Lockdown auction market thrives as buyers browse from home

Sale prices for Julian Friers and Patrick Pye works far exceed auctioneer’s estimations

This time last year the art market was in uncharted waters. While galleries have suffered, the auction market had a booming year as many, within the confines of their homes, took to buying at auction – some for the very first time. The results so far are encouraging for the year ahead.

South Dublin Auctions
A company that started in the middle of the Covid pandemic, it reports that its annual weekly sales have soared with turnover up eight times, compared to when sales commenced in July 2020, with average value of items increasing from €10 to €70. Highlights include: nine sheets of hand-painted wallpaper from the collection of US dealer William Haines €2,500; seven bottles of Clos Ste Hune, Trimbach, Riesling 1983 €1,750; Edison standard phonograph, €750; and original print of John Lennon, New York 1974 €420.

Fonsie Mealy Collector Sale
March 3rd

Poignant memento of a fateful day (GAA) €7,000; rare Limerick Civil War journal €6,500; Book of Kells facsimile €5,600; JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, signed first edition €5,000; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, signed first edition, €4,800; Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, signed first edition €4,000.


Whyte's Irish Art Sale
March 22nd – 80 per cent sold grossing € 1.3 million.

Paul Henry, Spring in Wicklow €150,000 (€150,000-€200,000); Jack Butler Yeats, Waiting for the Ferry Low Tide, €135,000 (€100,000-€150,000); Louis le Brocquy: Image of Francis Bacon II €115,000 (€120,000-€150,000); Doves €40,000 (€30,000-€40,000); Adam €29,000 (€30,000-€40,000) and Image of Samuel Beckett €22,000 (€15,000-€20,000). Patrick Pye, Landscape Near Cloyne achieved €4,000, over five times its lower estimate, and Julian Friers, Dawn Patrol €4,200, more than four times its lower estimate.

Adam's Irish Art Sale
March 24th – 83 per cent sold grossing €1.25 million.

Jack B Yeats, The Belle of Chinatown €170,000 (€120,000-€160,000); Harry Clarke, Bluebeard's Last Wife €165,000 (€80,000-€120,000)

Purcell's Personal Library of John Wyse Jackson
March 24th – 100 per cent sold grossing €100,000.

Jack B Yeats, Life in the West of Ireland, drawn and painted €3,700 (€300-€600); James Joyce, Ulysses €2,000 (€1,000-€2,000); John Wyse Jackson, correspondence and papers from the James Joyce Society, London and scrap albums €3,500 (€80-€120).

Sotheby's Collection of Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma
March 24th - 90 per cent sold totalling €6.6 million.

Jaguar 420 commissioned by Lord Mountbatten €146,250 (€11,600-€23,200); Queen Victoria's mourning jewellery €117,000 – double the combined lower estimates; Lacloche Frères pig-shaped evening bag €127,300 (€2,320-€3,500); celadon jade teapot, Qing Dynasty €204,300 (€9,300-€14,000) and the Banks Diamond €161,000 (€46,400-£69,648).

Niall Mullen
April 14th - 95 per cent sold.

160-year-old Irish £1 note €1,400 (€100-€200); set of Georgian plates €5,000 (€2,000-€3,000); Daniel O’Neill, Invented Landscape €2,500 (€2,000-€4,000); push and pull 19th century cart €2,000 (€1,500-€2,000) and 1847 Commodore’s flag from the Royal St George Yacht Club €2,200 (€1,000-€2,000).

Bonham's South East Asian Modern and Contemporary art sale
April 22nd

Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur, Two Women Arranging Flowers in the Interior, €1.49m (€194,510– €302,505).

Dix Noonan Webb
February 24th

Irish and Middle Eastern Banknotes, and Rare Coins April 6th and 7th. Irish £10 banknote from the ploughman series achieved €25,900 and a gold medal from an Irish collection, showing the earliest portrait of Georg August, who would later become King George II, achieved €7,910.