Lock of Napoleon’s hair and other eclectic items at auction

A lock of hair from the legendary French general Napoleon Bonaparte can be bought for €200, writes Sarah Slater

It is just one of 544 unusual and interesting lots up for grabs in a forthcoming auction to be held by Whyte’s.

The eclectic array of collectables includes historic artefacts, manuscripts, and documents, such as a signed page from the menu of a dinner attended in happier days by Michael Collins and former President Éamon de Valera, who later became bitter enemies and leaders of opposing sides of the Civil War.

Documents with the signatures of both Collins and de Valera are extremely rare. It has a guide price of €800-€1,200.

Lot 102 is also expected to draw a huge amount of interest — a 1916 Rising Medal awarded to Kathleen Clarke, which is expected to fetch up to €15,000.

Her role is documented in her statement to the Pensions Branch of the Department of Defence. She describes her wish to join her husband Tom in the GPO and his orders for her to remain at their home in Richmond Avenue for the duration of the Rising and to receive and distribute communications from units outside Dublin.

Stuart Purcell, head of collectables at Whyte’s said: “She was also ordered to organise the care and maintenance of the dependants of those fighting in the Rising, with immediate effect. Clarke remained at Richmond Avenue until she was arrested on Tuesday, May 2. She founded the Irish Republican Prisoners’ Dependants Fund the following Saturday.”

Film lovers can get their hands on a fully restored and linen-backed example of the 1958 poster showing Christopher Lee’s Dracula about to feast on Mina Holmwood, played by actress Melissa Stribling. It has an estimate of €8,000.

There is also a collection of items that once belonged to famed writer Christy Brown, the central figure in the Oscar-winning film My Left Foot, starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

The lot comprises typescript poems, 100-plus incomplete plays and short stories, and letters.

Music lovers can grab a collection of photographs of Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy with his mother Philomena for an estimated €1,200.

The collection includes a photo of Philomena with a cut-out of her son and a bicycle.

Auction items will go on show on Wednesday, January 30, at Whyte’s, Molesworth St, Dublin and go under the hammer as part of The Ecelctic Collector auction in the nearby Freemasons’ Hall on February 3


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