Guinness seduces bidders with family heirlooms

The Guinness name proved seductive yesterday as bidders vied for a piece of Furness, the Co Kildare home of Irish Georgian Society president Patrick Guinness, and items of Irish and historical interest.

The Irish Houses of Parliament Speakers clock sold for a hammer price of €115,000 over a top €90,000 estimate.

Yet in a day when salesroom casualties were rare, Daniel Maclise’s Spirit of Justice estimated at €50,000 to €70,000 failed to sell.

Nonetheless, auctioneers Fonsie Mealy were delighted with the results. A carved over-mantle mirror bought at the Carton House sale in 1943 made a within estimate hammer price of €40,000.

A c1620 Paris tapestry sold for €28,000 at hammer and a rare, early 19th century full- size road coach made an above estimate €32,000. This is the vehicle thought to have conveyed George IV to a tryst with Lady Conyngham at Slane Castle.

The auction lacked neither variety nor competitive bidders. A rare pair of large coopered metal-bound stout barrels inscribed Guinness sold for €2,300 and a stuffed head of a tigress made €1,300 over a top estimate of €600. An Edwardian carved and painted rocking horse made €6,600 and a Victorian rocking horse made €3,000. A large 19th century bronze figure of Mercury after Giambologna sold for €16,000, more than double the low estimate.

An early plan of Cork City by John Rocque, published in London in 1759, made €1,100. A 19th century Japanese lacquered rickshaw owned by the Marquess of Lansdowne made €2,700. An early Louis Vuitton steamer trunk sold for €2,600. A steel helmet reputedly owned by Thomas Wentworth, Lord Deputy of Ireland in the 17th century, failed to sell, but two steel cavalry swords reputedly his made €6,500 and €3,200 respectively.

The Mitford family table, which came down to Patrick Guinness through his grandmother Diana Mitford, made €22,000. Dated 1887, the table was made by Henri Dasson of Paris. The 19th century gilt wood harp owned by the late Derek Bell of The Chieftans made €2,600 and a copy of the earliest printed plan of Dublin dated 1728 sold for €14,000. An early 19th century Irish flintlock rifle belonging to Thomas Picton and reportedly carried by him at the Battle of Waterloo 200 years ago sold for €21,000.


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