28 September 2009

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ROAD TO THE BLACK HILL, DONEGAL
ROAD TO THE BLACK HILL, DONEGAL
Harry Epworth Allen RBA (1894-1958)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 51

Published Estimate: €10000-12000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed twice lower left
  • Medium: tempera on millboard
  • Dimensions: 36 by 51cm., 14 by 20in.
  • Exhibited: 'Harry Epworth Allen RBA (1894-1958) Retrospective Exhibition', Whyte's, Dublin, August 2009
  • Literature: Basford, John, 'Harry Epworth Allen (1894-1958) Catalogue of his Works', Derwent-Wye Fine Art Ltd., Derbyshire, 1993, catalogued (as oil) p. 126
  • In original gilt frame of T.P. Smith, 9-11, Leeds Road, Bradford.

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THE STALACTITES
THE STALACTITES
Harry Epworth Allen RBA (1894-1958)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 52

Published Estimate: €5000-7000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed lower left; with Pastel Society inscribed exhibition labels on reverse; Graves Art Gallery and Derwent-Wye Gallery exhibition labels on reverse; also with Lucy Allen Collection label verso detailing old insurance valuation as £21-0-0
  • Medium: pastel on board
  • Dimensions: 36 by 50cm., 14.2 by 19.7in.
  • Provenance: The Collection of Lucy Allen, 1959; Mr & Mrs S. Upton; Private collection
  • Exhibited: The Pastel Society, 1958; Graves Art Gallery and Touring Exhibition, 1959, catalogue no. 103 [price: 20 gns]; 'The Decorative Paintings of Harry Epworth Allen', Graves Art Gallery, 1986, catalogue no. 56; 'Harry Epworth Allen RBA (1894-1958) Retrospective Exhibition', Whyte's, Dublin, August 2009
  • Literature: Basford, Dr. John, 'Harry Epworth Allen (1894-1958) Catalogue of His Works', Derwent-Wye Fine Art Ltd., Cromwell Press, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, 1993, catalogued p.135
  • 'The Stalactites' depicts a cave interior at Castleton, Derbyshire.

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MOTHER AND CHILD
MOTHER AND CHILD
Harry Kernoff RHA (1900-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 53

Published Estimate: €3000-4000

Price Realised: €2700


PORTRAIT OF RUTH BRANDT, THE ARTIST'S DAUGHTER, c.1942
PORTRAIT OF RUTH BRANDT, THE ARTIST'S DAUGHTER, c.1942
Muriel Brandt RHA (1909-1981)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 54

Published Estimate: €500-700

Price Realised: €450

  • Signature: signed lower centre
  • Medium: pen and ink with wash over pencil and heightened in white
  • Dimensions: 36 by 25cm., 14.2 5 by 9.75in.
  • Muriel Brandt, a Belfast born muralist, portrait artist and landscape painter was educated at Belfast College of Art and on scholarship at the Royal College of Art, London, from 1934-37. In 1935 she married Frank Brandt, a designer in the Electricity Supply Board and a few months prior to sitting her final exams for the ARCA diploma her daughter Ruth, illustrator and etcher, (1936-1989) and the subject of this work, was born. In 1938 she initiated what developed into a forty-year long relationship with the RHA. Later, in 1943, she exhibited with the Watercolour Society of Ireland and this association, resulted in a submission of forty-one pieces up until her death in 1981. Ruth Brandt also exhibited with the Watercolour Society from 1984 to 1988. An exhibition of four of her works was exhibited posthumously by the Society in 1990.

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PHOENIX PARK, DUBLIN, 1928
PHOENIX PARK, DUBLIN, 1928
Harry Kernoff RHA (1900-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 55

Published Estimate: €10000-15000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed and dated lower right
  • Medium: oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 37 by 50cm., 14.5 by 19.7 5in.
  • In 1944 Kernoff revisited the subject of the Phoenix Park in a watercolour entitled, Silver Birches, Phoenix Park, Dublin 1944. This work, which forms part of the Hugh Lane Gallery Collection, was reproduced in Rosemary McAuley's, A Fresh Way of Seeing: Harry Kernoff in his times, published by The Irish Jewish Museum, Dublin, April, 2003, catalogue no. 27, illustrated p.25.

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SAND-DUNES, DOLLYMOUNT, 1930
SAND-DUNES, DOLLYMOUNT, 1930
Harry Kernoff RHA (1900-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 56

Published Estimate: €1500-1800

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed and dated lower left
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 28 by 38cm., 11 by 15in.
  • Provenance: Godolphin Gallery, Dublin; Private collection
  • Exhibited: ’Harry Kernoff, A Selection of Dublin Paintings’, Godolphin Gallery, Dublin, March 1974, catalogue no. 16
  • This work was originally paired with a second work entitled, The Forty-Foot, Sandycove, 1940, for the Godophin exhibition.

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MOTHER AND CHILD
MOTHER AND CHILD
William Conor OBE RHA ROI (1881-1968)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 57

Published Estimate: €6000-8000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: with stamp of The Bell Gallery, Belfast on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas laid on board
  • Dimensions: 44 by 34cm., 17.2 5 by 13.5in.
  • Provenance: Bell Gallery, Belfast, 1968; Private collection
  • Born into a skilled working class background in North Belfast, Conor entered the Belfast Government School of Design at the age of thirteen where he was trained in drawing for industry. Following his training Conor became a lithographic poster designer and later turned his talents towards portraiture. This change of direction garnered the artist his inaugural exhibition in 1910 at the Belfast Art Society. During World War I Conor was appointed by the Government to create visual records of soldiers and other military figures, resulting in his temporary relocation to London. There he was introduced to fellow Northerner, John Lavery, 26 years the artist's senior, and to John Hewitt (poet and Head of the Art Department at the Belfast Museum). Both individuals were instrumental in furthering Conor's career on his return to Belfast and championed the artist’s style and unique interpretation of ordinary life. Following the Second World War Conor set up his studio opposite the Ulster Museum on Stranmillis Road. This was to remain his artistic base until 1959 when he moved his work space to his home address in Salisbury Avenue, where died in 1968. Likened to French Realists Courbet and Millet, in Conor we find a prolific illustrator and a compulsive recorder of daily life. He returned time and time again to the streets of Belfast, his eternal source of inspiration. His love of his native city and province can be seen clearly in his work which reflected life in Belfast for more than half a century. Women and children held a special significance for the artist whose sensitive and truthful depictions captured their natural interaction. How Conor chose to depict his subjects, and in particular their dress, often made a powerful statement on the social background of the sitter. Women's clothes, specifically their headdress, provided him with a language to communicate to the ordinary people. A champion of the ordinary woman, the shawl for Conor came to represent this spirit: "[The Shawl]...After all, is it not in a sense one symbol of motherhood...I like to make crayon sketches of Ulster people in all their walks of life. It was while I was making these that I came across the Ulster mill-lassie in her shawl and realised that this was the headgear most suited to bring out beauty and personality.” (See footnote) As evidenced in this work, there is an honesty and integrity to Conor's subjects which reflect his innate understanding of human nature. The Bell Gallery, Belfast, advocates for many years of Conor’s work, date this Mother and Child to the latter years of the artist’s career. This work was sold through the Bell Gallery to the parents of the present owner in 1968, the year of Conor’s death. Footnote: Wilson, Judith, Conor: The Life and Work of an Ulster Artist, The Blackstaff Press, Belfast, 1977, p. 43

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THE WEE SHOP, 1925
THE WEE SHOP, 1925
Frank McKelvey RHA RUA (1895-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 58

Published Estimate: €5000-7000

Price Realised: €5000

  • Signature: signed and dated lower left; title printed in the mount lower left; with inscribed William Rodman & Co., Belfast, label on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 27 by 36cm., 10.7 5 by 14.2 5in.
  • Provenance: William Rodman & Co., Belfast; Private collection
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STACKING TURF, COUNTY DONEGAL
STACKING TURF, COUNTY DONEGAL
Frank McKelvey RHA RUA (1895-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 59

Published Estimate: €3000-4000

Price Realised: 


BATHERS IN A ROCKY COVE
BATHERS IN A ROCKY COVE
Frank McKelvey RHA RUA (1895-1974)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 60

Published Estimate: €2500-3500

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: watercolour on hand-made drawing paper
  • Dimensions: 38 by 53cm., 15 by 21in.
  • This watercolour is likely to be a scene near Horn Head, Killyhowey, County Donegal. This location was the subject of an oil by McKelvey in 1941, exhibited that year at the RHA, cat. no. 31 and illustrated (plate 22) in S.B. Kennedy's Frank McKelvey, RHA RUA, A Painter in his Time, 1993.

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DUNGLOE, COUNTY DONEGAL
DUNGLOE, COUNTY DONEGAL
James Humbert Craig RHA RUA (1877-1944)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 61

Published Estimate: €7000-9000

Price Realised: €5000


A STREET IN RABAT, MOROCCO, 1920
A STREET IN RABAT, MOROCCO, 1920
Sir John Lavery RA RSA RHA (1856-1941)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 62

Published Estimate: €20000-30000

Price Realised: €21000

  • Signature: signed lower right, J Lavery; inscribed, A STREET IN RABAT / JOHN LAVERY / 1920, on reverse; also with inscription, 'To / Polymnia with many compliments / 14 Febry 1923', on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvasboard
  • Dimensions: 24 by 34cm., 9.5 by 13.5in.
  • A STREET IN RABAT/JOHN LAVERY/1920 and inscribed 'To/ Polymnia with many compliments / 14 Febry 1923' (See footnote no. 1) Letters written throughout the Great War indicate Lavery’s frustration at being unable to revisit Morocco. His restlessness was only partially mitigated by trips to naval bases in the winter of 1917-8, in part fulfilment of his commission as an Official War Artist. This role lasted into 1919 with the added task of painting ‘women’s work’ in the QMAAC field hospitals of northern France (see Whyte’s 28 November 2006, lot 95). The Laverys eventual return to Tangier in January 1920 was therefore long anticipated. (See footnote no. 2) Simply being back in the city after six years invigorated the painter, and his output, in a matter of weeks, was staggering. He recorded the ceremonial raising of the Moroccan flag over the former German Legation building in the market square and he also witnessed the passing of the funeral cortège of the Sultan’s envoy, his old friend, Sir Harry ‘Kaid’ MacLean. (See footnote no. 3) This was however, to be the Laverys’ most adventurous visit to Morocco. Accompanied by Mary Auras, the painter’s former German model and Nora Kerr Clarke, sister of the British Consul, they sailed down the coast of Spanish North Africa stopping at Rabat, before travelling overland by car to Marrakesh. (See footnote no. 4) Little sketches of the harbour and streets of the ancient city, including the infamous rue des femmes document the visit. (See footnote no. 5) Lavery was entranced by the ancient city, founded in 1197 by the Moorish conqueror of Spain, Abou Yussef Yacoub, known as ‘El Mansur’ – builder of the famous ‘Tower of Hassan’. A trading settlement dating back to the Romans, Rabat had been a separate state run by Barbary pirates before the founding of the modern Morocco. The narrow streets of the old city were dominated by the central mosque in the so-called ‘slipper market’, dating back to 1730. (See footnote no. 6) The city underwent a revival during the pre-war French Protectorate when the perspicacious General Lyautey moved the Moroccan capital from Fez to Rabat in order to block the possibility of German vessels using Moroccan ports in the event of war. The novelist, Edith Wharton who visited Rabat in Lyautey’s entourage, recoiled from the European ‘improvements’ that had been inflicted upon the old city, with their ‘hotel terraces and cafés and cinema-palaces’ blemishing ‘the beautiful native town’. She continues, ”Then, at the turn of a commonplace street, one comes upon it suddenly. The shops and cafés cease, the jingle of trams and the trumpeting of motor-horns die out, and here, all at once, are silence and solitude, and the dignified reticence of the windowless Arab house-fronts.” (See footnote no. 7) It was such a street that Lavery came upon when he painted the present work. Its location may now be determined by the pyramid-roofed tower rising above the houses, which stands in the Jardin des Oudayas, an old Moroccan garden restored by Lyautey. (See footnote no. 8) Nearly thirty years before, when he first visited Tangier, the artist instantly responded to the abstract shapes of whitewashed buildings dramatically cutting into the cloudless sky. Doorways were slabs of colour, and such focal points often attracted one or two carpet weavers, selling their wares to passers-by. It was a captivating experience for a painter anxious to wash the cold London studio light from his eyes. Kenneth McConkey August, 2009 Footnotes: 1. ‘Polymnia’ – variously spelt Polyhymnia, – was a Greek Muse of hymns and poetry, the mother of Orpheus. The significance for Lavery lies in the fact that he had painted a portrait of Mary Delmar Morgan in 1904 which was purchased by the Italian National Gallery in Rome. It is entirely possible that the present work was given to the sitter on a subsequent visit to Lavery’s studio in 1923. Lavery was extremely generous with old friends and frequently gave away small works like this. 2. His house, Dar-el-Midfah, had been rented during the war to Lavery’s old friend, and former ‘Glasgow Boy’, William Kennedy and his wife, Lena. Sadly, Kennedy, who had been ill for some time, died in 1918 in Tangier. 3. These events occurred in January and early February 1920. The Moorish Flag hoisted on the German Legation was sold Sotheby’s, London, 7 May 2008. For a further view of The Market Place, Tangier, 1920, see Christie’s 12 May 2006. Three different views of the MacLean funeral cortège are known, two in private collections and one sold Christie’s London, 17 May 2002. A street scene showing Moroccan troops (Private Collection) is also part of the sequence. 4. For The Walls of Marrakesh, 1920, (Ulster Museum, Belfast) see Kenneth McConkey, Sir John Lavery, 1993 (Canongate), p. 148. 5. Two versions of The Rue des Femmes, Rabat, one of which was given to Count John McCormack are known (both private collections); A Street in Rabat, (Sotheby’s 2 October 1991) shows a view through an archway. Two harbour scenes, The Entrance to the Harbour, Rabat, 1920, (Christie’s South Kensington, 27 April 1995) and The Ferry, Rabat, 1920, (Christie’s Scotland, 26 November 1997) are known, while Evening at the Bar; Entrance to a Harbour, (Sotheby’s 16 May 2005), although dated 1924, also represents Rabat. 6. HJB Ward, Mysterious Morocco and how to appreciate it, n.d. [c. 1910], (Simpkin. Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co), pp. 184-7. 7. Edith Wharton, In Morocco, 1920 (Jonathan Cape, 1927 ed), p. 144. 8. André Maurois, Marshal Lyautey, 1931 (trans. Hamish Miles, John Lane The Bodley Head), opp. p. 172. Lyautey, although military conqueror of Morocco, created its modern infrastructure of roads and railways using German prisoners of war. The tower, adjacent to the city walls, remains a landmark in Rabat to this day.

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COASTAL LANDSCAPE, PORTMARNOCK
COASTAL LANDSCAPE, PORTMARNOCK
Nathaniel Hone RHA (1831-1917)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 63

Published Estimate: €4000-6000

Price Realised: €3700

  • Signature: with partial inscribed label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 30 by 46cm., 12 by 18in.
  • Provenance: The Misses Manning, 2 Winton Road, Dublin by 1925; Their sale, 1937; James Adam & Bonhams, 28 May 2003, lot 20; Private collection
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LANDSCAPE WITH SHEEP
LANDSCAPE WITH SHEEP
Mary Frances Patton (fl.1896-1935)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 64

Published Estimate: €1000-1500

Price Realised: €800

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 41 by 61cm., 16 by 24in.
  • Exhibited: possibily exhibited as, 'Winter in Meath', at the Royal Hibernian Academy, 1913, no. 34, (£15-15-0)
  • In 1913 Mrs. Mary Frances Patton is recorded in the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts Index of Exhibitors as having an address at Kilmessan Rectory, Co. Meath. From 1896 to 1935 Patton exhibited regularly with the RHA. She is also recorded as having exhibited three works in 1899 with the Watercolour Society of Ireland.

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SELF PORTRAIT, c.1906
SELF PORTRAIT, c.1906
Eva Henrietta Hamilton (1876-1960)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 65

Published Estimate: €4000-6000

Price Realised: €3200

  • Signature: signed with initials lower right
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Dimensions: 64 by 51cm., 25 by 20.2 5in.
  • The eldest of the famous Hamilton sisters of Hamwood, Dunboyne, Eva was educated at Alexandra College, Dublin and began exhibiting at the age of 22 with the WCSI. In 1904 she showed two portraits of her sisters at the RHA, at which institute she was to eventually exhibit 121 works in total. On enrolling at the Metropolitan School of Art, Eva came heavily under Orpen's influence, although the effect was lightened somewhat when she later went on to study under Henry Tonks at the Slade. Eva and Letitia travelled, painted and exhibited together most of their lives, with Eva's work consisting mainly of landscapes and group portraits in which family members feature predominantly. This self portrait of Eva Hamilton, kindly authenticated by the artist's family, shows her sitting upright, poised and directly engaging with the viewer. The confident artist, depicted here in her early thirties, holds her artist's tools naturally in her right hand. Her hair is swept back off her strong, characteristically Hamilton, features with her only adornment being a pair of jade dew drop earrings and matching necklace. Eva Hamilton was an accomplished portrait artist and her sitters included such renowned figures as Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory and Lord Frederick Fitzgerald among others. We are grateful to members of the artist’s family for their help in cataloguing this work.

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INTERIOR OF CHRISTCHURCH CATHEDRAL, DUBLIN, 1911
INTERIOR OF CHRISTCHURCH CATHEDRAL, DUBLIN, 1911
Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878 - 1964)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 66

Published Estimate: €6000-8000

Price Realised: €5000

  • Signature: signed with initials lower right; with typed label on reverse; also with original Dawson Gallery, exhibition label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 76 by 56cm., 30 by 22in.
  • Provenance: Dawson Gallery, Dublin; Private collection; Godolphin Gallery, Dublin, 1982; Private collection
  • Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1911, catalogue no. 292 (£5-5-0); Godolphin Gallery, Dublin, November, 1982, catalogue no. 8
  • Literature: Ann M. Stewart (ed.), Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts: Index of Exhibitors and their Works 1826-1979, 3 vols., Manton Publishing, Dublin, 1985, vol. II, p. 49
  • Interior of Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin, was the fifth work ever exhibited by Letitia Marion Hamilton at the RHA, 1911 being her third year of exhibiting there. While the artist’s style later developed a strong use of vigorous impasto, this work illustrates the more conservative beginnings of her lengthy career. With regards to the Godolphin Gallery exhibition The Irish Independent remarked on “…the reverent atmosphere…” of this work in their article on 20 November, 1982.

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TREE IN THE GROUNDS AT KILMURRY, COUNTY KILKENNY
TREE IN THE GROUNDS AT KILMURRY, COUNTY KILKENNY
Mildred Anne Butler RWS (1858-1941)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 67

Published Estimate: €2000-3000

Price Realised: €1900


SUNDIAL IN AN OLD SCOTCH GARDEN, 1902
SUNDIAL IN AN OLD SCOTCH GARDEN, 1902
May Guinness (1863-1955)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 68

Published Estimate: €800-1000

Price Realised: €500

  • Signature: signed lower right
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 26 by 23cm., 10.2 5 by 9in.
  • Exhibited: Watercolour Society of Ireland, 1902, catalogue no. 237
  • Literature: Watercolour Society of Ireland Exhibition List, 1872-1994, p.98, catalogue no. 237
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COWS IN PASTURE
COWS IN PASTURE
Mildred Anne Butler RWS (1858-1941)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 69

Published Estimate: €7000-9000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed with initials lower right; with original framing label on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour over pencil heightened with white
  • Dimensions: 26 by 36cm., 10.2 5 by 14in.
  • Provenance: Whyte's 28 November 2006, lot 94; Private collection
  • In original frame of Rowley & Co., Manchester.

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KILMURRY HOUSE, VIEW FROM THE LAKE
KILMURRY HOUSE, VIEW FROM THE LAKE
Mildred Anne Butler RWS (1858 - 1941)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 70

Published Estimate: €3000-4000

Price Realised: 

  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 25 by 33cm., 10 by 13in.
  • Provenance: From the collection of a former owner of Kilmurry House, Thomastown, County Kilkenny
  • Kilmurry House dates back to 1690 when Colonel Bushe built a seat on lands granted to him under the Cromwellian settlement. In the late 1800s the estate was bought by Major Henry Butler of the Butler family, Kilkenny Castle, grandson of the 11th Viscount Mountgarret. Major Butler's daughter Mildred Anne was immensely inspired by the house and its grounds which formed the subject matter of much of her oeuvre. Upon her death in 1941 Mildred Anne Butler left Kilmurry House to her cousin. Thus the house remained in the Butler family until it was sold in 1981.

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KENMARE BAY SEEN FROM DERRYNANE, 1903
KENMARE BAY SEEN FROM DERRYNANE, 1903
William Percy French (1854-1920)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 71

Published Estimate: €15000-20000

Price Realised: €15000

  • Signature: signed and dated lower left; with original label inscribed in artist's hand on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 42 by 55cm., 16.5 by 21.5in.
  • Provenance: acquired directly from the artist by a member of the present owner's family
  • Born at home in Cloonyquin House, near Tulsk in County Roscommon, Percy French was from early childhood introduced to the literary world through an extensive family library maintained by his father and through private home tutorage. Theirs was a close knit family and the children’s literary aspirations were encouraged in the form of their own family magazine called The Tulsk Morning Howl in which Percy’s contributions of poetry, stories and drawing dominated. After entering Prep School in England in 1864 and subsequently the Foyle College Belfast, French entered Trinity College, Dublin, 1872 to commence, what was to take eight years to complete, a Degree in Civil Engineering. Unable to detach himself from his instinctive artistic nature, and an inherent disinterest in politics and ‘men’s matters’, French's experiences at Trinity were recapitulated by the artist as follows: “…I think taking the banjo, lawn tennis and watercolour painting instead of chemistry, geology and the theory of strains must have retarded my progress a great deal. But I was eventually allowed to take out my C.E. They were obviously afraid that if I stayed at Trinity any longer I might apply for a pension…” Although ceaseless in his artistic pursuits, French persevered with engineering and in 1883 was appointed Chief Engineer by the Board Works, Cavan, a position he referred to as “Inspector of Drains”. Several of his finest Irish landscapes were painted during this period spent in County Cavan. 1888-90 were very significant years for French, his Engineering post had come to an unexpected end and he was to return to the realm of the arts. Appointed editor of The Jarvey comic magazine French was introduced to one of its illustrators whom he quickly fell in love with and later married. His relationship with Ms Ettie Armitage Moore, also a gifted artist, had a profound affect on the artist who suffered greatly upon her untimely death just one year later. In terms of his artistic movements at this time French was listed as a 'working member' of the Dublin Sketching Club, and between 1891 and 1901 he exhibited twenty-four works at the Royal Hibernian Academy. In 1894 he married Helen May Sheldon, a school friend from Warkwickshire, and relocated to 35 Mespil Road, Dublin and later to London. These years saw the artist concentrate on his career as an entertainer, touring widely across Ireland and Britain with his performances garnering him immense success and recognition. In the early years of the 1900s French was exhibiting with the Watercolour Socity of Ireland (1905) and the following year in London at the New Dudley Gallery, Piccadilly and the Modern Gallery, Bond Street. On the back of these highly celebrated shows he attracted the attention of the Royal Family who later became his loyal patrons. The Royal Library of Windsor displays a drawing of Queen Victoria's procession entering Phoenix Park. Having played sell-out shows across Ireland and Britain the career of Percy French as an entertainer reached its peak in 1910 when he toured Western Europe, Canada, U.S.A. and the West Indies. His paintings from this period were never brought back to Ireland but were sold while abroad or donated to charities. In contrast, his expeditions to Switzerland in 1913 produced numerous sketches of the Alps and surrounding countryside many of which returned to Ireland and were later exhibited. During the war years French supported the effort through staged charity concerts and performances for the troops both in England and France. He continued these theatrical pursuits up until 1920 until his ailing health restricted his movements. Connemara at this point served as a place of convalescence both physical and emotional. Here the artist’s poetic and painterly interpretations of life and landscapes fused. "Down by the Lough I shall wander once more, Where the wavelets lap lap round the stones on the shore; And the mountainy goats will be wagging their chins As they pull at the bracken among the twelve pins." The Islands of Aran, Sweet Lavender... In the Studio - "Once more I paint from memory The hills of Donegal, And as they raise - ma Gramachree! In fancy I recall...." ....And when I paint the sparkling tide That flows by Slievenaree, I would the boat again might glide Across the summer sea" Although he died at the premature age of sixty-six, his work as both an artist and popular entertainer are commemorated variously. The Percy French Society, formed in the 1980s, houses a collection of some eighty watercolours by French on permanent display in the North Down Heritage Centre. His Roscommon home, which he called, “a haunt of ancient peace” (See footenote no. 1) , commemorates the artist with a monument where the house once was. A.H. Percy French’s watercolours are immediately recognisable by their luminous washes and deft, ‘wet’ brushstrokes which lead the eye swiftly into the heart of a wide-angled landscape dominated by wondrous skies, scudding clouds and a high vanishing point whose horizon seems to be enveloped in vaporous mists. Bog plants, heathers and wetlands, flights of birds, ever-changing skies from dawn to dusk reflected in watery land recur - but, like Paul Henry, rarely did the artist include humans, their intrusive incursions into the wild yet familiar visions of the West of Ireland he knew and loved so well, or even, as in this case, any familiar Kerry landmarks. It is perhaps this which renders Percy French’s works eternal in their appeal. A number of French’s watercolours were effectively framed by the Arts and Crafts workshop known first as the Belfast School of Poker-Work and then as the Irish Decorative Art Association, run by Eta Lowry and Mina Robinson and their team of women in Belfast. By 1900 specialising in Celtic interlaced pokerwork patterns, their frequently exhibited work showed their application of “the ancient Celtic ornament to all the articles of use and beauty which furnish the modern home”. Larmour records that in 1904; almost all Percy French’s paintings were exhibited with pokerwork frames decorated by the Association at its annual summer show in Portrush, Co. Antrim. (See footnote no. 2) Some of these were intricately delineated on the timber frame with competently rhythmic, inventive knotwork, ably balanced on all four sides with modulating triple spirals to denote a change of design in the middle of each side. These small circular devices recall the triskel, one of the main emblems of Celtic triadic paganism, perhaps symbolizing, appropriately, the three realms of land, sea and sky. They may be seen in somewhat fish-like forms, along with small interlaced crosses in the fine frame which French chose to set off the 1902 watercolour he painted to illustrate his immortal words, “Where Ever I go my heart turns back to the County Mayo” (sold by Whyte’s in September 2005, lot 66) from the collection of Rupert Guinness, 2nd Earl of Iveagh. At each corner of the frame featured here are symbols of the Four Provinces of Ireland: the red hand of Ulster set in the cross of the de Burgos on a gold field; the golden harp of Leinster; for Connaught, the arm of the O’Connors bearing a sword set against the demi-black eagle denoting one of the ancient tribes of Galway; and for Munster the three crowns representing its three ancient kingdoms, Thomond, Desmond and Ormond. In 1912, French specially had the haunting “heathery wildernesses of the untamed bog and the open countryside” of the Connemara mountainscape framed for the writer Lord Dunsany in a similar Four Provinces pokerwork frame, but additionally stained in the mossy green and purple colours the dramatist particularly favoured. (See footnote no. 3) Nicola Gordon Bowe August, 2009 Associate Fellow, NCAD; Visiting Professor, University of Ulster We are grateful to the Oriel Gallery, Dublin for the illustration on page 44. FOOTNOTES: Nulty, Oliver, Lead Kindly Light, 35 Years of Percy French at the Oriel Gallery – A Millennium Retrospective, The Oriel Gallery, Dublin, 2002, p. 45. 2 Paul Larmour, ‘The Irish Decorative Art Association’, The Arts and Crafts Movement in Ireland (Belfast 1992). 3 Nicola Gordon Bowe, ‘Lord Dunsany 1878-1957: Portrait of a Collector’, Journal of the Decorative Arts Society, no. 28, 2004.

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BOG RIVER WITH VIEW OF THE TWELVE PINS, COUNTY GALWAY
BOG RIVER WITH VIEW OF THE TWELVE PINS, COUNTY GALWAY
William Percy French (1854-1920)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 72

Published Estimate: €5000-7000

Price Realised: 


CARLINGFORD LOUGH WITH BOAT, 1914
CARLINGFORD LOUGH WITH BOAT, 1914
William Percy French (1854-1920)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 73

Published Estimate: €5000-7000

Price Realised: €4800


BOGLAND NEAR TWELVE BENS, CONNEMARA, 1900
BOGLAND NEAR TWELVE BENS, CONNEMARA, 1900
William Percy French (1854-1920)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 74

Published Estimate: €15000-20000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed and dated lower left
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 33 by 48cm., 13 by 19in.
  • This work bears a striking similarity to the work entitled, Wherever I go my Heart turns back to the County Mayo, 1902. which was in its original pokerwork frame with Celtic interlaced knot design. It bore a provenance to the Earl of Iveagh and made a record price when it sold at Whyte’s, 20 September, 2005, lot 66, for €44,000.

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DONEGAL COAST, 1906
DONEGAL COAST, 1906
William Percy French (1854-1920)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 75

Published Estimate: €2500-3500

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed and dated lower left; with original inscribed William Rodman & Co., Belfast label preserved on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 17 by 23cm., 6.5 by 9in.
  • Provenance: William Rodman & Co., Belfast; Private collection
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SUNSET SKETCH (c.1910-1920)
SUNSET SKETCH (c.1910-1920)
William Percy French (1854-1920)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 76

Published Estimate: €1000-1500

Price Realised: €2200

  • Signature: signed lower left
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 12 by 17cm., 4.75 by 6.75in.
  • This work originates from a leather bound album containing other watercolours, pen and ink drawings and numerous signatures, most notably, Ernest Shackleton and Frank Wild, author of Shackelton's Last Voyage, The Story of the Quest. Most entries to the album were made in the decade 1910-1920, many being Irish. The album will be offered in our 14 November 2009 Collectibles Sale.

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COASTAL SCENE WITH CLIFFS
COASTAL SCENE WITH CLIFFS
William Percy French (1845-1920)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 77

Published Estimate: €1000-1500

Price Realised: €1100


BOG LANDSCAPE, 1904
BOG LANDSCAPE, 1904
William Percy French (1854-1920)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 78

Published Estimate: €3000-4000

Price Realised: €2900

  • Signature: signed and dated lower left; with gallery labels on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 20 by 25cm., 8 by 9.75in.
  • Provenance: Combridge Fine Arts, Dublin; Private collection; Brock Fine Art, Dublin; Private collection
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SCHOONER IN BAY, 1910
SCHOONER IN BAY, 1910
William Percy French (1854-1920)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 79

Published Estimate: €3000-4000

Price Realised: €2900

  • Signature: signed with initials and dated lower right
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 17 by 24cm., 6.5 by 9.5in.
  • Provenance: In the ownership of the family of the present owner since the 1930s.
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BOGLAND SCENE, 1910
BOGLAND SCENE, 1910
William Percy French (1854-1920)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 80

Published Estimate: €2500-3500

Price Realised: €2600


THE RABBIT HUTCH, 1860
THE RABBIT HUTCH, 1860
Erskine Nicol ARA RSA (1825-1904)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 81

Published Estimate: €4000-5000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed and dated lower right
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 30 by 25cm., 12 by 10in.
  • Erskine Nicol was born in Edinburgh. A student of William Allan, he taught in Dublin from 1845-50, during the famine years. His connection to Ireland was deep-felt and it is recorded that the artist considered himself as much Irish as Scottish. His subjects demonstrate his sharp observational skills and to a large extent his paintings expose the injustices experienced by the Irish during the dark years of the mid 19th century - a subject avoided by most other artists. Although he did not live in Ireland permanently after 1850, he did return regularly. Nicol was made an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1855 and an Academician in 1859. From 1847 to 1856 he exhibited fourteen works at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin showing mostly portraits. During these years the addresses provided by the artist were D’Olier, Fleet and Lower Sackville Street, Dublin. In 1862 he relocated to London, becoming an associate member of the Royal Academy in 1868. In 1885 he retired from the Royal Academy, and went to Scotland before finally settling in Feltham, Middlesex. His work demonstrates a genuine and candid engagement with his subject. Works such as An Ejected Family, 1854, in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland are testament to this sincerity. His work can also be found in the collections of British Museum, Tate Art Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Glasgow Art Gallery and the Ulster Museum, among others.

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THREE CHILDREN PLAYING AT MARCHING SOLDIERS, 1861
THREE CHILDREN PLAYING AT MARCHING SOLDIERS, 1861
Erskine Nicol ARA RSA (1825-1904)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 82

Published Estimate: €6000-8000

Price Realised: €6800


COTTAGE INTERIOR WITH CHILD EATING
COTTAGE INTERIOR WITH CHILD EATING
Erskine Nicol ARA RSA (1825-1904)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 83

Published Estimate: €5000-7000

Price Realised: €4800


AFTER THE WAKE
AFTER THE WAKE
John Anster Fitzgerald (c.1823-1906)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 84

Published Estimate: €5000-7000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed "L Sampson"; with original inscribed J. D. Spence, 7 Lower Sackville Street label on reverse, inscribed, "After the Wake, two valient men of Kerry meeting the fairies and leprechauns on the way home"
  • Medium: watercolour with body colour and gum arabic; heightened with white
  • Dimensions: 56 by 81cm., 22 by 32in.
  • Provenance: With Agnew's, 1893; George Jameson collection; Thence by descent; The Maas Gallery, London; Private collection
  • John Anster Fitzgerald, an English artist of Irish descent, better known as “Fairy Fitzgerald”, was a portrait artist and fairy painter from the Victorian era. Fitzgerald was renowned for his sinister fairy paintings, which contained images of spirits and demons, as well as various allusions to drug use. His paintings have been likened to the dreamlike, surrealist works of Pieter Brueghel and Hieronymus Bosch. Largely self-taught, Fitzgerald’s work was first shown at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in 1845. He also exhibited at the British Institution, the Society of British Artists, and the Watercolour Society. In the late 1850s he produced a series of Christmas fairies for The Illustrated London News. Art dealers and collectors frequently renamed Fitzgerald’s work causing great confusion, such is the case with this work, which is signed “L Sampson”. L Sampson it transpires was a Victorian con-man who would place advertisements in magazines looking for patronage for his paintings. He was later exposed in the 1890s in a series of articles in Truth magazine, a publication dedicated to discovery and shaming of criminals and fraudsters. Labouchére, editor of Truth, after some investigation uncovered that Sampson was not a painter but in fact a dealer who had duped several artists into selling him their unsigned work which he would later add his signature to and pass off as his own. Unfortunately, Fitzgerald fell victim to one of Sampson’s scams and is recorded to have shared his thoughts on these dealings with Labouchére pleading the vulnerable position of the Victorian artist in the power struggle with art dealers. The final work Fitzgerald exhibited at the Royal Academy, in 1902, was a picture of Alice in Wonderland.

    We are grateful to The Maas Gallery, London for their notes on this lot.

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HIS LEGAL ADVISER
HIS LEGAL ADVISER
After Marc Louis Benjamin Vautier (Swiss, 1829-1898)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 85

Published Estimate: €1500-2000

Price Realised: €2200

  • Signature: signed "n. [nach] Vautier"; with partial William Rodman & Co., Belfast label on reverse
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 64 by 79cm., 25 by 31in.
  • Provenance: William Rodman & Co., Belfast; Private collection
  • An early 20th century copy of a work by Benjamin Vautier I, the well known 19th century Swiss artist. Vautier's early training involved an apprenticeship with an enameller in Geneva. He later took drawing lessons from Jules Hebert (1812-97) and from 1850 to 1853 he lived in Dösseldorf, where he was taught by Carl Ferdinand Sohn and Rudolf Jordan at the Dösseldorf Academy. Vautier's style has been described as naturalistic and discursive. His works generally suggest his keen interest in anthropology and place a strong emphasis on the emotional state of his subjects.

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HIS LEGAL ADVISER, 1876
HIS LEGAL ADVISER, 1876
Erskine Nicol ARA RSA (1825-1904)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 86

Published Estimate: €600-800

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed and dated in the plate, with artist's name printed in the lower left margin; with engraver, V. Lhuilher's name printed in the lower right margin
  • Medium: engraving
  • Dimensions: 27 by 38cm., 10.5 by 15in.
  • The original oil painting for this engraving was exhibited in The Royal Academy, London, 1877, no. 56. This work sold through Sotheby's, New York in February 1995 for $27,500.

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INTERVIEWING THE MEMBER, 1879
INTERVIEWING THE MEMBER, 1879
Erskine Nicol ARA RSA (1825-1904)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 87

Published Estimate: €600-800

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed by Nicol in pencil in the lower left margin; signed by engraver C.E. Deblois in the lower right margin; with faint embossed stamp lower left
  • Medium: engraving
  • Dimensions: 43 by 57cm., 16.7 5 by 22.5in.
  • This work is an engraving for an original oil (41 by 56 inches), which was exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, 1879, no. 173 and The Royal Scottish Academy 1880, no. 225.`Art Journal' published in 1879, p.149. The original work sold in Christie's, London, November 1999 for nearly‚ £47,000.

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PORTRAIT OF SIR SAMUEL ROMILLY
PORTRAIT OF SIR SAMUEL ROMILLY
Martin Cregan PRHA PRIA (1788-1870)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 88

Published Estimate: €1500-2000

Price Realised: 

  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 36 by 30cm., 14 by 12in.
  • Born in Co. Meath, Cregan was sponsored by the Stewarts of Killymoon, Co. Tyrone, to study at the Royal Dublin Society's Drawing School, where he won medals in 1806 and 1807. Such was his aptitude he was sent to London to further his studies and there became the first and only pupil of Sir Martin Archer Shee PRA. In London he befriended Constable and Landseer among others, and began exhibiting at the RA. He returned to Dublin in 1822 and the following year became a founding member of the RHA. He was elected President of the RHA in 1832 and held the post for twenty-three years. During these years Cregan was the leading portrait painter in Ireland and by 1849 held the post of Portrait Painter to the Lord Lieutenant. Strickland described Cregan's portraits as "marked by feeling and refinement, and a good sense of colour". This portrait of Sir Samuel Romilly (1757-1818) by Cregan is testament to Strickland's observations. Romilly is famed as a legal reformer of his day and was author of pivotal legal literature such as, Observations (1786), a retort text to Martin Madan's Thoughts on Executive Justice, which advocated an increase in capital punishments. Romilly's attempts to reform criminal law in England and his passionate efforts on behalf of humanity were to occupy his whole life and ultimately brought him public recognition and respect in his latter years. His agony at the death of his wife in 1818 led him to delirium and a swift, tragic death. A mezzotint of this portrait of Sir Samuel Romilly was made by Samuel William Reynolds (c.1818), an edition of which can be found in the collection of The National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG D5835), acquired from an unknown source, 1956. A watercolour portrait by Sir George Hayter of Cregan as a young man can be found in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland. For a list of known works see Strickland, Vol. I, pages 224-233.

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WILLIAM ROBERT FITZGERALD, 2ND DUKE OF LEINSTER (1749-1804), 1773
WILLIAM ROBERT FITZGERALD, 2ND DUKE OF LEINSTER (1749-1804), 1773
John Dixon (c.1740-1811)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 89

Published Estimate: €400-500

Price Realised: €325

  • Signature: signed lower right; signed lower left by Sir Joshua Reynolds; dated lower centre; with original Colnaghi label on reverse
  • Medium: mezzotint
  • Dimensions: 51 by 36cm., 20 by 14in.
  • Provenance: P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. Ltd., London; Private collection
  • Literature: Bromley, Henry, 'A Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits from Egbert the Great to the Present Time', T. Payne, London, 1793, p.331
  • John Dixon was born in Dublin and studied at the drawing school of the Dublin Society before moving to London in 1765 where he exhibited with Society of Artists of Great Britain from 1766. By 1770 Dixon had engraved four fine mezzotints after Reynolds; these and other portraits were published by William Wynne Ryland. From 1771 Dixon himself published some of his prints, most by Reynolds, as is the case with this work. His Final exhibit in 1775 was of the 1st Duke of Leinster, James Fitzgerald (See Chaloner Smith, no. 22) after Reynolds. This work was celebrated as, "A masterpiece of Art which has never been excelled". Dixon married Ann Kempe, a wealthy widow, the same year after which he ceased to work and retired to a life of leisure.

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MINIATURE SILHOUETTE PORTRAIT OF SAMUEL GREGORY, DONNYBROOK FAIR, DUBLIN, 23 SEPTEMBER, 1852
MINIATURE SILHOUETTE PORTRAIT OF SAMUEL GREGORY, DONNYBROOK FAIR, DUBLIN, 23 SEPTEMBER, 1852
19th Century Irish School 

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 90

Published Estimate: €200-300

Price Realised: €200

  • Signature: inscribed with sitter's name at base of silhouette; with location and date below
  • Medium: pen and ink on card
  • Dimensions: 10 by 8cm., 4 by 3in.
  • Inscribed at base, ‘Portrait at Donnybrook Fair, Dublin, 23 September 1852’. The term ‘silhouette’ dates to England, 1835 and originates from the strict expenditure policies relating to the Royal household of the then Controller-General, Monsieur Étienne de Silhouette. The expression ‘à la Silhouette’ came to represent ‘low cost’. In contrast to other portrait miniatures, the silhouette medium was the more economical.

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MINIATURE PORTRAITS, SIR JOHN CHARLES INGHAM AND LADY WILHELMINA INGHAM
MINIATURE PORTRAITS, SIR JOHN CHARLES INGHAM AND LADY WILHELMINA INGHAM
Gustavus Hamilton (1739-1775)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 91

Published Estimate: €1500-1800

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: inscribed on reverse with sitters' names and address detail
  • Medium: watercolour
  • Dimensions: 9 by 6cm., 3.5 by 2.5in.
  • As with many of Gustavus Hamilton's portrait miniatures, these portraits may originally have been sewn onto a piece of velvet or ribbon and worn, in the woman's case, as a bracelet. The sitters are identified on reverse as Sir John Charles Ingham and Lady Wilhelmina Ingham. The inscription for Lady Ingham continues with an address, The Court, County Cavan, Ireland. Gustavus Hamilton was the younger son of a vicar from Co. Tyrone. He studied in Dublin under Robert West and was soon apprenticed to Samuel Dixon, in whose studio he learnt to colour the basso-relievo prints of birds and flowers in which Dixon specialised. Upon establishing his own studio on Dame Street he became highly successful, painting miniatures for "ladies of the first rank" and making "a power of his money by his pencil" (John O'Keefe, Recollections, quoted in Strickland, Vol. I, pp. 426-7).

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MINIATURE PORTRAIT OF MARIE DE MEDICI (TONDO)
MINIATURE PORTRAIT OF MARIE DE MEDICI (TONDO)
After Frans Pourbus (Flemish, 1545-1581)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 92

Published Estimate: €500-700

Price Realised: €150

  • Signature: inscribed with sitter and artist's name on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour on enamel
  • Dimensions: 5 by 5cm., 2 by 2in.
  • The portrait miniature, usually executed in watercolour or gouache, became popular in Europe in the 16th century and was common practice up until the 18th century. The earliest miniaturists worked in watercolour painted on stretched vellum. Later in the 18th century, miniatures were painted on a variety of surfaces including ivory and vitreous enamel. As small in size as 1.5in by 1in., portrait miniatures were often used as personal mementos and became an indispensable mode of introduction and courtship. The advent of daguerreotypes in the nineteenth century and the medium of photography played a part in the decline in popularity of this style of portraiture.

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MAN IN A STOVE PIPE HAT (OVAL)
MAN IN A STOVE PIPE HAT (OVAL)
Erskine Nicol ARA RSA (1825-1904)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 93

Published Estimate: €1000-1500

Price Realised: €1200

  • Signature: inscribed on reverse; with original gallery labels on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour heightened with white
  • Dimensions: 13 by 11cm., 5 by 4.5in.
  • Provenance: Thomas Agnew & Sons., London; David Ker Fine Art, London; Private collection
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COLONEL THOMAS PEPPER (1774-1857) AND COLONEL CHARLES PEPPER (1845-) (A PAIR)
COLONEL THOMAS PEPPER (1774-1857) AND COLONEL CHARLES PEPPER (1845-) (A PAIR)
 Irish School (19th / 20th Century)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 94

Published Estimate: €3000-4000

Price Realised: 

  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 100 by 59cm., 39.5 by 23.2 5in.
  • Charles Pepper, of Ballygarth Castle, Julianstown, County Meath was Colonel of the Royal Meath Regiment and Provincial Grand Master of Meath from 1895 to 1927. The Book of Irish Families by Michael O’Laughlin, records The Pepper Family of Ballygarth Castle Co. Meath citing that it was “…founded by Capt. Charles Pepper who obtained grants of land in Meath in 1666, as found in the Irish Book of Arms. The birth index of 1890 finds the family centred in Dublin and Antrim.” Pepper’s address, at Ballygrath Castle, Julianstown is recorded in Burke’s Guide to Country Houses Vol 1 Ireland page 26 and is described as, “A tall tower-house with a two storey three bay castellated wing added to it. The old tower has 18th century or early 19th century battlements and a tripartite Gothic doorway.” It is highly probable that these portraits graced the walls of Ballygarth Castle, or Charles Pepper’s later home in Laytown, County Meath. St Mary's Church, Julianstown, County Meath contains many memorials to the Pepper family. A portrait of Colonel Thomas Pepper by English portrait artist John Astley (c.1724-1787) can be found in the Trinity Irish Art Research Centre (TRIARC) Crookshank-Glin Collection.

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'RICH AND RARE WERE THE GEMS SHE WORE', PORTRAIT OF A LADY, 1854
'RICH AND RARE WERE THE GEMS SHE WORE', PORTRAIT OF A LADY, 1854
Frederick Newenham (1807-1859)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 95

Published Estimate: €10000-15000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed and dated 1854 beneath the sitter’s left elbow; with F. Gough & Son Picture Framers, Carvers & Gilders, Smetnwick, label on reverse also with partial G. Conway, Carver & Gilder label verso
  • Medium: oil on canvas laid down on panel
  • Dimensions: 91 by 71cm., 36 by 28in.
  • Exhibited: The Royal Academy, London, 1854, catalogue no. 1084; 'An Exhibition of 18th - 21st Century Paintings', Gorry Gallery, Dublin, 14-31 March 2007, catalogue no. 30, illustrated p. 27
  • Literature: Algernon Graves, F.S.A, The Royal Academy of Arts', A Complete Dictionary of Contributors and their works from its foundation in 1769 to 1904', Vol. 3., S. R. Publishers Ltd., and Kingsmead Reprints, London, 1970, p. 352
  • Newenham was an exceptional Cork artist, who has escaped critical attention due to the rarity of his works. Just over two hundred years after his birth it seems appropriate that he finally be given his just deserts as one of the remarkably talented group of artists to emerge from Cork in the nineteenth century. Although he is not mentioned in standard works such as Crookshank and Glin’s Ireland’s Painters, he is noted in Peter Murray’s history of Cork art as one of the immensely talented artistic family whose members also included Robert O’Callaghan Newenham, the landscape painter and William Newenham of Coolmore, County Cork who combined his role as Superintendent General of Barracks with an active career as a topographical artist. According to Strickland, Frederick Newenham was born in Cork in 1807. Like Daniel Maclise and James Barry he made his name in London where `he achieved some success, becoming a fashionable painter of ladies’ portraits’. However he also painted history and anecdotal pictures which he exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1838 to 1885. He died on 21 March 1859. Newenham’s technical ability is clearly apparent in this scintillating work which takes its subject from Moore’s Melodies, which, of course, also inspired Maclise, Newenham’s elder by one year: Riche and rare were the gems she wore And a bright gold ring on her wand she bore But oh! Her beauty was far beyond Her sparkling gems, or snow white wand. An allegory of `Erin’s honour and Erin’s pride’, it tells the story of a young lady of great beauty who ‘adorned with jewels and costly dress, undertook a journey alone, from one end of [Ireland] to another, but `such an impression had the laws and government of [King Brien] made on the minds of all the people, that no attempt was made upon her honour, nor was she robbed of her clothes or jewels’. Newenham’s picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1854 under the title `Riche and rare were the gems she wore’. It shows the young lady preparing for her journey, her jewel box on the table and her looking glass to the left – rather recalling The Lady of Shallot, beloved of contemporary pre-Raphaelite artists. An important work by a rare and under-appreciated Irish artist, illustrating an Irish subject, it invites further study on this forgotten contemporary of Maclise and again demonstrates the vitality of the Cork school. This is the penultimate work exhibited by the artist at the Royal Academy, London. With thanks to the Gorry Gallery, Dublin for their assistance in cataloguing this work.

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HORN HEAD, COUNTY DONEGAL, 1857
HORN HEAD, COUNTY DONEGAL, 1857
Andrew Nicholl RHA (1804-1886)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 96

Published Estimate: €1500-2000

Price Realised: €2100

  • Signature: signed and dated lower left; with gallery label on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour heightened in white
  • Dimensions: 34 by 46cm., 13.2 5 by 18in.
  • Provenance: Bell Gallery, Belfast; Whence purchased by Captain Terence O'Neill (1914-1990), Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (1963-1969); Private collection
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BRISTOL CHANNEL VIEWS, 1792 (A PAIR)
BRISTOL CHANNEL VIEWS, 1792 (A PAIR)
Nicholas Pocock (1740-1821)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 97

Published Estimate: €800-1000

Price Realised: €2600

  • Signature: both signed and dated lower right; one of two with original William Rodman & Co., Belfast label on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour over pencil
  • Dimensions: 24 by 37cm., 9.5 by 14.5in.
  • Nicholas Pocock was a Bristol born artist celebrated for his many studied naval paintings. In the family, tradition Pocock became a master of a merchant ship at the age of twenty-six practising his artistic skills in the form of log book entries all the while. In 1778 he retired from the sea and devoted himself to painting working in oil, watercolour and pen and ink. Pocock’s paintings are the products of extensive research involving in-depth study of weather conditions, eyewitness accounts and ship design. The first of his works were exhibited by the Royal Academy in 1782. Pocock garnered important commissions during the late 1700s and was ultimately appointed Marine Painter to the King.

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COLLECTION OF WATERCOLOURS WITH VIEWS OF IRELAND AND BRITAIN (DATED 1817-1879)
COLLECTION OF WATERCOLOURS WITH VIEWS OF IRELAND AND BRITAIN (DATED 1817-1879)
Irish School  (Early 19th Century)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 98

Published Estimate: €1000-1500

Price Realised: €1700

  • Signature: variously inscribed with location details and some commentary; variously dated
  • Medium: seventeen watercolours; pen and ink with sepia wash (unframed)
  • Dimensions: 25 by 33cm., 9.75 by 13in.
  • Provenance: Pratt and Kelsall families, County Wicklow, Wexford and Tipperary
  • Scenes recorded by the artist include Holy Cross Abbey on the Suir (July 1st, 1856), the Ruins of Clonmacnoise on the Shannon, Croagh Patrick (July 19th, 1854), Thurles with a view of the Castle of the Knights Templar (July, 1856). A depiction of Glenmalure, County Wicklow is dated 25/26 1855 and is inscribed, "sketched and coloured on the spot." British views include the Steeple of St. Michael's, Bath (1848) and Soderick on the Isle of Man (1879). Also with this lot, 'Picturesque Views of England and Wales' by Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (1775-1851). Collection comprises twenty plates and accompanying text and five frontispieces (all unframed). Early publication by Robert Jennings, Poultry.

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ARCADIA
ARCADIA
George Barret Junior (1767-1842)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 99

Published Estimate: €2500-3500

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: with original exhibition labels on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour, scratching out, stopping out and gum arabic
  • Dimensions: 31 by 47cm., 12.2 5 by 18.5in.
  • Provenance: Thomas Agnew & Sons, Manchester, November 1964, catalogue no. 11; Christies, 4 November 1989, lot no. 88 (where erroneously catalogued as George Barret Senior); Private collection
  • Exhibited: 'The Third Annual Exhibition of the Old Watercolour Society, 1807; 'Watercolour Exhibition', Thomas Agnew & Sons., Manchester, 1907, catalogue no. 76
  • Typed exhibition label on reverse comments on the work as follows, "This is a classic Barret subject and a beautiful painting which was exhibited at the third annual exhibition of the O.W.C.S. [Old Watercolour Society] in 1807.

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MOUNT SORREL, LEICESTERSHIRE, 15 AUGUST, 1831
MOUNT SORREL, LEICESTERSHIRE, 15 AUGUST, 1831
James Arthur O'Connor (1792-1841)

Auction Date / Lot No.: 28 September 2009 / 100

Published Estimate: €1500-2000

Price Realised: 

  • Signature: signed, inscribed, dated and with title on reverse behind the backing board; with Harry C. Murcott & Sons label on reverse
  • Medium: watercolour over pencil
  • Dimensions: 19 by 28cm., 7.5 by 11in.
  • Similar works, leaves from an earlier sketchbook, 1822, can be found in the National Gallery of Ireland archives and are detailed in the National Gallery of Ireland Illustrated Summary Catalogue of Drawings, Watercolours and Miniatures, compiled by Adrian Le Harivel, 1983, O’Connor, James Arthur, p.593-598.

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