Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Buzz at Buzzers

Went along to the De Vere art auction at the Berkeley Court last night to gauge the current state of the art market, and perhaps to rob a striking little Dan O'Neill I had my eye on. I arrived on time but there wasn't a seat to be had - a good indicator in these austere times. A feature of the show was the eight works by Donald Teskey - most of them top quality examples, especially a beauty of Dun Laoghaire. There was also a large nine-piece painting of cats by Shinnors (owned by a face about town), that begged to be broken up into individual works.

The story of the night I suppose was that good work sold for good prices and poor work didn't sell. Around 60% sold but there was little of quality left behind. There were a number of bargains to be had: a sinister little Martin Gale went for €4,200 and a striking Patric Pye charcoal for a mere €800. I let my little Dan O'Neill go for €2,800 but am still suffering remorse. I can see those eyes staring at me.

All the Teskeys bar one sold - many for well above their reserve. A smashing George Campbell of looming nuns went for €52,000 - twice its estimate; while a poor William Scott oil failed to reach its reserve. Shinnors' cats didn't sell (it's a cumbersome size) but two other pieces by him went for substantial prices. Paddy Collins continues to be unloved at auction and you couldn't give away the Michael Farrells. A newish name on the auction scene, Gearldine O'Neill got very good prices for a couple of colourful still lives. Not for me dear but I can see why she will sell. There was an appalling Bewick of rugby players that predictably went well and the glut of Charlie Bradys on the market meant that he didn't. A good time perhaps to get a couple. A lively night and I'm sure Buzzer (John de Vere) raised a glass of claret to Donald Teskey afterwards.