A fine Regency rosewood library table, which was acquired for Tyrone House, an important Irish estate in County Galway, sold for a remarkable £264,000 at Bonhams
on 15 June 2011, as part of its Fine English Furniture and Works of Art Sale. The table, which had been estimated at £100,000 150,000, has passed through the St. George family by descent.
Tyrone House was built in 1779 by Christopher St. George (1754-1826) and designed by the celebrated Waterford architect John Roberts (1712-1796). Christopher St. George lived in the house for twenty years before passing it to his son, Arthur French, who, during the 1820s, also occupied Kilcolgan Castle. By 1905, the family was based between Dublin and America and the contents of the house were split amongst family members.
In 1921, the house was burnt down by the IRA, who believed it to be a base for the Black and Tans. The ruin was acquired by the Irish Georgian Society in 1972 and today remains a local landmark sitting opposite the St George family mausoleum, which inspired John Betjeman to write in his poem, Ireland with Emily:
There in pinnacle protection
One extinguished family waits
A Church of Ireland resurrection
By the broken, rusty gates
Top prices were also paid for a Queen Anne giltwood marginal mirror and a George III Irish white marble chimney-piece, which both fetched £72,000; while a pair of George II burr walnut card tables, which are believed to have been commissioned by Sir Thomas Dyer, 5th Baronet (1694-1780) for the Elizabethan country house, Spains Hall, near Finchingfield, Essex, sold for £66,000.
An important George III dome-top tester bed from Hulton Park also outdid its estimate selling for £26,400.
In total, the sale realized £1,240,000 with 70% sold by value.