The Joe Barrett GAA medal collection was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s Rare Books and Collectors sale in Kilkenny on September 28. In 1929 Joe Barrett was the first Kerryman to lift the Sam Maguire trophy and his medal collection sold for a hammer price of 40,000. It went to a private collector in Kerry. The Phil Shanahan of Toomevara GAA medal collection went for 19,000. A facsimile of the Book of Kells made 5,000 and a Seamus Heaney handwritten foolscap manuscript critique of Celtic Art, an introduction by Ian Finlay made 2,000. A pamphlet presented by Heaney to Sean White complete with a three verse poem in Heaney’s own handwriting made 1,700 and an 1840 edition of The Ancient Music of Ireland edited by Bunting made sold for 1,600.
Stirrings Still by Samuel Beckett, with illustrations by Louis le Brocquy and signed by both sold for 1,500. A 1935 limited edition of Ulysses by James Joyce with illustrations by Henri Matisse signed by the artist sold for 1,400.
(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for September 23, 2016)