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    Sunday, April 14th, 2019

    With everything from a portrait of Lord Tracton to the Dennis silver tray which recounts in Victorian detail the sterling efforts of a magistrate in Wicklow to repress insubordination along the borders of Wicklow, Carlow and Kildare in 1822 the Fortgranite house contents sale by Fonsie Mealy  next Tuesday offers much to tempt collectors.  Among more than 850 lots are a Qing Dynasty cabinet, war medals from both World Wars, a Boer war letter from Winston Churchill and a Qing Dynasty cabinet.  Fortgranite in Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow was the home of the Dennis family for three centuries.  They were originally Swifts, related to Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick’s, satirist and creator of Gulliver’s Travels, who changed their name to inherit an estate at Tracton in Cork. This inheritance was highlighted on these pages last Saturday through lot 428, letters patent on vellum from King George III granting the title Baron Tracton to James Dennis, son of a timber merchant of Kinsale, who died childless in 1782.The lavishly decorated Dennis silver tray, made in Dublin in 1822, was presented by local bigwigs to Thomas Stratford Dennis:  ” ….  for his conspicuous Zeal and active intrepidity as a Magistrate of their County And for his successful exertions in repressing the spirit of insubordination and contempt for the Laws which prevailed along the borders of the Counties of Wicklow Carlow and Kildare in the year 1822″.  That year marked an ongoing economic slump following the end of the Napoleonic Wars, a disastrous potato crop failure and agrarian unrest.Lot 358 is a tooled gilt binding published in London in 1741 and estimated at 1,000-1,500. By Lewis Riccoboni it is an historical account of the Italian, Spanish, French, English, Dutch, Flemish and German theatres.  The carved hardwood Qing Dynasty cabinet, purchased in Hong Kong, is estimated at 2,000-3,000. A portrait of Esther Johnson in the style of James Latham is estimated at 7,000-10,000.  She was Dean Swift’s Stella and rumoured to have been his wife.

    UPDATE: The sale realised 660,000 on the hammer and was 95% sold. The top lot was an Irish George II hunt table which made 25,000 at hammer.

    A 1741 edition of the history of theatres in Europe UPDATE: THIS MADE 620 AT HAMMER: THE DENNIS SILVER TRAY SOLD FOR 12,000


    Thursday, April 11th, 2019

    THE Irish Library sale at James Adam in Dublin on April 17 contains some remarkable pieces of Irish furniture and numerous collectible items. There is a collection of militaria relating to the Duke of Albany’s 72nd Highland Regiment , art by Richard Carver and Edwin Hayes and a collection of taxidermy. The catalogue is online.

    A PAIR OF IRISH CARVED MAHOGANY SIDE TABLES, with breccia marble tops (30,000-50,000) UPDATE: THESE WERE UNSOLD


    Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

    Contents from Fortgranite at Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow – home of the Dennis family for three centuries – will be offered by Fonsie Mealy on April 16. The family, originally named Swift, is related to Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, author, satirist and creator of Gulliver’s Travels. They changed their name for inheritance purposes. Among 850 lots is a portrait of Esther Johnson in the style of James Latham estimated at 7,000-10,000.  Dean Swift’s Stella she is rumoured to have been his wife.

    Other lots include a Boer War letter from Winston Churchill addressed to “Captain M.J.C. Dennis, K Section ‘Pompous’, 2 nd Cav. Bde, South African Field Army”, dated 4 March 1901, signed “Winston S. Churchill” and written on House of Commons notepaper. Captain Dennis took exception to Churchill’s assertion that the Boers had made more effective use of their Maxim guns than the British gunners. This is Churchill’s carefully-worded reply, in which he does not recede from his opinion.

    Late 18th century/early 19th century Irish School portrait of Esther Johnson (Stella) UPDATE: THIS MADE 6,000 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, March 17th, 2019

    Oil paintings and antique furniture from a Georgian residence in Kinsale will form the bulk of lots at the Lynes and Lynes auction in Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork next Saturday (March 23).  The executors sale of contents from DeCourcey House at Scilly  will feature books of Cork interest including Somerville and Ross first editions and two lots from the White Star liner RMS Celtic which ran aground in Cork Harbour in 1928. Lot 100 is a large 17th century portrait in the manner of Sir Anthony van Dyck (10,000-15,000).  There is a battle scene in the manner of Paul de Vos (Flemish 1595-1678) (1,500-3,000) and an oval military portrait. An Irish 19th century rent table  in the style of Williams and Gibton is estimated at ,500-2,000.  Other furniture includes an Irish early 19th century gothic style bookcase (600-1,000), a set of 12 Cork 11-bar dining chairs (3,000-4,000) and an arched gilt 19th century overmantle mirror with twin side columns (2,000-3,000). Books include Adventures Amidst The Equatorial Forests and Rivers of South America and In the West Indies And the Wilds of Florida by Villiers Stuart of Dromana on the River Blackwater. Sketches in India taken at Hyderabad and Secunderabad by Captan Allan N. Scott comes with 101 photographs and Geology Familiarly Illustrated by CMW from 1859 contains 31 hand coloured lithograph scenes. Two ships chairs on metal bases from the RMS Celtic are estimated at 200-300 and a ships library table is estimated at 200-300. A cased model of a Stena Line ferry is estimated at 1,500-2,000.  The silver on offer includes a George III fox head stirrup cup, London 1802 (2,000-3,000). Among the books is a long run of Capuchin annuals including the year 1966.


    Monday, March 4th, 2019

    Fonsie Mealy will offer an interesting and broadly based selection of 535 lots at a house contents auction in Birr on March 5.  Viewing is underway at 11 Oxmantown Mall, Birr and the sale is to be held at the County Arms Hotel.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    UPDATE:  The sale realised in excess of €325,000 on the hammer with 85% sold.  The top price of 36,000 was paid for an 18th century Augsburg marquetry table box; a three stone diamond ring made 20,000 and  a 19th century Minton majolica two handled urn made 16,000.

    (See post on for February 27, 2019)

    Regency mahogany Sofa Table, c. 1820, attributed to Gillows  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,700 AT HAMMER

    Attributed to Garret Morphy (Irish 1650 – 1716) “Portrait of Sir William Parsons, Bart,” died 1740  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,800 AT HAMMER

    A pair of Imari jars and covers UPDATE: THESE MADE 560 AT HAMMER

    Large Panorama Illustrated London News: “The City of Dublin,”.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 400 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

    Fonsie Mealy’s sale of contents from  11 Oxmantown Mall, Birr, Co. Offaly on March 5 offers a wide variety of antique furniture, art and collectibles. Estimates in the 534 lot sale vary from 2,000-3,000 for a suite of three Regency ornate French giltwood pelmets to 450-650 for a Georgian door lock, 450-650 for an English stick barometer and 2,000-3,000 for a brass hall lantern. Viewing is at the house on March 3 and 4. The sale is to be held at the County Arms Hotel in Birr.   The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    George IV rosewood Breakfast Table, attributed to Gillows, c1825  UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,000 AT HAMMER

    Frederick Buck, Irish School, c. 1771 – 1840 Miniature: A good oval half length “Portrait of Man in Blue Velvet Jacket,”  UPDATE: THIS MADE 340 AT HAMMER

    Edith Oenone Somerville, 1858 – 1949 Watercolour: “He’ll not lave his den for them,” watercolour.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 700 AT HAMMER

    Geogian brass bound door lock and receiver  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,000 AT HAMMER

    Suite of three French giltwood pelmets  UPDATE: THESE MADE 3,500 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, February 23rd, 2019
    In Durrow viewing gets underway today for two days of sales at Sheppards titled Paradigms and the Unexpected on February 26 and 27.
    This auction offers more than 800 lots of furniture, decorative art, wines, sculpture, fine art, rugs, jewellery, silver, miitaria, taxidermy and Chinese and Japanese objets d’art over three sessions.
    There is an interesting selection of furniture with everything from an Irish 18th century carved giltwood console table to Chinese lacquered cabinets, silver tables, carved oriental hardwood tables, antique Regency pier mirrors, Qing ceremonial furniture, a Grand Tour specimen marble top table and an 18th century lacquered cabinet on stand.

    Heading the small selection of wine is a cased lot of 12 bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2009 (4,000-6,000).  The auction gets underway with 34 lots of affordable jewellery followed by art including a Cork School portrait of a man smoking a pipe by Charles Henry Cook (500-700) and a 19th century terracotta bust of George Bernard Shaw by H. Bain Smith (800-1,200). There are bronze sculptures and English Civil War helmets and breastplates, Persian rugs and a Donegal runner.  The catalogue is online.

    (See post on for February 20, 2019)

    Irish 18th century carved giltwood console table

    An 18th century lacquered cabinet on stand


    Friday, February 22nd, 2019
    Over 1,000 lots will come under the hammer in Dublin on March 5 and 6 when Matthews of Oldcastle offer contents from Our Lady Queen of Peace convent and nursing home off Garville Avenue, Rathgar.  This is a clearance auction which will include vintage items and antiques, medical equipment, the residual contents of a house on nearby Temple Road and a variety of other vendors including Oriental lots from an American collector.  Orwell Private is refurbishing and modernising the facility.  Viewing gets underway on March 2.

    This figure is lot 541

    A consul table


    Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

    A pair of Qing Dynasty famille rose peach bowls has come up as an important late entry to Sheppards two day sale in Durrow on Feburary 26-27.  Lot 849 is described as:  Qing Dynasty, with deep rounded sides resting on a short foot, enamelled in vivid tones of rose-pink, shades of green, and yellow, decorated with flowers and peaches, the base inscribed in underglaze blue, with a six-character reign mark of Yongzheng within a double-circle, and probably of the period.  The lot is estimated at 8,000-12,000 and the bowls measure 14.2 cms in diameter.  At this stage this is the last lot of the auction and will end the morning session on February 27. The Paradigms and the Unexpected auction offers furniture, decorative art, sculpture, fine art, Oriental porcelain and furniture, rugs and collectibles over three sessions.  The catalogue is online.



    Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

    More than 500 lots of silver, art, jewellery, antique furniture, Persian rugs, Oriental ceramics and collectibles will come under the hammer at the James Adam At Home sale in Dublin on February 24.

    Estimates are reasonable in this Sunday sale with something to appeal to a wide range of collectors.  There are smaller pieces of furniture like occasional tables, dumb waiters, work tables, chairs, longcase clocks, a clock garniture, affordable jewellery and a selection of art ranging from the 17th century to contemporary pieces.  The sale offers wall sconces, Japanese ivories, mirrors, Oriental and English porcelain, silver and plate cutlery, warming plates and a pair of c1900 Indian silver pilgrim flasks.  The catalogue is online.

    Victorian inlaid walnut credenza.

    A collection of three brass reservoir lamps