Adam's offers specialist sales ranging from important Irish art, fine period furniture, silver & object’s of vertu, contemporary & modern Art, militaria & memorabilia as well as vintage wine sales, and the appraisal and sale of private collections.
We were fortunate to be invited to attend a preview of a collection preview of a May28, 2008 auction of "Important Irish Art Sale in Assoc. with Bonhams" that took place in the James Adam salesrooms.
The entire catalog of that auction can be viewed on their web site here.
During our stay in Dublin I passed the James Adams Auction house almost every day, as we were staying at the Shelbourne Hotel which was almost next door. This beautiful oil on canvas painting below, entitled "Connemara Cottages," by the artist Paul Henry RHA(1876-1958), was displayed in the house's front window that week, and each time I passed by I admired its soft colors and its rugged pastoral beauty. I felt it was a perfect reflection of the Irish countryside that I so loved. It made me look forward with great anticipation towards seeing the rest of the collection of art work on view inside.
The painting ultimately sold for €85,000, but it was not the highest price paid for one of Henry's paintings during the auction.
This oil on canvas entitled " Western Irish Landscape," also by Paul Henry, sold for an impresssive €130,000.
During the auction preview, the oil on board painting below entitled "A Bird Never Flew on One Wing" by Harry Kernof RHA (1900-1974), received quite a bit of attention, and when auctioned sold for €180,000, which was a world record for this artist's work!
I wonder if the provenance of the painting added to it's value, as it hung until recently in the back bar of O'Briens Pub on Leeson Street? To paraphrase the Adam's catalog description, Kernof is known for his portrayal of "characters," archetypes of an era that was slowly disappearing in Ireland, yet encompassed a certain familiarity as to make a viewer feel as if they knew the subjects of his paintings.
It had a caricature quality to it, and while it was comically engaging it was not an art work I would have personally bid on if I was given the chance.
The following few art works are some my favorites from the exhibit, and in my dreams I would have gladly raised my paddle for all of them!"Serving Dinner," an oil on canvas by Katherine MacCausland (1859-1928). She was a member of the key group of British and Irish painters who trained in France in the 1880's. It sold for €30,000. I loved the serenity of the piece, as the children attentively watch their mother serve their simple porridge dinner by the last rays of the late afternoon light coming through the window. Its detail was exquisite, and it had an old Dutch Master quality to it that I found very appealing.
Next, "Tuke Cottage Window," an oil on board by Mark O'Neill (b.1963), which sold for €4,600. The dappled sunlight effect coming through the window of this still life made me think of an early autumn afternoon when the light has a golden quality to it, that makes everything it touches look softer in its glow.
"The Arch Garden, Kilmurry," watercolor by Mildred Anne Butler RWS (1858-1941). From the Adam's catalog: "Butler studied in Paris and Bruges alongside such esteemed contemporaries as Walter Osbourne and Sir John Lavery. Her work received distinguished support from Queen Mary and also the Tate Gallery (an honour for a female watercolourist in the 19th century). The present work is a fine example of a favoured subject, that of her Kilmurry home." It sold for €5,000This watercolor made me feel as if I was visiting Ms. Butler's home on an overcast, warm summer day, and as I took a stroll through her lush gardens, I observed the doves feeding upon crumbs tossed out for them from the morning repast.
"Autumn Roses," oil on board by Desmond Hickey (1927-1998). Sold for €1,200. Another still life window scene, full of pleasant feminine details, from the freshly cut roses in the Waterford crystal vase, to the pile of books and open art catalog on the desk. Wouldn't this make a beautiful blog header?
How I wish I could be there!