Horses for courses at de Vere’s

Paintings and sculpture with an equine theme at de Veres auction

After successful sales at Adam's and Whyte's, the last of the "big three" summer art auctions in Dublin takes place on Bloomsday at de Veres. Viewing begins on Friday in the galleries at 3 Kildare Street and the auction takes place next door in Buswell's Hotel, on Tuesday, June 16th. Paintings by Jack B Yeats and Sir William Orpen took the top slots at Adam's and Whyte's respectively but there's more of an emphasis on contemporary art at de Veres.

Director Rory Guthrie said "one particular theme is that of the horse, so long embedded in the Irish psyche" and cited, among many works on the subject in the sale, Pony In A Connemara Garden by Gerard Dillon (€30,000-€40,000); and, a bronze head of the famous racehorse Red Rum by sculptor Enzo Plazotta (€1,000-€1,500).

Kilkenny horse fair But the most eye-catching painting in the sale is Horse Fair at Goresbridge by Peter Curling – an oil on canvas measuring 40 by 60 inches – estimated at €20,000- €25,000. Unlike traditional horse fairs at Ballinsaloe, for example, the horse sales at Goresbridge, a village in Co Kilkenny, are more structured events and renowned worldwide as a source of future champion racehorses and showjumpers. The sales are run by the Donohoe family who also hold monthly antiques auctions.

Curling’s painting is a rare – possibly unique – depiction of the event by an artist described as “Ireland’s finest equine painter”.


Horses of a very different kind feature in Campsite, Poppintree, North Co Dublin by Maurice MacGonigal (€10,000-€15,000) which dates from the early 1970s when the artist was living in Mulhuddart. De Veres said he "realised that the landscape of CoDublin was to be changed forever, with the onrush of new building and all the newer satellite towns, evolving from much older rural communities" and the painting shows piebald horses in a Traveller campsite on land which is now occupied by the Swedish furniture store Ikea.

Among other "equine" lots is Falcarragh Fair, Co Donegal by Gladys Maccabe (€1,000-€1,500); Fair Green, Ballinasloe by Fergus Lyons (€1,500-€2,000); Ballinasloe Horse Fair, Co Galway by Ivan Sutton (€1,200-€1,600); and, a bronze sculpture Circus Horse by Patrick O'Reilly (€2,500-€3,500).