Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Posts Tagged ‘Padraig Pearse’


    Saturday, November 4th, 2023
    Padraig Pearse’s membership card for the Irish Volunteers UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Padraig Pearse’s 1913 membership card for The Irish Volunteers will highlight The History Sale at Whyte’s in Dublin on November 11.  The rarity of this unique relic from the leader of the 1916 Rising inscribed in indelible pencil in his own hand is reflected in an estimate of €150,000-€250,000. Issued on December 9 it is signed by Pearse and renewals up to January 1914 are initialled by him.  Pearse left the Irish Volunteers when the organisation split over John Redmond agreeing to support Britain in the war with Germany. It is inscribed: Padraic Mac Piarais Sgoil Eanna and numbered 100.  Gifted by Pearse’s mother Margaret to Micheal Mac Ruaidhri who was with Pearse at the GPO on Easter Monday 1916 the provenance is impeccable.

    The 295 lots in the auction span four centuries, with maps from the 1660’s to autographed photographs of Taoisigh of the 1970’s and ’80’s. A group of medals awarded to Vinnie Byrne is estimated at €10,000-€15,000.  He was the most prominent member of the Michael Collins squad responsible for the assassination of British military intelligence officers during the War of Independence.  A 1916 Rising medal awarded to Dublin volunteer Sean O’Shaughnessy is part of a group including a War of Independence medal and estimated at €4,000-€6,000. The extraordinary collection of medals formed by the artist Thomas Ryan (1929-2021), former president of the Royal Hibernian Academy, is a major feature of the sale.  His interest was in the art and design of commemorative, history, educational and agricultural medals from the 17th to the 19th century. More than 250 medals will be sold in 130 lots.

    A Cork Agricultural Association 1843 medal for the best five acres of thorough draining land UPDATE: THIS MADE 500 AT HAMMER

    The earliest is a copper issued to Dorcas Brabazon, wife of the Secretary of State for Ireland George Lane. Other medals commemorate Oliver Goldsmith, Henry Grattan, the Duke of Wellington, Fr. Matthew, Wolfe Tone, Daniel O’Connell and Charles Stewart Parnell.  There are farming medals, schools and university medals and a selection of church medals depicting popes from the 17th to the 21st century. There are lithographs of two portraits by Sir John Lavery of Michael Collins and Arthur Griffiths, each signed by both artist and sitter. Lavery painted the portraits in 1921 while they were in London  negotiating the terms of the Irish Treaty. (€8,000-€12,000).  Two volumes of engravings by the English caricaturist James Gillray (1756-1811) are estimated at €6,000-€8,000.  There is a similar estimate on an extremely rare programme for the 1913 All Ireland Football Final between Kerry and Wexford. Among the other top lots is a selection of correspondence by Padraig Pearse from 1911-12 concerning St. Enda’s. regulations signed by Michael Collins as Minister for Finance, silver models of the domes of the Four Courts and Government Buildings by Lorcan Brereton and 1966 Rising Anniversary gold and silver medals.

    A 1922 image of the men who fought for Ireland’s freedom at Beggars Bush barracks by Panograph Photo Co., New York. UPDATE: THIS MADE 660 AT HAMMER


    Tuesday, October 24th, 2023
    1913 (9 December) Pádraig Pearse’s membership card for The Irish Volunteers

    Padraig Pearse’s 1913 membership card for The Irish Volunteers is the top lot at Whyte’s History sale on November 11. The rarity of this treasure is reflected in an estimate of €150,000-250,000. It is inscribed in Pearse’s own hand in indelible pencil: Pádraic Mac Piarais Sgoil Éanna and numbered 100. The card was gifted by Pearse’s mother Margaret to Micheál Mac Ruaidhrí, thence to his daughter Brid who gifted it to the family of the present owner.

    Micheál Mac Ruaidhrí was a mentor and confidant to Padraig Pearse. Dubbed ‘the greatest seanchaí of our time’ by the scholar and patriot Eoin MacNeill, and known to Professor Douglas Hyde, Ireland’s first President, as ‘The Mayo Poet’ because of the musical quality of his Irish he was born in Mayo in 1860. Mac Ruaidhri suffered from poor eyesight and as a result spent just two days in school, preferring instead to occupy his days with the elders of his area. In the process he amassed and retained a vast knowledge of folklore, sagas, history, song and music, all of which he dearly loved, whilst also gaining a genuine love for and understanding of the soil.

    As a young man Micheál went to Dublin and worked as a gardener at Stradbrook Estate, Blackrock, before striking up a relationship with the revolutionary and educationalist Patrick Pearse. From the foundation in 1908 of Pearse’s Cullenswood School in Ranelagh, Dublin, Micheaál taught practical gardening and horticulture and in 1910, he, together with his bride, the former Alice Wallace, relocated with Pearse to the Hermitage in Rathfarnham, the site of the future and much celebrated Scoil Eanna -‘St. Endas.’ The Hermitage was to be the site of a new school for boys based on the ancient Irish custom of fosterage, while Cullenswood became a girls school which Pearse named Scoil Íde. St. Enda’s influence on the 1916 Rising is evident by the list of those participants who taught at or attended the school. In addition to Mac Ruaidhri and his assistant Patrick Donnelly and the patriot Pearse brothers, Patrick and Willie, other revolutionaries such as Thomas MacDonagh, Eamon Ceannt, Con Colbert and Fergus de Burca also taught there, as did the writers Padraic Colum and Standish O Grady. Desmond Ryan who fought in the GPO and and Joseph Sweeney who was a sniper on the roof of the GPO were among the sixteen St. Enda’s pupils who participated in the 1916 Rising.

    Mac Ruaidhri was in the G.P.O. Dublin, with Pearse on Easter Monday 1916, and stood beside Pearse as he read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. Due to his bad eyesight and the fact that he was 56 years of age at the time, he was ordered back to St. Enda’s by Pearse with instructions to destroy or hide secret documents. Following the suppression of the 1916 Rebellion, Mac Ruaidhrí was arrested and imprisoned in Frongoch Prison, Wales: at the time he was the oldest prisoner in the gaol and spent his days teaching Irish and history to the other rebel inmates. On his release he returned to St. Enda’s and resumed his career as gardener. After the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1922, a treaty he disagreed with, MacRuaidhri took no further part in politics and concentrated instead on his writing and folklore collecting. Those who sought out his wisdom and knowledge included Eamon De Valera, Dr.Douglas Hyde and Micheál Ó Tiomaindhe (Michael Timoney 1870-1940). Micheál MacRuaidhrí died in May, 1936 aged 76 at his home, St Enda’s Lodge, was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.


    Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

    This two piece gold set commemorative Padraig Pearse medals will come under the hammer at Woodwards biannual silver and collectibles sale in Cork on October 7. The 22 carat gold medals designed by Paul Vincze were issued in 1966 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising. The total weight is 189 grams.


    Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

    Jack B. Yeats - Glory to the Brave Singer (250,000-350,000)

    Jack B. Yeats – Glory to the Brave Singer (250,000-350,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS PASSED AT 230,000

    A great late Yeats work will highlight the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art and Irish historical documents in Dublin on December 7.  Glory to the Brave Singer, which depicts a woman reclining in a landscape pointing towards a songbird, was exhibited at the RHA in 1951, at Victor Waddington’s in Dublin in October 1953 and at the Munster Fine Art Club annual exhibition in Cork in 1956. It was shown several times at Victor Waddington’s gallery in London in the late 1950’s and ’60’s but has rarely been seen in public since becoming part of a private collection in 1971. It is estimated at 250,000-350,000. It is one of four Yeats’ oils in what Adams describe as one of their finest sales in some years.

    There is a small section on Irish historical documents which includes the most expensively estimated lot, the final order of surrender written  by Padraig Pearse at Easter 1916 (1-1.5 million) and two original copies of the Irish Proclamation (each estimated at 250,000-350,000).

    The art sale features lots from the Smurfit Kappa Collection, which includes a self portrait by Sir William Orpen (the catalogue cover lot) and Paul Henry’s Connemara Landscape.  There are important works by traditional Northern painters like Frank McKelvey, James Humbert Craig and Maurice Wilks.  The back cover of the catalogue features one of Roderic O’Conor’s biggest and most ambitious paintings of the female nude. Etude du nu dates to 1914 and is estimated at 50,000-70,000. The sale features work by artists like Sir John Lavery, Joseph Malachy Kavanagh, Aloysius O’Kelly and Nathaniel Hill as well as four paintings by Patrick Hennessy who was the subject of an exhibition at IMMA during the summer.

    There is work by Mildred Anne Butler, Evie Hone, Mainie Jellett, Letitia and Eva Hamilton and Norah McGuinness.  Contemporary artists include Tony O’Malley, Louis le Brocquy, Mark Francis, Donald Teskey and John Doherty.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    UPDATE:   The Pearse surrender letter was unsold.  The sale grossed 1.35 million with 76% of lots sold.

    Louis le Brocquy HRHA (1916-2012) Human Image (Woman) (1997) (40,000-60,000)

    Louis le Brocquy HRHA (1916-2012)
    Human Image (Woman) (1997) (40,000-60,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Roderic O'Conor (1860-1940) Etude de Nu (50,000-70,000)

    Roderic O’Conor (1860-1940)
    Etude de Nu (50,000-70,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Patrick Hennessy RHA (1915-1980) The Bronze Horses of Saint Marks (1953) (15,000-20,000)

    Patrick Hennessy RHA (1915-1980)
    The Bronze Horses of Saint Marks (1953) (15,000-20,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 32,000 AT HAMMER

    Norah McGuinness HRHA (1901-1980) Waterweeds on the Nore (4,000-6,000)

    Norah McGuinness HRHA (1901-1980)
    Waterweeds on the Nore (4,000-6,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,500 AT HAMMER


    Sunday, May 10th, 2015
    The backbone for the annual James Adam History Sale in Dublin on May 12 is formed by three strong collections. Books and documents from the late historian Dr.Tony Sweeney – who sought to have the best possible copy of every book or pamphlet shown to have a connection to Ireland pre-1700 – will make up lots 1-279. There are 94 lots of rare Irish maps from two private collectors with estimates from 50 to 8,000.  The rarest maps are by Antonio Lefreri (fl1540-1577) and two examples of early maps of Ireland are estimated at 5,000-7,000 and 6,000-8,0000 respectively.
    The MacManus Carbery collection comprises 22 lots from the Donegal writer Seumas MacManus (1868-1960); his first wife Anna Johnston (1866-1902) whose pen name was Ethna Carbery and his brother Padraic (1864-1929), a successful businessman in Argentina.  He was a supporter of Irish causes and the archive includes important original correspondence from Padraig Pearse, Arthur Griffith, Major John MacBride and others associated with the Irish revival.
    The sale is peppered by a long list of Irish personages from Michael Collins and Padraig Pearse to W.B. Yeats and Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.  The 824 lots will be sold in two sessions, at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    (See post on for May 3, 2015).

    Robert Boyle - New experiments physico mechanical touching the spring of the air (600-800).

    Robert Boyle – New experiments physico mechanical touching the spring of the air (600-800).  UPDATE: THIS MADE 950 AT HAMMER

    A gold Davis Cup medal, 1903 won by Harald Segerson Mahony, the last Irishman to win at Wimbledon (1896). (5,000-7,000).

    A gold Davis Cup medal, 1903 won by Harald Segerson Mahony, the last Irishman to win at Wimbledon (1896). (5,000-7,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A section of the direction United States transatlantic  telegraphic cable 1874 (500-800).

    A section of the direction United States transatlantic telegraphic cable 1874 (500-800).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,100 AT HAMMER

    A rare handbill issue of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic (3,000-5,000).

    A rare handbill issue of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic (3,000-5,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 7,500 AT HAMMER

    Antonio LaFreri - Rome Hibernia Sive Irlanda first published in 1560 (6,000-8,000).

    Antonio LaFreri – Rome Hibernia Sive Irlanda first published in 1560 (6,000-8,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 6,500 AT HAMMER

    A four page manuscript letter dated 1908 from Padraig Pearse to Padraic MacManus in Argentina appealing for funds to establish an Irish language high school in Dublin 912,000-15,000).

    A four page manuscript letter dated 1908 from Padraig Pearse to Padraic MacManus in Argentina appealing for funds to establish an Irish language high school in Dublin (12,000-15,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD