close
2018-03-27-2018-12-18 --- 2018-12-18 13:31:42--18
Hover to zoom in

Enlarge
LOT :29
William Conor RHA RUA ROI (1881-1968)
Water Buckets
Oil on canvas, 59.5 x 44.5cm (23½ x 17½'')
Estimate EUR : €20,000.00 - €30,000.00
Auction Date : 27-03-2018

Description

William Conor RHA RUA ROI (1881-1968)
Water Buckets
Oil on canvas, 59.5 x 44.5cm (23½ x 17½'')
Signed; signed again and inscribed with title and dated 1923 verso

Provenance: Important Irish Art Sale, these rooms, 8th October 1987, Catalogue No.26, where purchased by current owner.

Literature: Illustrated Irish Times 23rd January 1988 Review of the Year, where they thought it fetched a 'possible record price'.

 

William Conor began his career as a lithographer in David Allen & Sons in Belfast and this early training has certainly contributed to his unique style and technique as an artist and colourist. Conor believed that the artist should record his own epoch and give expression to that which is happening around him. (Máirín Allen, October 1942). In 1944 Richard Rowley wrote of Conor; He has devoted all his manhoods years to the praise and glory of the city which gave him birth; he has immortalised her beauty, and the steadfastness of her people, in works which will last to carry her fame to remote generationsǪ (Dictionary of Irish Artists). The artist himself was aware of the transitory nature of the scenes and society he was chronicling, and he anticipated their passing, ...when we have trampled on the best of the past and sacrificed everything of value to the much vaunted name of progress I trust these paintings and drawings will recall a world that is quickly disappearing and could soon be forgotten. (The Peoples Painter).

 

Water Buckets is a lively and uplifting composition featuring two happy women carrying buckets up a steep hill. A row of houses in the village or town behind them are wonderfully rendered as a pleasant contextual backdrop. Typically of Conor the background beyond these houses is minimal and limited to some green trees and hills and an expanse of grey sky. This allows the action of the working women pride of place and primary focus.

 

Unlike many of Conors paintings both figures in the work face directly out of the painting to meet the artists, now the viewers eye. This is an excellent strategy of engagement on the part of Conor in that it includes the viewer as an additional participant in the overall action. We feel both these women are walking purposefully in our direction, with water buckets laden, happy in their task, delighted to meet us in the road. There is a strong resemblance between both women in terms of stature and facial features. The daughter, of middle age, walks in front carrying two metal buckets. She is robed in a simple full-length light brown dress, sleeves rolled up and a beautifully rendered half apron, with brushstrokes capturing her purposeful stride. The buckets are held apart by a large circular metal hoop that prevents them from knocking against the womans legs as she carries them. The hoop and buckets was a popular carrying device particularly during the 1920s and was generally used by women and sometimes children in their daily task of fetching and carrying.

 

Behind this woman to the left, is apparently her elderly mother with grey hair carrying one bucket in her right hand. Again she is happy and contented. Her attire is brighter and this helps give her parity with the other figure even though she is behind. She wears a rich blue full length dress with a rust-red shawl, the colour of which is broken by a few simple white stripes. Although both figures face out of the composition there is an inherent intergenerational camaraderie that links the figures both in familial and shared task capacities. It is interesting to see that Conor has depicted the older lady in her shawl as this was an item of clothing that the artist felt was particularly becoming on women. When he was drawing the shawlies or mill girls he commented on the beauty of the shawl. Conor believed; [The shawl] isǪvery feminine. After all is it not in a sense one symbol of motherhoodǪI like to make crayon sketches of Ulster people in all walks of life. It was while I was making these that I came across the Ulster mill-lassie in her shawl and realised that this was the headgear most suited to bring out beauty and personality. (Judith Wilson, p.43)

 

Conor regularly made studies and paintings of women at work and their most common task was fetching or carrying. This could be water, fish, potatoes or turf depending on the scene selected by the artist. He continued to revisit this theme for many years. Examples include At the Pump 1908, where two female figures carry a bucket each and the foremost is smiling broadly. This is a much simpler study in coloured chalks however than Water Buckets 1923. Gathering potatoes, near Portadown c.1939 and Fisher girls at Ardglass 1945 are both detailed works where the two women in each share the carrying between them of the potatoes and fish respectively. In each of these compositions Conor has employed different techniques and he has also included more comprehensive backdrops of the field and trees where the women have collected potatoes and of ships and cranes behind the fisher girls. Bringing in the Turf and Gathering Potatoes (both undated), are similar compositions featuring two female figure groups but the toil of the task is more pronounced here and these groups lack the tangible glee of the figures at work in Water Buckets.

 

Marianne OKane Boal

 

 

Hammer Price : €20,000.00
  • en
  • fr
  • es
  • it
  • de
  • ru
  • zh-CN
  • el
  • nl

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PURCHASERS

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

Payment:

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