Total set of Queens' Panels
Harry designed nine Queens’ panels for his patron, Laurence Waldron, for his library in Marino, Ballybrack, Killiney, Co. Dublin. He firstly created a set of preparatory drawings for the panels (Christies website: lot 35, Sale 7719). The inspiration for the panels was the poem by John Millington Synge entitled Queens, published in 1909. The poem satirically describes a selection of great women from the past (The Dolmen Press: 1986).
Each panel illustrates lines taken from Synge’s poem. Each panel is signed by Harry Clarke. James Hicks designed a black wrought-iron stand to exhibit the nine panels. The nine stained glass panels depicting the Queens were sold at Christies to a private collector on, 21 May 1997, lot 65 for £331,500. This was a world record price for the artist (Bowe: 2006).
Bowe, Gordon, N., A Regal Blaze–depiction of Synge's Queens, From: Irish Arts Review, vol 23, no 2, 2006, p. 96
____The Dolmen Press, J. M. Synge Queens, Harry Clarke, Monrath, County Laois, 1986
Photo credit: Mark Fiennes, by kind permission of Caroline Fiennes
Text by Lucy Costigan 2009