Historic items from all sides


THE FIRST of the year’s big history sales takes place in Dublin next Wednesday when Adam’s of St Stephen’s Green hold its auction titled “800 Years – Irish Political, Literary and Military History”.

Among the more than 500 lots is a one-minute newsreel compiled by Pathé Gazette of the Irish delegation arriving in London for the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations in 1921, which is estimated at €3,000-€5,000. Among other items related to Michael Collins is a locket of hair taken from the dead leader’s head while he lay “in state” at Dublin City Hall in August, 1922 (€3,000-€5,000). An original copy of the 1916 Proclamation (€60,000-€80,000).

A 22ct gold bowl, made in 1966 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising, is estimated at €10,000-€15,000. The “Cásca Bowl” – reputedly one of only two made by Thomas O’Connor and Sons, jewellers of Harold’s Cross, Dublin – features an inset central medallion depicting the GPO in flames, and, on the reverse, reproductions of the seven signatures of the men who signed the Proclamation, who were executed.

All sides of Ireland’s troubled past feature in the sale. A magnificent “Royal Irish Constabulary District Inspector’s (1st Class) Uniform”, made by TG Phillip of Dame Street for George Hugh Mercer, is estimated at €8,000-€12,000. A photograph of soldiers of the Irish Brigade in the Boer War is estimated at €80-€120.

More recent Irish history is the subject of a set of collectible Fianna Fáil election posters from the 1940s (estimate €800-€1,200).