Two Pears by William Scott leads Morgan O’Driscoll’s online sale

Separate sale at O’Reilly’s features 20 pieces of affordable artworks in the €80-€400 range

Kicking off fine art sales for 2023 is Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish Art sale, which has begun and ends on January 30th. The online auction has 254 lots encompassing a wide range of traditional and contemporary works.

The top lot comes from William Scott, one the most internationally celebrated of 20th-century Ulster painters. Two Pears, dating from 1977, and listed with an estimate of €50,000-€70,000, measures 10 x 14 inches and shows Scott’s preoccupation with simple stuff from domestic culinary life.

In 1977 an exhibition of his work, organised by Edward Lucie-Smith at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, displayed 17 small works, titled An Orchard of Pears, which was partly attributed to his move to a farmhouse in Coleford, England, as an impressive pear tree stood in the garden.

Promontory I by Donald Teskey (€20,000-€30,000) captures the atmospheric vagaries of the Atlantic Ocean against the rugged north Mayo coastline. An invitation from Ballinglen Art Foundation in Ballycastle, Co Mayo, has been an inspiration for the artist, who was filmed for a documentary there just before the Covid-19 pandemic.


The sale also lists five works by Jack B Yeats, all of which are watercolours. Three lots are featured in The Turf Cutters Donkey by Patricia Lynch, and a copy of the book itself is listed at €100-€200. How Did You Get There? He Asked in Amazement (featured on page 100 of the book) is listed at €5,000-€7,000, while The Turf Cutter’s Donkey, illustrated on the title page, is expected to fetch €15,000-€25,000, and Look at the Showdown by the Red Rock (featured on page 26) is listed at €8,000-€12,000.

Two further works are The Derelict, which was exhibited at Sketches of Life in the West of Ireland in 1910 (€10,000-€15,000), and The Pannier Market, which also hung at that show and was in the collection of Theo Waddington. It is expected to sell for €15,000-€25,000.

Works by Hughie O’Donoghue, John Shinnors, Mainie Jellett and James Arthur O’Connor also feature.

Start a collection

O’Reilly’s of Francis Street sale on January 25th lists more than 20 pieces of affordable art, ranging from €80 to €400, so it’s a good place for beginners to start a collection at reasonable prices. In terms of jewellery, highlights include a three-stone diamond ring with pear-shaped shoulders with a central diamond weighing 3.37 carats (€28,000-€32,000), while gracing the catalogue cover is a diamond set necklace with graduated ‘halo’ clusters. It is estimated to hold more than 10 carats of diamonds and is listed at €11,500-€14,500.

Hyde Park Antiques sale

Meanwhile, three pieces of furniture of Irish interest form part of the Hyde Park Antiques: Past Present and Future sale. The live auction by Sotheby’s on January 31st in New York lists an Irish George III mahogany bureau cabinet from 1770 ($12,000-$18,000 (€11,094-€16,641); a pair of brass-bound peat buckets from the early 19th century ($5,000-$8,000) and a pair of late Regency mahogany klismos library chairs, presumed to be by Gillingtons of Dublin from 1815 at $8,000-$12,000.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables