For the first time in a decade, the familiar sight of a marquee at the Connemara crossroads of Ballyconneely will be absent this August bank holiday weekend. Dolan’s art auctions, which catered to locals and holidaymakers alike, directly across from Keogh’s hostelry is now an online-only affair.
"Because of the ongoing Covid situation and people accumulating together, we thought it was a wiser move, and people can view everything online and call us with any queries," advises Niall Dolan, of the auction house.
Along with works by Charles Harper, Douglas Hutton, Grace Henry and Evie Hone, the sale features 17 lots of rare whiskeys, including a cased box of Midelton 2004, with original certificate (lot 2, €800-€1,000) and a single owner collection of 14 flintlock guns and swords.
“They have remained untouched and undisturbed in an Irish country house for the past 100 years, having been brought home to Ireland by generations of a family serving in far flung reaches of the British empire. They are truly a unique and unspoilt collection,” says Dolan.
Highlights include a self-portrait of Sean Keating (lot 100, €7,500-€8,500), seven works by Mark O'Neill and Cherry Blossom by Grace Henry (which Dolan believes to be a scene on the road to Achill Island, lot 112, €6,000-€8,000). Also, among the 350 lots along with furniture, silver, rugs and books are some lovely paintings evocative of sunny summer days including Susan Cronin's Retro Girls (lot 93, €800-€1,200) and The Ice Cream Kiosk by John Morris (lot 122, €800-€1,200). The sale is now open and runs online until Monday, August 16th.
Also running this weekend is Morgan O'Driscoll's Irish online auction, which ends on Tuesday, August 3rd to include works by Colin Middleton, John Behan, Mr Brainwash and Colm J Brennan. Viewing is by appointment at the auctioneer's Skibbereen office. Gormley's is also holding an auction, which will be a live online sale on Tuesday, August 3rd, with more than 250 lots featuring works by Tom Carr, Orla de Bri, Neil Shawcross, Basil Blackshaw and John Kingerlee.
If you happen to be in the southeast this weekend, Art in the Open, a plein air painting festival is taking place across three different locations in Wexford from today until Monday, August 1st. A selection of 10 different masterclasses and demonstrations will be conducted by five established plein air painters; Gerald Byrne, Paul O'Kane, Kate Kos, Dave West and Tom King.
Now in its 14th year, the event, which is said to be Europe’s largest outdoor painting festival, will have 100 registered artists who are set to participate in capturing the landscape of the area. Spectators are more than welcome. Byrne, the Dublin-based artist who began painting from the roof in his Ranelagh studio during lockdown, will hold a masterclass at the North Slob/Victorian Pump House, today Saturday, July 31st, and as with other classes, it will include question and answer sessions. All artworks painted each day of the festival will be displayed daily from 6pm in an outdoor exhibition at the Wexford quayside, and will be available for purchase.
If after two summers of lockdown you are consumed by wanderlust and the notion of having a holiday home in tow is your definition of heaven, actor Tom Hanks’ American Airstream will feature in the Bonhams Quail Lodge auction on Friday, August 13th ($150,000-$250,000/€126,951-€211,586). The 33ft (10m) silver bullet home-from-home, was ordered new by Hanks in 1992 to the actor’s own specifications. He explained to Bonhams he “had spent too much time in regular trailers with ugly decor and horribly uncomfortable furniture”. He did not want any built-in furniture – with the exception of the bathroom and kitchen – and wanted a regular sofa “so I had one made with removable legs so it would get through the door”. The trailer comes furnished and with the actor’s autograph, curiously on what resembles the air conditioning unit. From the sets of Forrest Gump in South Carolina to Angels and Demons in California, the Airstream covered several thousand miles across the United States, providing the actor with a sanctuary in which to relax, learn lines and entertain co-stars.
Hanks said: “An Airstream is gorgeous and cosy, which is why everyone who visited mine went away wanting one.”
It is being offered at Bonhams as part of the Tom Hanks Collection which also includes a 2010 Ford F-450 Super Duty pick-up ($70,000-$100,000/€59,244-€84,634). This was bought to tow the Airstream to locations because it “gave a kinder, gentler tow” than regular movie support vehicles, although Hanks was not on towing duties due to insurance restrictions. The actor’s own 1980 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser ($75,000-$125,000 /€63,475-€105,793) and high performance 2015 Tesla Model S P85D ($70,000-$100,000/€63,475-€84,634) also feature in the sale.