Commission-free finds at virtual antiques fair

Hibernian Antique Fairs has its seventh online sale since March 2020

Hibernian Antique Fairs, which represents more than 100 dealers from around the country, had to change its normal way of doing business as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Run by Robin O'Donnell, the group's fairs are now solely in the virtual world, and this weekend marks the seventh online fair since last March.

Taking place today, Saturday, March 20th, and tomorrow, Sunday, March 21st, the latest fair will showcase a number of dealers, including Delphi Antiques, JW Weldon, and Courtville Antiques. Also featured are the contents from the home of the late Breda Clifford, who, along with her late husband Tom, ran the Brandon Hotel in Tralee.

“She was one of our best customers, and such a popular woman in Kerry. After she died her family were in contact with me, saying it was Breda’s wish that I would dispose of the contents of her home,” says O’Donnell.

He says those pieces are priced to sell and without commission – as are all the items for sale through the fair. Highlights include a walnut credenza (€1,500); a pair of 19th-century profusely inlaid French pier cabinets (€1,500); a William IV compartment gilt mirror (€400), and a most unusual French gilt jardinière. “It’s very unusual in the sense that it is more like a window seat, with a zinc inlaid sink measuring almost 5ft long. It needs a bit of restoration and that is why it is priced at €250,” explains O’Donnell in relation to the latter item.

‘Fantastic bargains’

Also taking place this weekend is a single-owner collection sale through Hegarty Antiques in Bandon. The online sale of 160 lots includes furniture, art and collectables, with "some fantastic bargains to be found", according to Nóirín Collins of the auction house.

Meanwhile, this coming Wednesday, March 24th, O’Reilly’s of Francis Street will commence a timed 48-hour fine jewellery sale of in excess of 550 lots.

Highlights in the large selection of diamonds on offer in the sale include an old European-cut solitaire ring with a rather substantial 5.60 carat stone (lot 214, €27,000-€30,000) along with a pair of single-stone diamond earrings – each weighing two carats (lot 346, €18,000-€20,000). Should you wish to design your own piece of jewellery, lot 182 is an unmounted cushion-cut diamond weighing a generous 5.06 carats (€22,000- €26,000).

Art deco jewels on offer include a superb diamond and emerald brooch (lot 347, €5,000-€7,000); lot 210, which is an open work bracelet that will have wrists shimmering with its 18 carats of diamonds set in 18-carat white gold (€12,000-€15,000), and, for fans of Van Cleef and Arpels, lot 373 is a super ladies’ vanity case (€22,000-€25,000).

The sale features a fine selection of watches by Rado, Omega, Tag Heuer, Raymond Weil and Rolex, both in men’s and women’s sizes. The highlight in timepieces is an art deco, diamond onyx and citrine cocktail watch of geometric design (lot 362, €4,000-€5,000).

Along with a selection of silver and some jade curiosities in the sale are three portraits by Koert Delmonte, the Dutch artist who became involved with the resistance movement against Nazi occupation. On the run from the SS, on account of making fake documents including passports and ration cards, Delmonte settled permanently in Dublin in 1954, where he was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Hibernian Academy until his death in 1982.