Important Irish Art auction to include some of the most sought-after names in Irish art
The Quay Worker's Home has been described by the leading scholar on Jack Yeats – Dr Róisín Kennedy - as “…a remarkably poignant and rare depiction of urban life in 1920s Ireland.” The wonderful oil shows an ashen faced quay worker (docker) standing in the dim interior of his modest home warming his hands by the fire. Yeats felt a deep empathy towards the plight of working men and women and the present work is testament to this. The importance of this work in the artist’s oeuvre is unquestionable. It has been widely exhibited since its first showing in 1927 to include retrospectives (Montreal, 1969) and major shows at the RHA, Dublin (1995), Douglas Hyde Gallery, TCD (2004) among others. With a shortage of such pieces on the market, this particular example is sure to attract judicious bidders.€100,000-€150,000].
In 1904, John Lavery’s Printemps, a painting of Mary Auras recently acquired by the French state, was the toast of Paris. Mary in Black, c. 1904 [lot 26, €60,000-€80,000] is a smaller work in which we experience a more intimate encounter with Lavery’s flame-haired model. When Printemps was purchased, Mary was seen as the flower of Englishness at a time when angloemanie was in the air. However, the model was in fact German. As Arnold Bennett discovered when he met Lavery’s friend, Mary was actually ‘the rage of Berlin’ and had received 5 proposals in three months. Miss Auras was sixteen when she was introduced to Lavery and went on to model for the artist for six years.
Another example on offer from Sir John Lavery is The Wreck of the Delhi, Sidi Cassim, Morocco, 1911 [lot 25, €10,000-€15,000]. This oil sketch was used when Lavery embarked upon his large canvas of the subject early the next year. Arguably, the present oil sketch more accurately conveys the full intensity of the dramtic sight that day.
Two more modestly priced works by the same artist are Midday Meal Achill [lot 17, €4,000-€6,000] and Moonlit Street Scene [lot 18, €4,000-€6,000]. Norah McGuinness collectors will be interested in three fine examples from the artist, including her colourful gouache titled The Conservatory [lot 51, €5,000-€7,000]. Other notable female artists represented in the sale are Evie Hone, Mainie Jellett, Mary Swanzy, Gladys Maccabe and Constance Gore-Booth [Countess Markievicz].
Louis le Brocquy is well represented with a collection of the ever popular Táin prints [lots 80-87] being offered at €1,500-€2,000 each, but perhaps of more interest will be Milles Têtes (Thousands of Heads) C [lot 75, €40,000-€60,000]. Examples of this particular Aubusson tapestry has not been seen at auction before. This tapestry was once in the collection of businessman and former international rugby player Sir Tony O’Reilly. A large collection of Basil Blackshaw works are on offer ranging in price from Dog with Muzzle, 1997 [lot 90, €20,000-€30,000] down to Red Tractor [lot 98, €1,000-€1,500].
Other names to look out for include: William Leech, Sir William Orpen, James Humbert Craig, Frank McKelvey, George Barret, LS Lowry, William Crozier, Donald Teskey, Diana Copperwhite, Sean McSweeney and many more.
VIEWING for this auction will be at the RDS, Anglesea Road entrance, from Saturday to Monday, 25 to 27 May 10am to 6pm daily. The auction will take place in the same venue on Monday 27 May at 6pm, and will be broadcast live at www.whytes.ie A superbly produced and expertly researched catalogue is available complimentary during the viewing or by post for €10. It is also available for free download at www.whytes.ie
Further information from Peter Whyte, firstname.lastname@example.org – Tel: (01) 676 2888