20p piece set to fetch thousands of euro at auction

It pays to keep old coins and cash as they could pocket you thousands of euro. An old 20p piece is now worth up to €6,000. The rare trial coin, dating from 1985, will go under the hammer as part of the Eclectic Collectors held by Whyte’s auction house.

These coins were issued in advance of production to various companies and organisations to facilitate calibration of vending machines and other coinioperated devices such as telephones, meters, etc.

According to sources in the Central Bank fewer than 50 pieces of the 500 or so issued were not returned. To date about 10 examples in private hands have been recorded, making it one of the rarest Irish modern coins, even scarcer than the 1943 florin.

Lot 545 is an old £20 ‘Lady Lavery’ Central Bank note dating back to March, 1943 and World War II. It also is valued at €6,000.

For those with a quirky eye, a Dunhill Aquarium Table Lighter is up for grabs for between €3,000 and €5,000 while Guinness lovers can bring some luck of the Irish home with a novel 1960s stout leprechaun for €1,500.

‘Aquarium’ lighters were all designed and hand-made from the early 1950s until the late 1960s by Ben Shillingford (1904-2000), who developed the carving and hand-painting techniques used on the Lucite panels.

While gold teeth are something of a rare commodity after a visit to the dentist, a pair of gold plates set with teeth can be gobbled up for €200. The gold plates are owned by Catherine “Kitty” Fleming by descent from the renowned Holroyd Smith family of the UK and Ballynatray House, Co Waterford.

Ms Fleming is also saying goodbye to the Mount Cashell archive dating from 1620 to 1900 containing legal documents of the Royal landlords and large estate owners Moore’s, Ponsonbys, Colvilles and connected families estimated at €6,000.

Lot 551 will have GAA fans in a flutter with the sale of Tom and Joseph Shevlin’s collection of medals. The gold medals can be bought for €1,800. There is also Tom’s waltham pocket watch, engraved and presented by Connaught Council GAA in appreciation of services rendered in 1928.

The rare and unique collection comprises of a gold Connaught Senior Football Championship 1912-14 winner’s medal to Roscommon; a gold Monaghan Association 1922 winners medal to Joseph Shevlin; and a gold Balbriggan Tournament 1926 medal to Geraldines.

There is also another gold Ulster Senior Football Championship 1927 winner’s medal to Monaghan; a gold Dublin Senior Football League 1930 winner’s medal to Geraldines; two silver Roscommon Senior Football Championship 1928 winners’ medals to Strokestown; and a gold 1916-1966 commemorative lapel pin awarded to past Connaught finalists, named to Tom Shevlin.

The auction takes place on April 6 at 11am in the Free Masons’ Hall, Molesworth St, Dublin.

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