Fonsie Mealy’s Spring Collectables sale is currently open online and ends this Tuesday, February 22.
The sale presents two pretty tantalum. The name of these small cabinets containing two or three decanters of alcohol derives its name from the unsatisfied temptations of the Greek mythological character Tantalus, who was bound in a pool of water but was never able to drink.
Like their namesake, the purpose of these vessels was to prevent unauthorized persons from drinking the contents (especially younger sons and servants of large houses) so that the contents, when displayed, would be locked away. Lot 97 is a particularly fine brass-bound Victorian version, priced between €200 and €300.
Also up for sale, along with numerous pieces of cut glass, Japanese and Chinese earthenware, is a 19th-century Rudall, Rose and Carte concert flute (€600-€800).
The company, which began as Rudall and Rose, and was later joined by Richard Carte, dominated the flute industry in Britain for over 150 years.
For much of their existence, almost every professional flautist and serious amateur in the UK has played on one of the company’s instruments. The company not only produced instruments, but also promoted concerts, for a time under Richard Carte’s son, Richard D’Oyly Carte, who later made his fortune as producer of the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan.
He also built the Savoy Theater in London, which was the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity.
The flagship lot of the sale, priced at between €800 and €1,000, is an “important and ancient carved cinnabar lacquer box from China”. From the late Qing dynasty, the profusely carved upper surface features lakeside figures with bridges, a pagoda and lotuses.
Taking place this Tuesday 22 February, Adam’s of St Stephen’s Green will be hosting a live home sale featuring period furniture, silverware, decorative arts and paintings. Parts of the catalog were photographed in a former property in Henrietta Street – Dublin’s first Georgian street – which pairs well with contemporary pieces.
Among the highlights, a fine set of 12 Regency dining room chairs decorated with carved rosettes (lot 267, €2,000 – €2,500) and two pretty fireplace mirrors (lot 197, €800 – €1,200 and lot 207, €600 – €800).
Among the library pieces, a pair of elegant library armchairs with armrests carved with lion masks (lot 294, €800 – €1,200) and a George IV armchair in green velvet (lot 208, €200 – €400) .
For lovers of Art Nouveau, a sofa with an oak frame and period upholstery (lot 192, €2,000-4,000). If the demand for offices has faded a little with the gradual return of offices, the sale presents a powerful partner’s office which will require a fairly large space to occupy (lot 289, €1,800 – €2,200).
There is also a fine selection of inexpensive jewelry, with a stainless steel Cartier chronograph (lot 1, €700 – €900) and a lovely pair of lapis lazuli and diamond dangling earrings (lot 37, €500 – €700).
What is described as “an intriguing and extremely rare Irish coin”, dating from 1927, which never entered circulation, is among the highlights of an upcoming coin sale.
The sale of historic Irish coins, tokens and medals by Mayfair coin and medal specialists Dix, Noonan Webb, will take place on March 3.
The coin, known as the Free State Penny, was designed by Italian sculptor Publio Morbiducci for a competition to design the new Irish currency in 1928.
In 1923 Morbiducci won the competition for the two lira coin and later carried out many important commissions such as the Monument to the Bersagliere at Porta Pia.
Although unsuccessful in the quest to design the new Irish coinage, the precise number of these coins now in existence is uncertain, but in 1976 it was thought that only three in bronze existed, which explains the estimate £4,000–5,000 (€4,770–€5,963).
The sale also lists a large collection of Gunmoney and emergency issues from 1689–1691, from John Rainey’s collection. Mr Rainey had “the greatest and best collection of gunmoney in private hands”, according to authors Paul and Bente R Withers, in their title Irish Gunmomney and the Emergency Issues of 1689-1691.
The most unusual high denomination token coin was issued by the deposed Catholic King James II of England who fled to France and then Ireland. The coins were of an order nature and bore a month date as well as a year of issue. These pieces are considered to be the most extensive group to ever be sold in a single sale. Made from cannon cannon, they were only produced in two Irish factories: Limerick and Dublin.
Other items of interest in the sale include a silver half-crown from the reign of James II dating from Dublin in May 1690. Only five examples are known (£3,000-£4,000 (€3,578–€4 770) while a rare Limerick half-crown, dating from March 1690, is estimated at £300-400 (€357-477).fonsiemealy.ie, adams.ie, dnw.co.uk