Antique brief: Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness portrait

A marble portrait by John Foley (1818-1874) of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, third son of Arthur Guinness and Ann Lee, comes up at Adam’s Country House Collections sale at Slane Castle on tomorrow and Monday and is estimated at €20,000-€30,000.

Benjamin Guinness joined the brewery at the age of 16 and was in sole control by 1858.

He was an exemplary employer and modernised the plant. By creating a system of commission agents his porter, the famous “Dublin black stuff” became a household name, world-wide and the Guinness family became immensely rich.

He was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1851 and MP for Dublin City from 1865-68.His personal estate of £1,100,000 was the largest probated will seen in Ireland and his main beneficiary was his son Arthur Edward, late Lord Ardilaun, who inherited St Anne’s, Clontarf and Ashford Castle, Co Galway.


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