Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact

    This pair of fossilised Irish elk antlers will come up at Sotheby’s in London on April 11 with an estimate of £20,000-£30,000. One has four points, the other eight and there are restorations. Although the elk inhabited a vast expanse of central Europe and Asia, the largest concentration of its remains have been found mainly in the marl underlying bogland of Ireland, giving rise to the popular nomenclature of this species. The high calcium carbonate content of the marl is conducive to the preservation of bones, and examples of these ancient antler specimens have been discovered in Counties Waterford, Clare and Cork, many of them in caves. Many have featured in Irish banqueting halls following a centuries-old tradition, particularly during the 19th century, when it was fashionable for such antiquarian relics to be displayed in baronial halls. An instance of this is recorded in an 1850s interior drawing of the new manor at Adare, Co. Limerick. The antlers are part of a sale of Classic Design and are listed in the catalogue as property from Ollerton Grange, a lavish Cheshire mansion. The sale includes a set of 12 Irish George III silver dinner plates from the Drogheda Service by Robert Calderwood (£8,000-£12,000) and a pair of Irish silver soup tureens by Calderwood (£10,000-£15,000). UPDATE: THE ANTLERS WERE UNSOLD

    Comments are closed.