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  • Posts Tagged ‘Fonsie Mealy’


    Saturday, July 20th, 2019

    The dramatic 1885 rescue of the expeditionary force sent to relieve General Gordon of Khartoum made Admiral Charles Beresford, second son of the 4th Marquis of Waterford, a national hero. Albums, scrapbooks and material relating to the Admiral come up at Fonsie Mealy’s summer sale in Castlecomer on July 23. Beresford, who joined the navy aged 13, had a long and spectacular career  In 1882 as captain of the gunboat condor he sailed his ship inshore to bombard the gun batteries of Alexandria during the Egyptian campaign. Three years later, in command of the Safie, he rescued the Khartoum Expeditionary Force. In 1916 he was awarded the title Baron Beresford of Metemmeh and Curraghmore and when he died in 1919 he was given a ceremonial funeral at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Other materials relating to Beresford in the sale include a 1909 advertising poster for Michael Power of Main St.,Carrick on Suir, grocer, tobacconist, wine importer and whiskey merchant, with an image of the Admiral standing on deck with his dog. The auction of 744 lots is brimful of interest. It includes maritime paintings relating to Admiral Beresford, items formerly housed at Tara Palace Museum of Childhood, dolls houses, a collection of  Ronnie McDonnell miniature apprentice furniture pieces, Irish, English and European art, silver, porcelain, militaria and collectibles as well as a small selection of wines, port and whiskeys.

    Co. Tipperary advertising poster featuring Admiral Beresford UPDATE: THIS MADE 800 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

    This Maltese School painting by G. d’Esposito depicts “H.M.S. Hibernia,” docked in Valletta Harbour surrounded by rowing boats. It comes up at Fonsie Mealy’s summer sale in Castlecomer on July 23 with an estimate of 2,000-3,000. This is one of a number of works from the collection of Admiral Charles Beresford, second son of the 4th Marquis of Waterford, who had a long and distinguished naval career in which he rescued the Khartoum Expeditionary Force sent to relieve General Gordon. HMS Hibernia was a 110-gun first rate ship of the line, launched in 1804 – the only ship of her draught – and sold for breaking up in 1902. In 1807-08 she led the British escort that carried the Portuguese royal family and court to Brazil just days before the French attacked Lisbon. From 1816 to 1855 she was the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet; thereafter she was the flagship of the Royal Navy’s base at Malta. Beresford, who died in 1919 and received a ceremonial funeral at St. Paul’s Cathedral, served briefly on her as a midshipman in 1863 while awaiting passage home.



    Sunday, July 14th, 2019

    This early mezzotint portrait of Mrs. Elizabeth Aldworth (1695-1775) in full masonic robes comes up at Fonsie Mealy’s summer auction in Castlecomer on July 23.  Born Elizabeth St. Leger and famous in her time as The Lady Freemason she was the first recorded woman to be initiated into Freemasonry.  Daughter of the 1st Viscount Doneraile she witnessed a meeting of the freemasons in her fathers house at Doneraile Court.  Now newly opened to the public after refurbishment by the OPW, Doneraile Court in Co. Cork was also refurbished in the late 18th century and loose bricks in a wall of the room where the masons met enabled the young Elizabeth to see what was going on.  The portrait was published in 1811 by S. Kennedy of Patrick St, Cork and sold by Bro. R. Spencer, Masonic Booksellers, London. It is in a Hogarth type frame with a printed “Biographical Memoir of The Hon. Mrs. Aldworth of Newmarket, Co. Cork” framed on the back.  Mrs. Aldworth was buried in the old St. Fin Barres Cathredal in Cork and there is a plaque near her remains in the present cathedral.  The print is estimated at 300-500.



    Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

    A rare first edition of Ulysses signed by James Joyce was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s sale in Dublin today. It made 85,000 at hammer in an auction that realised more than 390,000 on the hammer. No less than 85% of lots were sold. Unpublished accounts of the First Dail, described as the financial sinews of the struggle for Irish Independence made 18,000 on the hammer and the Toddy Pierse GAA medal collection relating to Wexford and Dublin between 1918 and 1922 made 12,500. A 1936 French translation of James Joyce’s essay from a banned writer to a banned singer, a tribute to the singer John Sullivan, sold for 9,000.

    (See posts on for June 15, 10 and 6, 2019).


    Saturday, June 15th, 2019

    A poignant reminder of a long lost love affair is among the lots at Fonsie Mealy’s sale of rare books, literature, manuscripts, collectibles and ephemera at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Dublin on June 18.  Lot 345 is a hatbox stamped K. Cronin/Lorha with fur hat, a pair of gloves, another hat and other items.  Kitty Cronin, nee Kiernan, was the fiance of Michael Collins and after his death she married Felix Cronin, Tipperary.  The hat is similar to one in contemporary press photos of Kitty and it is estimated at 300-400. Another reminder of turbulent times is a 1916 Irish Citizen Army tin home made explosive device.

    Kitty Kiernan’s hat box and fur hat  UPDATE: THIS MADE 300 AT HAMMER

    A first edition of Ulysses signed by James Joyce is a highlight of the sale with an estimate of 70,000-90,000.  A George III grandfather clock is from the home of James Joyce’s aunts at No. 15 Ushers Island, the house featured in The Dead by Joyce.  It is estimated at 2,000-3,000.  Among a small collection of documents from Sean O’Casey is one in which he complains about being evicted after 17 years.  The landlord had decided he needed it for his mother and his daughter:  “The joke is that we were no sooner gone than the notice For Sale went up.. and they wonder why the masses are turning to communism!” O’Casey wrote.  Around 700 lots will come under the hammer and viewing at the Talbot Hotel gets underday on June 16.

    The clock from the home of James Joyces aunts which featured in his story The Dead UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,500 AT HAMMER


    Monday, June 10th, 2019

    AN exciting archive of accounts from the first Dail of 1919 is included in Fonsie Mealy’s sale of books, literature, manuscripts and collectibles at the Talbot Hotel in Dublin on June 18. These are described as the financial sinews of the struggle for Independence with some accounts almost certainly written by Michael Collins. Previously unpublished, they are from the archive of Domhnall Ua Conchubhair (1872-1935), sometime secretary to the Gaelic League, accountant to Sinn Fein, the First Dail and allied bodies. The archive contains a green clothbound ledger with 20 pages of loan and deposit accounts for the Dail of 1921-22 with a separate page of military claims. This includes a note stating that amounts paid to the M. Collins account are not entered in the books of the Sinn Fein Bank and taken from notebook only. As far as Fonsie Mealy knows these accounts are unpublished and have not been seen or quoted by any historian. The estimate for the archive is 15,000-20,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE 18,000 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, June 6th, 2019

    A first edition of Ulysses, number 30 of 100 copies signed by Joyce and printed on fine Dutch handmade paper, comes up at Fonsie Mealy’s Rare Books, Literature, Manuscripts, Collectibles and Ephemera sale at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Dublin on June 18. Described by Fonsie Mealy as the cornerstone of any Irish collection copies of this most desireable printing are all but unavailable now. Most of the original copies are securely lodged in institutional and important collections from which they are unlikely to emerge. These copies are from the full edition of 1000 finely bound by Buddenbrooks of Boston in full patinated black morocco with dark green inlays. This rare prize is estimated at 70,000-90,000.



    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


    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


    Saturday, April 6th, 2019

    THE letters containing the royal grant of the title Baron Tracton from George III in 1781 will feature at Fonsie Mealy’s contents sale at Fortgranite, Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow on April 16.  On vellum and decorated with arms, emblems and a portrait of the king they were addressed to James Dennis of Tracton Abbey in Co. Cork. The son of a timber merchant from Kinsae James Dennis was a barrister who became chief baron of the Irish Exchequer in 1777.  He was MP for Rathcormack and Youghal.  Raised to the peerage in 1781 he died childless the following year and his title died with him. He left his estates to his two nephews: those in Kerry to the Rev. Meade-Swift-Dennis, and Tracton Abbey in Co. Cork and Temple Hill House in Co. Dublin to John Swift-Dennis.  The letters are estimated at 1,500-2,000.

    Letters patent from George III with the royal grant of Baron Tracton UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,200 AT HAMMER