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IN THE NEWS
2 AUGUST 2014
IRISHMAN IN PARIS DISCOVERS IMPORTANT FRENCH NUDE
An Irish businessman living in Paris has come in for a financial windfall of €120,000 after discovering a painting by an important French artist. The man, who does not wish to be identified, bought the painting of a female nude in Paris 10 years ago for a few thousand euro. He sold it earlier this month at Sheppard's auctioneers in Durrow, Co Laois where it made €120,000. Continue reading...
26 JULY 2014
FLEMISH 'BOOKS OF HOURS' FROM ALL HALLOWS COLLECTION SELLS FOR €19,000
All Hallows, the former seminary in Drumcondra, Dublin had hoped to raise up to €60,000 for a 15th-century Flemish 'Book of Hours' during the auction of items from its collection at Sheppard's earlier this month. However the illuminated manuscript on vellum, with text in French and Latin, failed to attract a single bid. Continue reading...
26 JULY 2014
BURMESE DAYS FOR IRISH SOLDIERS ON EVE OF FIRST WORLD WAR
Irish involvement in the first World War - a timely topic as the centenary commemorations get underway - was, for much of the 20th century, largely ignored or forgotten. Much of the associated memorabilia only survived thanks to the enthusiasm and diligence of a small band of dedicated collectors. But there is increasing interest, especially among soldiers' descendants, in the medals, documents, photographs and other mementoes that turn up at auction. Continue reading...
12 JULY 2014
GOING ... GOING ... GUANG FOR CHINESE ANTIQUE IN LAOIS
Sheppard's had another stroke of Chinese good fortune this week. On Tuesday morning, the three-day event got off to a dramatic start when an antique Chinese cloisonne (enamelled) bronze guang - a type of decorative ewer used for pouring rice wine at ritual banquets - sold for €250,000, 10 times the estimate (€20,000 - €30,000). Continue reading...
11 JULY 2014
ALL HALLOWS ART AUCTION SIGNALS END OF AN ERA
They were once more powerful than cabinet ministers but this week their portraits sold for a few thousand euro in an auction of religious art. Paintings owned by All Hallows College in Drumcondra, Dublin, went under the hammer at a three-day Sheppard's auction in Durrow which ended yesterday. The former seminary, now a third-level college, is on the verge of closure. Continue reading...
9 JULY 2014
SALVAGED 15TH-CENTURY ALTARPEICE MAKES €40,000 AT AUCTION
A Flemish altarpiece discovered by a priest in Co Wexford was sold at auction last night for €40,000. The 15th-century artwork went under the hammer at Sheppard's art auction in Durrow, Co Laois, where it had been catalogued with an estimate of between €80,000 and €120,000. The winning bid was made by an anonymous buyer in Belgium. Continue reading...
5 JULY 2014
FOUND IN A WEXFORD GARAGE: VALUABLE 15TH-CENTURY ALTERPIECE FOR AUCTION
Following this week's extraordinary price paid for Wexford hurler Nickey Rackard's 1955 All-Ireland medal, the Catholic parishioners of Piercestown, a village in south Co Wexford, will be hoping for similar good fortune during Sheppard's three-day auction which begins on Tuesday. A 15th-century Flemish altarpiece, discovered by the parish priest Fr John O'Reilly during the clearance of a disused garage in the presbytery, will go under the hammer with an estimate of €80,000 - €120,000. Continue reading...
5 JULY 2014
IRISH WW1 VICTORIA CROSS WINNER HONOURED AT HOME - AT LAST
A few years ago, Bobby Campion, a Co. Laois publican, paid €120 for a photograph at a Sheppard's auction. It showed Irish first World War veterans, including his granduncle Jack Moyney, attending a Remembrance Sunday church service in Co Tipperary in the 1960s. As collectors know well, such a purchase can lead to years of absorbing research. Campion has since acquired other memorabilia and created a fascinating permanent exhibition about the life and exploits of Jack Moyney. The exhibition, in a snug of his rambling pub, Bob's Bar in Durrow, Co Laois, will be formally launched this afternoon by journalist Kevin Myers, an expert on Irish involvement in the first World War. Continue reading...
28 JUNE 2014
THE IRISH TIMES: ALL-HALLOWS ART FOR SALE AT SHEPPARD'S
The most keenly anticipated Irish auction of 2014 never took place. Sheppard's Auctioneers had been due to sell letters, written by former US first lady, Jackie Kennedy to Fr Joseph Leonard, a priest in the All Hallows seminary in Drumcondra, Dublin. But the letters, expected to sell for in excess of €1 million on July 10th, were withdrawn from sale when a dispute arose about their ownership. Sheppard's has bounced back with the most ambitious auction in the family-run firm's 70-year history, a major three-day sale from July 8th to 10th which is, effectively, a mini-series of three auctions. Among the items offered are other key pieces from the art and rare books collection in All Hallows. Continue reading...
26 JUNE 2014
THE IRISH TIMES: ALL HALLOWS TO SELL ART AND RARE BOOKS NEXT MONTH
Art and rare books from All Hallows College, the former Catholic seminary in Drumcondra, Dublin, are to be auctioned next month. Some 14 ecclesiastical paintings and 17 rare books have been consigned to Sheppard's auctioneers in Durrow, Co Laois, and will go under the hammer on July 9th and 10th. Continue reading...
16 JUNE 2014
THE IRISH TIMES: 'OLD PRESS' DESTINED FOR WEXFORD SKIP FOUND TO BE 15TH-CENTURY ALTARPIECE WORTH €100,000
A dust-covered "old press", destined for a skip in Co Wexford, has turned out to be a rare 15th-century Flemish altarpiece valued at €100,000. The discovery was made by the parish priest of Piercetown (also known as Piercestown), a village between Wexford town and Rosslare. It will go under the hammer next month at Sheppard's auctioneers in Durrow, Co Laois, with an estimate of €80,000 - €120,000. Continue reading...
13 MAY 2014
THE IRISH TIMES: LETTERS CACHE SALE A COUP FOR LAOIS AUCTION HOUSE
The archive titled "Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy: Letters to Fr Joseph Leonard, 1950-1964" contains more than 30 (mostly handwritten) letters. They will be sold in a single lot in an auction of rare books and manuscripts in the saleroom of Sheppard's Irish Auction House at Durrow, Co Laois, on June 10th. Auctioneer Philip Sheppard said he anticipated interest especially from the United States and expected the archive to sell for "in excess of €1 million". The estimate is between €800,000 and €1.2 million. He described it as the "most most significant lot ever to be offered at auction in Ireland". Continue reading...
13 MAY 2014
THE IRISH TIMES VIDEO FEATURE: 'GOD WILL HAVE A BID OF EXPLAINING TO DO'
Jackie Kennedy's long and close correspondence with a Dublin priest gives a unique insight into the private life she so jealously guarded, which continued through the White House Years. Continue reading...
13 MAY 2014
THE IRISH TIMES: LETTERS FROM JACKIE: THE UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN AN AMERICAN STUDENT AND AN IRISH PRIEST
It was the most unlikely friendship - a beautiful, wealthy American student in Washington DC and an elderly Irish priest living in semi-retirement, more than 3,000 miles away in Ireland. The correspondence between Jackie Kennedy and Fr Joseph Leonard began when she was 21 and he was 73. Continue reading...
13 MAY 2014
THE IRISH TIMES: LETTERS TO PRIEST PROVIDE RARE INSIGHT INTO LIFE OF JACKIE KENNEDY
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy's thoughts about her marriage to President John F Kennedy, their life in the White House and her reaction to his assassination are revealed in newly discovered letters she wrote to an Irish priest before and after she became first lady of the United States. Continue reading...
13 MAY 2014
THE IRISH TIMES: 'I KNOW I WILL MARRY THIS BOY, I DON'T HAVE TO THINK AND WONDER
Jackie almost didn't become a Kennedy. She wrote in her letters to Fr Joseph Leonard about her first serious boyfriend - and the man she believed she would marry - New York stockbroker John Husted. They became engaged in January 1952. Continue reading...
TOP LOT AT SHEPPARD'S: A PAIR OF FRENCH CABINETS, EXPECTED TO SELL FOR €180,000
A pair of French mahogany cabinets in Sheppard's auction next week is expected to sell for up to €180,000. Auctioneer Michael Sheppard described them as "the best and most valuable pieces of furniture to appear at auction in Ireland for many years" and the most important furniture sold by the family-run firm since its establishment in 1948. Continue reading...
BLUE AND WHITE CHINESE VASE SOLD FOR €170,000 - MORE THAN 60 TIMES THE ESTIMATE
Saturday, March 1, 2014
A blue and white Chinese vase sold for €170,000 - more than 60 times the estimate - at Sheppard's auction in Durrow, Co Laois, on Thursday. The 18th-century bottle vase was made in China during the reign of the Emperor Qianlong. Continue reading...
AUCTION REVIEW: THE IRISH TIMES
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
'Booming Asian art sales prompts Chinese delegation visit to Sheppard's auctioneers in Durrow, Co Laois' - The small town of Durrow in Co Laois has become an unlikely pivotal link in Ireland's relations with China. Sheppard's auction house has developed a flourishing business there selling Asian art and antiques and is attracting a growing Chinese clientele, in person and online. Continue reading...
SHEPPARD'S IRISH AUCTION HOUSE ORIENTAL ARTS LECTURE SERIES
At the School of Asian Studies, University College Cork
Professor Hi-ying WU, Dean of Yi-chang Academy, China
'On painting: the integration of Chinese and Western painting in style and soul'
Introduction by Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gealtacht
Venue: Royal Hibernian Academy, Ely Place, Dublin 2.
By invitation only: Wednesday 28 March 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
FAMINE-ERA JOURNAL SPARKS INTEREST IN IRISH CRICKET HISTORY
It was a special day for local schoolchildren in a Co. Laois village who were yesterday introduced to cricket - 165 years after their ancestors were paid to play the quintessential English game by the local landlord during the Great Famine. Continue reading...
PAGES FROM HISTORY...
Curiosities: Lavish costumes worn by pageboys at Dublin's viceregal court have come to light after 100 years, writes Michael Parsons. Think Downton Abbey is posh? Continue reading...
LAOIS LOCALS WERE PAID TO PLAY CRICKET DURING THE GREAT FAMINE
"Taking the Queen's shilling" has acquired an unexpected new meaning with the revelation that men in the midlands played cricket for a landlord's cash during the Great Famine. Continue reading...
SHEPPARD'S IRISH AUCTION HOUSE AT GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS, DUBLIN
(left - right) Ms. Virginia Teehan, UCC, An Taoiseach Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D. [Irish Prime Minister], Professor Guan Mingang, Artist, Professor Fau Hong, UCC, Mr. Michael Sheppard, Director, Sheppard's Irish Auction House at Government Buildings, Dublin.