Seamus Heaney first editions, rare Belfast whisky, comic books and a famous snooker trophy for auction


Whyte’s auction of “History, Literature and Collectibles” in Dublin next Saturday features a selection of first editions by Seamus Heaney, including a signed copy of his first collection, Death of a Naturalist (€600-€800). The books had been consigned to auction before the Nobel Laureate’s death last week. First editions of his work have long been sought after and, inevitably, prices are now likely to rise.

An “extremely scarce” poster issued by the Dublin Metropolitan Police of a proclamation banning a meeting “at Sackville Street or its neighbourhood on 31 August 1913” during the Lockout is estimated at €1,000-€1,500.

A selection of rare, vintage whiskey from Northern Ireland is also included in this most eclectic of auctions.

The bottles and half-bottles of 1920s Dunville’s Three Crowns Whisky, were discovered in a bonding warehouse in Belfast. Dunville’s Whisky was distilled in the city from the 1870s until the 1930s.

Auctioneer Ian Whyte said “good examples of this whiskey are extremely scarce”. Half-bottles are estimated at €250-€300 each and bottles at €500-€600.

Also going under the hammer is a collection of some 1,500 comic books acquired by a young Dublin collector in the 1960s and 1970s. It includes 130 early issues of Conan the Barbarian (€400-€600) and examples from Thor, Spiderman, Daredevil and others.

Sporting memorabilia
Among a selection of sporting memorabilia is the Benson & Hedges Irish Masters snooker tournament trophy won during 1978-2000 by players including Steve Davis, Alex Higgins, Ken Doherty, Jimmy White, Stephen Hendry, Peter Ebdon and John Higgins. Its estimate is €8,000-€10,000.

Whyte’s “History, Literature and Collectibles” is on view from Wednesday until Friday at 38 Molesworth St, Dublin 2, 10am-5.30pm. The auction takes place in the Freemasons Hall,
17 Molesworth Street, on Saturday, September 14th, at noon.

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