From Napoleon’s hair to GAA medals, Whyte’s Collector sale proves eclectic

This Irish 1944 £20 note is estimated at €3,000-€4,000.

Whyte’s Eclectic Collector sale more than lives up to its name, writes Des O’Sullivan. 

From Elvis to Easter Monday 1916, from an 1893 Wexford All-Ireland medal to Irish 1944 currency bearing the war code, Whyte’s Eclectic Collector sale in Dublin next Saturday (May 14) lives up to its name.

It offers entertainment and sporting memorabilia, political materials, stamps, coins, currency, medals, champagne, and even a strand of hair from Napoleon Bonaparte.

A transcript of a statement by a farmer, William Presley,to the courts detailing an attack on him in Hacketstown, Co Carlow, in August 1775 is estimated at €500-€700. 

A transcript of a statement by farmer William Presley, Elvis’s great, great, great grandfather, to the courts detailing an attack on him in Hacketstown, Co Carlow, in August 1775.
A transcript of a statement by farmer William Presley, Elvis’s great, great, great grandfather, to the courts detailing an attack on him in Hacketstown, Co Carlow, in August 1775.

Presley emigrated to the US and was great, great, great grandfather to Elvis Presley.

Early GAA All-Ireland medals are rare. 

Despite being the first county to achieve four All Ireland senior football championships in a row, the medals awarded to Wexford are scarce.

All five of the county’s successes occurred before 1920. 

The gold medal awarded to Frank Boggan of Young Irelands of Enniscorthy in 1893 is estimated at €5,000-€7,000.

An 1893 Wexford All Ireland medal at Whyte’s.
An 1893 Wexford All Ireland medal at Whyte’s.

In 1944 £20 would have bought you goods to the value of around €700 today. 

An Irish 1944 £20 note is estimated at €3,000-€4,000.

It bears the war code, a random overprint designed to thwart forgers in a war where Germans were actively forging British and American notes.

One of many nostalgic items is a set of partially used Great Northern Railway tickets. 

On Easter Monday 1916 the Burridge family set out from South Circular Rd in Dublin on an excursion to the Hill of Howth.

They bought six third class excursion tickets from Amiens St.

News of the Rising filtered through to Howth that day and all trains were cancelled. 

A set of rail tickets to the Hill of Howth issued on Easter Monday, 1916.
A set of rail tickets to the Hill of Howth issued on Easter Monday, 1916.

The family had to walk home and decided to keep the partially used tickets as mementos.

These are estimated at €250-€350.

A bottle of Dom Perignon 1969 is estimated at €400 to €600 and a strand of hair from Napoleon is estimated at €150-€200.

Viewing gets under way on Wednesday at Whyte’s on Molesworth St in Dublin.

The 470 lot auction is at the Freemason’s Hall on Molesworth St at 1pm on this day week.


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