First World War, Dev, and Blueshirts

Des O’Sullivan looks at what’s under the hammer at Freemason’s Hall.

With everything from First World War recruitment posters designed for use in Ireland; to the returning officer’s report of the East Clare by-election of 1917 signed by Eamon de Valera, the sale of History, Literature and Collectibles by Whyte’s in Dublin on October 17, is brimful of interest.

The posters encourage, shame, cajole, and threaten Irishmen to join up for WWI. citing acts of barbarity on the part of the Germans and the promise of a place among the nations for Ireland. Lots 155 to 163 have estimates of €150 to €300. 

Stuart Purcell of Whyte’s says demand for objects relating to the Crown forces during the 1916 revolution is on the rise. 

A previously unrecorded medal awarded to part-time soldier FC Stephens of the St Andrew’s Volunteer Training Corps inscribed: “For services rendered at Beggar’s Bush barracks” is estimated at €3,000 to €5,000. Stephens was a 42-year-old bookseller from Terenure.

A defence of Trinity College cup awarded to Cadet George Mathews offered with three curfew passes, is estimated at €2,000 to €3,000. A posthumous Easter Rising medal awarded to Volunteer Patrick Farrell, killed in action in Church St, aged 19, has the same estimate.

The East Clare polling document marking the start of Eamon de Valera’s 42-year career as an elected representative is estimated at €8,000 to €12,000. 

First World War, Dev, and Blueshirts

Other rarities include the first flag of the Army Comrades Association or Blueshirts recorded at auction.This is estimated at €1,000 to €1,500.

A cotton military style blue shirt with epaulettes and breast pockets complete with Fine Gael badge is estimated at €1,000 to €1,500. A silver Henry Grattan statue commemorative trowel presented to William Martin Murphy is estimated at €800 to €1,200.

Viewing is at Whyte’s on Molesworth St from 10am to 5pm fromWednesday. The auction is at Freemason’s Hall, Molesworth St, next Saturday at 11am.


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