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    Thursday, December 7th, 2023
    Admission Ticket to Croke Park, Great Challenge Match (Football), Tipperary v. Dublin, Bloody Sunday, November 21,1920.

    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″).


    Saturday, July 29th, 2023
    An Irish George IV secretaire, possibly Cork, at Fonsie Mealy. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,400 AT HAMMER

    A unique collection of bog oak artefacts, a rare complete set of 1791 Views of the City of Dublin after James Malton, an 18th century Chinoiserie lacquered two door cabinet on stand, a George II giltwood wall mirror and an important pair of percussion duelling pistols by  H.W. Mortimer, London are among the top lots at Fonsie Mealys three day sale in Castlecomer on August 1, 2 and 3. This auction is brimful of interest and offers a diverse and eclectic selection of 1,292 lots of  antiques and collectibles.

    Rainbow No. 5 by Patrick Scott, woven by V’soske Joyce  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER

    There is antique furniture, paintings, Irish and international art, silver, plate, militaria from a private collection in Northern Ireland, jewellery, ceramics, clocks, glassware, carpets, garden furniture, advertising signs and other collectibles. Among them is an Irish George IV mahogany breakfront secretaire, possibly made in Cork, which came from the Presentation Order at Blackrock, Cork. The estimate is €2,000-€3,000. Rainbow No. 5 is the title of a Patrick Scott tapestry with V’soske Joyce label commissioned for the Kilkenny Design Centre.  It is one of two tapestries by the late artist in the sale commissioned by Kilkenny Design. Each is estimated at €1,500-€2,000.

    One of the more unusual lots is a collection of 108 rare Irish bog oak artefacts by Cornelius Goggin (1850-1914) and other carvers.  There is a jewellery casket, a two panel tea caddy, a book slide, candlesticks, an Irish round tower, boxes, photograph frames and harps all profusely carved.  The lot is estimated at €8,000-€12,000, as is the Chinoiserie cabinet and the George II mirror mentioned above.  The most expensively estimated lot is the complete set of 24 engraved plates of Dublin views after James Malton (€10,000-€15,000).  A selection of signed prints by L.S. Lowery, Paul Henry and James Humbert Craig will be available at more affordable estimates.

    A pair of early 19th century Cork water jugs. UPDATE: THESE MADE 850 AT HAMMER

    A fine pair of early 19th century Cork water jugs by The Terrace Glassworks which operated more than 200 years at South Terrace in the city centre have a hobnailed centre panel and partially serrated edges.  The estimate is €250-€350.  A c1689 portrait of Sir Maurice Eustace, Lord Chancellor of Ireland after the Restoration of Charles II who gave his name to Eustace St. in Dublin city centre, is from the circle of James Gandy and estimated at €4,000-€6,000.  A rarity of a different sort is a polychrome mask from Papua, New Guinea, probably Sepik River (€200-€300).  This is one of a number of lots of ethnographic art.

    A polychrome mask from Papua, New Guinea. UPDATE: THIS MADE 110 AT HAMMER

    The militaria section includes pistols, swords of various types, spears, daggers, pikeheads, bayonets, sabres and even a percussion pocket knife pistol.  The top lot is the cased pair of duelling pistols by Mortimer (€6,000-€8,000).  There is a selection of clocks, garnitures and longcase clocks, lot 726 is a six tier Delft tulipiere of pyramid form (€800-€1,200) and the sale offers a collection of Chinese cloisonne ware.Among numerous lots of interest is a solid silver limited edition Christ of St. John of the Cross by Salvador Dali (€3,000-€5,000), a 16th century Spanish School  carved polychrome and parcel gilt of St. Michael and the Devil (€4,000-€6,000), an Irish sofa table by Williams and Gibton with lion paw feet (€800-€1,500), a set of 24 19th century dining chairs from the Presentation Order, Blackrock, Cork (€2,500-€3,200) and a massive composition sandstone urn (€1,500-€2,500). The catalogue is online and the auction will be on view in Castlecomer from 1 pm to 6 pm tomorrow (July 30) and from 10.30 am to 6 pm next Monday.


    Wednesday, July 26th, 2023
    Salvador Dali, Spanish (1904-1989) – Cristo de San Juan de la Cruz. UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,500 AT HAMMER

    Among numerous unusual and highly collectible lots at Fonsie Mealy’s three days sale in Castlecomer on August 1, 2 and 3 is this limited edition solid silver piece by Salvador Dali (lot 882). Christ of St. John of the Cross is in its original presentation case and is about nine inches high. The signed piece dates to around 1974 and is number 103 from an edition of 250. The estimate is €3,000-5,000. The catalogue for this sale of 1,292 lots is online and it will be on view in Castlecomer on July 30 and 31.

    Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí at the Kelvingrove Gallery in Glasgow is one of the best-loved works in Glasgow Museums’ entire collection, for both tourists and Glaswegians alike.


    Friday, July 14th, 2023
    George II giltwood mirror. UPDATE: THIS MADE 10,000 AT HAMMER

    This fine George II giltwood mirror is among the top lots at Fonsie Mealy’s three day sale of fine art, antiques and collectibles in Castlecomer on August 1, 2 and 3. The estimate is €8,000-€12,000. It was originally at Easton Neston in Northamptonshire and last changed hands at auction at Sotheby’s in London in 2005. It comes up as lot 820 out of a total of 1,292 lots of furniture, paintings, silver, militaria, jewellery, Oriental ceramics and a wide variety of collectibles. The catalogue is online and there will be viewing in Castlecomer on July 30 and 31.


    Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

    A first signed limited edition of Ulysses by James Joyce made €18,500 at hammer at the opening day of Fonsie Mealy’s rare book and collectors sale in Dublin today. Published by The Bodley Head in 1936 it was No. 20 in a limited edition of 100 copies in a cover designed by Eric Gill. It had been estimated at €8,000-€12,000. A group of original watercolours of the West Indies c1792 by Sir William Young, inherited by the Day family of Cork and on the market for the first time in 230 years, made a hammer price of €12,000. The auction continues tomorrow.

    First Ever All-Ireland Football Medal, 1887
    Won by Limerick Commercials

    The first ever All-Ireland Football medal from 1887 made a hammer price of 32,000 on May 31. The medal was won by Jeremiah Kennedy of Limerick Commercials, Limerick, who beat Young Irelands of Louth, on a score line of 1-4 to 0-3. The match was played on a field in Clonskeagh, Dublin known as ‘The Big Bank’ on April 28, 1888. The Limerick team of 1887, were not photographed on the occasion of their win, they received no trophy, and really no recognition until they were issued with this medal in 1910. The Mick Darcy Tipperary and Dublin GAA medal collection made €8,800 and All Ireland hurling final programmes for 1941 and 1944 each made €3,000.


    Saturday, May 27th, 2023
    View of Louisdor House and estate in Tobago, 1792 by Sir William Young, who became governor of Tobago in 1807. UPDATE: THIS MADE 12,000 AT HAMMER

    Rare GAA medals, colonial watercolours inherited by the Day family in Co. Cork, a first 1873 edition of The Birds of Great Britain by John Gould from the Birr Castle Estate, George O’Reilly’s collection of records signed by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Roy Rogers and Frankie Laine and a 1936 first limited English edition of Ulysses signed by James Joyce are among the treasures at Fonsie Mealy’s rare book and collectors sale next week. A total of 1,136 lots will come under the hammer at two days of sales at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan on May 30 and 31.  The catalogue is online and there will be viewing on tomorrow and Monday. There is a selection from the library at Birr Castle, the Andrew Sharkey fishing collection and a private collection of Seamus Heaney material.

    Top lots include a 9 carat gold medal to commemorate the first ever All-Ireland Football Championships, 1887 won by Jeremiah Kennedy of Limerick Commercials (€15,000-€20,000) and a group of original watercolours of the West Indies c1792 by Sir William Young (€10,000-€15,000). Inherited by the Day family of Co. Cork they are on the market for the first time in more than 230 years.Sir William Young inherited four plantations in the West Indies and owned 896 enslaved Africans in 1788 at the time of this inheritance. He was opposed to the abolition of the slave trade and preached Christianity to his slaves.  Appointed governor of Tobago in 1807 he was entrusted to supply an in depth report on the condition and treatment of slaves.  At the time of the report the free population of Tobago was around 959 people, there was a 333 strong militia and 16,671 slaves.

    The Frank McPartlin (GPO Garrison) collection of medals and artefacts. UPDATE: THESE MADE 4,200 AT HAMMER