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  • Posts Tagged ‘Giant’s Causeway’


    Friday, February 19th, 2021

    A little bit of Ireland in the form of a stone from the Giant’s Causeway comes up at Victor Mee’s online Decorative Interiors sale on March 3 and 4. Stones from the Giant’s Causeway were used for hundreds of years for housebuilding around the north west coast. They can been seen in old stone walls and are regularly found when ancient houses fall down. The three stones coming up as lots 436-438 in this sale were once part of a structure located near the causeway. Each one is estimated at 200-400.

    The Giants Causeway was a commercial quarry from the 1940’s until the 1960’s. A quarry a short distance away with the same stones from the same lava flow was called Craignahulliar. It was worked by Portrush Columnar Basalt Company Ltd until the 1980’s. The basalt columns formed from the same lava flows 60 million years ago, which cooled slowly forming the unusual shapes.

    UPDATE: The three stones sold for 140, 180 and 280 respectively


    Friday, April 8th, 2011

    A collection of four hexagonal basalt column sections similar to those found at Ireland’s famed Giants Causeway is the first of 628 lots at Whyte’s History, Literature and Collectibles sale in Dublin on April 16.   They have been in the garden of a County Donegal home for at least fifty years. Whyte’s said it is possible they were acquired from Kennedy Quarries, Portrush, Co. Antrim  in the vicinity of land now belonging to the National Trust. Similar examples were auctioned at Summers Place Auctions in association with Sotheby’s on 19 October 2010 (lot 132) and realised £18,500.

    The Giant’s Causeway is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland. The unusual stone landscape was formed around 50 to 60 million years ago  when Antrim was subject to intense volcanic activity. Rapidly cooling molten basalt formed an extensive lava plateau in columns. Legend has it that the Irish warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner.

    Examples of these stones in private collections are extremely rare. The Causeway area has been National Trust property for many years. It is illegal to remove anything from the site.  These ones are estimated at 3,000-4,000.

    UPDATE: They sold for 2,000.


    Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

    An album of rare photographs of the Giant’s Causeway taken in 1867 by Dublin based photographer, F H Mares is a feature of Bonhams sale of  Books, Maps and Historical Photographs in Oxford on  November 30 next.  The album is inscribed: “Emma Townsend, from her affectionate Sister Bessie on the return from Ireland, March 27th, 1879” and is estimated at £200 – 400.

    The Giant's Causeway in the 19th century. (click to enlarge) taken in 1867 by Dublin based photographer, F H Mares is a feature of Bonhams sale of Books, Maps and Historical Photographs in Oxford on November 30 next. The album is inscribed: "Emma Townsend, from her affectionate Sister Bessie on the return from Ireland, March 27th, 1879" and is estimated at £200 - 400. UPDATE: IT MADE £660.

    Other lots of Irish interest include the Dublin Edition of Clarendon’s History of the Civil Wars in England from the library of the 5th Earl of Drogheda (£300-500): a set of over 80 photographs of personalities of the Kildare Hunt from 1890, (£300-500): 80 books and manuscripts belonging to the Earls of Donoughmore contain a scare eighteenth century devotional work in Irish, ‘An Teagasg Criosdiadhe,’ by Bonaventure O’Hussey, (£900-1,200).
    This influential Tridentine catechism was written in Antwerp in the early years of the 17th century to increase awareness of  international developments in catholic practice in Gaelic Ireland.
    The collection also features a group of rare librettos for eighteenth century comic operas performed at the Theatre Royal, Smock Alley, Dublin (£1,000-1,500). They include Galluppi’s ‘The Guardian Trick’d’ and the 1762 work, ‘The Fair of Malmantile,’ by Goldoni.
    UPDATE: THE F.H. Mares album made £660, the Kildare Hunt photographs sold for £864, An Teagasg Criosdiadhe made £2,880 and the Theatre Royal librettos failed to sell.