Guinness seduces bidders with family heirlooms

The Guinness name proved seductive yesterday as bidders vied for a piece of Furness, the Co Kildare home of Irish Georgian Society president Patrick Guinness, and items of Irish and historical interest.
Guinness seduces bidders with family heirlooms

The Irish Houses of Parliament Speakers clock sold for a hammer price of €115,000 over a top €90,000 estimate.

Yet in a day when salesroom casualties were rare, Daniel Maclise’s Spirit of Justice estimated at €50,000 to €70,000 failed to sell.

Nonetheless, auctioneers Fonsie Mealy were delighted with the results. A carved over-mantle mirror bought at the Carton House sale in 1943 made a within estimate hammer price of €40,000.

A c1620 Paris tapestry sold for €28,000 at hammer and a rare, early 19th century full- size road coach made an above estimate €32,000. This is the vehicle thought to have conveyed George IV to a tryst with Lady Conyngham at Slane Castle.

The auction lacked neither variety nor competitive bidders. A rare pair of large coopered metal-bound stout barrels inscribed Guinness sold for €2,300 and a stuffed head of a tigress made €1,300 over a top estimate of €600. An Edwardian carved and painted rocking horse made €6,600 and a Victorian rocking horse made €3,000. A large 19th century bronze figure of Mercury after Giambologna sold for €16,000, more than double the low estimate.

An early plan of Cork City by John Rocque, published in London in 1759, made €1,100. A 19th century Japanese lacquered rickshaw owned by the Marquess of Lansdowne made €2,700. An early Louis Vuitton steamer trunk sold for €2,600. A steel helmet reputedly owned by Thomas Wentworth, Lord Deputy of Ireland in the 17th century, failed to sell, but two steel cavalry swords reputedly his made €6,500 and €3,200 respectively.

The Mitford family table, which came down to Patrick Guinness through his grandmother Diana Mitford, made €22,000. Dated 1887, the table was made by Henri Dasson of Paris. The 19th century gilt wood harp owned by the late Derek Bell of The Chieftans made €2,600 and a copy of the earliest printed plan of Dublin dated 1728 sold for €14,000. An early 19th century Irish flintlock rifle belonging to Thomas Picton and reportedly carried by him at the Battle of Waterloo 200 years ago sold for €21,000.

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