Des O’Sullivan looks at rare Limerick silver about to go on the market.
The last two of only three known Limerick Silver coffee pots have been brought together by antique silver dealer William Crofton, who is about to market them with a price tag that reflects their extreme rarity.
He is to seek no less than €950,000 (£750,000stg) for the two. At this price level, William Crofton, who trades as L and W Duvallier based in Dublin and London, reckons that only about two collectors in Ireland would have the passion and the money to acquire them.
They are to be shown at international fairs in the coming months.
One coffee pot is plain and inscribed with the initials U I M, believed to be Isaac and Mary Unthank, members of a prominent Limerick Quaker family.
Isaac Unthank married Mary Robinson in 1749. The second coffee pot is pear-shaped and engraved with the coat of arms of Petyt.
Both are by Joseph Johns. Each one dates to around 1750 to 1755.
A third coffee pot by maker Samuel Johns at the Limerick Civic Museum was once in the collection of William Crofton’s late father Gerry Crofton.
It is possible that other Limerick silver coffee pots are out there, but these three are the only known pieces
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