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  • Posts Tagged ‘Fonsie Mealy’


    Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

    A set of signed First Editions by Cormac McCarthy from the collection of his late friend Dr. Philip Murray of Sligo made hammer prices of just under 40,000 at Fonsie Mealy’s rare books and manuscripts auction in Dublin today. There was 29 lots in total. An archive of letters and pre-publication copies by the Southern American novelist of Irish extraction, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and numerous other awards, made 7,000 on the hammer, a first edition of Blood Meridian signed and inscribed by the author made 4,200, a first UK edition together with an uncorrected proof of Outer Dark made 2,600 at hammer as did a signed and inscribed first edition of Suttree.

    The sale realised more than 350,000 on the hammer with 85% of lots finding buyers. The most expensive individual lot sold was The White Jug by Jack B Yeats which made 18,000 at hammer.

    (See post on for December 7, 2019)

    A signed archive complete with a photograph of Dr. Philip Murray and Cormac McCarthy in Sligo.


    Saturday, December 7th, 2019

    An illuminated 1667 Charles II Charter detailing property grants in Cork city, minutes from an 1802 meeting of the Dublin Wide Streets Commissioners, a first edition of Ulysses, Republican documents from 1922-24 and Yeats family memorabilia are among a fascinating array of lots at Fonsie Mealy’s rare book sale at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan on December 10. The catalogue – in itself worthy of a long, slow browse because of all the avenues of exploration it opens up – list 842 lots.

    The sale includes the Cormac McCarthy collection of the recently deceased Dr. Philip Murray of Sligo which spans lot 712-740.  Dr. Murray, whose extraordinary collection of first editions made 275,000 at a Fonsie Mealy sale in 2016, maintained a friendship with the Pulitzer Prize winning American novelist, author and screenwriter and the catalogue contains a photo of the pair of them taken in Sligo.

    The catalogue cover is Edward Bunting’s 1840 work The Ancient Music of Ireland arranged for piano forte, there is a fascinating archive of almost 500 Quaker letters in Ireland between 1770 and 1830 and signed first editions by many famous authors. Lot 481 is John T. Gilbert’s 1874-1884 Account of Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of Ireland from the earliest specimens to AD 719 in  four volumes. It contains some documents which were destroyed when the Public Records Office was burned down in 1922. The illuminated Charles II Charter was published to satisfy demands of the 49 officers who served in the royalist army in Ireland, remained loyal to the king and were not granted lands by the Cromwellian government.  It lists property in Cork city  held by catholics in 1641, forfeited under Cromwell and now granted to the officers who petitioned. The Civil Survey for Cork City and County, apart from the barony of Muskerry, has not survived so this is a document of considerable interest.The focus of lot 566 is on another period. This is a compilation of Republican serparatist periodicals and leaflets 1922-24 bound in a single large volume.

    From the Yeats family there is a trunk owned by Jack B. Yeats and held in a bank vault containing personal memorabilia of his marriage of more than 50 years  including the shoes worn by Cottie to their wedding in 1894.  Among the other items in the trunk was The White Jug, an oil on canvas by Jack B. Yeats of a colourful garden scene (3,000-5,000). The auction ranges far and wide, from a signed copy of Brendan Behan’s Island to the first and only edition of The Ancient and Present State of Youghal by Thomas Lord, dated 1784 to the heraldic grants to the Delaval family of Seaton Delaval, Northumberland to the Yeats family copy of Hilary Pyle’s catalogue raisonne of the Yeats oil paintings.  

    UPDATE: The Charles II Charter made 2,000; the first edition of Ulysses sold for 12,000; Irish Republican documents made 11,000; Toome by Seamus Heaney, limited to 15 copies, made 11,000; the Cormac McCarthy archive made just under 40,000 on the hammer; The White Jug by Yeats made 18,000 and wedding anniversary memorabilia from Jack and Cottie Yeats made 4,000.

    Minutes from the trailblazing meetings of the Dublin Wide Streets Commissioners . UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 2,000 AT HAMMER


    Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

    A rare pair of German 19th Century finely carved ivory relief panels was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s Chatsworth fine art sale in Castlecomer today. They made a hammer price of 15,000. Among the other top lots with hammer prices in brackets were a large stuffed and mounted Bengal Tiger head (7,500); The Wooing of Emer by Cuchulainn from the Harry Clarke Studios (7,000); an 18th century French Regence commode (6,400); an 18 carat gold mesh necklace set with diamonds by Boodles (3,500); a private collection of 18th century blue and white English porcelain (3,400); a Georgian Irish Chippendale style breakfront bookcase (2,800); a light grey Chanel handbag (3,300); a Spode dinner service (1,700); a 19th century Canton carved jewellery casket (1,500) and an embroidered Chinese silk robe (1,100).

    One of a pair of German carved relief panels of ancient battle scenes.


    Sunday, November 24th, 2019

    A reticulated Qianlong fish vase at Fonsie Mealy’s sale in Castlecomer on November 26 is similar to the Yamanaka reticulated vase that made just over £19 million at Sotheby’s in 2018. That one was one of the most complex porcelains ever conceived by Tang Ying for the Emperor Qianlong and was a pair to a controversial sale in 2010. That one sold at hammer at north London auctioneers Bainbridges for £43 million to a Chinese billionaire who subsequently baulked at fees of 20%.  After a two year stalemate the sale fell through. The vase was eventually sold in a deal brokered by Bonhams to an unidentified buyer from the Far East who is believed to have paid up to £25 million for it. The fish vase at Fonsie Mealy is estimated at a mere 6,000-8,000.

    Viewing is underway in Castlecomer for Fonsie Mealy’s Winter Chatsworth Fine Art Sale.  There is furniture, paintings, Old Masters, Irish art, silver, objets d’Art, taxidermy and an Irish private collection of Oriental ceramics and art.

    The Fonsie Mealy vase. : UPDATE – THIS WAS UNSOLD
    The Yamanaka Reticulated Vase


    Thursday, November 21st, 2019

    Among the more unusual lots at Fonsie Mealy’s Chatsworth Winter Fine Arts sale in Castlecomer on November 26 is this one. It is a 19th century Maori Pounamu green stone blade of about seven inches long. By tradition said to be used by a Maori chief it was subsequently gifted to Dr. T.W. Croke whilst he was Bishop of Auckland, New Zealand from 1870-1874. After this he became Archbishop of Cashel and Emly in Ireland and was an important figure in the Irish nationalist movement. He was a Champion of the Irish National Land League in the 1880’s and Croke Park in Dublin is named after him. The auction will include antique furniture, paintings, Old Masters, Irish art, silver, collectibles, taxidermy and a private Irish collection of Oriental ceramics and art.

    A 19th century Maori Pounamu green stone blade (600-800). UPDATE: THIS MADE 500 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

    THE Hunt at Woolwich Drag by Gilbert Halliday (1879-1937) made a hammer price of 7,500 at Fonsie Mealy’s sale at Glengarriff, Thurles, Co. Tipperary on October 1. Other hammer prices included a pair of watercolour portraits by the same artist of Brigadier and Mrs. E.T. Boylan of Hilltown on horseback (6,000); Evening on a Highland River by Alfred de Breanski junior (6,600); A Rocky Landscape attributed to Jean Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808) (5,600); Market Scene by Pieter van Bredael (4,500) and a Busy Street Scene by David Teniers (4,200). A pair of Famille Verte Warnier vases made 2,600, an Arts and Crafts chaise longue made 3,200, an Irish fold over tea table from Ely House made 2,800 and a specimen table made 2,500. An Irish 18th century giltwood mirror made 4,600 and a cased pair of 12 bore double barrelled shotguns by William Powell made 3,400.

    The auction realised 250,000 on the hammer with 80% sold.

    The Hunt at Woolwich Drag by Gilbert Halliday.


    Saturday, September 28th, 2019

    A carved French bed at Fonsie Mealy’s sale in Thurles on October 1 is reputed to have belonged to the Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.  The 4’6″ 18th century bed has been at Glengarriff, Thurles – home of the Carrigan family for over 100 years –  since 1962.  It was purchased that year at the contents sale of the Duke de Stacpoole, Tobertynan, Longwood, Co. Meath where it was reputed by strong family tradition to have been originally owned by Josephine. Longwood House on the island of St. Helena where Napoleon was exiled was his final residence and he died there. The bed is estimated at 2,000-3,000.More than 500 lots including heirlooms from the Carrigan family and items from other private clients will go under the hammer.  There is furniture, paintings, prints, silver, Chinese porcelain, sporting guns, garden furniture, books and maps. A set of 19th century Irish miniatures of the Shipsey family of Cape Clear is estimated at 700-800. An early watercolour by Peter Curling, Caught in the Ditch, depicts a jockey and a distressed horse and was painted in 1974 when the noted equestrian artist was just 19. It is estimated at 1,000-1,500.  Among other equestrian artworks is an oil by Gilbert Halliday “The Hunt, at Woolwich drag” (10,000-15,000).  There are some Old Master paintings and prints including a portrait of Jan de Middelste (1561-1623) by a follower of Anthonisz van Ravesteyn (2,000-3,000).The highlight of over 70 lots of silver is an 18th century Irish provincial sauceboat with the makers mark PW, possibly Peter Webb of Limerick (2,000-3,000).  There is a collection of sporting guns, a first edition of the History of Clonmel by Rev William P Burke (1907) and a hand coloured copy of the 1843 Ordnance Survey of Tipperary North Riding. The catalogue is online.

    Bed reputedly owned by Empress Josephine UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 2,200 AT HAMMER
    A group of five miniature portraits of the Shipsey family of Cape Clear UPDATE: THESE MADE 2,500 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, September 26th, 2019

    Fonsie Mealy’s sale of contents of Glengarriff, Thurles, Co. Tipperary on October 1 will offer more than 500 lots of furniture, paintings, prints, silver, Chinese porcelain, sporting guns, garden furniture, books and maps. The auction will include heirlooms from the Carrigan family and items from other private clients. Viewing is on the premises on September 29 and 30, the sale will be held at the Anner Hotel in Thurles at 11 am.

    An Arts and Crafts Library Table with the label Battam, Heywood and Hanks, Oxford St. and Berners St., London (2,000-3,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,700 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

    A shillelagh from the massacre in the quiet Cork village of Ballinhassig in 1845 sold for a hammer price of 5,100 at Fonsie Mealy’s summer auction in Castlecomer last week.  From the collection of the noted Cork antiquarian Robert Day it had been estimated at 300-400.  The massacre followed faction fighting after the fair day and eleven people, ten men and a woman, were shot dead by police.  The shillelagh came with an engraved plaque, mounted and inscribed: “Retrieved after Fair Day Massacre, Ballinhassig, 30 June “45”.  The vast collection of Robert Day (1836-1914) was dispersed at major auctions before and after his death. It included gold, Viking silver, jewellery and medieval religious items. Much of it ended up in museums or in the hands of the world’s richest men, including Randolph Hearst. Robert Day was the president of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society. The family business in saddlery and sporting goods meant he had a Cork city centre location for anyone wishing to sell something to him.

    The shillelagh


    Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

    The Travelling Baby House was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s summer sale in Castlecomer today. The rare small mahogany two room house made a hammer price of 48,000 over an estimate of 3,000-4,000. The c1810 English house was of a type mentioned in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. It was from the Vivienne Greene collection and proceeds from the sale are being distributed to various Irish childrens charities. Another dolls house, Portobello, sold for 12,000 at hammer.

    The sale realised in excess of 420,000 on the hammer with 85% of lots sold.