Study of a Female Nude, an oil-on-canvas probably painted in the 1920s, by French artist Paul Sieffert sold for €19,000 – comfortably above its estimate (€12,000-€16,000) on Wednesday in Sheppard's two-day auction in Durrow, Co Laois .
Headgear of very different varieties provided some of the bidding interest. Given that they're worn, famously, by Britain's Queen Elizabeth when "off-duty", it was, perhaps, appropriate that an unnamed "Irish aristocrat" was the successful bidder for two Hermès silk scarves which each achieved a hammer price of €240 – above the estimate (€100-€150 each).
A Victorian regimental military helmet, of a type known as a “chapka”, and decorated with swan feathers, which belonged to an officer in the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers – a 19th-century British army cavalry regiment – made €1,300 (€1,000-€1,500).
In other highlights, a taxidermy, “stuffed young puma” sold for €1,600 (€1,500-€2,500) and an Elizabethan (16th century) carved oak refectory table made €6,500 (€6,000-€9,000). An early 20th century flying machine made €3,400 and was bought by an online bidder in London.
After the sale, auctioneer Philip Sheppard said 87 per cent of the more than 1,300 lots had sold which showed "an increasingly confident Irish market underpinned by a strong overseas online bidding".