This September Whyte's
History, Literature and Collectibles auction includes a wide range of intriguing, exciting and unusual historic artefacts. The sale covers a time span from 50-60 million BC with a basalt section from the Giants Causeway to the unique Irish Masters Snooker Trophy last awarded in 2007. It boasts a wide array of lots with an emphasis on Irish history but also with many objects for international tastes. With unique items for fans of history, literature, sport, music, militaria, cartography, art, coins and banknotes to name but a few, this auction is guaranteed to excite public interest and prove as popular as ever.
THE 1913 LOCK-OUT 100 YEARS ON
This auction coincides with the centenary of the Dublin Lock-out, Irelands most significant industrial dispute which lasted from August 1913 to January 1914. Two important lots up for sale relating to this period are sure to generate much interest. Lot 253 (estimate 1,000-1,500) is an extremely scarce Dublin Metropolitan Police proclamation issued by E.G. Swifte, Chief Divisional Magistrate, banning a meeting at Sackville Street or its neighbourhood on 31 August 1913 due to the fact that ".......such meeting or assemblage is seditious and that the said meeting or assemblage would cause terror and alarm to, and dissension between, his Majesty's subjects, and would be an unlawful assembly". Lot 254 (estimate 300-500) gives an interesting insight into the work of the unions during the period. A pair of National Seamen's and Firemen's Union membership booklets issued to Richard Dunne, they show membership payment stamps from 1913 to 1916 and interestingly with no stamps for the weeks from 15 September to 3 November 1913 and overwritten in ink "8 weeks allowed Lockout".
JOE CONNOLLY AND THE IRISH REVOLUTION
The Irish Citizen Army rose out of the 1913 strike and some of its most well known members were the Connolly siblings; Joe, Sean, Mattie, George, Eddie and Katie who all served during the 1916 Rising. The sale includes a number of items relating to Joe. Lot 264 (estimate 2,000-3,000) is a collection of four historically important stitched leather fire buckets from the Northumberland Hotel later to become Liberty Hall. The buckets were presented to Joe Connolly on the day that he retired from the fire brigade and were saved from Liberty Hall after the rebellion by Rosie Hackett, who has been shortlisted this year as a name for Dublins new bridge. Other related items include Lot 317, (estimate 800-1,200) a unique original letter sent from Oscar Traynor at the Four Courts during the Civil War to Joe Connolly as head of Dublin Corporation Fire Brigade Ambulance asking him to help save the wounded from the burning building. While possibly the most emotive item in the auction is lot 279, a letter sent to the Connolly family pleading with them to help their brother Eddie and asking they send him the price of his fare home as he would otherwise not survive the New York winter homeless.
POIGNANT ARTEFACTS OF THE FAMINE
Included in the sale are a number of items which serve as a reminder of the terrible period between 1845 and 1852. Lot 116 (estimate 3,000-4,000) is a remarkable rosewood writing slope presented to James H. Swanton Esq. as a mark of regard and esteem from Doctors Donovan, Somerville & Hadden. Swanton was a substantial landowner of 6000 acres with his home at Rineen, Skibbereen. He provided many buildings which were used as ancillary workhouses for the relief of those affected by the famine. Lot 115 (estimate 200-300) is an original pencil drawing by French satirist Cham (1818-79) or Charles-Amédée-Henry de Noé. The drawing depicts the French encouraging the Irish to rise up again against the English as they had done in 1798, Voici un fusil de munition, commencez !" (Here is a musket lets start [a rebellion]). However the Irish population is near starvation - Je prefere commencer par le pain de munition" (I would prefer to start with a loaf of bread). An important record of the period is offered in lot 113 (estimate 1,500-2,500), a pair of unique manuscript Petty Sessions ledgers for Lucan for the years 1846 and 1847 which includes cases such as that of Matthew Shanly and Luke Moran who were convicted of stealing potatoes and were sentenced to 14 days in Gaol after being unable to pay a fine.
IRELANDS FOLKLORE & HERITAGE
Lots 105 to 107 present a rare opportunity for collectors and scholars to acquire original Irish language manuscripts written in the 19th Century. The first (lot 105, estimate 2,500-3,500) is a valuable handwritten collection comprising prose and poetry - not signed by the scribe but in the hand of Peadar Ó Longáin. Lot 106 (estimate 3,000 to 4,000) is another manuscript written by Ó Longáin in 1833. Its contents include a mix of prose and poetry with approximately 200 titled pieces with examples of the work of Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin, Seán Clárach Mac Domhnaill, Eoghan an Mhéirin Mac Cartha and others. The final manuscript lot 107 (estimate 1,500-2,000) comes from a less well known but talented scribe Coromuc Mhá Cártha (Charles MacCarthy) from the parish of Cill Liath in Cork. Described by the author as being written for his own personal use it comprises an interesting mix of Munster poetry, songs and tales with examples by Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin and Liam Rua Mac Coitir.
A CACHE OF IRISH WHISKEY
Lots 575 to 582 reveal a true story of hidden treasure! Comprising 24 bottles and half bottles of 1920s Dunvilles Three Crowns Whiskey, they were left in a "stack N" bonding warehouse in Belfast from the 1940s until their rediscovery a decade ago. Dunvilles Whiskey was distilled in Belfast from the 1870s until its demise in the 1930s and good examples of this whiskey are extremely scarce. This consigment was tested by whiskey expert Jim Murray who described it as "Beautiful, very intact". These bottles are sure to excite interest and bidding. Half bottles are estimated at 250 to 300 each and full bottles from 500 to 600 each.
COMIC BOOK HEROES
Lots 588 to 597 represent a colourful and exciting section of the auction. Comprising a total of almost 1500 comic books they were acquired by a young Dublin collector in the 1960s and 1970s when the comics were first issued. After sitting in storage for the past four decades, the time has now come for these early issues to be auctioned. They include 130 early issues of Conan the Barbarian (lot 588, estimate 400-600) and examples from Thor, Spiderman, Daredevil and many more. The popularity of recent movie adaptations of these old favourites is sure to bring plenty of interest from a new generation of young collectors, while nostalgia will certainly play a role for the young at heart!
This auction presents sports fans with an opportunity to acquire items relating to their sporting heroes with examples from the disciplines of soccer, boxing, snooker, gaelic games, rugby, tennis, basketball and many more. Certainly one of the highlights of this section is lot 545 (estimate 8,000-10,000), the original and unique Benson & Hedges Irish Masters Snooker Tournament trophy lifted by many of snookers greatest players between 1978 and 2000. During its lifetime the tournament was dominated by Steve Davis, who won it eight times and it was won by Irish players on two occasions, Alex Higgins in 1989 and Ken Doherty in 1998. Other winners inscribed on the base of the trophy include Jimmy White, Stephen Hendry, Peter Ebdon and John Higgins. This is a unique and iconic memento of twenty years of the best snooker ever played in Ireland.
BANKNOTES AND COINS
The sale concludes with a wide ranging selection of Irish and International banknotes and coins. These collectibles are as popular as ever with bidders from all countries and age groups looking to take home some of the prized lots. One of the highlights of this section is the 1929 Currency Commission Consolidated or 'Ploughman' Northern Bank Ten Pounds banknote. This is an exceedingly rare note with only 8,000 believed to have been issued and few still in existence today. The scarcest of the Ploughman series it is estimated at 4,000 to 6,000 and shows the importance of checking those old coins and banknotes that we all have languishing in drawers and attics!