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    A collection of four hexagonal basalt column sections similar to those found at Ireland’s famed Giants Causeway is the first of 628 lots at Whyte’s History, Literature and Collectibles sale in Dublin on April 16.   They have been in the garden of a County Donegal home for at least fifty years. Whyte’s said it is possible they were acquired from Kennedy Quarries, Portrush, Co. Antrim  in the vicinity of land now belonging to the National Trust. Similar examples were auctioned at Summers Place Auctions in association with Sotheby’s on 19 October 2010 (lot 132) and realised £18,500.

    The Giant’s Causeway is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland. The unusual stone landscape was formed around 50 to 60 million years ago  when Antrim was subject to intense volcanic activity. Rapidly cooling molten basalt formed an extensive lava plateau in columns. Legend has it that the Irish warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner.

    Examples of these stones in private collections are extremely rare. The Causeway area has been National Trust property for many years. It is illegal to remove anything from the site.  These ones are estimated at 3,000-4,000.

    UPDATE: They sold for 2,000.

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