Bonhams have for some time been a significant dealer in Irish Art thanks in part to their long-standing association with Adams Auctioneers in Dublin.
Among leading Irish artists sold by Bonhams in previous years is the esteemed Louis le Brocquy, arguably Ireland's finest living artist. Both 'Study for Reconstructed Head of Samuel Beckett' and 'Fantail Pigeon' commanded six figure prices.
Whilst the charming Dooega by Paul Henry was discovered on the Antiques Roadshow and Bonhams later sold the little landscape for over four times the low estimate. Valued at £40,000-60,000, competitive bidding saw it achieve over £170,000 - a strong investment.
Now, after twelve years of working jointly on Irish Art auctions, Bonhams and Adams have decided to hold separate sales, and Bonhams Irish Art Department is to be headed by Penny Day (pictured), who is also a Senior Specialist in the 20th Century British Department at Bonhams.
She joined 20th Century British & Irish Art at Bonhams in 2006, following a year with Christie's British & Irish Art division.
The Department will offer an annual sale including traditional and modern paintings, works on paper and sculpture, representing the very best of Irish art. The forthcoming sale on February 9th will include exceptional examples by Yeats, Lavery, O'Neill, Dillon and Nicol, among others.
Matthew Girling, Bonhams CEO Europe and the Middle East, comments: "Irish Art at Bonhams has a distinguished track record so I am delighted that we will now have our own dedicated Irish Art Department to celebrate the work of leading Irish artists."
Bonhams will hold its first sale of Irish Art on 9th February 2011 in London.
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