The Irish Sale: Irish Pictures, Furniture, Books and Manuscripts at Bloomsbury Auctions

. March 15, 2010

Bloomsbury Auctions, the world’s leading auction house for rare books and works on paper, announces The Irish Sale which will be held in its Manhattan rooms on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 10am. The sale is held in conjunction with Whyte’s, Ireland’s premier auction house for Irish art and collectibles.

The focal point of the 70-lot Irish Sale is the Tricolour flag. This unique icon of the Irish Revolution and the only recorded full sized tricolor of the 1916 Rising in existence, is of the utmost rarity and importance (lot 26). It is accompanied by a note from its first owner stating that it was ‘Captured by British Troops at GPO Dublin 1916 and given to Dr George St George by an old War Veteran Sergt Davis.’ Inspired by an earlier revolutionary emblem, the French Tricolour, it was made of Irish linen in three sections: green, white and gold, and measured 29″x63″. However, when it was originally delivered to the headquarters of the Rising it had been assembled in the wrong order and so had to be hurriedly unstitched! A symbol of the Independent Irish Republic and the de facto flag of the state, it was hoisted outside the GPO building in Dublin on Easter Monday 1916. While standing beneath this very flag, the Commander-in-Chief of the Dublin Brigade, James Connolly, uttered the immortal words: ‘For the first time in 700 years the flag of a free Ireland floats triumphantly in Dublin City.’ This crucial icon of the Irish Revolution is estimated at $500,000-$700,000.

Another lot which will undoubtedly arouse considerable interest is the five page, typed and signed manuscript article by John F Kennedy written while he was a journalist. In this article entitled: ‘Emon de valera Seeks to Unite All Ireland: Erie Premier Answers Dillon on Constitutional Rights’, the future President discusses his beloved Ireland and its history for independence from Britain (estimate $20,000-$30,000).

Amongst the other items offered in Bloomsbury’s Irish Sale are books by 20th century cornerstone Irish writers such as WB Yeats, Seamus Heaney, Samuel Beckett and James Joyce, to name but a few. Lot 1 is a very rare first edition of Mosada the first book by WB Yeats and is estimated $70,000-$100,000 while lot 8 is a first edition of Joyce’s modernist masterpiece, Ulysses which carries an estimate of $50,000-$70,000.

The sale also includes paintings by major Irish artists such as Sunbathers, an oil on canvas by Sir John Lavery (estimated $350,000-$450,000). This work was inspired by the time Lavery spent in Palm Springs, California in the 1930s. Amongst the more modern artists is the powerful work by Louis le Brocquy (lot 42) entitled Trilogy on an Assassination, Reflection on Mourning and Reflection on Grief which is a study on the reaction to the assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963 (estimate $40,000-60,000).

The furniture selection of the sale also boasts some outstanding pieces such as the elegant George III mahogany side table from circa 1760 which is expected to fetch between $140,000 and $160,000.
Exhibition:
Wednesday, March 17th – Friday, March 19th, from 10am – 5pm
Saturday, March 20th, from 10am – 3pm
Monday, March 22nd from 10am – 5pm
Or by private appointment

(Please note that the gallery will be closed Sunday, March 21st)

Category: Auction News

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