Oil portrait painting of Oonagh Guinness by Philip de László soars to $324,500 at Ahlers & Ogletree
A monumental oil on canvas portrait of Anglo-Irish socialite, society hostess and art collector Oonagh Guinness (1910-1995), by Philip de László (Austro-Hungarian/U.K., 1869-1937), soared to $324,500 at the two-session auction held Sept. 12-13.
By: Ahlers & Ogletree, Inc.
The painting, officially titled The Honourable Mrs. Philip Leyland Kindersley, nee Oonagh Guinness, later Lady Oranmore and Browne, was the centerpiece lot in an auction that featured items from the spectacular Atlanta estate home known as White Oaks, a fine mansion residence brimming with superb decorative arts from high-end retailers and world-class auctions.
The oil rendering was a ¾ length portrait depicting one of the three "Golden Guinness Girls" and the daughter of Arthur Ernest Guinness (1876-1949), an engineer and the second son of brewing magnate Edward Guinness (1847-1927), a prominent businessman and philanthropist who, as head of the family's eponymous brewing business, rose to become the wealthiest man in Ireland.
Ms. Guinness was shown seated and wearing a white chiffon dress with green sash and holding a wide brimmed hat. Bidders pushed the 1931 work, measuring 52 ½ inches by 39 inches (sight, less frame), well past its $30,000-$60,000 estimate.
Philip de László was an artist known for his portraits of royal and aristocratic personages. In 1900, he married into the Guinness family himself by wedding Lucy Guinness and he became a British subject in 1914. The painting of Oonagh Guinness brought the second highest sum ever seen at auction for the artist. Another piece sold in December 2019 at Christie's in London for about $350,000.
The White Oaks estate was filled with fine decorative arts from names like Steuben, Baccarat, Hermes, Christofle, Tiffany & Company, Lalique, Ralph Lauren Collection, Buccellati, Moser, Fornasetti and Asprey; as well as fine antiques from the Doris Duke Collection, acquired from around the world and previously sold at Christies. Most brought robust prices in the auction.
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