A €15.9m 1933 Double Eagle coin among record-breaking sales

Strong six months in antiques and fine art industry despite Covid and lockdowns

Sotheby’s Three Treasures sale of Stuart Weitzman set a new record for a coin at auction when the 1933 Double Eagle $20 coin achieved $18.9 million (€15.9 million)

Sotheby’s Three Treasures sale of Stuart Weitzman set a new record for a coin at auction when the 1933 Double Eagle $20 coin achieved $18.9 million (€15.9 million)

 

Despite Covid and lockdowns, it has been a strong six months in the antiques and fine art industry, with some notable results.

An extremely rare Irish unofficial farthing sold for 10 times its pre-estimate, achieving a new record of £2,976 (€3,489) including premium, at Dix Noonan Webb in May, while a 160-year-old Irish £1 note found behind a cooker sold for €1,400 at Niall Mullen’s sale in April, which was 70 times its opening price. Sotheby’s Three Treasures sale of Stuart Weitzman set a new record for a coin at auction when the 1933 Double Eagle $20 coin achieved $18.9 million (€15.9 million), and also setting a record was the 24-cent inverted Jenny Plate Block postage stamp which sold for $4.9 million (€4.14 million).

Summer Day, Jack B Yeats achieved £1.162 million (€1.36 million) through Christie’s
Summer Day, Jack B Yeats achieved £1.162 million (€1.36 million) through Christie’s
Alfred Munnings, The Vagabonds achieved £1.942 million (€2.28 million) from Christie’s Barney Eastwood sale
Alfred Munnings, The Vagabonds achieved £1.942 million (€2.28 million) from Christie’s Barney Eastwood sale

Whyte’s Eclectic Collector sale in May grossed €600,000, with 90 per cent of lots sold. The sleeper of the sale was a publicity booklet for the White Star Line ships Olympic and Titanic, which achieved €5,800 against a lower estimate of €200. Fonsie Mealy’s Killoughter House sale achieved €500,000 on the hammer, and James Arthur O’Connor’s Travellers on a Woodward Path sold for €12,000. The very rare Augsburg silver chalice, from circa 1650, achieved €10,200 through O’Donovan & Associates in May, which was originally listed with a €4,000-€6,000 estimate.

Paul Henry

At Whyte’s May art sale, which grossed just under €900,000, Muldoon and Rattlesnake, by Jack B Yeats, achieved €10,000 over its top estimate, selling for €160,000, and a world record was set for an oil by Patrick Leonard, when Loughshinny, 1943 sold for €34,000. Sean Keating’s Thinking Out Gobnet achieved €58,000, and an ink-drawn illustration by Harry Clarke sold for twice its pre-sale estimate, at €12,000. RJ Keighery in Waterford secured €4,750 for a 1952 Triumph Mayflower, €2,800 for a Husqvarna ride-on lawnmower, while a pair of forged iron gates from 1870 achieved €2,700 and a Bantam motorbike with no keys sold for €2,000.

Auctioneer Patrick O’Donovan with the Augsburg chalice from 1650 that achieved €10,200 at his May sale
Auctioneer Patrick O’Donovan with the Augsburg chalice from 1650 that achieved €10,200 at his May sale
Tarot de Marseille, a deck of cards owned by Sylvia Plath, achieved 25 times its estimate, selling for £151,000 (€177,000) through Sotheby’s
Tarot de Marseille, a deck of cards owned by Sylvia Plath, achieved 25 times its estimate, selling for £151,000 (€177,000) through Sotheby’s

Adam’s of St Stephen’s Green Important Irish Art sale in June saw Paul Henry’s Cottages in Achill take the top lot at €210,000, and the Irish Proclamation achieved €170,000 in a sale that grossed €1.3 million. Adam’s fine jewellery sale, also in June, grossed €1 million, with an 85 per cent sold rate. One of the most masterful peer-to-peer portraits ever consigned – Lucian Freud’s portrait of David Hockney – achieved £14.9 million (€17.4 million), and Sylvia Plath’s letters and personal belongings doubled their pre-sale estimate to achieve £780,000, both through Sotheby’s.

A new record was set for Paul Henry when Mountains and Lake, Connemara sold for £622,500 (€730,199). The painting, sold through Christie’s, was from the Barney Eastwood collection
A new record was set for Paul Henry when Mountains and Lake, Connemara sold for £622,500 (€730,199). The painting, sold through Christie’s, was from the Barney Eastwood collection

Meanwhile, Christie’s sale of the BJ Eastwood collection had some notable results earlier this month, when the artworks sold for more than double their pre-sale estimates to achieve a total of £14.8 million (€17.4 million). Top lots were The Vagabonds, Alfred Munnings £1.942 million (€2.28 million) and Summer Day, Jack B Yeats £1.162 million (€1.36 million), and a new record was set for Paul Henry when Mountains and Lake, Connemara sold for £622,500 (€730,199) against a £120,000-£180,000 (€140,760-€211,000) estimate.

All UK sale prices include premiums

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