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  • Posts Tagged ‘Fonsie Mealy’


    Thursday, November 30th, 2017
    Fonsie Mealy will offer a book of Irish photos described as the Holy Grail of  illustrated Irish books at his rare book sale at the Tara Towers Hotel in Dublin on December 5.   W D Hemphill of Clonmel was one of the pioneers of early photography in Ireland. HIs book of stereoscopic illustrations of Clonmel and the surrounding country, including abbeys, castles and scenery, dates to 1860, is in fine condition and estimated at 7,000-10,000.
    Also of great topographical interest is an original Irish coloured plate book of James Malton’s views of Dublin taken in 1791. This is estimated at 7,000-9,000. Other rarities at this large upcoming sale include the unauthorised US first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses published in eleven issues of Two World’s Monthly.  This is estimated at 1,200-1,500.
    The auctin will include the library of the late Capt. H.C.P. Hamilton of Moyne, Co. Laois, the final portion of the library from Barne, Co. Tipperary, books from the family of W.B. Yeats, the fishing library of A.A. Luce and maps, atlases, manuscripts and fine wines.


    Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

    John Butler Yeats – A fine pen-and- ink Portrait of his son W.B. from 1886 (4,000-6,000)

    The Yeats family collection provided the top lots at Fonsie Mealy’s sale in Castlecomer today.  The most expensive lot sold was the original Mosada portrait of WB Yeats by his father which made a hammer price of 21,000.  It had been estimated at 4,000-6,000.

    A small pocket sketch book belonging to William Butler Yeats sold for 17,000 over a top estimate of 5,000. A self portrait by John Butler Yeats made 13,000, the Yeats family harp made 11,000, William Butler Yeats’s spectacles made 10,000 and the Yeats family bookcase sold for 9,500 at hammer.

    The sale realised  550,000 on the hammer and 85% of lots on offer found buyers.

    (See posts on for November 10 and November 2, 2017)


    Friday, November 10th, 2017

    A collection of remarkable personal artefacts from the Yeats family will come up at Fonsie Mealy’s auction in Castlecomer on November 14.  The Yeats Family Collection – The Final Chapter,  includes paintings, letters and personal memorabilia.  Many of them have not been seen before.  The auctioneers say that this will be the last significant tranche of Yeats items to ever go to auction and that they offer a unique insight into Irish literary and artistic history through the eyes of the family.  This is a fine art sale of around 800 lots in total. It will feature Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian furniture; silver, clocks, militaria, carpets, light fixtures, musical instruments; stained glass and paintings including a selection of modern Irish Art. The catalogue is online.  Here is a small selection:

    (See post on for November 2, 2017)

    Yeats (William Butler) 1865-1939. A small pocket Sketch Book, morocco-
    backed, 18cms x 10cms about 50 pp good quality paper, clearly inscribed inside front cover in the poets hand, W.B. Yeats (3,000-5,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 17,000 AT HAMMER

    Rossanagh, Ashford, Co. Wicklow A very early and rare 19th Century Architects wooded Model, of the 3 storey early 18th Century red brick mansion (1,500-2,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,200 AT HAMMER

    Irish Georgian style mahogany triple top fold-over Tea & Card Table, by Robert Strahan & Co., Dublin (2,000-3,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,200 AT HAMMER

    The Yeats family harp (1,500-2,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 11,000 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

    Fonsie Mealy will offer a selection of lots from the Yeats family at his auction in Castlecomer on November 14.  There are sketchbooks, furniture including the family bureau, silver, musical instruments and personal effects.  The sale of around 700 lots will feature items from other estates including Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian furniture, stained glass and modern Irish art.  The catalogue is online. Here is a sample.


    John Butler Yeats – A fine pen-and- ink Portrait of his son W.B. from 1886 (4,000-6,000)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 21,000 AT HAMMER


    Monday, October 2nd, 2017

    THE FARMER by Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy

    From Phil Lynott to J.  P. Dunleavy to the Thunder and Lightning final of 1939  Fonsie Mealys rare book sale in Kilkenny on October 3 is brimful of interest.  Lot 471 is an archive of records, posters and programmes relating to Phil Linnott and Thin Lizzy which includes their first LP, The Farmer (1,000-1,500).

    A first UK edition of The Ginger Man by the recently deceased J,.P. Dunleavy is estimated at 150-220 and the programme for the 1939 final in which Kilkenny beat Cork is estimated at 300-400.   Around 800 lots will come under the hammer.

    UPDATE: This was unsold.

    (See post on for September 29, 2017)


    Friday, September 29th, 2017

    From National Ploughing Championship programmes from the 1950’s to a rare first edition of At Swim Two Birds Fonsie Mealy’s rare book and collectors sale at the Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny on October 3 is brimful of interest. The catalogue, which is online, lists 800 lots.  The first edition of Flann O’Brien’s book from 1939 is of particular rarity as most copies were destroyed during the London Blitz.  This one is estimated at 800-1,200.  Lots on offer range from a history of the Anglo Irish landed gentry to Mohammad Ali.  Here is a small selection:

    National Ploughing Championship programmes from 1953 and 1955 (60-90)  UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR 170 EURO.

    First edition of At Swim Two Birds by Flann O’Brien (800-1,200)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,400 AT HAMMER

    Five Cuala Press original hand coloured prints (300-400)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 170

    This centenary memoir of the Kilkenny Hunt is estimated at 140-200


    Thursday, July 27th, 2017

    The Crouching Venus

    A painting by Kenneth Webb was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s summer art sale in Castlecomer this year.  The Fish Market at Roundstone sold for a hammer price of 15,000. A set of four stained glass panels of saints from The Earley Studios in Dublin sold for 11,000 at hammer. A 17th century Italian School of Moses Striking the Rock attributed to Bernardo Cavilling made 10,500 at hammer and The Crouching Venus, a white marble Italian School c1800 sculpture originally at Powerscourt sold for 8,000 at hammer.

    Other top hammer prices included a pair of Irish duelling pistols (8,000), a 12 bore Purdey shotgun (5,600), a stained glass panel of St. Patrick (5,500), an oval enamel plaque portrait by J. Sadler, Liverpool (5,200), two Carrara marble statues of The Blessed Virgin and The Sacred Heart (5,000) and an Irish George III period bookcase (5,000).

    (See posts on for July 25 and July 22,  2017)


    Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

    A cased pair of early 19th century Irish flintlock duelling pistols by McDermot, Dublin sold for 8,000 at the opening day of Fonsie Mealy’s two day sale in Castlecomer today. A late 18th century Irish George III flintlock blunderbuss by Rigby, Dublin sold for 2,100 at hammer and a similar vintage blunderbuss by G. Pepper, Dublin made 1,600.

    A large oval enamel plaque portrait of Frederick III, King of Prussia estimated at 150-200 sold for a hammer price of 5,200. It was from the collection of Senator George Sigerson from his dispersal sale by Battersby and Co. in July 1925 and thence by descent through the Humphries family.  The sale continues tomorrow.

    A cased pair of Irish flintlock duelling pistols by McDermot, Dublin

    J. Sadler – Liverpool, enamel portrait of Frederick III, King of Prussia


    Saturday, July 22nd, 2017
    Historic stained glass from the Convent of Mercy in Castletownbere,  Ernest Bewley’s desk and a white marble crouching Venus once at Powerscourt House are among the lots to tempt collectors at Fonsie Mealy’s two day sale in Castlecomer on July 25 and 26.
    The prime piece from among eight stained glass panels is entitled St. Patrick Our National Apostle.  Estimated at 4,000-6,000 it depicts King Loegaire, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, King of Pagans and Barbarians, being baptised and received into the catholic church. It was made  by Earley and Company (1861-1975), one of the largest ecclesiastical  decorators in Ireland and the UK.  The rest of the eight  panels depict various saints, Our Lady and the Sacred Heart with estimates from 700 to 6,000.
    Lot 550 is a late 19th century Chinese export wooden desk owned and used by Ernest Bewley, founder of the eponymous oriental cafes. It is estimated at 2,000-3,000.  The catalogue cover lot is an Italian crouching Venus which was in the Great Salon at Powerscourt in the 1800’s.  Powerscourt and most of its contents were destroyed by fire in 1974. It is estimated at 7,000-9,000.

    The auction will feature a collection of more than 70 lots of militaria built up over the past 40 years. Among these is a pair of Irish flintlock duelling pistols by McDermot (Dublin) estimated at 5,000-7,000.  There is a selection of Georgian and Victorian furniture form Kevin Castle in Co. Cavan. Lot 183, Lord Nelson’s shoe buckle was formerly in the Bridgeport collection and the vendor believes it to have been originally held by Nelson’s brother William.  Art includes a group of five original watercolours relating to the 1798 rebellion by  Arthur David McCormick for a London book marking the centenary of the rebellion in 1898.  This is estimated at 4,500-5,500. A depiction of The Fish Market at Roundstone by Kenneth Webb is estimated at 10,000-15,000. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    St. Patrick, Our National Apostle from the Mercy Convent, Castletownbere  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,500 AT HAMMER

    Chinese export desk owned by Ernest Bewley  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    The Fish Market at Roundstone by Kenneth Webb UPDATE: THIS MADE 15,000 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

    The Phoenix rises again at Fonsie Mealy’s.

    A Phoenix with strong Dublin connections comes up at Fonsie Mealy’s Chatsworth summer fine art sale in Castlecomer on July 25 and 26.  The Phoenix Rises Again  is described in the catalogue as an extremely rare and important 19th Century Irish cast iron model of The Phoenix rising from the flames.  It is from the Royal Phoenix Iron Works, Parkgate St., Dublin and purchased by the father of the present owner more than 80 years ago.  It was mounted on the wall of the company’s premises at 42b Parkage Street, (later Lucan Dairy) and was removed in 1963 when the wall was demolished to make way for a filling station which was built on the site.

    The present example bears a striking resemblance to the ‘Phoenix’ mounted on the column on the main road in the Phoenix Park. Two others similar were located at the side gate of The Phoenix Lodge, which are illustrated in Thomas Milton’s “Views of Seats and Demesnes of the Nobility and Gentry of Ireland,” printed in 1783. The Phoenix Lodge became known later as The Viceregal Lodge, and later Aras an Uachtarain, the residence of the President of Ireland.

    This one is in two parts, the flames approx. 41cms (16″) high, 72cms (28″) diameter, with the eagle, 52cms (20 1/2″) high, and wing spread 98cms (38 1/2″) wide, painted in silver and rust red. Lot 366 in an auction of over 1,000 lots is estimated at 2,000-3,000.