An early, personal Louis le Brocquy painting goes on sale in Ohio

Sotheby’s offering Belfast artist Jack Coulter’s paintings of songs by The Corrs and Sinéad O’Connor in Dublin

An early and personal work by Louis le Brocquy will feature in Caza Sikes The Friedlander Collection sale in Cincinnati on September 14th. The assemblage features work by some of the top 20th-century artists including Rene Magritte, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva. With strong provenances, many of the works were heavily exhibited at institutions. The top lot is Erwartender (Expectant Man) by Swiss artist Paul Klee, which is listed at $600,000-$1 million (€543,921-€906,353), and it’s somewhat ironic given when the painting was first offered for sale in 1935, for 700 Swiss francs, it failed to sell.

In there among contemporary greats such as Georges Braque’s The Bird ($50,000-$75,000/€45,326-€67,990) which was exhibited at the artist’s 1951 Retrospective show at Moma, and Barbara Hepworth’s stunning Holed Hemisphere ($20,000-$30,000/€18,130-€27,196) is le Brocquy’s Head of Anne ($60,000-$80,000/€54,300-€72,400).

It was purchased in 1958 by the owner from the Gimpel Fils Gallery, where the artist had his first solo show in 1947 – and remained his London gallery for the rest of his life – and comes with its original purchase invoice and payment receipt.

It’s a mature example of the artist’s White Period (1956-1966) but also has a personal context as it is a portrait of Irish artist Anne Madden, and was painted in Bargemon, shortly before le Brocquy married the sitter in Chartres in April 1958.


Works from this period are known as le Brocquy’s Presences, which exhibit his fascination with the use of white as a backdrop to portrait works. It is referenced F8, which records the work as the eighth painting le Brocquy painted in France and has a three-dimensional “ethereal quality to it, with Anne’s ‘presence’ protruding toward the viewer, with depth and detail”, according to catalogue notes.

It is being auctioned by the Sikes brothers at Caza Sikes in Cincinnati, who sold two Paul Henry works – presumed to be worthless prints by their owners – for €143,000 each in 2021.

Co Laois Sales

Laois-based auctioneer Sean Eacrett is holding two sales: ending Sunday, July 30th, is a timed online auction of 275 lots to include unsold items from the Rocklow Estate. Curiosities such as an early 20th-century baguette bin (almost a metre high) at €40-€60 is offered alongside two large, antique stripped-pine dressers at €200-€300 (lot 138) and €400-€600 (lot 213). The top lot is a fabulous timber and plaster gilt overmantel mirror with a highly moulded pediment reaching to more than two metres in height (lot 177, €1,800-€2,500). The sale also has a good selection of full-pile Persian runners, including a fine woven Surok runner (lot 342, €1,500-€2,500).

Ending on August 6th, Eacrett’s second sale is of the contents of the Heritage Golf Resort Clubhouse in Killenard, Co Laois. Among the 546 lots are sets of four metal garden chairs, €60-€80, and an abundance of rosewood-effect dining chairs from €20 each. With an estimate of €6,000-€10,000, the top lot is a colossal chandelier with 36 branches extending to more than seven feet in height. All the panelling (rosewood effect) in the clubhouse bar is also up for sale, and 10m in length, seeking €2,000-€4,000.

For anyone fitting out a commercial kitchen there’s lots of stainless steel, in the form of refrigerator counter units (€200-€400) and three industrial tall freezers – also €200-€400 each. Along with commercial-grade bar fridges, deep-fat fryers, stainless-steel sinks and counters – which cost a small fortune new – are three Bose ceiling speakers (lot 499, €120-€180). And if you’re short on glasses for summer barbecues, there are boxes upon boxes of wine, pint and cocktail vessels.

Art and Soul returns to Culloden Estate

Ireland’s largest arts-and-sculpture event returns to the Culloden Estate and Spa in Belfast, August 19th-September 10th. The exhibition will feature works by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Patrick O’Reilly and Keith Haring. The 280 works, which have a combined value of €7 million, will be split between the interiors of the five-star hotel and its grounds, where work from leading Irish sculptors add interest to the gardens. It is operated by Gormley’s Fine Art, and this is the fourth time works of this scale have visited the hotel, which has special overnight rates for the event.

Jack Coulter selling exhibition at Sotheby’s in Dublin

Currently open and running until August 4th is Jack Coulter’s A Song for You at Sotheby’s office on Molesworth Street, Dublin. The selling exhibition has works by the young Belfast artist, who is attracting worldwide attention as he experiences sound as colour, a neurological condition known as synaesthesia. As a child he experienced sensory overload and migraines. One of his proudest moments was in 2018, when he painted in synchrony with the London Chamber Orchestra to a live performance of Mendelssohn, which was live-streamed from Cadogan Hall in London.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

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