Des O'Sullivan previews a sale that harks back to Ireland's pubs of days gone by.
THERE is more than a whiff of nostalgia in Aidan Foley’s auction on Tuesday at Sixmilebridge, Co Clare.
The sale goes back to the days when pubs were individual rather than generic, snug refuges with open turf, log or coal fires dotted with the occasional utterly genuine conversation piece, pastiche was unheard of, and sawdust on the floor.
Original contents from a number of such establishments offer rich pickings to collectors at Sixmilebridge. There is a big selection of pub memorabilia from the Murray family of Limerick.
They owned nightclubs and pubs and when they added the highly traditional Scott’s Bar in Kilkee to their portfolio they retained many original contents.
Some of these are included in this 1,200-lot auction which is, Aidan Foley promises, “original stuff” — the kind of thing that collectors go for.
They have been going for it already this summer and as always for collectors, rarity is the key.
Co Cavan-based auctioneer Victor Mee has held a number of pub memorabilia collectibles sale and sold an extremely rare Cassidy and Co of Monasterevin bottle of whiskey for €23,000 this summer.
It is one of only two known. The other is at the Irish Whiskey Museum in Dublin.
There is no disguising the real thing. At a time when it seems as if every townland or castle has invented its own whiskey or gin, a fine framed advertisement for Michael Egan’s finest Irish whiskey (above), Limerick, Ireland is redolent of an earlier age of the same sort of thing.
Aidan Foley will include original Cunard Line luggage label stickers from a long-gone travel agency, a nostalgia-tinged memory of the days when people left Ireland on ocean liners never to return.
An early U2 Tick Tock Tour poster will attract a different sort of collector.
The sale begins at 10am on Tuesday. It is on view from 11am to 5pm today, 2pm to 5pm tomorrow, 11am to 8pm on Monday and from 9am on Tuesday.
Live bidding is available with Easy Live Auctions.