Original of Irish Proclamation valued at €120k to go under the hammer

Sarah Slater

A much sought after original of the Irish Proclamation of the Irish Republic is to go under the auction hammer next month.

Valued at up to €120,000, it is an original example of this historic document published by the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army acting as ‘The Provisional Government of the Republic of Ireland’ dated Monday, April 24, 1916.

It is being sold by Whyte’s Auction House in Dublin on September 15.

The Irish Proclamation

This is the document that launched an uprising that changed Ireland forever. Comparable to the Declaration of the United States of America, it is an historic relic of immense importance.

In The Story of the 1916 Proclamation, author John O’Connor stated that there were 17 examples still in existence, of which at least six are in public institutions such as the Dáil, The National Museum and University College Dublin (UCD).

Two also exist in British government archives and there is one in the Royal Collection in Buckingham Palace.

Since 1986, about a dozen others have come to light from the original printing of less than 500. Most were destroyed during and after the Rising.

Printed on poor quality paper, those pasted to outdoor locations disintegrated easily.

This example has all the typographical characteristics listed by O’Connor and was printed by letterpress on porous paper of a greyish white shade. The printed area is 29x18.25 inches.

Stuart Purcell, head of collectables at Whyte’s said: “This example was restored and conserved to museum standard in 2005, and is framed and glazed. This is the ultimate Irish collectable, sans pareil.

“There has been a lot of interest by the public in this particular piece so far — all of whom have been Irish. The recession is well and truly dead that’s for sure.”

Another item of interest from that era is Lot 92, Pádraig Pearse’s chair from St Enda’s school with a price tag of €2,000. Pearse was one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising.

The early 20th century stained oak and beech open armchair is accompanied by facsimile birth and marriage certificates relating to his nephew Thomas Ernest Pearse. A letter of provenance from the current owner will be given to the purchaser of this lot.

Thomas was the last surviving family member with the name Pearse.

Another interesting lot is in the Eclectic Collector series, which includes a wooden rib from the first aeroplane to fly non-stop across the Atlantic ocean in 1919. It is part of an aileron, from the Vickers Vimy flown by John Alcock and Arthur Brown from St John’s, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Co Galway.

After a 17 hour flight, the aeroplane crash-landed in Derrygilmlagh Bog, near Clifden. It was removed from the crash site by Jim Fawl, later the proprietor of the Shamrock Bar, Connaught Street, Athlone.

It was then bought from Mr Fawl by Joe Geoghan, a barber, from Athlone, subsequently acquired by the current owner which is valued at up to €8,000.

A copy of Bono’s school copy of Lord of the Flies, which is signed by the U2 frontman under his real name of Paul Hewson, can be bought for €600 while a Rolling Stones guitarists, signed Yamaha FG-26012-string guitar estimated at €1,200, is signed in black felt-tip pen by Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Mick Taylor


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