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  • Posts Tagged ‘Michael Collins’


    Saturday, August 20th, 2022

    The Path to Freedom by Michael Collins published by The Talbot Press comes up at R.J. Keighery’s sale in Waterford next Monday, the 100th anniversary of the murder of Collins at Beal na Blath in Co. Cork on August 22, 1921.  The 1922 book has chapters including “Advance and Use of our Liberties”, “Alternative to the Treaty”, “The Proof of Success”, “Four Historic Years”, “Collapse of the Terror”, “Partition Act’s Failure”, “Why Britain Sought Irish Peace” and “Freedom within Grasp”. Lot 306 is estimated at €80-€120. More than 600 lots of furniture, Irish art, chandeliers, jewellery, silver and collectibles will come under the hammer. The catalogue is online.


    Monday, November 22nd, 2021

    A military despatch from Michael Collins written on August 19, 1922 comes up as lot 838 at Matthews single owner collection sale on November 30. Just three days later, on August 22, 1922, the Irish revolutionary Commander in Chief was shot dead at Beal na Blath in Co. Cork. Matthews believe this military despatch to be his last written words. From the collection of the late Donall O Morain, former chief executive of Gael Linn and chairman of the RTE Authority It is estimated at €7,000-€12,000. It had been given to him by his uncle Finian Lynch, who served as an assistant secretary to the Treaty Delegation with Michael Collins in London and was Minister for Education in the First Dail. Lot 937 is an original copy of the 1916 Proclamation and is estimated at €120,000-€180,000.

    The Military Despatch signed by Michael Collins. UPDATE: THIS MADE 7,100 AT HAMMER


    Monday, May 17th, 2021

    This limited edition lithograph of a portrait of Michael Collins by Sir John Lavery is signed by both men. The artists proof was published by Wilson Hartnell and is from a private collection. It comes up as Lot 6 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish art online auction which runs until May 24. The estimate is 3,000-5,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,400 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, February 27th, 2021

    No matter what your area of interest happens to be there is much in Fonsie Mealy’s Collectors’ Sale online from Castlecomer on March 3 to keep you occupied during this long lockdown. Literature, local and national history, sport and cinema all feature. These sales always throw up lots that offer insights into the day to day working lives of people like Michael Collins or the late Victorian and Edwardian Corkonians who mounted what seems to me to be the best show this city ever produced, the Cork Exhibition of 1901-02. A typed letter from the Aire Airgead (Minister for Finance) of 1920 is in fact a typically businesslike response from Michael Collins to a request from Skibbereen.  Peadar Ó hAnnracháin (1873-1965), Gaelic League organiser, poet and Volunteer, had sought assistance for local fishermen.  Collins, as minister, promised action but advised that the first thing to be done was to set up a co-operative society “as we deal only with Societies and not with individuals”.  The letter, lot 407 in a sale of 673 lots, is estimated at 400-600.A letter of June 2, 1920 from Terence MacSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, to the Superintendent, Great Southern and Western Railway, supports a request from Messrs. Henry Ford of Cork for two sleeping carriages to be attached to the mail train between Cork and Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire). The letter, estimated at €450-€650, is on black bordered official notepaper following the assassination of Lord Mayor Tomas MacCurtain. By any standards the Cork Exhibition was a magnificent event. Insight into the largely forgotten organisers might be found in lot 378, a 1911 book entitled Cork and County in the 20th century, Contemporary Biographies by Rev. R.J. Hodges edited by W. T. Pike, estimated at €200-€300.Lot 315 is a Maharajah’s photo album gift to engineer Vincent Hart.  It is inscribed; “To V. Hart Esq., Superintending Engineer, Madras.  With the best compliments of Ramchandra, Maharajah of Jeypore”.  He was responsible for building the Mettur Dam on the River Cauvery, at that time the biggest solid gravity dam in the world. He retired to Cork and died at his house at Lotabeg on the Lower Glanmire Road in 1939. The album is estimated at 1,000-€1,500. A selection of sporting memorabilia includes lot 616, the match programme for the 1945 All Ireland Football Final between Cork and Cavan (Cork won by 2-5 to 0-7) and some Munster Championship official programmes.  Among the cinema memorabilia are posters for The Field, Ryan’s Daughter and Michael Collins.

    The programme for 1945 All Ireland Football Final between Cork and Cavan. UPDATE: THIS MADE 600 AT HAMMER


    Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

    Art by Patrick Collins, Hughie O’Donoghue, Barrie Cooke, Basil Blackshaw, John B. Vallely and Markey Robinson performed well at de Vere’s in Dublin tonight. The walking cane once owned by Michael Collins made a hammer price of 11,000 over a top estimate of 4,000. F.E. McWilliam’s Anthropomorphic Bean once in the collection of Lehman Brothers failed to find a buyer. The top lot was Hughie O’Donoghue’s Return of Ulysses Blue Elegy which made 30,000 at hammer. Among the other top lots, with hammer prices in brackets, were: A memory of W.B. Yeats walking in Dublin by Patrick Collins (29,000); Moorland Water by Patrick Collins (26,000); Five Musicians by John B. Vallely (21,000); Frission by Mark Frances (20,000); Longshore VIII by Donald Teskey (18,000); Wind, Strings and Reeds by John B. Vallely (15,000); Big Forest Borneo by Barrie Cooke (14,500); Landscape by Basil Blackshaw (13,000); Image of Seamus Heaney by Louis le Brocquy (12,000); Arrival of the catch by Markey Robinson (11,000) and Winter Pattern by Tony O’Malley (10,000).

    (See post on for November 24, 2019)

    Hughie O’Donoghue – Return of Ulysses, Blue Elegy


    Sunday, November 24th, 2019

    A walking cane owned by Michael Collins is included in de Veres Irish Art Auction at the Royal College of Physicians on Kildare St. at 6 pm on November 26. The cane, lot 84, was given by Collins to John Cormack, his driver, who had been shot during a gun battle at Dublin’s Red Cow c1921.  It comes to auction through  Cormack’s grand-daughter and is estimated at 2,000-4,000.The catalogue cover lot, F.E. MacWilliam’s Anthropomorphic Bean (1965) was once in the collection of the infamous investment bankers Lehman Brothers and was housed at No. 3 World Financial Centre adjacent to the twin towers in New York on 9/11. It is estimated at 25,000-35,000.  Other highlights of the sale include four small Dan O’Neill oils, a Big Forest Borneo triptych by Barrie Cooke and A Memory of W.B.Yeats walking in Dublin by Patrick Collins.  Viewing is now underway at de Veres at 35 Kildare St. in Dublin.


    Anthropomorphic Bean by F.E. McWilliam. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


    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


    Saturday, January 13th, 2018
    From the Indian Mutiny to a group image with Michael Collins, an 1866 engraving of the opening of the Cork Macroom Railway to car travelling in the south of Ireland in 1836 Whyte’s Eclectic Collector sale in Dublin on February 3 promises to be brimful of interest.
    These auctions have thrown up a huge variety of fascinating items of interested to all sorts of collectors.  Not surprising then how popular they have proved to be.
    The 1922 photo of Michael Collins with Free State army officers shows a group of five, four in uniform, one in civilian clothing, standing on a roadway.  The handwritten caption reads:  “Col. Dunphy – Michael – Dalton – McMahon – O’Hegarty”.  Pasted on a mount it is estimated at 200-300.
    There is a set of six Bianconi prints by Michael Angelo Hayes and signed by Bianconi on car travelling in the south of Ireland in 1836. Born in Italy in 1786 and a refugee from Napoleon’s armies Carlo Bianconi came to Ireland at the age of 16 and started out as an engraver and printseller in Dublin. In Clonmel in 1815 he established the first reliable public transport in Ireland when he began a regular carriage service between Clonmel and Cahir. The cost was one penny farthing a mile. The service continued to the 1850’s by which time there were a number of railway services in Ireland. Framed in rosewood and gilt frames the prints are estimated at 800-1,200.

    A collection of 13 hand coloured engraved topographical views of Munster includes four views of Cork and environs after Bartlett, four views of west Cork and Kerry by Day and Haghe and four views of Limerick and Tipperary by Alexander Hogg. They are estimated to make 150-200.  Viewing for the sale of over 500 lots gets underway on January 31 and the catalogue is already online.

    A 1922 group roadside photograph with Michael Collins  UPDATE: THIS MADE 360

    An engraving by Michael Angelo Hayes signed by Bianconi  UPDATE: THIS MADE 750 AT HAMMER

    Wilkinson’s Sword – a Victorian 1845 sword by Henry Wilkinson, Pall Mall, London  UPDATE: THIS MADE 440 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, November 9th, 2017

    a wedding present from Michael Collins to his sister is among the lots at Marshs sale in Cork on November 11.  The set of is estimated at just 300-500.  Georgian and Victorian furniture, porcelain, rugs and books will all come under the hammer. Top lots of furniture include an early Irish Georgian kneehole desk, an Irish Georgian walnut upholstered chair and a Queen Anne walnut chest on stand.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:


    Irish Georgian Mahogany Kneehole Writing Desk

    Pair of Bronze “Marley” Horses on Stands


    Saturday, April 15th, 2017

    “Ireland will have cause to remember her present day extremists” the Irish patriot Michael Collins wrote with considerable prescience to his fiancé Kitty Kiernan on June 1, 1922 during the Treaty negotiations. The letter is part of an extensive archive of Easter Rising material due to come up at Sotheby’s in New York on April 24. They were to have been married the following November. Just over two months later he was shot dead at Beal na mBlath in Co. Cork. Lot 89 in the sale of the Maurice Neville Collection of Modern Literature (Part III) relates to the Easter Rising and the Irish Rebellion.

    It comprises 22 pamphlets and books, eight broadsides and handbills and about about 28 autograph items from Dublin and London from 1910 to 1925.  There are two letters to Kitty Kiernan, dated March 31 and June 1, 1922 when Collins was part of the Irish delegation negotiating the Treaty. In March he wrote:  “We came to an agreement on certain things with Craig yesterday – I am not very sanguine about the future from any point of view. We have however secured release of all the prisoners…. but the news from Ireland is very bad and the “powers that be” here are getting very alarmed that there may be a bust up at any moment.  Were it not for the awful consequences I’d almost welcome it…. yet one has the responsibility. It would be cowardly to shirk from standing up to it. The whole business is casting a gloom over me and in spite of what is a big human hope I cannot  keep thinking that as a people we are destined to go on dreaming, vainly hoping, striving to no purpose until we are all gone”.

    On June I he reported to his fiancé:  “Things have got very much worse overnight & I am looking forward now to my last appointment with them.  I’m returning tonight no matter what happens as I feel I can do no more good here.  Ireland will have cause to remember her present day extremists. The whole thing is ghastly but I’ll tell you more about it when I see you. It was only after my scribble yesterday I heard about Joe McGuinnesses death. He is a great loss to us but apart from that I feel the personal loss more keenly. He was the one most responsible for the recent peace. It makes the present position all the more tragic”.
    Lot 89 contains a copy of the Proclamation, two copies of the Irish War News and letters and signatures of Charles Stewart Parnell, de Valera, Childers, McBride,  WT Cosgrave, The O’Rahilly, Kevin O’Higgins, Desmond FitzGerald and others. There is a souvenir programme of the funeral of O’Donovan Rossa to Glasnevin Cemetery in August 1915 and Eamon de Valera’s copy of Frank Gallagher’s The Invisible Island:  The History of Partition in Ireland, London ,1958 signed and dated May 3, 1958 by de Valera. The lot is estimated at $7,000-10,000.

    Letters from Michael Collins addressed to Miss Kitty Kiernan, Granard, Co. Longford

    The archive of material relating to the Easter Rising