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  • Posts Tagged ‘Michael Collins’


    Saturday, March 4th, 2023

    A knife, fork and spoon, stitched to a silk shamrock and framed with a photograph of Michael Collins, form a curious lot at  Mullen’s Collector’s Cabinet auction on March 11. This was the cutlery used by Collins at his last meal in the Eldon Hotel in Skibbereen on August 22, 1922, just hours before the ambush at  Béal na mBláth later that day. It was later presented to Kitty Kiernan, who gave it to her sister Maud.  Maud married Gearóid O’Sullivan, the Irish Volunteer who raised the flag over the GPO during the Easter Rising. It is estimated at €1,500-€2,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE 6,500 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, December 3rd, 2022
     Adare Manor replica of the Shrine of St. Manchan. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    With an original copy of the Irish Constitution, a first edition of Ulysses in the centenary year of its publication, the pocket seal of Michael Collins engraved with his initials, facsimiles of The Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels, a collection of Beatles signatures, an album signed by Jimi Hendrix and Cork’s first All-Ireland Football gold medal from 1894 there is little not to like about Fonsie Mealy’s Christmas Rare Books and Collectors sale.

    Michael Collins’ pocket seal with the initials M.C. in reverse. UPDATE: THIS MADE €4,800 AT HAMMER

    “Here be Treasure” is what they used to write on the old pirates maps and “X marks the Spot”. In this auction there is a respectable quota of 1,156 x’s. That is the number of lots due to come under the hammer over two days of sales ON December 6 and 7 at the Talbot Hotel in Dublin. With estimates of €20-€30 euro (for a match programme and scarf from Ireland’s first win over New Zealand in Dublin in 2018) to €140,000-€180,000 (for the Irish Constitution) there is material in this sale to cater for many interests across all price ranges. A  life sized replica of the shrine of St. Manchan in wood, plaster of Paris and gilding, commissioned by Sir William Wilde (Oscar’s dad) and presented to the 3rd Earl of Dunraven, conveys the magnificence of one of the finest examples of 12th century metalwork to have survived in Ireland at Boher in Co. Offaly. The replica, displayed at Adare Manor for over a century and included in the contents sale there in 1982, is estimated at €20,000-€30,000.

    Among the highlights is a collection of gold and silver medals awarded to John Enright of Limerick including the World Fly Fishing Tournament at Wimbledon in 1896, an archive of documents relating to Hugh Kennedy (1879-1936),  first Attorney General and Chief Justice of the Irish Free State, An Argument on behalf of the Catholics of Ireland, 1791 signed by Wolfe Tone and the controversial Cork All-Ireland football gold medal of 1894 featured on these pages last Saturday. The Michael Collins memorabilia includes a copy of the London accounts for the Treaty negotiations, his shillelagh and his pocket seal.  There is an intriguing note with an almost certain intelligence connection seeking “any particulars”.

    A signed album cover for Axis: Bold as Love by Jimi Hendrix. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    There will be competition for a collection of album covers with signatures by John Lennon, Yoko Ono, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul and Linda McCartney as well as the album Axis: Bold as Love signed by Jimi Hendrix (who would have been 80 this week).A folio of ten large watercolour drawings of Ireland’s geological landscape by George Victor du Noyer (€4,000-€5,000) is another rarity.  There is no shortage of signed first editions of books of poetry, literature and popular fiction, medals, coins, banknotes, historic match programmes, cinema posters, soldiers letters and even a boxing glove signed by Joe Frazier and George Foreman.  The catalogue is online.


    Sunday, October 9th, 2022
    Chairs given by MIchael Collins as a wedding gift to his sister Mary. UPDATE: THESE MADE 1,900 AT HAMMER

    A set of six Arts and Crafts dining chairs given as a wedding gift by Michael Collins to his sister Mary – sold at Marshs in Cork in 2017 – are among a number of items of Collins memorabilia at Mullen’s Collector’s Cabinet sale on October 15. The estimate for the mahogany and tooled leather chairs by Schoolbred and Co. London is  €1,800-€2,200. 

    The auction of 649 lots offers everything from Neolithic arrowheads and a giant Elk cranium to more than 40 lots relating to the Northern Ireland troubles. The steel housing for a camera used to monitor one of the H-Blocks (€500-€700) and a flak jacket worn by a member of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (€200-€300) are included. Two photographs from 1941 of a military funeral for four British airmen show coffins draped in the Union flag being carried by Irish Army pallbearers past an honour guard of Irish solders (€150-€200). Lot 90 is the Irish Citizen Army red hand badge of Brigid Brady, a first cousin in Padraig Pearse who  worked at Jacobs and played an important part in the 1913 Lockout and the organisation of the Irish Citizen Army. She served at City Hall, Dublin during the 1916 Rising.  The badge and her uniform belt are each estimated at €1,200-€1,500.

    British airmen received full military honours at a 1941 funeral at Blessington, Co. Wicklow. UPDATE: THESE MADE 140 AT HAMMER


    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