John Lavery painting sells for £112,500, four times the estimate at Sotheby's

Several other surprises sprung as Sotheby’s sale of Irish art in London makes €2.1m

Detail of The Cello Player, by Sir John Lavery, sold at Sotheby’s Irish art sale in London

Detail of The Cello Player, by Sir John Lavery, sold at Sotheby’s Irish art sale in London

 

At Sotheby’s Irish art sale in London on Tuesday, September 13th , the biggest surprise was the sale of The Cello Player, by Sir John Lavery, for £112,500 (€132,000), four times the estimate of £20,000-£30,000.

Overall, 65 per cent of the lots sold. Top price was achieved for Mending Nets, Aran, by Gerard Dillon, which sold to an American buyer for £191,000, exceeding the top estimate of £150,000, six years after it last changed hands at Adam’s in Dublin for €80,000.

Lot 12, The Road by the Lake, by Paul Henry, sold to a “UK private” buyer for £185,000, well above the estimate of £60,000-£80,000.

Sotheby’s said some artists had achieved record prices, including Gottfried Helnwein, the Austrian painter who lives in Co Tipperary, whose The Disasters of War, 47 (lot 70), made £115,000 (estimate, £30,000-£50,000); and Patrick Scott, whose Goldpainting (lot 56) made £68,750 (estimate, £20,000-£30,000).

Lot 43, Cubist Landscape with Red Pagoda and Bridge, by Mary Swanzy, estimated at £60,000-£80,000, sold for £112,500, 10 years after it made €180,000 at Whyte’s in Dublin in 2006.

Lot 20, Self-Portrait in a Bearskin, by Sean Keating, sold to a “private Irish” buyer, also for £112,500 (estimate, £50,000-£70,000).

Lot 57, Prescriptions Accurately Prepared, by John Doherty (estimate, £15,000-£20,000), which shows the wonderful Honduras mahogany shopfront of a Clonmel pharmacy, now sadly neglected and deteriorating, sold for £27,500.

Lot 8, a charcoal drawing by Paul Henry of his mother, Kate Anne Berry, was bought by what Sotheby’s said was “a significant public collection in Ireland” for £8,750 (estimate, £7,000-£10,000).

Three paintings that were found in a ditch in Co Wicklow after being stolen from a house had been consigned to the auction by Chubb, the insurance company, which had already paid out compensation to the owner. All three sold: lot 44, The Fern in the Area, by Jack B Yeats, £35,000 (estimate, £20,000-£30,000); lot 16, Landscape with Cottage, by Paul Henry, £47,500 (estaimte, £20,000-£30,000); and lot 9, Portrait de Femme au Chapeau, by Sir John Lavery, £11,875 (estimate, £7,000-£10,000).

Among the lots that failed to sell were lot 17, Mary Borden and her Family at Bisham Abbey, by Sir John Lavery, estimated at £150,000-£250,000; lot 13, Seated Nude Against Orange, by Roderic O’Conor, estimated at £40,000-£60,000; and lot 50, Cherub, a tapestry, by Louis le Brocquy, estimated at £25,000-£35,000.

Lot 53, a painting by Jack B Yeats, entitled Water Lilies, which once hung in Ballymaloe House, Co Cork, and was estimated at £100,000-£150,000, failed to sell during the auction, but Sotheby’s “sold it privately immediately afterwards for the low estimate”.

Commenting on the sale, Charlie Minter, head of Irish art at Sotheby’s in London, said: “This year’s sale made £1.8 million (€2.1 million), over the low estimate and building upon the success of last year’s sale.” He added that 1,400 people had attended the pre-sale exhibition at the RHA in Dublin and that the auction had attracted “new buyers entering the field and international bidding, from Asia to Europe and the US”, which was “a promising indicator of the future health of this market”.

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