Des O’Sullivan previews the furniture, paintings and collectibles featuring prominently in a 250-lot auction.
The Claddagh ring collection of the Hon Garech Browne of Luggala, who founded CladdaghRecords in 1959, comes up at Sotheby’s 2020 instalment of Royal and Nobel in London on January 21. Irish lots feature prominently in this 250-lot auction.
There is furniture, paintings and collectibles from Killadoon House on the banks of the River Liffey in Kildare, formerly one of the seats of the Earls of Leitrim and owned by the Clements family; a selection of mostly collectible lots from Luggala and the collection of the late Garech Browne; and some lots from an important Irish collector.
No fewer than 22 Claddagh rings representing love, loyalty and friendship owned by Garech Browne are included. The Claddagh ring, as it is now known, was first produced in the 17th century in the fishing village of Claddagh.
Many of the examples in Garech Browne’s collection are rare and early. The most expensively estimated is a c1700 ring by Thomas Meade, Kinsale or Galway at £2,500-£4,500.
Galway makers featured include James Clinch, Nicholas Burge, George Robinson, Richard Joyce and Austin French.
Also from Luggala is a collection of mostly Galway 18th-century ecclesiastical silver, Irish 18th-century rosaries with pendant crucifixes, some Irish silver, furniture and a George III longcase clock by James Aikin, Cork c1780 (£3,000-£4,000).
Typical of the furniture from Killadoon is a pair of Irish William IV side cabinets attributed to the Dublin firm of Mack, Williams and Gibton estimated at £8,000-£12,000 and a set of eight Irish George III hall chairs (£15,000-£25,000). Also from Killadoon is a portrait attributed to Thomas Murray (1663-1735) of Thomas Stewart as a boy.
According to a file in the Heinz Archive and Library Stewart, who became High Sheriff of Tyrone in 1711 and died in 1717, was the last high sheriff to burn a witch.
Killadoon offers much to interest wealthy collectors. Lots like an Italian pietre dura table top from 18th-century Rome (£40,000-£60,000), a pair of Netherlandish equestrian carved battle scenes (£30,000-£50,000) and a Rouen faiene pedestal stand (£10,000-£15,000) will attract competitive international bidding. There are portraits, Irish 19th-century furniture, Chinese and European porcelain and bronzes.
Also in the sale from an Irish collection is a George II side table in the manner of William Kent which is estimated at £30,000-£50,000. This table was brought to Birr Castle in the 1940s by Anne, Countess of Rosse, and came to the present owner by descent.
These lots from Ireland are listed among the highlights of a sale sourced from aristocratic collections from around Europe.