Portrait of Abbey Theatre Founder Among Rare Items to go Under the Hammer

An exciting collection of antiques, fine art and rare artefacts is to go under the hammer this month for the first time. The items, many of which have impressive provenance, include a portrait of Lady Gregory, founder of the Abbey Theatre; a complete collection of a World War One officer’s belongings; a collection of paintings by renowned falconry artist George Edward Lodge and stained glass windows from Harry Clarke’s studios.

The auction, which takes place on July 21st and 22nd is being held by Ireland’s leading purveyor of fine art, rare books and manuscripts, Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.

The portrait of Lady Gregory, founder of the Abbey Theatre, was painted by Sir Gerald Festus Kelly, and was commissioned by Hugh Lane. It is one of two portraits commissioned of Lady Gregory, the second of which still hangs in the Abbey Theatre today. Widely regarded as the ‘Mother of Modern Ireland’, the portrait of Lady Gregory is a rare opportunity to acquire a piece of Irish history.

Also included in the sale is an exceptionally complete collection of belongings from a World War One officer, Major Farrell from Co. Meath. Complete collections such as this one are very rare and includes the officer’s uniforms, jacket and trousers, hat with tin box container, leather boots, folding bed and mattress, folding chair and table, travel case and cooker with all utensils including cups, saucers, spoons, knives and forks.

The sale also includes a collection of paintings by George Edward Lodge, the renowned falconry artist. All the falcons in the collection of paintings belonged to Kim Muir, of Postlip Hall who, before he was killed in action in the Second World War aged just 24, was one of the most renowned falconers in the world.

There are also several paintings from the collection of Judge James Murnaghan.

Other curious and rare items for auction include the last remaining stained glass windows from Harry Clarke’s studio, which display incredibly rare detail and workmanship, as well as other unique items such as an unusual collection of 100 tractor seats from across Europe and the Billy Newport collection of fishing rods and accessories.

Speaking about the auction, George Fonsie Mealy, Director of Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers said, “This is a real treasure trove of history and an incredibly exciting sale with many unusual items. A collection as extensive and varied as this is a rarity with such steely provenance, being an extensive selection of items formerly from Postlip Hall, Cheltenham, England, Ballyvolane Stud, Co.Limerick and Donaghcomper House, Celbridge , Co. Kildare.”

The 1,000 lots, including items from other private Irish estates and collections, include fine silverware, jewellery, art, paintings, furniture and objets d’art and outdoor statuary and effects.

Viewing at Fonsie Mealy’s auction rooms takes place at The Old Cinema, Chatsworth Street, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny on 19th and 20th July with the auction itself taking place at the same venue on 21st and 22nd July.

For more information on Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, please visit www.fonisemealy.ie

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