Irish Artist Directory

Joseph Higgins (Irish Artist Directory)

Full Name: Joseph Higgins

Lived: 1885 - 1925


Artist Biography

Born in Ballincollig in 1885 just outside Cork, his father William was originally a teacher and historian until he lost his job after serving a term in prison after the Fenian Rising of 1867. Joseph originally got work as a clerk at the tea and coffee merchants Newsom & Sons where he became friendly with fellow worker Terence MacSwiney. Higgins soon got attracted to the Crawford School of Art a few streets away and enrolled as a night student in 1906. He married fellow student Katherine Turnbull in 1915 and they moved and settled in Youghal. Both won several prizes at the school and at exhibition including the Cork Exhibition Scholarship and the RDS and received good reviews at the RHA. Two of his best known pieces ''Strachaire Fir'' and ''Toiler of the sea'' are in the Collection of The Crawford Gallery. When Higgins died of tuberculosis at the age of thirty-nine in 1925, he left behind a small but substantial body of work, of which nineteen sculptures survive. However these works were never cast in bronze within his lifetime, due to the expense of the material.

Following Higgins’ death Seamus Murphy, fellow Cork sculptor who married Higgins’ daughter in 1944, cast them in bronze. Murphy said of Higgins “it has delight for everyone who looks at it, but a fellow craftsman gets even more than that. He sees how the material was respected, how the problem of design was solved, the masses arranged in relation to one another, the shapes broken up by shadows skilfully placed as accents of light.” 




Joseph Higgins Art Previously On Sale at Adam’s Auctioneers

Joseph Higgins (1885-1925) Woman and Child (1920) Bronze, 40cm (16'') high Signed and dated 1920 ...

Hammer Price €26,000.00

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JOSEPH HIGGINS Daughter of Lir (c.1923) Bronze, 58.5cm high (23'') Literature: Joseph Higgins by...

Hammer Price €8,000.00

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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