Marathon four-day auction at Sheppard’s
Durrow auctioneer to hold its first four-day sale in 25 years, with almost 2,300 lots
Sheppard’s auctioneers of Durrow, Co Laois has announced what it claims is “the biggest auction of fine art and antiques in Ireland in a quarter of a century”. It will run for four days and features 2,290 lots. Auctioneer Philip Sheppard said the size of the sale was due to the “exceptional volume of items being consigned”. The auction includes the contents of two important period houses, Clonageera House, Co Laois, which was sold recently by the film producer Arthur Lappin, and Carrigmahon House, Monkstown, Cork, sold by Dr Gerry Sheehan.
The catalogue, which runs to some 300 pages, also includes items from other Irish collectors. To describe the auction as “eclectic” would be an understatement.
There really is something for everyone, whether your taste runs to fantastic kitsch or exquisite objets d’art, with items as diverse as Roman antiquities, French furniture, Imperial Russian silver or Irish art.
A startling must-see piece of Victorian taxidermy, brought home from 19th-century India by a Dublin military family in the British army, depicts “two cobras and a mongoose engaged in mortal combat”. The estimate is €400-€600. It illustrates Kipling’s famous Jungle Book story about a mongoose named Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, adopted by a British Raj family both as a pet and to protect them against venomous snakes.
The most expensive lot is a pair of Irish demi-lune console tables with 18th-century white marble and scagliola tops, €30,000-€50,000. They are attributed to Pietro Bossi, who is known for the magnificent fireplace in the Taoiseach’s office in Government Buildings.
Other interesting lots include a gold and enamel Art Nouveau travel clock from the imperial Russian jeweller, Bolin, €5,000-€8,000; a pair of late 18th-century English, terrestrial table globes by Gabriel Wright, €3,000-€5,000, and a set of eight Regency dining chairs, €4,000- €6,000. Among the paintings is Breton Girl by Roderic O’Conor, €4,000-€6,000.
The final day of the sale is devoted to Asian art and includes a Japanese carved ivory figure (9cm,3.5 inch) of a Sumo wrestler, €800-€1,200 and a Chinese Ming dynasty figure of Guanyin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, €8,000-€12,000.
Viewing begins next Saturday and the auction commences on July 9th.