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Price shows why Conor collectors have every reason to dance a jig

10 January 2013Written by Alex Capon

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.

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