Rare Harry Clarke panel and Elizabeth Taylor’s bracelet in Irish sales this week

Having sold for nine times its lower estimate in New York this year, the Harry Clarke work is now expected to attain between €100,000 and €150,000

A wonderful Harry Clarke stained glass panel in a walnut and tortoiseshell cabinet is one of the highlights of an upcoming sale of Irish and international art at Morgan O’Driscoll, currently open but ending Tuesday, October 24th.

Titled Titania and Bottom, it was from the collection of Irish surgeon, Sir Robert Woods, who commissioned the piece in 1922. It last sold as part of the collection of Ann and Gordon Getty in New York this summer, where (then called Titania enchanting Bottom) it sold for more than nine times its lower estimate of $5,000 (€4,733), achieving $47,880.

Now listed at €100,000 to €150,000, it will be a tidy return if this is achieved. Considered to be one of Clarke’s finest glass panels, according to art historian Peter Murray, the story of its execution is covered in Lucy Costigan and Michael Cullen’s wonderful book Strangest Genius, in which they recount how the first version of this was damaged in the kiln.

It comes after stained glass artist Brian Clarke (no relation of Harry) paid €165,000, plus fees, for Bluebeard’s Last Wife through Adam’s in 2021, which was also a domestic work in a cabinet by James Hicks.


Along with a really wonderful John Shinnors, Circus Forms (lot 27, €10,000-€15,000), and Louis le Brocquy’s Head with Open Mouth (lot 22, €20,000-€30,000), is The Killeries by Letitia Marion Hamilton, a painting of the silver hues at Killary Harbour in Leenane (lot 21, €8,000-€12,000).

Two notable works by John Lavery also feature: The Beach, Evening, Tangier (lot 19, €80,000-€120,000), is reminiscent of the 14 years the artist spent in Gibraltar, while Mrs J.F McGuire, (lot 42, €15,000-€25,000), serves as a reminder of his prowess as a portrait painter.

Lavery on location

If you happen to be in the capital, do take in the National Gallery’s captivating exhibition Lavery on Location, which includes more than 70 works from public and private collections, including a number of never-before-seen works.

It is the first major Lavery exhibition in three decades. Running until January, tickets are priced from €5 with concessions for the retired, unemployed and our refugee friends. The exhibition is accompanied by a wonderful 224-page publication, written by Professor Kenneth McConkey and Dr Brendan Rooney. Available from the gallery shop (€45) it would make a wonderful Christmas gift.

Centenary in business

As part of its centenary celebrations, Ross Auctioneers on May Street in Belfast is currently holding three centenary sales, each offering 100 unique pieces of jewellery, Irish art and antiques.

Highlights of the sale, ending this Wednesday, include a gold bracelet owned by Elizabeth Taylor, which the auction house believes to be the one depicted in the attached photograph. Expected to fetch in the region of £5,500 (€6,343), it is composed of graduated abstract cylinder links in 18ct gold, and comes with the photograph of Taylor.

Also listed are three Hermès bags, which the auction house have authenticated: a Hermès Kelly 25 Retourne Blue France swift leather with palladium hardware. Estimated at £21,000 (€24,220) it comes with dust bag, original presentation box and serial number. A Hermès Birkin in deep red is listed at £10,000, while a vintage Hermès Kelly is expected to attain in the region of £9,500.

Time’s up

Listed in O’Reilly’s of Francis Street current catalogue for its live online sale on Wednesday, October 25th is a rare and unusual 19th century French terrestrial globe clock by Antoine Redier from 1873 (€3,000-€4,000).

Both a clockmaker and inventor, Redier produced a small number of these fine rotating globe clocks and is considered to be the inventor of the portable or bedside alarm clock. Before his death he had obtained 27 patents, of invention or improvements for various time pieces including his réveille-matin, or alarm clock, in 1842. Despite his success and renown, he lost everything through an unscrupulous banker at the end of his life.

Leading the sale in terms of high estimates is a whopper of a diamond solitaire ring. Estimated at €120,000-€130,000, and set in 18ct white gold, the E coloured, Sl2 clarity diamond weighs 5.5 carats. Along with diamonds in all shapes and forms from art deco brooches to chandelier pendants and some Georgian silver, are 23 watches with names like Rolex, Rado and Chopard.

Lab grown diamonds

A number of lab grown diamonds feature in John Weldon’s live online sale on Tuesday, October 24th.

“We have seen a rise in popularity of lab grown diamonds and it is showing in the auction rooms too, we have started to see them come for sale and there is a demand for them,” says Weldon.

He tests all diamonds so can advise clients of what they are looking at. Also priced for the four Cs: colour, cut, clarity and carat, lab grown diamonds can cost 40 to 50 per cent less than natural diamonds of similar size and quality. Morganodriscoll.com, nationalgallery.ie, ross.ie, oreillysfineart.com and jwa.ie

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

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