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  • Posts Tagged ‘Lusitania’


    Sunday, May 24th, 2020

    We’ve all become unhappily accustomed to restrictions on our movement.  One lot at Woodwards first ever online only auction in Cork on May 30 demonstrates that lockdown comes in many forms, and there is nothing new about it.  People can be confined to their own property, then forced to flee in most dramatic circumstances, as happened in Cobh long ago.

    Lot 285 at Woodwards is a detailed painting of The Queens Hotel, Queenstown, Ireland (now the Commodore Hotel, Cobh) by Walter Richards. It dates to the first decade of the last century.  Around that time the hotel, which first opened in 1854, was taken over by Otto Humbert, a naturalised British subject of German birth. The noted hotelier had electricity and phones installed and an American style bar on the ground floor. Fast forward to May 1915. Survivors of the Lusitania were brought ashore at Cobh. Some were billeted in The Queen’s Hotel. Feelings about the killing of 1,200 civilians aboard a passenger liner torpedoed by a German U-boat ran very high. Survivors were horrified to discover the proprietor of the hotel was a German.  The fact that he was blameless, that nothing against him was known, counted for nothing.  A mob surrounded the hotel demanding it be burned to the ground.Otto Humbert and his family were forced to hide in the wine cellar for three days until the rioters dispersed. By then he had prudently decided to leave.  He fled from his own hotel and made it to Liverpool.  There he boarded a ship bound for New York, a fact reported by The New York Times on May 30, 1915.  Many of those who died on the Lusitania are buried at Old Church cemetery in Cobh, just five minutes from the hotel.The sinking propelled America into the First World War and Queenstown into global war headlines. The painting depicts a much more tranquil, Edwardian style, harbour front hotel with attractive red and white awnings.  It is estimated at just €400-500.  A few years earlier, in 1912, some of those who set off on the Titanic spent their last night ashore at this historic hotel with its long history of servicing the liner trade.

    Woodwards will offer 338 lots antique furniture, fine art, silver and collectibles in an online auction which has already aroused much interest. 

    The Queen’s Hotel, Queenstown by Walter Richards. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,500 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, July 27th, 2017

    The Lusitania telegraph recovered from the sea bed yesterday.

    The main telegraph machine from the wreck of the Lusitania was recovered yesterday from the seabed off County Cork.  It was brought to the surface in good condition under the supervision of an archaeologist from the Irish National Monuments Service.  It had been relocated by recreational divers, who marked its position on the seabed.

    The Cunarder, the largest ship in the world when built on the Clyde, was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Co Cork on May 7 1915, with the loss of 1,201 lives. It was en route from New York to Liverpool.  The sinking has been cited as factor in the US’s eventual entry into the First World War.

    The wreck, 11 nautical miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, is regarded as a war grave and protected by an Underwater Heritage Order under Ireland’s National Monuments Acts. The owner of wreck Gregg Bemis intends to place the telegraph, and the pedestal successfully recovered last year, on display in a local museum, along with other artefacts he has recovered during earlier dives.


    Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

    A collection of souvenirs from the Lusitania.

    A collection of souvenirs from the Lusitania.  UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR 800

    There will be memories of happier times on the Lusitania at Lynes and Lynes in Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork on May 23.  The centenary of the sinking of the Cunarder, with the loss of 1,198 lives in an act of war off the coast of Cork, was marked earlier this month. Among 300 lots at Lynes and Lynes is a breakfast menu from the vessel in June 1910 along with two dinner plates, a silk ribbon worn at the launch in 1906 and a boxed medal.  They will be sold as one lot with an estimate of just 100-200.  The catalogue for the sale is on line. Here is a small selection.

    A Dun Emer Guild rug, circa 1950,  made originally for Aghadoe House, Killarney (500-1,000). The reproduction table in the image has a similar estimate.

    A Dun Emer Guild rug, circa 1950, made originally for Aghadoe House, Killarney (500-1,000). The reproduction table in the image has a similar estimate.  UPDATE: THE RUG SOLD FOR 1,300, THE DINING TABLE FOR 700

    Antique french gilded and brass mantel clock with cloisonne panels. Circa 1900. (100-200).

    Antique french gilded and brass mantel clock with cloisonne panels. Circa 1900. (100-200). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 240

    An antique Hepplewhite design window seat (200-300).

    An antique Hepplewhite design window seat (200-300).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 220

    A Georgian travel trunk (150-250).

    A Georgian travel trunk (150-250).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 140


    Thursday, May 7th, 2015



    Today marks the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania, which was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sunk off the coast of Cork on May 7, 1915.  This caused the deaths of 1,198 passengers and crew.  There are commemorations of the loss of the Cunard Liner in various locations in County Cork today, including lifeboat stations and at Cobh, where many of the survivors were taken.  Cobh, then Queenstown, was an important transatlantic port and recovered bodies were brought ashore and buried in a mass grave here.  Lifeboats powered only by oarsmen set out for the site of the sinking eleven miles off the southern coast and within sight of the Old Head of Kinsale.  She had left New York for Liverpool on May 1, but sank within eighteen minutes of being torpedoed following a second, internal explosion.  Among those who died was Sir Hugh Lane, the art dealer, collector and gallery director. He  is best known for establishing Dublin’s Municipal Gallery of Modern Art – now the Hugh Lane – the first known public gallery of modern art in the world.


    Saturday, December 18th, 2010
    An antique model of the Lusitania made $194,500 at Sotheby’s in New York on December 17. The actual wreck of the ill fated vessel on the seabed off Ireland changed hands for just £1,000 in 1968. The Marklin model, made c1912 in Germany, was the top lot in the sale of the Malcolm Forbes toy collection.  The sale realised $2,381,008.
    Sotheby’s say the model, which has become the most expensive toy boat ever sold at auction, was crafted by Marklin at the height of their creative genius and that, like good wine, age has improved it. Lusitania was launched in England in 1906 and made her maiden voyage in 1907. The transatlantic liner was hit by a German torpedo off the coast of Cork in 1915.   The Cunard Line vessel sank in just 18 minutes, losing 1,198 of her 1,959 civilian passengers.  In 1967 the wreck of the Lusitania was sold by the Liverpool & London War Risks Insurance Association to former US Navy diver John Light for £1,000. Gregg Bemis became a co-owner of the wreck in 1968, and by 1982 had bought out his partners to become sole owner.  Mr. Bemis is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur who ran unsuccessfully three times as a Republican candidate in New Mexico.
    See post for December 9


    Thursday, December 9th, 2010

    The Lusitania model. IT MADE $194,500

    A Marklin model of the Lusitania  made c1912 will be sold at Sotheby’s in New York on December 17. It is part of the celebrated Malcolm Forbes collection of toy boats, soldiers, motorcycles and classic board games.  The sale is estimated to realise between $3/$5 million. The major portion consists of sports, naval, commercial and luxury toy boats.

    In May 1915 the Cunard liner was torpedoed 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland, precipitating the entry of the US into the First World War.  Lusitania sank in 18 minutes, killing about 1,198 of the 1,959 people on board.
    The model, thirty seven and a half inches long, is estimated at $100,000-$200,000. The deck is finished with intricate details, including working anchors and chain. A view of the lower deck is made possible by cutouts in the hull. It was purchased by Malcolm Forbes, publisher of Forbes magazine, for $28,600 at Sotheby’s New York in 1983. At the time this was the highest price ever paid for a toy boat.
    UPDATE: The Lusitania model sold for a hammer price with buyer’s premium of  $194,500