The much anticipated sale of the Bank of Ireland’s art collection which was on the block for public relations purposes as the bank tried to make it clear it would divest itself of non-essential assets made €1.5m with all but one of the lots finding buyers at James Adam & Sons in Dublin. Bloomberg’s Scott Reyburn records the highlights of the sale:
The top price was the 64,900 euros paid in the room for the 1910 Paul Henry landscape “Clouds at Sunset,” valued at 30,000 euros to 50,000 euros. A 1940s “Self-Portrait Wearing a Hat” by Sean Keating fetched 37,760 euros.
Demand for Ireland’s art has declined along with the wealth of its real-estate millionaires. In 2006, during the boom “Celtic Tiger” years, Adam’s sold a 1980s Louis le Brocquy oil of Samuel Beckett’s head for 310,000 euros. Last night, le Brocquy’s “Study Towards an Image of James Joyce” fetched 59,000 euros.
“I’d be surprised if we can get more than one other decent auction out of the collection,” James O’Halloran, Adam’s managing director, said in an interview. “We’ll have to think about what we can do with the cheaper contemporary items,” said O’Halloran, who put a total value of about 2 million euros on the bank’s art.