Cork silhouettes, a massacre and a landmark of Irish printing 

Des O'Sullivan previews Fonsie Mealy's timed online collector's sale
Cork silhouettes, a massacre and a landmark of Irish printing 
A lithograph of The Massacre at Gortroe (Rathcormac) at Fonsie Mealy.

A LANDMARK of Irish printed literature, a fine collection of Cork silhouettes and a print of a sorry massacre at Rathcormac, Co Cork, in 1834 are among the lots at Fonsie Mealy's timed online collector's sale which runs until next Wednesday (July 15).

Incunabula, books printed before 1501, are always a rarity. This first edition of the first book by an Irish author to write for a printing press rather than the scriptorum dates to November 1497 and was printed in Venice. The author is Archbishop Maurice O'Fihely of Tuam, a native of Baltimore in west Cork. O'Fihely, a Franciscan, provided major commentary on the investigation of Scottish Franciscan Blessed John Duns, known as Duns Scotus, into Aristotle's metaphysical problems. Together with Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham, Duns Scotus is regarded as one of the three most important philosopher theologians of Western Europe in the High Middle Ages. 

The first book by an Irish author to write for a printing press.
The first book by an Irish author to write for a printing press.
Parnell and Kitty O'Shea.
Parnell and Kitty O'Shea.

Lot 458 is a collection of 18 O'Driscoll silhouettes highlighting local celebrities and events. Most are captioned and some have pencilled notes identifying various individuals. Among them are a pair of Cork butter merchants, Sir John Arnott, brewer at Fitton St. and 91 South Mall, B.J. Alcock, grocer 75 Patrick Street, Charles KD Tanner MD, Lapps Quay, William J Cummins MD, 11 South Mall, Matthew P Bolster, grocer, 79 Patrick Street, Edward G Ashe, vet, 36 Georges Street, Paul Madden, grocer and wine merchant, Bridge Street, Richard O'Callaghan MD, 40 South Mall, and Sir George Colthurst, 6th Bart (1850-1925). The set is estimated at €1,000-€1,500.

Lot 478 is an Irish tithe print entitled The Massacre at Gortroe. The hand-coloured lithographic print after a drawing by Fr Mat Horgan depicts one of the most infamous battles of the Tithe wars in Ireland between 1830-36. This was mostly a campaign of civil disobedience because of the imposition of tithes on the mostly catholic population for the upkeep of the Church of Ireland. There was sporadic violence. On December 18, 1834 the massacre at Gortroe, otherwise known as the Rathcormac massacre, took place when a force of 100 soldiers fired on 250 locals on the order of Archdeacon William Ryder who was attempting to collect his tithes. This resulted in the deaths of 20 residents. The litho is estimated at €200-€300.

There are sporting programmes including the All-Ireland Hurling Finals of 1946, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1960 and 1963, cinema posters, banknotes, cheques, literature, coins, whiskeys and a variety of other collectibles among 632 lots. The timed auction ends from 2pm on July 15.

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