Des O’Sullivan describes one of the highlight auctions of the year with contents from Lotabeg going under the hammer.
There will be international interest in an exciting sale of contents from one of Cork city’s hidden gems — Lotabeg at Tivoli — by Mealy’s on May 24.
The entire contentsof the house, around 750 lots in total, are to be sold.
The Castlecomer based auctioneers are working on the catalogue and reckon some paintings from the dining room will make in excess of €50,000 and about 20 lots will make more than €5,000 apiece.
This graceful family home features lots which include items acquired from Sir Robert Penrose Uniacke Fitzgerald, prior to the demolition of his house at Cork Beg Island and artefacts brought back from India in the early 1900s.
It is being sold by the descendants of Vincent Hart and his wife Evelyn (nee Sheedy) on their instructions.
Mealy’s say the contents have remained virtually undisturbed since Vincent Hart died in 1939.
Cork-born, and a past pupil of Presentation College he was an internationally renowned engineer with the Public Works Department of India where he was involved in major infrastructural projects including the Mettur Dam in Tamil Nadu, the largest solid gravity dam in the world at the time it was built. In 1935 he was presented with the Companionship of the Star of India by King George V.
Vincent Hart’s father, John, was manager of the Queen’s Old Castle department store in Cork. The sale will include the collection of his brother Capt. Jack Hart of the Royal Army Medical Corps. He travelled extensively in China and Japan.
Among the main lots will be a life-size portrait of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde by Sir Peter Lely and Studio of Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680). A pair of artworks by Dave de Coninck (1644-1680) — Garden Friends and Guarding the Day’s Catch — is estimated at around €50,000. Last year a pair of works by the same artist sold for €120,000.
The auction will include paintings, furniture, a collection of Cork and Irish silver, rare books, porcelain, Oriental carpets, chandeliers, Indian and Asian art and Irish historic collectibles.
Lotabeg, which has not been sold, was designed by Abraham Hargrave (1755-1808) for Sir Richard Kellett c1800.
Previous owners include Daniel Callaghan MP, Poole Hickman, the descendants of Martin Francis Mahony of Lotamore, and a New York banker named Richard Dixon.
The large stone ionic arch entrance, surmounted by an Irish wolfhound, is on Lower Glanmire Road. This commemorates a hound said to have saved Daniel Callaghan from drowning in the River Lee.
Viewing will be at the house on May 21, 22 and 23. Entrance is from the Silver Springs Clayton Hotel from where a shuttle bus will operate. The auction will be held at the hotel.
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