Auctions & Fairs

African tribal mask sells for over 16 times top estimate to unnamed Irish buyers


Sunday (February 12th) Matthews Auction Rooms, house contents clearance at Beauparc Lodge, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath. Lot 433, "an African tribal mask" turned out to be a "sleeper" and sold for €5,000 – over 16 times the top estimate (€200-€300) – to an unnamed Irish buyer who beat off competition from French and American telephone bidders; Lot 147, a Victorian silver-mounted rhino-horn button hook, €260 (€200-€300); Lot 516, a set of six cast-iron avenue lanterns, €2,500 (€1,000-€1,500).

Thursday (February 16th) Sotheby's, London. "Erotic: Passion & Desire" auction featuring furniture, design, fine art, photography and contemporary sculpture. 76 per cent of lots sold. Lot 7, La Grande Névrose, a late 19th century white marble sculpture of a naked woman by Jacques Loysel sold for £1.9 million, over 10 times the top estimate (£120,000-£180,000); Lot 9, "a Roman marble torso of Pan made in the 2nd century AD" £68,750 (£40,000-£60,000); Lot 19, gold-leaf covered bronze "maquette for siren" (the model Kate Moss) by sculptor Marc Quinn £87,500 (£70,000-£90,000); Lot 91 In the Hammam (oil-on-canvas) by Patrick Hennessy £13,750 (£12,000-£18,000). Among the unsold: Lot 22, a late 19th century carved mahogany bed from a Parisian brothel (£500,000-£800,000); and, Lot 41 Nudes at the Beach (oil-on-canvas) by Howard Chandler Christy (£70,000-£100,000).


Tuesday (February 21st) John Weldon Auctioneers, Cow's Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin. Auction of jewellery and silver at 2pm. Viewing in the saleroom from noon today and online catalogue at Among the 400 lots is a Tiffany & Co diamond ring in its original box, that was bought in 2007 for $12, 029.63 (including sales tax) in Tiffany & Co, Fifth Avenue, New York, and now guiding €2,000-€3,000.

Wednesday (February 22nd) Oliver Usher's Auction Rooms, John Street, Kells, Co Meath. Annual Antiquarian and Rare Book Auction at 11am. 700 lots viewing from noon Sunday. Highlights include one of the limited edition (500 copies) of a facsimile version of the Book of Kells in three volumes published in 1950 in Berne, Switzerland, by Urs Graf-Verlag estimated at €2,500-€3,500; a rare 19th century portfolio of tenant holdings in Armagh, Monaghan and Clare with hand-coloured maps €400-€600; and a signed, first-edition copy of the 1926 novel The Charwoman's Shadow by Lord Dunsany €130-€150.


Wednesday (February 22nd) O'Reilly's Auction Rooms, 126 Francis Street, Dublin. Auction of jewellery, watches and silver at 1pm. Viewing from Sunday at noon and online at Lot 134, a set of Edwardian garnet and diamond dress studs and cufflinks in a fitted case €3,600-€4,000; Lot 226: an Art Déco diamond bracelet with 15ct approx of diamonds, mounted in platinum, €16,000-€18,000.


Today and tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday (February 18th and 19th). The 3rd Dublin Antiques, Art & Vintage Fair organised by Robin O'Donnell of Hibernian Antiques Fairs at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan. Daily 11am - 6pm. 40 dealers selling antiques, art and vintage including Gerd & Helmut Peters (Germany) diamonds and jewellery; JW Weldon (Dublin) Irish silver and jewellery; Marie Curran (Dublin) jewellery and silver; Greene's Antiques (Drogheda) furniture; Treasures (Athlone) Irish art.