THIS c1890 Killarney Games Table made 12,500 at Woodwards in Cork in February 2010.
Killarney furniture is prized by collectors. It is of a distinctive and readily recognizable style, inlaid with scenes from local beauty spots and buildings like Muckross Abbey, Glena Cottage, Muckross House and Ross Castle.
Though not a native Irish species, arbutus wood grows abundantly in and around Killarney. Its use is typical of Killarney furniture. It is light coloured and close grained, and yellows with age. The tradition of Killarney furniture began with small items like card cases, snuff boxes and chess boards, aimed at the burgeoning 19th century tourist trade. The seasonal nature of this trade led in turn to the production of much more ambitious pieces like tables, cabinets, bureaux and davenports.
The games table sold at Woodwards previously changed hands in 1970, when it was purchased at an antiques shop in the Cotswolds for 185 pounds. The marquetry table, inlaid with arbutus and other local Killarney woods, is profusely decorated with local scenes and a central Muckross Abbey roundel. The interior is inlaid for chess, backgammon and cribbage boards. It went to a private local buyer.