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  • Posts Tagged ‘Fonsie Mealy’


    Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

    An original pair of pince-nez glasses owned by James Joyce sold for a hammer price of 17,000 at Fonsie Mealy’s rare book and memorabilia sale in Dublin today.  The pair, complete with, gilt fittings and chain and in a velvet lined morocco case from a Dublin optician, was from the collection of Joyce’s friend Thomas Pugh.  By tradition these are Joyce’s own glasses used when writing Ulysses. In good condition they are familiar from many photographs, including his passport.

    A letter written to Thomas Pugh by James Joyce in 1934, from the Grand Hotel Britannique, Spa, Belgique made 14,000 at hammer.  In it Joyce requested Pugh to visit him when next in Paris and also asks if Pugh knows of any illustrated weekly published in Dublin around 1904 for the use of Henri Matisse, who was working on designs for a new de luxe edition of Ulysses. (Pugh supplied the illustrations but the illustrations by Matisse are drawn entirely from Greek myth).

    A first edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, published by Jonathan Cape in 1953, sold for 9,500 at hammer.


    Saturday, December 1st, 2018
    A rare Isaac Newton volume from 1711, sporting medals, original photographs and drawings will all be included in Fonsie Mealy’s rare books and manuscripts auction in Dublin next Tuesday.  There are first editions ranging from Charlotte Bronte to Ian Fleming, James Joyce’s pince nez and a 19th century transcript of The Annals of Clonmacnoise in this auction of 964 lots.
    The most important lot is Newton’s Analysis per Quantitatum series estimated at 8,000-12,000.  There is an original manuscript account of the Fall of Constantinople by Leonard of Chios c1453 and the earliest manuscript association of W B Yeats and Maud Gonne.  There are statistical surveys, books on botany, antiquities, art, poetry, travel, genealogy, literature in a selection with an across the board appeal.  There is an All Ireland Football Championship medal from 1905 and Galway’s first All Ireland Hurling Championship medal from 1923.  The venue for the auction is The Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan.

    (See post on for November 29, 2018)

    Newton volume  UPDATE: THIS MADE 26,000 AT HAMMER

    All Ireland Football Championship 1905 medal  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,000 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

    These Great Irish Elk antlers and skull sold for 23,000 at hammer.

    A set of prehistoric Irish Elk antlers and skull was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s sale of contents of Milford House, Carlow on November 20.  They made a hammer price of 23,000. Irish Elk is the common name for a giant extinct deer Megalocerus Giganteus characterised by enormous antlers. It is the largest deer known to have lived.

    A pair of still life paintings by Aniello Ascione of the 17th century Italian School made 20,000 and another pair attributed to the same artist made 16,000. A 19th century carved Chinese wooden buddha made 13,000, a Georgian Irish bachelor’s chest made 7,400 and an Irish Victorian dining table and a set of 18 dining chairs each made 7,000. A half length portrait of John Alexander, High Sheriff of Carlow by Stephen Catterson Smith sold for 6,500 at hammer.

    The auction realised more than 500,000 and was 95% sold.

    (See post on for November 14, 2018)


    Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

    THE first ever contents sale of Milford House, home to the Alexander family since the early 1800’s, will be held on November 20 by Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers. More than 700 lots will come under the hammer.  The family settled in Carlow in the 1780’s and the main source of income was milling.  A number of them followed careers in the British Army and there are artefacts passed down through generations and objects acquired through travel to exotic lands..  There is taxidermy including a Russian wild boar and collectibles include an early 19th century Maori Tiki Hei whale bone pendant and a Japanese silver and bronze Okimono, Meji Period, modelled as a Manchuria Crane. The auction will offer family silver, portraits and Irish furniture. Viewing is on the premises from November 18 and the auction will be held at The Talbot Hotel, Carlow.  The catalogue is online.  Here is a small selection:

    Aniello Ascione, 17th Century Italian School `one of a pair of Still Life Paintings  UPDATE: THERE WERE TWO PAIRS OF PAINTINGS, ONE MADE 20,000 AT HAMMER THE OTHER 16,000


    Highly Important Historical Zulu Artefact Engraving: “The Capture of Cetshwayo – Arrival of The King at Sir Garent Wolselys Camp, Ulundi  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,200



    Sunday, October 7th, 2018
    A rare set of 19th century mahogany side chairs at Fonsie Mealy’s sale in Castlecomer at 10.30 am on October 10 is billed by the auctioneer as the most important seated furniture to come to market in recent times.   The 10 chairs bear the crest of the O’Brien family of Dromoland Castle and are estimated at 10,000-15,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s 800 lot sale includes a number of items from Dromoland but the highlight from that collection – a 430 year old table made from wood from the Spanish Armada – will come up as lot 101 at the James Adam Country House Collections sale at Townley Hall, Drogheda on October 16 with an estimate of 100,000-200,000.
    At Fonsie Mealy’s an over sized Killarney wood davenport from the Great  Exhibition of Manufacturers, Machinery and Fine Arts at the RDS in 1864 from the Corcoran family is estimated at 7,000-9,000. Among the artists whose work will feature are Louis le Brocquy, Gerard Dillon, William Crozier, Mildred Anne Butler, Kenneth Webb, George Campbell and Hughie O’Donoghue.
    A full length portrait of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde (1610-1688) from Peter Lely and the studio of Peter Lely is estimated at 25,000-35,000. It was formerly in the collection of the Earls of Shrewsbury. A full length oortrait of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington by John Jackson (1778-1831) is estimated at 15,000-20,000. Among the pieces from Dromoland are an 18th century sundial (4,000-6,000) complete with its original receipt from T. Crowther and Son, London issued to Lady Inchiquin.

    (See posts on for September 15 and October 5, 2018)

    UPDATE: The auction totalled more than 350,000 on the hammer and was 80% sold.

    19th century chairs with the crest of the O’Brien family of Dromoland Castle  UPDATE: THESE MADE 19,000 AT HAMMER

    An oversized exhibition Killarney davenport  UPDATE: THIS MADE 14,000 AT HAMMER

    18th century sundial  UPDATE: THIS MADE 11,000 AT HAMMER


    Friday, October 5th, 2018

    Items formerly housed at Dromoland Castle in Co. Clare, former home of the O’Brien family; the bijou collection from Dublin dealer Jane Williams whose corner shop was opposite Dail Eireann and the Corcoran family collection of the Wexford Free Press will be included in Fonsie Mealy’s sale of 800 lots in Castlecomer on October 10.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    A Hermes crocodile skin handbag (400-500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,000 AT HAMMER

    William Crozier – Abstract Landscape (7,000-9,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 8,500 AT HAMMER

    Gold medal awarded to Tom Kiely by the Amateur Athletic Union of the US (1888) (4,000-5,000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 6,250 AT HAMMER

    Portrait of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde – Sir Peter Lely and Studio (25,000-35,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 23,000 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, July 12th, 2018

    A  mid 19th century nickel cased eight day chronometer timepiece by Dent of Cockspur St., London was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s two day auction in Castlecomer this week.  It made a hammer price of 25,000 in a sale of 900 lots that brought in more than 420,000.  The auction was over 80% sold.  An ethnographic possibly Native American lot modelled as a grotesque figure spread on torso, with hollowed and shape box on back, highlighted with painted faces made 22,000 at hammer.

    A three stone diamond ring sold for 20,000, a set of 27 Malton views of Dublin made 11,000, a George III freedom box made 7,000 and a 1963 Morris Minor saloon made 6,100. An 18th century Irish Penal chalice made 4,000.

    Ethnographic possibly Native American piece made 22,000 at hammer.

    This chronometer made 25,000 at hammer.


    Sunday, July 8th, 2018
    Antique silver,  Oriental and European porcelain, taxidermy, a 19th century pony and trap and a 1963 Morris Minor, garden furniture, old military uniforms, art including a private Irish collection of engravings and drawings by a range of artists including Durer, Van Dyck and Tiepolo and Lady Kildare’s writing desk from Carton are all included on day one of Fonsie Mealy’s two day summer auction in Castlecomer on July 10 and 11.
    The sale on day two features a pair of oak armchairs to a design by Pugin, a stained glass window depicting St. Patrick, 18th century portraits, an Edwardian dolls house in the Tudor style and a Victorian rocking horse, and an interesting selection of art and antique furniture.  A total of 900 lots will come under the hammer, 500 on Tuesday.  The sale comprises lots from a number of houses including Morristown Lattin, Naas, Albert House, Co. Sligo, and Irish American collection and Spire Hall, Portarlington, home of the Odlum family.
    The Tickell Cup, a massive two handled trophy cup made in London in 1899 on an Irish silver stand with three engraved races from Dublin in the same year is estimated at 4,000-6,000.  Lot 281 is a staged specimen of a brown bear cub holding a carved pillar, lot 430 is a cast iron model of a Phoenix from the Royal Phoenix Iron Works, Parkgate St., Dublin (1,500-2,000) and lots 676, the dolls house is estimated at 150-250.
    There is an Irish Penal chalice and a George III freedom box.  A three stone diamond ring with an intense yellow centre stone (20,000-30,000) and three Victorian diamond studded star brooch pendants (5,000-7,000) will are jewellery feature lots and Irish furniture is well represented.  There is a 19th century High Sheriff of Ireland uniform from the Mansfield family of Morristown Lattin (400-600) and uniform jackets including the Kildare Militia. A Kingsbury Motor Blue Bird toy model car is estimated at 180-220.

    Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the land and water speed record using blue birds in the 1920’s and ’30’s. His son Donald also broke land and water speed records and died in 1967 during a speed attempt on Coniston Water.  The catalogue is online.

    Lady Kildare’s writing desk from Carton  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,400

    A stuffed bear cub  UPDATE: THIS MADE 580

    A Phoenix  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,200 AT HAMMER

    The Tickell Cup  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,600 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

    A white marble portrait bust of George Washington and a signed photograph of Francis Bacon are among the wide range of lots at Fonsie Mealy’s auction in Castlecomer on July 10 and 11.  The portrait bust from the studio of Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) is estimated at 3,000-4,000.  A portrait of Washington after Gilbert Stuart is estimated at 1,000-1,500.

    Bacon is photographed looking vexed and animated outside the French pub in Soho by Daniel Farson.  The image is signed by both Bacon and Farson and estimated at 800-1,200.  The catalogue is online and viewing for this 900 lot sale gets underway on July 8.

    White marble portrait bust of George Washington  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,250

    A signed photograph of Francis Bacon  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,050


    Monday, April 30th, 2018
    Babe Ruth, Christy Ring, Tolkien and the commonplace book of Fr Thomas O”Keeffe, pp at the South Parish in Cork from 1829 to 1847 all feature at Fonsie Mealy’s Rare Book and Collectors sale at the Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny at 10.30 on May 2. Among more than 800 lots there is sporting memorabilia including a baseball bat given by Babe Ruth to Frank McGrath, manager of the Tipperary team on their visit to the US in 1926 and a souvenir programme for the opening of the new Glen Rovers club in 1953 signed by Christy Ring.
    A rare 1937 first edition of The Hobbit in good condition is estimated at 20,000-30,000.  There is a first edition of The Dark signed by John McGahern and the first American edition of My Left Foot by Christy Brown.  The commonplace book by Fr. O’Keeffe, friend of the sculptor John Hogan – a remarkable example of whose work exists in the South Parish Church – offers jottings, sermons, an alphabetical list of Cork streets according to parish and a draft to the introduction of the poems of Jeremiah Joseph Callanan (1795-1892).

    (See posts on for April 26 and April 16, 2018)

    A first edition of The Hobbit  UPDATE: THIS MADE 29,000 AT HAMMER

    A programme for the opening of the new Glen Rovers club in 1953 signed by Christy Ring  UPDATE: THIS MADE 280 AT HAMMER