Revealed: $34,277 second-hand tool kit shows Ireland's art is thriving

Used paints, stained palettes and an array of equipment have sold for €24,000 ($34,277). A hefty sum indeed for a load of used art materials...

Yet these tools didn't belong to any ordinary artist, but instead the celebrated Irish painter Jack B Yeats.

An assortment of the contents of Yeats's studio, including many items used to create his famous masterpieces, were sold by fine art auctioneers Whyte's in Dublin, yesterday (May 30).

Alongside the painting ephemera, more personal items were also included in the collection. These included Yeats' sketchbooks, an address book and other belongings.

These singular pieces were backed with impeccable provenance having been catalogued and managed by the artist's niece, Anne.

Tools, paints and rare manuscripts were included in the Keats collection

The collection was formerly presented by Anne to the National Gallery of Ireland in 1996.

And this isn't the first 2011 auction success for Ireland's much loved artist...

Sotheby's Irish art auction in London back in April saw Yeats take the sale's #2 spot. His 1948 work, The Child of the Sea, sold for £229,250 ($377,625).

Meanwhile, Whyte's Dublin sale also saw a painting by Paul Henry bring more than €105,000 ($149,965), a record price for Whyte's so far this year.

Yeats' latest success shows that the markets for both Irish and British artists of the 20th century are going strong.

Elsewhere, Christie's recently posted its highest ever total for a 20th-century British Art auction in London, with the likes of LS Lowry and Stanley Spencer ruling the auction block.

Alongside Keats, fellow Irish artist Paul Henry enjoyed record-breaking success at Whyte's sale

In the end the auction's sales totalled  £17.9 million, prompting UK newspaper The Telegraph to run the headline "The week Britain bounced back."

Meanwhile, the Mei/Moses All Art Index continues to far outperform traditional indices like the S&P 500-stock index (by 18.2% over three years).

Evidence that, if you do your research and make the right choices,  historically significant artworks are continually offering stable alternative investments.


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