The works, nine of Jack Butler Yeats model boats and a very special wooden travelling case lined with Jack’s own original watercolour drawings, joined the Niland Collection in 2018 and were part of a very special acquisition of a considerable body of artworks from the Yeats Family sale at Sotheby’s. A mystery donor had presented both the boats and the case as a permanent gift to the The Model following the sale.
The donated items had been sold by the adult grandchildren of the poet WB Yeats in an auction at Sotheby’s in September 2017 which realised £2 million. They had inherited the collection from their late parents Senator Michael Yeats (a son of the poet WB Yeats) and his wife the harpist Gráinne Yeats who lived in Dalkey, Co Dublin.
The boats were sold as a single lot in Sotheby’s for £1,750, just above the estimate of £1,000-£1,500. The wooden storage case, which features 19 ink and watercolour drawings by the artist that have been pasted onto the inside of the lid, sold for £15,000 at Sotheby’s – double the estimate of £7,000-£9,000.
We could not be more excited about having these wonderful pieces restored for exhibition in Spring 2021 and to bring the Yeats Family story to life for the children of Sligo in the years ahead.
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