Sheppard's auctioneers, in Durrow, Co Laois, is to hold its first auction in Dublin later this month, a move signalling increased competition in the city's fine art and antiques market.
The auction, titled “Chinese Ceramics and Asian Works of Art” and with 120 lots, will be held on May 26th. It will take place at 120 Pembroke Road, the Dublin premises Sheppard’s opened last year, where it holds valuations and viewings.
Sheppard's has already established a reputation for selling Chinese porcelain and routinely attracts bids – many online – from Chinese collectors and dealers in Hong Kong, Beijing and London. Chinese visitors have become a regular presence in the Durrow saleroom especially for pre-auction viewings. But Sheppard's is now also hoping to attract a bigger share of the Dublin market and to "entice new collectors, connoisseurs, and dealers".
In November 2012, a matchbox-size Chinese white jade seal, with a presale estimate of €6,000, sold for €630,000 at Sheppard’s to an online bidder in China who realised the piece had “imperial provenance”. The price was the highest paid ever for an item of decorative art sold at auction in Ireland.