Online bidding sweeps Sheppard’s sale

More than 70 per cent of lots sold were bought by online bidders

The internet is profoundly changing the Irish fine art and antiques business. At Sheppard's three-day auction this week more than 70 per cent of the lots sold were bought by online bidders – spread throughout 37 countries worldwide. The size of the crowd in an auction saleroom – and Sheppard's was busy – is no longer an indicator of success as most of the action takes place on laptops.

Among notable results: an 18th-century, eastern-European, cased miniature micro-mosaic on slate depicting the Madonna and Child sold for €5,500 – more than 10 times the median estimate (€400-€600) to a bidder in Italy. Lot 962, an early 18th-century walnut, herringbone and satinwood inlaid chest, from a house in Cork, made €15,500 (€14,000-€18,000). Lot 658, a 19th-century lidded porcelain urn, made in Vienna and painted with an image from Greek mythology (Die Hochzeit des Peleus und der Thetis / The marriage of Thetis and Peleus), made €3,800 (€2,500- €3,500).

Lot 159, a silver, mirrored table centrepiece made in London in 1798 by William Pitts & Joseph Preedy, made €6,500 (€8,000-€12,000). Lot 114, a pair of 1930s American art deco sterling silver wine goblets – the stems in the shape of golfers – made €280 (€300-€500).

Lot 767, a pair of large Chippendale-style mahogany and upholstered hump-back settees made €12,500 (€6,000-€9,000).


Lot 879, a French painting, signed M Joron (probably Maurice Joron (1883-1937), titled Cardinal and Cats, sold for €2,600 (€2,500- €3,500).