”. From 1935 onwards Leech painted a series of views looking out of windows, with flowers or a bowl or ornament on the windowsill to create a centre of attention in the composition against the fenestration and the hazy landscape beyond. He used the structure of the window frame and the windowsill to create strong diagonals to focus the eye, in this case on the little china ornament of a horse. The splashes of cerulean blue in the horse’s mane are echoed in the subdued tones of pink, blue and cream in the simply treated foliage outside the window, gently enhancing the luminosity of the entire canvas. In later years Leech was a frequent guest at the home of May Botterell’s three children at Highcroft, staying in the cottage of the great house, surrounded by gardens created by Gertrude Jekylls, from where he continued to paint scenes from windows. The China Horse, owned by Letitia Hamilton who was a friend of Leech’s from the early 1900s, could have been painted anytime from 1935 until the late ‘50s, considering the pastel palette and the subject matter used. Dr Denise Ferran April 2008

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AN ELEGANT COUPLE IN A GARDEN
AN ELEGANT COUPLE IN A GARDEN
Harry Clarke RHA (1889-1931)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 97

Published Estimate: €4000-6000

Price Realised: €3600

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: pencil with wash and touches of gold paint on paper
  • Dimensions: 25 by 18cm., 10 by 7.25in.
  • Provenance: Collection of Eva and Letitia Hamilton; Thence by descent
  • In November 1921, two months after his father’s death and his virtual assumption of control of the family’s ecclesiastical decorating business in Dublin, Harry Clarke received his fourth commission from the London publishers, George G. Harrap, to illustrate a further book for them. This was to be The Fairy Tales of Perrault, with an introduction by his friend and supporter, the lawyer and art connoisseur, Thomas Bodkin. It was to feature 12 full page colour and 12 full page black and white illustrations, for which he received £180. He also drew twenty-two highly imaginative half-title, endpage black and white illustrations and ‘decorative adjuncts’, mostly related to the ten tales featured and all cast in Clarke’s highly idiosyncratic, fantasized version of an 18th century rococo manner. Bodkin thought he had “entered thoroughly into the spirit of the tales, and his drawings are also in keeping with the period of the production – the age of Louis XIV”. These were completed in a remarkably short time, considering the book was published less than nine months after the commission was given. ‘Donkey Skin’ appears as the final story in the book, with two half-page line drawings: the coy, long-haired princess, naked but for the donkey skin which is barely draped over her voluptuous form; “Another gown the colour of the moon”, where the princess is decked in a voluminous crinoline, as advised by her godmother, attended by two drummer boys against a huge full moon; and a small horizontal silhouetted endpiece set beneath the story’s concluding Moral. The scenes featured in the book’s two full page illustrations, “He thought the Princess was his Queen” (black and white) and “Curiosity made him put his eye to the keyhole” (colour) bear no resemblance to the subject of the design in this catalogue. It is the first extant full-page sketch design for this particular book to have come to light, and is particularly evocative because of its cursive, yet purposeful pencil and crayon strokes, suggesting a receding formal avenue of cypresses, rococo statuary, the foreground shadow of the posturing couple, their flamboyant costumes suggesting masquerade dress, hers daringly revealing her tiny breasts (as is Clarke’s wont). Their expressions are finely portrayed, however sketchily, making them appear like modern players set in 18th century mode, unlike a number of the book’s other illustrations, whose characters are powdered, bewigged and doll-like. It would seem that here we see the princess, no longer having to be disguised beneath her magic donkey’s skin, wearing her blue dress the colour of the sky, one of the magnificent robes her father had had made for her when he wanted her to replace her dead mother as his queen. She is escorted by the enraptured prince, still pale from pining hopelessly for her, incredulously gazing at his new beloved, who wears the ring which would only fit her finger. With its pale, glaucous tones and disembodied figures who seem to inhabit an unearthly world, this is one of a series of highly romantic ephemeral illustrations Clarke drew before embarking on what George Russell (‘Æ’) called “the sinister enchantment” of his much more detailed yet macabre coloured illustrations to the second edition of his Tales of Mystery and Imagination by E. A. Poe two years later. It is not recorded whether Clarke gave this design to one of the Hamilton sisters himself, but their paths would doubtless have crossed both at Dublin exhibitions and in County Meath, where they had mutual friends. Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe April 2008

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ON THE HILL OF HOWTH
ON THE HILL OF HOWTH
William John Leech RHA ROI (1881-1968)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 98

Published Estimate: €15000-20000

Price Realised: €12000

  • Signature: signed lower right; inscribed on stretcher and with several inscribed labels on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 27 by 51cm., 10.7 5 by 20in.
  • Alternatively known as Gorse Bushes. In the original frame of Daniel Egan, Lower Ormond Quay, and with labels on reverse listing the artist’s address variously as 6 Victoria Villas, Morehampton Road (his address in 1909) and care of Lily Williams ARHA, 18 Lower Pembroke Street. An older label on reverse gives the title of another of Leech’s work, Le Sable Blanc, Concarneau, which was exhibited in the RHA in 1909.

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VICTORY, circa 1897-1900
VICTORY, circa 1897-1900
Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 99

Published Estimate: €25000-35000

Price Realised: €19000

  • Signature: signed lower left, inscribed on reverse
  • Medium: pen and ink with watercolour
  • Dimensions: 25 by 14cm., 10 by 5.5in.
  • Provenance: Gift of the Abbey actress, Geraldine Fitzgerald (1913-2005), to the family of the previous owner
  • Exhibited: Possibly exhibited at the RHA, Dublin, 1897, catalogue no 200 (£6-0-0)
  • The lean figure of a light-weight boxer appears in another Yeats watercolour, titled Not Pretty But Useful (no. 203 in Pyle), and was probably modelled on the same athlete. Whilst the work was known to its former owners as Victory, this was possibly originally titled An East End Athlete, and exhibited at the RHA in 1897. Inscribed on reverse with the artist’s address, Snails Castle, Strete, near Dartmouth, South Devon, which was the artist’s home from 1897-1910. Also inscribed “no frame/stone grey mount (the same as I had at my last exhibition)” and with a thumbnail sketch detailing the measurements of the mount.

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THE PIKEMAN, 1904
THE PIKEMAN, 1904
Norman Macnamara Morrow (1879-1917)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 April 2008 / 100

Published Estimate: €800-1000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed and dated lower right; inscribed upper right
  • Medium: watercolour, pen and ink
  • Dimensions: 30 by 20cm., 11.7 5 by 8in.
  • Belfast-born illustrator Norman Morrow was born into a family of artists: his brothers Albert, Edwin, George and Jack all studied art at the Government School in Belfast. He was an active member of the Ulster Literary Theatre, designing sets as well as acting and managing. He also showed with the Belfast Art Society in 1903 and ‘04, before moving to London. There he found employment producing illustrations for the Graphic and the Bystander, and also painted stage sets for the Chelsea Palace Theatre. Examples of his work can be found in the Ulster Museum, Belfast. (See Snoddy, p. 442).

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