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  • Posts Tagged ‘Fonsie Mealy’


    Thursday, April 11th, 2024


    A signed first edition of Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy is one of the leading lots at Fonsie Mealy’s Spring Rare Book and Collectors sale. The timed online auction gets underway today and will run until April 24 with over 700 lots of offer. Cities of the Plain is lot 477 and comes complete with an uncorrected proof and uncorrected advance reading copies, both signed by the author, and an audio book with two cassettes, read by Brad Pitt. The estimate is €800-€1,000.


    Saturday, February 17th, 2024
    A pair of Irish Georgian knife boxes  UPDATE: THIS MADE 650 AT HAMMER

    With everything from an Edwardian hobby horse and a three piece Art Nouveau mantle clock garniture in red marble to a carved Qing Dynasty hardwood cabinet and a Dublin longcase clock the Making Room sale by Fonsie Mealy at Castlecomer on February 21 is brimful of interest. More than 400 lots will come under the hammer in this annual spring clear out and estimates are reasonable.  There are affordable antiques, decorative furniture, overmantles, mirrors, art, a selection of Nicholas Mosse ware, prints, silver and plate and all sorts of collectibles.

    An Edwardian hobby horse. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,000 AT HAMMER

    Among the more expensively estimated works, at €1,500-€2,000, is an oil on canvas attributed to Andrea Locatelli (1695-1741) of Figures resting by a Capriccio in a Romantic Landscape. With professional cleaning this would add a stylish touch to many interiors.  A George III inlaid mahogany and satinwood secretaire is also estimated at just €1,500-€2,000.

    A Chinese Imperial yellow porcelain dish with five dragons  UPDATE: THIS MADE 400 AT HAMMER

    If you want to make the most of the strength, power and success associated with dragons in this Year of the Dragon then this sale jast just the thing.  An early Chinese Imperial yellow porcelain dish with raised enamel features depicting five dragons with four and five claws comes with an estimate of €800-€1,200. The estimate on a pair of Irish Georgian slope front knife boxes with fitted interiors is just €700-€900 – a steal in old God’s time –  and a small 19th century walnut pedestal desk is estimated at just €300-€500. The Qing hardwood cabinet and the Dublin clock are each estimated at €800-€1,200, the Edwardian hobby horse  at €700-€900 and the clock garniture at €500-€700.  Collectors of Irish country furniture will be interested in an unusual set of four provincial hand painted ladder back chairs with straw seats (€150-€200) or a 19th century yew and elm stick kitchen armchair (€250-€350). A  good Victorian figured walnut writing table  is estimated at just €300-€400.  The catalogue is online, there is viewing in Castlecomer Business Park next Monday and Tuesday and the sale will take place at the Avalon House Hotel at noon on Wednesday.

    An unusual set of four hand painted provincial chairs. UPDATE: THESE MADE 130 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, February 15th, 2024
    Art Nouveau Garniture. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,000 AT HAMMER

    This French Art Nouveau mantle clock garniture in red Griotte marble comes up as lot 223 at Fonsie Mealy’s Making Room sale in Castlecomer on February 21. The clock has typical Art Nouveau gilt brass mounts around a painted enamel dial with Arabic numerals and striking on a gong and the estimate is €500-€700. A total of 432 lots will come under the hammer, the catalogue is online and viewing gets underway in Castlecomer on February 19.


    Saturday, February 10th, 2024
    A diamond set ruby mounted on a platinum ring at Matthews. UPDATE: THIS MADE €2,450 at hammer

    Can romance be mined from unredeemed pledges?  It might be just possible to come up with the answer to this teasing question in time for Valentine’s Day at Matthews jewellery, gold and silver auction on February 11  The sale will feature executor’s lots, pieces from private clients and unredeemed pawnbrokers pledges with plenty to choose from among 593 lots. A ruby diamond set cluster on a platinum ring or an 18 carat white gold diamond set sapphire and ruby brooch, each estimated at €2,500-€3,500, are laden with sparkling romantic potential.  Or if you are not superstitious how about a pear cut sapphire and 13 diamond set pendant (€2,000-€3,000).   There are bracelets, rings, diamond solitaires, necklaces, earrings, chokers, watches and objects of all sorts with which to express your love, so it is over to you.

    A pear cut sapphire and diamond set pendant at Matthews. UPDATE: THIS MADE €1,900 AT HAMMER

    Undoubtedly the best value to be had at auctions these days is in everyday antique furniture.  There is no shortage of choice at upcoming sales.   A classic and contemporary interiors timed online sale by Mullen’s of Laurel Park in Bray kicks off at  6 pm on February 11 with a 19th century cast iron hawthorn pattern garden seat with an estimate of just €200-€300.  A Georgian inlaid side table is estimated at just €600-€800, a pair of 19th century butlers trays on stands come with an estimate of €400-€600 and a vintage satin birch chest is estimated at just €80-€150.

    One of a pair of 19th century butler’s trays at Mullen’s. UPDATE: THIS LOT MADE 520 AT HAMMER

    There are lots of other examples of good value furniture here including  a Georgian demi lune side table (€100-€200), a brass bound secretaire chest (€200-€300), a 19th century three tier dumb waiter (€80-€120), a Georgian drop leaf table (€100-€200) and a Chippendale style mahogany desk (€200-€300). Meanwhile at Newcastlewest in Co. Limerick the sale by O’Donovan’s on February 18 will offer over 300 lots mostly to be sold without reserve.  Among them is an oriental dinner gong with brass hanging drum (€125-€150), a Victorian oak hall stand with bevelled mirror (€40-€60), a New York made mantle clock with pendulum (€40-€60), a Georgian sideboard (€175-€250) and a Georgian tea caddy (€200-€300).  The sale is led by a Peter Curling watercolour titled At the end of the Plough (€1,600-€1,900).

    Cottage in the Maam Valley by Mabel Young at Fonsie Mealy. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,200 AT HAMMER

    Art by Mabel Young (1889-1974), Paul Henry’s second wife, do not crop up very often and Fonsie Mealy’s Making Room sale in Castlecomer on February 21 features an oil on board of a cottage in the Maam Valley signed by her.  It is estimated at €800-€1,200. The top lot in the sale is a large Irish Georgian serving table in the Chinese Chippendale style estimated at €2,000-€3,000.  The catalogues for all these sales are online.


    Saturday, December 9th, 2023
    William Hurst Ashpitel’s prizewinning 1805 design for Ormond Bridge, Dublin. UPDATE: THIS MADE 11,000 AT HAMMER

    A bound copy of one of the most elaborate 19th century publications on the Near East leads Fonsie Mealy’s two day rare book and collectors sale on December 12 and 13. This brimful of interest sale, being held this year in Castlecomer, offers  rarities like the first edition of the first book by the first Irish author to write for a printing press rather than a scriptorum, important 1916 documents, the first Dublin All Ireland Hurling Championships medal from 1889, a lock of Oscar Wilde’s hair and the 1805 design for Ormond Bridge in Dublin (now named O’Donovan Rossa Bridge) by William Hurst Ashpitel (1776-1852). The design for O’Donovan Rossa Bridge near the Four Courts in Dublin is important because it was William Hurst Ashpitel of London who won the design competition in 1805. The bridge as it stands is as shown in his drawing, but the architects had previously been identified only as George Knowles and James Savage.  This piece of architectural history is estimated at €5,000-€7,000. 

    A 1926 All Ireland hurling final programme (won by Cork). UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER

    Among more than 1,000 lots are a variety of GAA medals and other sporting memorabilia like a Bloody Sunday match ticket, a set of 26 views of Dublin by James Malton, a collection of Irish literature, travel plates and books and an unpublished letter by Michael Collins dated July 29, 1922 – just three weeks before his death – in which he states: “I am against shooting down unarmed men in any circumstances”. The first three volumes of The Holy Land, Syria, Idumae, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia by David Roberts and George Croly, published in 1842-43, is estimated at €10,000-€15,000. Duns Scotus Joannes by Maurice O’Fihily, Archbishop of Tuam – an edited commentary on the metaphysics of Aristotle believed to be the work of Duns published in Venice in 1497 – has an estimate of €8,000-€12,000.

    An original Army issue Blueshirt tunic. UPDATE: THIS MADE 950 AT HAMMER

    Among the other top lots are Dublin’s first All-Ireland medal from 1889 (€7,000-€10,000), a collection of 1916 documents including a rare copy of Irish War News printed during the Rising (€6,000-€9,000), Malton’s Dublin views and a lock of Oscar Wilde’s hair, each estimated at €6,000-€8,000. An edition of Bog Poems by Seamus Heaney illustrated by Barrie Cooke is estimated at €4,000-€6,000, as is a facsimile edition of the Book of Kells, and a copy of An Ideal Husband inscribed by Oscar Wilde.

    A dummy rifle used in North Cork training during the War of Independence. UPDATE: THIS MADE 280 AT HAMMER

    Among many lots of note is an original Army issued Blueshirt tunic (€1,000-€1,500), a rare dummy wooden training rifle used in the early stages of the War of Independence in North Cork (€300-€500) – this lot highlights the lack of basic equipment by those in Ireland who took on the might of the British Empire just over a century ago and won! – and a cheque written in 1920 by Terence MacSwiney during his brief tenure as martyred Lord Mayor of Cork to the Good Shepherd Convent.  He disbursed his entire mayoral salary in charitable donations.The auction will take place at the saleroom in Castlecomer and online next Tuesday and Wednesday at 10.30 am on each day.  The catalogue is online and viewing continues in Castlecomer tomorrow afternoon and all day on Monday.


    Thursday, December 7th, 2023
    Admission Ticket to Croke Park, Great Challenge Match (Football), Tipperary v. Dublin, Bloody Sunday, November 21,1920. UPDATE: THIS MADE 8,000 AT HAMMER

    Viewing is now underway in Castlecomer for Fonsie Mealy’s Christmas rare book and collector’s sale on December 12 and 13. This rare Croke Park 1920 admission ticket is highly collectible. The period from 1918 – 1920 was a turbulent and dangerous time in Ireland. It was at this match that British soldiers opened fire on the pitch and crowd, killing a player and twelve spectators. This followed Michael Collins’ operation against British secret service agents earlier that morning, in which fourteen British officers were shot dead. The ticket is estimated at €4,000-€5,000. There are many rare and collectible items on offer in this auction of 1,019 lots which will get underway each day at 10.30 am. The catalogue is online.


    Wednesday, November 15th, 2023
    Circle of Augustus John – Portrait of Lady Gregory

    This c1920 portrait of Lady Gregory from the circle of Augustus John sold for a hammer price of €5,600 at day two of Fonsie Mealy’s sale in Castlecomer today. The sitter is clearly in mourning and Lady Gregory perpetually wore black in memory of her late husband William. In the National Portrait Gallery in London there is a lithographed portrait of Lady Gregory, by Flora Lion, dating to 1913, that compares with the present work. Lady Gregory often welcomed visiting artists and poets as guests at her house, Coole Park, in Co. Galway, and this work may have been painted by an artist such as Augustus John, who stayed several times at Coole Park, and at Mount Vernon, the Gregory summer home in the Burren. It had been estimated at €3,000-€5,000.


    Saturday, November 11th, 2023
    A c1780 Irish Provincial bottle carrier. UPDATE; THIS WAS UNSOLD

    From a portrait of Oliver Cromwell on Horseback to an Irish Provincial bottle carrier on stand, probably Limerick, the Chatsworth winter fine art sale by Fonsie Mealy on November 14 and 15 has much to interest collectors.  Among more than 1,000 lots there is period furniture, paintings, Irish and international art, silver, militaria, clocks, glassware, jewellery and collectibles.

    Thomas Wyck’s (1616-1677) c1655 portrait of Cromwell on a white horse with a Moorish attendant has an estimate of €20,000-€30,000 and is the most expensively estimated lot. Collectibles include a Victorian Birmingham silver castle top card case depicting Queen’s College, Cork after Robert Lowe Stopford (€1,200-€1,500), a pair of Georgian carved coconut cups presented to the Duke of Wellington when he was Ambassador to St. Petersburg in Russia in 1826 (€1,000-€1,500), a George III flintlock musket stamped Dublin Castle (€800-€1,200), a 19th century Irish vernacular elm hedge armchair (€400-€600), two large  wood bound travel trunks (€1,000-€1,500), a 17th century oak armchair said to have belonged to Dean Swift (€4,000-€6,000) and a portrait of Lady Gregory by the circle of Augustus John (€3,000-€5,000).  The c1780 bottle carrier (€7,000-€9,000)  was commissioned by  William Stacpoole, High Sherriff, Co. Clare for his new residence at Eden Vale,  Killone, Ennis.  The sale is on view in Castlecomer on tomorrow and Monday and the catalogue is online.

    Thomas Wyck (1616-1677) Portrait of Oliver Cromwell on Horseback with Moorish Attendant  c 1655. UPDATE: THIS MADE 20,000 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, November 8th, 2023
    Augustus Earle (1793-1838) (Attributed. – Napoleon’s Grave on St. Helena. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    This painting of Napoleon’s Grave, on the island of St. Helena, can be attributed to the British artist Augustus Earle and comes up as lot 773 at Fonsie Mealy’s Chatsworth Fine Art sale in Castlecomer on November 14 and 15. Within this depiction of a verdant valley, there is a hidden message. Two tall trees in the foreground are painted so as to form an outline or silhouette of the Emperor, standing with his arms folded and wearing his classic bicorn hat. The silhouette is based on the 1820 watercolour by Francois-Joesph Sandmann – Napoléon a Sainte-Hélene. With its hidden image, this painting is a coded work of art, designed to avoid British censors who would have disapproved of any glorification of Napoleon.

    The oil on canvas depicts a wooded valley, with, at its centre, a gravestone inscribed with a cross. A wooden fence surrounds the grave, while beyond can be seen the gable end of a small house. In the distance, there is a glimpse of the sea, and a sailing ship. The artist, who travelled to South America, Australia and New Zealand in the 1820’s, has emphasised the abundant flora and fauna of St. Helena. The tall trees in the foreground may be Cabbage trees, a species native to the island now almost extinct. The estimate is €6,000-€8,000.


    Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023

    These three early Chinese brush pots made a hammer price of €13,500 on the opening day of Fonsie Mealy’s three day sale in Castlecomer on August 1. The estimate was €1,000-€1,500. The catalogue described lot 289 as a very good carved bamboo brush pot of cylindrical form depicting a large man seated on a rug, 15cms (6″); a Chinese bamboo Brush Pot, carved in deep relief with four figures by a pavilion and two lines of calligraphy and a single oval panel with a phoenix, 13cms (5 1/4″); and a very fine early bamboo Brush Pot, depicting a man with rolling horse in low relief and three lines of calligraphy, 15cms (6″).