Sir Daniel Donohue’s ‘white glove’ collection of fine antiques and precious objects grosses $4 million

LOS ANGELES  – An April 4-5 sale titled “The Collection of Sir Daniel Donohue” recorded an extraordinary result when the auction brought more than $4-million from nearly 1,000 lots. Fierce bidding was observed throughout all sections of the multi-category sale for European furniture, objets de vertu, silver, decorative and fine arts, according to auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields.  
“The firm was honored to offer works from the Collection of Sir Daniel Donohue,” said Andrew Jones, Los Angeles Director of European Furniture and Decorative Arts at Bonhams & Butterfields. “In addition to the standing room only gallery, numerous phone and absentee bids from the Middle East, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Israel, Russia, Canada, Brazil, England and across Europe, were seen. Many clients also made use of Bonhams online bidding tool. In total, approximately 1,000 registered bidders participated in the two-day auction. We look forward to continued success during the Donohue section of the May Sunset Estate Auction.”
Roman carved stone panel of Mithras TauroctonusHighlights from the sale includes a highly sought after Roman carved stone panel of Mithras Tauroctonus from the 2nd/3rd century A.D. (shown right), which sold for $109,800. Panels such as these would be the centerpiece of a Mithraeum, one of the underground temples of this mystery cult. Popular among the Roman Legions, Mithraea have been discovered in all corners of the Empire, from Syria to Britain. It is commonly thought that the iconography represents various celestial objects and events.

Additional works of note included a group of three Spanish Colonial polychrome decorated carved wood crèche figures, 19th century, changing hands for $69,540; an Italian micromosaic panel depicting the Roman Forum, possibly by Domenico Moglia, circa 1850, selling  for $67,100; a pair of Venetian Rococo parcel gilt and blue painted consoles, third quarter 18th century, bringing $51,240; an Italian carved marble strigillated sarcophagus, after the antique, early 16th century, selling for $48,800; a magnificent pair of early Victorian silver wine coolers, Reily & Storer, London, 1839, selling for $46,360, and a Austrian silver gilt enamel and gem set carved rock crystal covered cup modeled in the form of a fabulous bird, selling for $46,360.

Tiffany Lamps and Metalware: An Illustrated Reference to Over 2000 Models: $165.75 at

Auctions featuring property from the Collection of Sir Daniel Donohue will continue on May 22-23, 2011, during Bonhams & Butterfields Sunset Estate Auction in Los Angeles. The collections has a strong selection of furniture and decorative arts marked by a handsome green and white Continental porcelain armorial dinner service in the English taste (estimated to sell for $700 to $900); a group of German blanc de chine porcelain table decorations (estimated to bring $500 to $700); antique playing cards and a collection of 20th Century smoking related articles comprised of cigarette holders, ashtrays and decorative matchbooks (expected to sell for between $100 and $150) as well as a strong selection of ecclesial decorations.   
Property from the Collection of Sir Daniel Donohue is part of the following auctions at Bonhams in London:  Antiquities on April 13, 2011, The Russian Sale on June 8, 2011 and Old Master Paintings on July 6, 2011. 

To learn more visit Bonhams & Butterfields.

About Sir Daniel Donohue

Recognized for his contributions to the community of Southern California and as head of the Dan Murphy Foundation, Sir Daniel has received numerous accolades from the Catholic Church. Honors bestowed include having been named Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Knight Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Knight of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great. At the request of His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Manning, Pope Paul VI named Sir Daniel a Gentleman-in-Waiting-to-His Holiness-the-Pope, one of the highest honors the Papacy may confer on a layman.

Under Sir Daniel’s direction, the Dan Murphy Foundation has been recognized as a leading supporter of cultural institutions, schools, and universities, as well as organizations dedicated to assistance of the elderly and less fortunate. One of the Foundation’s first major contributions was that of the Countess Bernardine Murphy Donohue Rare Book Reading Room at the University of San Francisco. The space was named for Sir Daniel’s late wife and daughter of Southern California businessman and philanthropist, Dan Murphy.

Read more about the Collection Of Sir Daniel Donohue at Bonhams

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