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Whyte's announces History & Literature Auction to be held on 9 May
1659 Map, Jans Janszoon, Ireland Joannem Janssonium, Hibernia Regnum vulgo Ireland, engraved, uncoloured map. €300-€500.

DUBLIN.- Whyte's announced an auction of historical collectibles including antiquities, artefacts, manuscripts, documents, printed ephemera, maps, prints, photographs, picture postcards, medals, militaria, weapons, newsreel films, antiquarian and collectable books.

Jacob Baum, a Dublin based film distributor had a business buying cine film from freelance cameramen and selling it to newsreel companies. Lot 200 is 300 minutes of restored film including the 1916 Rising, 1919-21 War of Independence and Civil War, much of it unpublished. The subjects include: 1916 Rising Aftermath, Shooting in Marlborough Street, Funeral of Thomas Ashe, burning of towns and villages and destruction of creameries and businesses by the Auxiliaries (“Black and Tans”) during the War of Independence, Aftermath of Bloody Sunday, Croke Park, the killing of Seán Treacy in Talbot Street, sectarian murders and burnings in Belfast and Derry in the 1920s, 1922 Elections including Michael Collins in Cork, Civil War footage including the siege of the Four Courts, funeral of Michael Collins and much, much more. 12 cans of safety film, and one of nitrate. Estimate €150,000-€180,000.

The County Wexford town of Enniscorthy is one of the less well-known centres of the Easter Rising. Around 200 Irish Volunteers took over the town, hoisted the Tricolour and severed road and rail links with the outside world. They held the town for a week before surrendering to British forces. Michael Sutton was one of the Volunteers who rose and, like many of his comrades, went on to fight in the War of Independence.

Sutton’s group of four medals, together with his 1916 Veteran's card, Irish Volunteer's belt, a prison made hat, his Sinn Fein Rebellion Handbook named on the cover with and his name marked in the text, and a photographic portrait of Michael Sutton in Irish Volunteers uniform make up lot 182, estimate €7,000-€10,000.

1916 LEADER, JAMES CONNOLLY, Scottish Labour Party membership card, 1892.
Documents relating to the early life of James Connolly are rare. He lived a hand-to-mouth existence in Edinburgh, his radical views and commitment to the labour movement made any kind of settled existence difficult. So his membership card of the Scottish Labour Party is an extraordinary piece of historical ephemera. Lot 193, estimate €800-€1,200.

1916 RISING, BRITISH SOLDIER’S AWARD The Battle of Mount Street Bridge.
A very rare military award to a British soldier injured in this engagement.

George Simmonds of Bluebell Hill, Nottingham joined the Nottinghamshire and Derby Regiment, known as the Sherwood Foresters, in January, 1916. He had responded to Kitchener's posters, to fight in the trenches of Belgium and France, but had been caught instead in a different conflict and had been pulled out of basic training at Watford to be thrown into street fighting against the Irish Volunteers in Dublin. Having disembarked from the mailboat in Kingstown, his battalion marched through Ballsbridge en route to Trinity College. As they approached Mount Street Bridge, a 17-strong unit of Volunteers opened fire from Clanwilliam House. The first volleys killed ten Sherwood Foresters and by the time the Volunteer-held positions were over-run, 21 more were dead and 145 were wounded, among them George Simmonds.

Private Simmonds was discharged from the army in December 1916 and received a Silver War Badge uniquely numbered 164800. These were worn by former soldiers at home in Britain to avoid the ignominy of receiving a white feather for not ‘doing their bit’. The badge is lot 191. Estimate: €2,000 - €3,000.

Driven by patriotism and the threat of Napoleonic invasion of Ireland, the Volunteers were local militias tasked with replacing regular troops of the British Army sent to fight in the Continental War. Largely loyal to the Crown, many of these militia were at the forefront of suppressing the 1798 Rebellion. Some split, though, like the Shemalier Cavalry of County Wexford, whose members fought on both sides in the Battle of Oulert Hill in 1798.

The uniforms of the Volunteers were locally sourced and varied but badges and buttons were commissioned from city-based makers and are broadly consistent in design. There are thirteen of these cross-belt plates in the auction, lots 14 to 26, estimates ranging €800 - €2,000. Shown here is a rare example from the townland of Myroe in County Derry, estimated at €1,000 to €1,500.

PISTOL for the streets of Dublin
Known for high-quality duelling pistols, Rigby of Dublin also produced smaller pocket pistols, which were designed to be concealed in an overcoat pocket for personal protection against any footpad, highwayman or cutpurse one might encounter on the streets and highways. These were of similar quality to the firm’s duelling pistols, but less showy. Lot 41 is a Rigby flintlock pistol with all the hallmarks of a quality gun. The gold-inlaid Damascus barrel, finely figured walnut stock with a concealed compartment for spare shot and engraving fit for a pocket watch, all show that the best efforts of Rigby’s craftsmen were applied to the creation of this pistol. Estimate: €600-€800.

Yeats’ unrequited love for Maud Gonne inspired much of his greatest poetry. While they were never lovers, they were friends and collaborators, Yeats would give recitals of his poems accompanied by Maude Gonne playing on a harp given to her by him. The parcel-gilt rosewood harp was later given by Maud Gonne MacBride to her friend Sile MacCurtain, daughter of Republican Tomas MacCurtain, who had started a school for harpists in Cork. Lot 175, estimate €10,000-€15,000.


The Irish National Land League was suppressed in 1882 so Charles Stewart Parnell established the Irish National League (INL) in October 1882 to replace it. Whereas the Land League had agitated for land reform, the National League also campaigned for Irish Home Rule, further enfranchisement and economic reforms.

The League was the main base of support for the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), and under Parnell's leadership, it grew quickly to over 1,000 branches throughout Ireland. Lot 92 is a hand painted and gilt bullion embroidered Irish National League marching banner for Carrickedmond Branch, Co. Longford. The legend on reverse reads: “Never Country Gained Her Freedom When She Sued On Bended Knee” (from the poem by ‘Speranza’, pen-name of Lady Wilde, Oscar’s mother). Estimate €8,000-€10,000.

Lot 161 is a coloured print after Fortunino Matania, entitled The Last General Absolution of the Munsters at Rue du Bois.

On 8 May 1915, on the eve of the Battle of Aubers Ridge, the Royal Munster Fusiliers chaplain, Father Francis Gleeson, addressed the assembled 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers, at a roadside shrine and gave the general absolution. The battalion suffered heavily in the battle and when paraded again afterwards only 200 men were assembled. This example of the print is very rare as it is actually signed by Father Gleeson.

Father Francis Gleeson (28 May 1884 – 26 June 1959) served as a British Army chaplain in the First World War. He was attached to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers and served with them at the First Battle of Ypres. During this battle Gleeson is said to have taken command of the battalion after all the officers were incapacitated by the enemy. Estimate: €2,000-€3,000

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