A Week in Antiques: Dirty tricks and past political campaigns

A Week in Antiques: Dirty tricks and past political campaigns

Des O'Sullivan examines the lots up for auction in Bray.

There is nothing new about dirty tricks in political campaigns as illustrated by lot 48 at Mullen’s Collectors Cabinet auction at Laurel Park, Bray, Co Wicklow, next Saturday.

The newspaper billboard poster for The Star headlines: “Parnell cross-examined”. This was at a special commission set up by Gladstone’s government to investigate various charges against Parnell and his Home Rule party.

The basis was a letter in The Times in which Parnell appeared to give explicit support, after the fact, to the Phoenix Park murders.

The commission sat for 128 days to November 1889. The following February one of the witnesses, Richard Piggott, admitted having forged the letters, then fled to Madrid and shot himself. Parnell’s name was fully cleared.

A first edition of Ulysses, a pro-Treaty campaign poster for the 1922 general election, an electric guitar signed by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and a leather flying helmet from a Polish Air Force bomber which crashed on the Carlow Laois border in 1943 are among the lots. Viewing is from Wednesday and the auction is at 11am on Saturday.

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