Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Adam's Fine Art Auctioneers, Dublin, Ireland

James Adam and Sons Ltd, trading as "Adam’s," is Ireland's leading Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers. Founded in 1887, it is situated in the heart of Dublin on St Stephen's Green.

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 €5,000

This 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?

The next Adam's "Important Irish Art Auction" will take place Wednesday, October 1st 2008 at 6.00pm.

How I wish I could be there!


Tracy said...

I wish I could be there too! Loved this beautiful, art-drenched post, Pat...*SIGH*...Happy Day ((HUGS))

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!
Wow! What incredible artwork! Oh if we were only RICH! Wouldn't it be fun to be in the midst of the bidders and be able to raise your own paddle in the heat of the bidding war and WIN! Exciting just to think about it. I love them all and don't know which one is my favorite, they all are.
Cindy & I had fun at our 41yr class reunion! Got to see some of our favorites that we hadn't seen since graduation, we loved that. She & I went to a Tapas restaurant before the reunion and one of the dishes we had was the tomatoes w/mozzarella cheese & basil. I LOVED it!!
I'm still having lots of pain. I think it's from the Lipitor I've been taking and my muscles are going to take a while to recover. Not my idea of a good time!
Have a great week!
Hugs, Sherry
Great post Pat!!

Vee said...

I've got to come back and savor this post better! Have a great day, Pat!!

Cynthia said...

If only I were rich, I love all of them.

Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

Gorgeous paintings! Although that one from the pub is not my taste either LOL


Judy said...

Beautiful artwork, Pat! I have just the spot for 'serving dinner'...maybe a print would be more in my budget.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks for your commnets and interest Tracy,Sherry, Vee, Cynthai, Rue, & Judy! It's nice to dream about owning some of those paintings, but I'm more in the print ownership level myself.

It was nice to see Irish art becoming popular with collectors!

Anonymous said...

Pat, thank you for the sweet comments on my grandmother post.
I am blown away after viewing this great art. Except for the pub guys, I loved it all. Problem is money, but I can still learn alot and enjoy the art on your post. Thanks for sharing your knowledge of art today.

Take care, Jeanne

Unknown said...

Hi Pat,
Thanks for showing this incredible art work!
My favorite is the Tuke Cottage Window...and seems to be one of the more affordable pieces!
But I'm like you...I'll have to stick with prints or my antique shop unknown artist paintings!

Thanks for the tour and information.

Anonymous said...

Pat, being able to attend this auction would have seemed almost surreal. Wow, I would have loved it.

I think my taste in art must lean similar to yours.

Lenka said...

I wish same... Hi, my dear! I get lost in my garden and didn't read your lovely blog SO long! What a shame! I spent few hours today reading and looking on your photos... Only now I understand how much I lost really...
Hugs and hugs! Thank you for sharing your life!


Mel said...

Hi Pat -

I know lots of things about the Irish (being married to an original o'Maugher" but so little about Irish art. Thanks so much for this post. Just beautiful. Maybe one day hubby and I can go there and see those wonderful characters and landscapes for ourselves!!

Dorothy said...

Pat, I've taken my own leisure time here today, trying to absorb every single detail of the paintings and every lovely word describing them....and I've enjoyed myself immensely. Auctions are one of the things we enjoy now and then...my would I have enjoyed this one. Wonderful post..I've written down some of the artist name's..I'll enjoy a look later at their work..thank you.

Alexandra MacVean said...

I love your recent blogs on Ireland. That is my DREAM vacation..honestly. :)

steviewren said...

Pat, these paintings are beautiful. My favorites are the two by Paul Henry. The colors are so cool and icy, but the paintings themselves don't feel uninviting, rather they make me want to spend the day sitting on a stone and watch the clouds go by. Serving Dinner is another one that makes me want to step into the scene.

Lucky you for having the experience of seeing all of these beauties.

Strider said...

Love the music! I feel I'm by the "blarney" stone! (SP?)

Donna said...

Fabulous art! I'm drawn to the painting "Serving Dinner", reminds me of Vermeer's paintings.

Thanks for showing us!


Marg said...

The artwork is amazing...
Someone told me last week that I need to prioritize my budget better,,,,
Well it's fun to dream and maybe someday find some new artwork.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Beautiful artwork, I'm always in awe of people that are so talented like that. I love the way you explain everything to us too Pat!

Rima Staines said...

Hello Pat and thanks for your visit and kind words :)
I am glad you enjoyed your hermitage wander...
I do love those paintings by Paul Henry, thanks for the introduction.
All bests to you from Scotland

Tara said...

Hi Pat

Thanks for introducing me to all these Irish artists! I really need to get there one day!


Picket said...

Morning friend...oh you never cease to amaze me with your beautiful post..thanks so much for taking me to places that I know I would never be able to go to...this was like going to a beautiful art museum...hope you have a great day today my friend!

MJ Ornaments said...

Beautiful paintings Pat! Love the last garden one the most. Take care, Martha

Junie Moon said...

I'm enjoying your art posts. What a great experience to savor.

Barb said...

Hi Pat,

I have been reading through your posts. What a wonderful trip you must have had. Incredible artwork! Oh, to be able to buy it......


pve design said...

Stunning work and a very informative post.
Love this.... will be back for more!

Alexandra MacVean said...

Good afternoon. Hope you are doing well and having a good day.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Lovely paintings! The Kernof fellows reminded me of the movie Waking Ned Devine!

And I especially loved Tuke Cottage Window!

Edie Marie's Attic said...

This is a PS to my comment on your comment on my post (say that 5 times fast)!
The baby pram was approximately $2000, and it appeared that the fabric was original. It couldn't have been used a lot because the condition was so excellent!
Do you want me to call them and have them hold it for you?? LOL If I win the lottery I'll get it for your new grand baby!!
Hugs, Sherry

Just A Girl said...

Ah! All the artwork is so beautiful except of course the silly characeture. How do you spell that? Auctions are so much fun!

Unknown said...

Beautiful paintings Pat, you opened my mind and soul to so many things. tks and big hugs to you :D

nanatrish said...

What amazing pictures! Don't you just love the variety of this amazing art?

Camille said...

Fabulous art. The Western Irish Landscape is beautiful and so peaceful.

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

I like auctions.I enjoy seeing whose bidding on what.

Jillian's Bella Rosa Antiques said...

Wow, the watercolor and the roses are DIVINE! Absolutely lovely. Oh to own them would be fabulous!


Anonymous said...

What lovely paintings. I'm with you too on the 2 characters. I can see the painting being happier in a pub where these 2 would feel very at home, but not in my house. LOL Can you imagine if paintings could come to life? Naa I'd much rather have the vase of roses. Some serious money there!

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