A native American outfit sold for a hammer price of 320,000 at Fonsie Mealy’s auction in Castlecomer today. It had been estimated at 4,000-6,000. But this outfit – comprising hide poncho war shirt, matching leggings, headdress and purse – was in unusually good condition and had an interesting provenance.
It is held by family tradition to have come to Ireland through the family of Reymond Hervey de Montmorency (1835-1902), a major general in the British Army who married Rachel Mary Lumley Godolphin Michel, daughter of Field Marshall Sir John Michel at Montreal in Canada in 1866.
There was spirited bidding from two opposing US bidders in the room and an American bidder on the telephone. The telephone bidder eventually prevailed. Mealy’s think that the outfit may eventually end up on public display in a museum, but no further details are as yet available.
The auction was a huge success and brought in around 750,000.
(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for February 17, 2015).