The highly distinctive works on paper by William Conor (1884-1968) documenting working-class life in Ulster come up pretty regularly at auction, mainly because there are simply a lot of them around.
In fact, the artist carried a sketchbook with
him at all times, often drawing whilst hiding it behind a newspaper
in order "to garner many happy expressions" that struck him as
interesting or significant.
However, most that turn up nowadays are the
numerous examples left behind in his Belfast studio after his
death. They tend to be of lower quality than those exhibited and
sold during his lifetime.
Two of the latter, though, were seen at the
latest Irish art sales series in Dublin - one at
Whyte's on November 26 and one at
Adam's on December 4.
Both were signed crayon drawings on card
measuring 18 x 14in (46 x 36cm).
Adam's example, Dancing the Jig, was
estimated at €10,000-15,000, and was probably the more commercial
since the highest prices tend to come for those with an element of
music and dance. It sold at €24,000 (£20,340).
The example at Whyte's, Homewards, showed a couple
travelling back home with fishing baskets. Estimated at
€12,000-15,000, it took €20,000 (£16,950), selling to an American
buyer from Illinois.