Surprise Irish results in London for Beckett’s ‘Murphy’ and Victorian painting

 

The final big auctions in London before the summer wind-down saw interesting results for the Irish lots. At Sotheby’s literature sale, a set of six exercise books containing the manuscript draft, with doodles, of Samuel Beckett’s Murphy sold for £962,500 (€1.1m) to the University of Reading. A four-page letter, dated 1902, from James Joyce to Lady Gregory, made £50,000 (€58,000). The big surprise of the week was at Bonhams where a
19th-century painting by William Henry Bartlett, The Last Brief Voyage: A Connemara Funeral, or The Emigrant’s Departure, sold for a whopping £85,250 (€98,800), almost 10 times the estimate (£7,000-£10,000). Bonhams said it was bought “by an Irish-American private collector in the United States”.

At Christie’s art auction, two 1948 paintings by Jack B Yeats, Meeting the Dawn(£200,000-£300,000) and Early Away (£60,000- £80,000) failed to sell.

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