There was high excitement at The Auction Centre, Leyburn on March 30 when Sean Keating’s Ulysses off Connemara shot to a remarkable £400,000 (plus 15/10 per cent premium), a record for the artist and a house record for Tennants.
The 4ft (1.22m) oil on hardboard, depicting figures off the
west coast of Ireland preparing to leave for North America, had
been consigned for sale by a south Yorkshire vendor whose family
had bought it for £250 when it was exhibited at the Royal Scottish
Academy in 1952.
Preserved behind a thick coat of nicotine - it promised a very
rewarding clean - the emotive scene, estimated at £30,000-50,000,
prompted bidding from a dozen telephones and a further six paddles
in the room. The Irish buyer, who was in the room, was thought to
represent a private client.
The previous record for Sean Keating (1889-1977) was the €170,000
(£114,000) paid for Self Portrait - Man of Aran at James Adam of
Dublin in May 2004.
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