Congreve sale expected to make €2.5m

THE sale of 120 lots of furniture, paintings, silver and porcelain from Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden, Co Waterford is expected to bring in around £2.5m at Christie’s in London next May 23.

The collection from one of Ireland’s finest stately homes will be sold by Christie’s in association with Mealy’s in London and at a marquee on the premises at Mount Congreve on Jul 10-11. Irish bidders will have to compete with the world for the finest pieces at the sales.

Widely known for his magnificent gardens Ambrose Congreve, who died suddenly aged 104 while on a visit to London for Chelsea Flower Show last year, was an avid collector. Some of his earliest acquisitions were purchased at Christie’s in 1942, from the collection of Lionel de Rothschild who created renowned gardens at Exbury on the Beaulieu River in Hampshire. He acquired many treasures from English country house dispersal sales after 1945. The collection at Mount Congreve evolved since the neo-classical mansion was built in 1760. A portrait of John Denis Daly (1747-1791) attributed to Sir Joshua Reynolds and studio is at auction for the first time in half a century. A friend of Henry Grattan who sat in the Irish House of Commons, Daly was a Mayor of Galway.

Charles Cator, deputy chairman of Christie’s International, said the breadth and depth of the works to be offered “is a testament to the discerning taste and connoisseurship exercised, ensuring this collection has grown in tandem with its internationally acclaimed woodland gardens.”

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