Irish art sails away to London auction

Yeats, Henry and Dillon: ‘Sea’ is main theme in Bonhams Irish art sale


‘Fresh and rare marine paintings by Ireland’s most famous artists” is how Bonhams describes two of the highlights in its sale of Irish art in London later this month.

Island Men Returning, an oil-on-panel painted in 1919 by Jack B Yeats, depicting two currachs pulling back into harbour and, Boats at Sea, a 1936 oil-on-canvas by Paul Henry are both estimated at £60,000-£80,000 (€73,000-€ 97,000).

Penny Day, the Co Laois woman who is head of Bonhams Irish art department in London, said both paintings “are appearing at auction for the first time” and had been “consigned to auction from private collections in the UK and Canada”. The sale also includes a painting of a boat beached in a west of Ireland harbour, The Currach by Gerard Dillon, estimated at £20,000-£ 30,000 (€24,000-€37,000).

The paintings will go on view at Bonhams Dublin gallery, 31 Molesworth Street from tomorrow, May 11th, until Wednesday evening. The auction will take place in Bonhams, New Bond Street, London on Wednesday, May 28th.

Separately, Jane Beattie, the Bonhams representative in Ireland, said experts from the auctioneer’s

London headquarters will hold books, maps, manuscripts and historical photograph valuations in Ireland this month. They take place next Saturday at the Wellington Park Hotel in Belfast from 11am-4pm, and in Dublin on Sunday and Monday, May 18th and 19th, from 11am-4pm in Bonhams Molesworth Street gallery.

Earlier this year Bonhams achieved £37,500 (€44,733) at auction in London for an archive of material relating to the work of writer and painter Christy Brown, best-known as the author of My Left Foot. The archive was acquired jointly by the National Library of Ireland and the Little Museum of Dublin.

Owners of rare and collectible sporting guns, by makers such as Holland & Holland, Purdey and Woodward, and who are considering selling can get a free assessment from Bonhams. It will hold valuation days for modern sporting guns in Dublin, on Wednesday May 21st, and in Northern Ireland at the Firefly Gunshop in Newtownards on May 22nd.

According to Bonhams, the market in this specialist area is “very buoyant and record prices have been frequently achieved in recent years.”

Accessories including gun cases, cartridge magazines, cartridge display boards and related books are also included in these sales. Bonhams’ next Modern Sporting Guns auctions take place in Knightsbridge, London in July and December.

For further details and to book an appointment for a valuation, contact Bonhams, tel: 01-6020990 and see

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