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Record for Irish sculpture

19 October 2009Written by ATG Reporter

IS there still life in the Irish art market? The auction record for a piece of sculpture by an Irish artist was broken at Adam's 140-lot sale of Irish art on October 14.

Five lots by recently deceased Edward Delaney (1930-2009) sold for a total of €300,000 (£291,260). The top lot was King & Queen, two bronze figures towering 8ft 2in (2.5m) tall, which sold for €190,000 (£184,465), more than ten times its upper estimate.

The artist's son Eamon says this duo, constructed of looping tubular shapes, is a homage to Henry Moore, who sculpted a piece with the same title. Delaney later renamed the figures Famine Group, a strong theme throughout his oeuvre.

The five lots dating from the 1950s and 1960s came from a private collection in County Galway. They were displayed in the vendor's garden during the 1970s and '80s before going on loan to the Irish Museum of Modern Art where they have been until this summer.

The previous world record for a piece of Irish sculpture at auction was £95,000 for F.E. McWilliam's Eve in December 2006.

The buyer's premium was 15 per cent.

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