Online bidding sweeps Sheppard’s sale

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

Detail from ‘Cardinal with Cats’ by M Joron, which sold for €2,600 at Sheppard’s

Detail from ‘Cardinal with Cats’ by M Joron, which sold for €2,600 at Sheppard’s

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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).

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