Special delivery: Rare postbox among items at Sheppard’s auction

A rare postbox is among intriguing lots, writes Des O’Sullivan.

AMONG the real rarities at Inside Outside, Sheppard’s auction of garden sculpture, architectural ornaments and French art at Glantelwe Gardens, Durrow, Co Laois, on Tuesday, is an original cast-iron Irish Posts and Telegraphs postbox.

Originally located in Cork city centre, it was donated to a charity auction years ago following demolition work. Lot 67 is estimated at €6,000-€9,000.

This pillar letter box is unique in that it is the only one ever sold by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs and its successor, An Post. It stood for more than a century in St Patrick’s Street, Cork, and was made by Andrew Handyside & Co Ltd., Derby, England, sometime between 1887 and 1901.

Andrew Handyside was a Glaswegian who took over the Britannia Foundry in Derby in 1848.

A cast-iron urn at the auction.
A cast-iron urn at the auction.

From cast-iron furniture and garden benches to classical urns and terracotta plaques, the Sheppard’s sale offers much in the way of choice. The selection of antique garden pieces includes bird baths, animal figures, bollards, stone troughs, sculpture, fountain heads, arches, cast-iron gates, sundials and gothic arches.

With 600 lots of garden furniture and 100 lots from a private collection of French art, there is a huge variety here to choose from.

Viewing opens today at Glantelwe and is from 10am to 5pm for the next three days. The catalogue and sale is online too.

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