Top lots in Waterford include Fort William finery


A big country house auction takes place on Tuesday, April 23rd, at the Lismore House Hotel, Lismore, Co Waterford, hosted by Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers. There will be approximately 750 lots including furniture, pictures, silver, porcelain, books, wine and garden furniture.

Many of the items come from nearby Fort William, a mock-Gothic mansion on the River Blackwater which has had a succession of owners including, in the 1940s, Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster. His fourth wife, Nancy, owned the racehorse Arkle. The house sold again recently and it previous owner, Sara Agnew, is now disposing of the contents.

The auctioneers have also included items from other estates and collections. Viewing begins tomorrow at Fort William from noon and admission is by catalogue (€20 which admits two). The auction is in the hotel, not at the house.

Highlights include: a Cork Regency period overmantel mirror with an original label “JW Ellis, Looking Glass & Picture Frame Manufactor, 16 Cooke St, Cork”, described as highly important and extremely rare, €5,000-€7,000; an large watercolour (212 by 116 cms) titled A Portico – Ruins of Church In Sicily by Alexander Creswell, €12,500- €17,500; and a portrait of Lady Elizabeth Monson, a regular visitor to Fort William, by Carlo Romagnoli, €3,000-€5,000. Among the quirkier lots is “a rare Irish donkey cart with original upholstery and brass fittings by McSweeney’s, Pope’s Quay, Cork” (€400-€600). – MP