Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Posts Tagged ‘Purcell Auctioneers’


    Tuesday, August 8th, 2023
    Wooden Aileron Rib from the Vickers Vimy Bomber, flown by Alcock & Brown. UPDATE: THIS MADE €17,500 at hammer.

    Typical. You wait nearly a century and then two come along. Ailerons from the Vickers Vimy bomber flown by Alcock and Brown in the first non-stop transatlantic flight from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Connemara in 1919 are rare. One turned up at Whyte’s in 2018. Now a different one has surfaced and will be auctioned by Purcell Auctioneers in Birr on August 18. At Whyte’s the aileron made €8,500 at hammer. Lot 205 at Purcell’s sale of collectibles and rarities is estimated at €6,000-€8,000. This piece was retrieved by noted local photographer R W Simmons, one of the first on the scene to take photographs for the national newspapers. Purcell’s say it is thence: by descent and gift to the current owner in the early 2000’s. Three hand written descriptions thereon, one of which includes the name of R W Simons (Simmons – renowned Galway based photographer). A paper cutting on the other side reads “£50 for £1. The owner of a Treasury Pound Note carried across the Atlantic by Sir John Alcock on the 1st non-stop flight, has refused £50 for it”. 

    The plane landed in a bog that appeared from the air to be a suitable green field after less than 16 hours flying time and was damaged after going nose over. Neither of the airmen was hurt. An Alcock and Brown photo/scrapbook made €2,600 over a top estimate of €1,800.

    (See post on for September 8, 2018).


    Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

    This draft of the Irish Constitution signed by Eamonn de Valera and others made a hammer price of €7,200 at the Purcell Auctioneers sale of the libraries of Conor Cruise O’Brien, his wife the poet Maire mac an tSaoi and her father Sean MacEntree in Birr today. It was the top lot of the sale. Bunreacht na hEireann. Irish Constitution.(Draft) is signed by Eamonn de Valera, Taoiseach and Minister for External affairs, Sean T. O’Kelly Tanaiste and Minister for Local Government and Public Health, P. J. Ruttledge Minister for Justice, Sean F Lemass Minister for Industry and Commerce, Seamus O’Rian, Minister for Agriculture, Frank Aiken, Minister for Defence, Gearoid O’Beolain, Minister for Lands, Oscar Traynor Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, Tomas O’Deirg, Minister for Education and Sean MacEntee, Minister for Finance whose copy this was. It is inscribed To Dear Lottie and dated 1st July 1937. Included in the lot was a letter from Seán McEntee to Lottie Fairfield outlining how McEntee arranged for the signatures.


    Saturday, March 19th, 2022
    Soleil en foret (Sunlight in the forest) by Roderic O’Conor at Fonsie Mealy. UPDATE: THIS MADE 40,000 AT HAMMER

    A Regency cheval mirror with satinwood crossbanding is among the lots of interest at Matthews sale of the entire contents of Rath House in Dundalk online from Kells, Co. Meath on March 20.  The sale of 1,117 lots includes antique furniture, paintings, silver and collectibles.  There are tables, sets of chairs, chests of drawers, bookcases, Oriental porcelain, Waterford Crystal, Victorian landscapes and portraits and all sorts of collectibles among a wide variety of lots.  Viewing is now underway and the auction will be online.

    The sale is a prelude to a number of auctions next week and the week after.  Purcell Auctioneers in Birr will offer a 1908 limited edition Collected Works of W.B. Yeats (update – hammer 2,400) in verse and prose as a highlight of their sale of Irish and world interest books on March 23.  A very rare Treatise on the Art of War by Roger, Earl of Orrery from 1677 comes up too (update – this made 1,250 at hammer). Works by Richard Brydges Beechey, Roderic O’Conor and William Orpen’s portrait of  James Hugh Smith-Barry will highlight Fonsie Mealy’s sale of Irish and International Art on March 23. There are 236 lots on offer.  A 48 hour timed online auction of jewellery by O’Reilly’s of Francis St. in Dublin runs from March 23-25.