2017-09-27-2018-05-21 --- 2018-05-21 09:45:39--18
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LOT :160
Rory Breslin (b.1963)
Mask of the Nore
Bronze, 88.5cm high x 41.5 wide (35 x 16 ")
Estimate EUR : €5,000.00 - €7,000.00
Auction Date : 27-09-2017


Rory Breslin (b.1963)
Mask of the Nore
Bronze, 88.5cm high x 41.5 wide (35 x 16 ")
Artists Proof


The Mask of the Nore is a larger than life-size rendition of Edward Smyth's River-God keystone depiction on the Western front of Dublin's Customs House.

The mask bears a strong featured but reflective face surmounted by a seine net, a dragnet that was usually hung vertically in the water by the use of weights and buoyancy devices. Complete with ropes and floats, the head depicts salmon, trout and eels issuing from the net as an evocation of the abundance of such fish. The Nore was characterised by its net fisheries, particularly below its confluence with the Barrow. The river has a fairly steep gradient but the flow is checked by innumerable weirs, thus its slow flow is modelled in the beard reflecting the shallow glides that are the pre-dominant feature.

Vigorously modelled, the face reveals an interesting fusion of baroque energy and classical control. The only Custom House head with its eyes lowered, it indicates a powerful and unpredictable force of nature.

Designed by James Gandon, the Customs House was completed in 1791. Gandon engaged Smith to execute the various decorations in the frieze and in the interior of the building, and the fourteen heads symbolical of the principal Rivers of Ireland, on the keystones of the arches. Twelve small wax models of these Smyth exhibited in the Parliament House in 1802. They are described in the catalogue as "twelve models in wax emblematically representing the commercial rivers of Ireland, decorated with the produce of the country through which they flow, designed and executed in Portland stone at the new Custom House."



Hammer Price : €11,000.00
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1. Estimates and Reserves

Estimates are shown below each lot in this sale. All amounts shown are in Euro. The figures shown are provided merely as a guide to prospective purchasers. They are approximate prices which are expected, are not definitive and are subject to revision. Reserves, if any, will not be any higher than the lower estimate.

2. Artists Resale Rights (Droit de Suite) is NOT payable by purchasers

3. Paddle Bidding (In Person)

All intending purchasers must register for a paddle number before the auction. Please allow time for registration. We recommend reading "Buying at Adam's" for first time buyers from our web site www.adams.ie for more information. Please be aware that photographic identification by way of passport or driving licence will be required for new registrants, together with a secure valid credit card. This is for security purposes only. Potential purchasers are recommended to register on viewing days.

3. Buyer's Premium, Payment & Delivery

Buyers Premium:

The buyer shall pay the Auctioneer a commission at the rate of 20% on the Hammer Price plus VAT @ 23% (applied only to the commission) on all individual lots.

For example on a hammer price of €1,000, the Buyer's Premium amounts to €200 and the VAT on the Buyer's Premium amounts to €46.00, giving a total amount due of €1,246


All purchases must be paid for within two calendar days of the sale. Our payment terms are cash, banker's draft or cheque drawn on an Irish bank. Cheques will take a minimum of five working days to clear the bank, unless they have been vouched to our satisfaction prior to the sale, or you have a previous cheque payment history with Adam's. We also accept the following Credit Cards: Visa & Mastercard, subject to a credit card surcharge of 1.5% of the total invoice value, & American Express, subject to a surcharge of 3.65%. Debit cards, including Laser card payments, are not subject to a surcharge, however there are daily limits on Laser Card payments. Bank Transfer details are available on request. Please ensure that all bank charges are paid in addition to the invoice total, in order to avoid delays in release of the items. Goods will only be released upon clearance through the bank of all monies due.

Delivery takes place the day after the sale from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Uncollected lots may be subject to storage and handling charges unless specific arrangements have been made with the department. It is important to make contact with us in this regard to avoid any unnecessary charges. Adam's outsource all carriage & shipping requests to recommended third parties whom we deal with on a regular basis. This list is available upon request.

4. VAT Regulations

All lots are sold within the Auctioneer's VAT Margin Scheme unless advised to the contrary. Revenue Regulations require that the Buyer's Premium must be invoiced at a rate which is inclusive of VAT. This is not recoverable by any VAT registered buyer.

The VAT on buyer's premium may be zero rated for lots exported outside of the EU. This facility is available to non-residents and has strict guidelines in relation to availing of this scheme. Please contact a member of the accounts department to enquire further.

5. Absentee and Telephone Bids

We are happy to execute absentee or written bids for bidders who are unable to attend or can arrange for bidding to be conducted by telephone. Bid forms are available from our web site or you can leave absentee bids online by registering on www.adams.ie. Cancellation of bids must be confirmed 24 hours before the auction.

Bidding by telephone may be booked on lots with a minimum estimate of €500. Early booking is advisable as availability of lines cannot be guaranteed.

6. Condition Reports

The property is sold "as is" therefore imperfections/defects are not stated in the catalogue description. It is up to the intending purchaser to satisfy themselves as to the condition of a lot(s) before bidding. Condition reports may be requested in advance of sale subject to our terms of business. The report is an expression of opinion only and must not be treated as a statement of fact.

7. Conditions of Sale

All lots are being sold under the Conditions of Sale as printed in the sale catalogue and on display in the salerooms or via our web site www.adams.ie