Skibbereen, Co Cork-based Morgan O'Driscoll art auctioneers is the only Irish auction house to hold sale previews in London. Viewing of the latest sale begins on Monday (November 28th) at La Galleria Pall Mall (30 Royal Arcade, Pall Mall, London SW1) and runs for three days. The collection then moves to Dublin for viewing at the RHA Gallery in Ely place from Friday, December 2nd, ahead of the auction there on Monday, December 5th at 6pm.
This is the fourth auction in two years to be previewed in London and O’Driscoll says the response has been “overwhelming and extended far beyond the expat community” and 20 per cent of all his sales are now to clients in the UK. He says Irish art is regarded as good value in London and “not expensive compared to what collectors see in galleries in Mayfair”. Many of O’Driscoll’s clients in London are Irish or second-generation Irish and he says that older clients are more interested in traditional art, while clients in their 40s and 50s are looking for more contemporary art – “just like here”.
This auction caters to both. There's plenty for traditionalists with paintings by Sir John Lavery, Frank McKelvey, Roderic O'Conor, Walter Frederick Osborne, Percy French and no fewer than three by Paul Henry including Lot 70, Cottages, Connemara, estimated at €120,000-€180,000, which is photographed beside a bottle of champagne (like all the painting in the online catalogue at morganodriscoll.com) to show bidders the scale of the painting and how it looks framed and hung. Also likely to appeal to the Irish overseas are the other Henry's – lot 64 Evening in Achill (also €120,000-€180,000); and lot 45 In the Western Mountains (€60,000-€80,000).
Emigrants from the Kingdom in London pining for home might be attracted to lot 50 Trailer with Accessories, Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry by John Doherty (€10,000-€15,000).
Paintings of racehorses are always in demand by Irish buyers – at home and abroad – and the sale has various examples including lot 17
The Last Furlong
– a watercolour by
(€2,500-€3,500); and lot 61
Silks at the Start, Laytown Races
(€5,000-€7,000). Lot 104 is a timely hand-coloured Cuala Press print of
by Jack B Yeats signed and inscribed “affectionate Christmas and New Year’s greetings to you all” signed by the artist and his wife Cottie (€1,000-€1,500).
By contrast, fans of contemporary abstract art will find no better example than lot 79, The Sage by dancer-turned-artist Michael Flatley estimated at €30,000-€50,000. The modern component of the auction will include work by include Tony O'Malley, Louis le Brocquy, Colin Middleton and Daniel O'Neill.