Country house delights and a dash of silver


GEORGE Mealy & Sons has such a large sale early next month that 1,400-odd-lots are spread over two days - Tuesday, April 8th and Wednesday, April 9th. This auction will feature items from a number of important country houses, not least Abbeyleix House, sold two years ago by Viscount and Viscountess de Vesci, who are now disposing of further pieces of furniture from the property.

These include a Regency telescopic mahogany dining table (estimate £10,000- £15,000), a late 18th century mahogany sideboard (£3,000-£3,500), a set of nine (7ft x2in) mahogany dining chairs in the George II Chippendale style (£1,800-£2,500), a Georgian bow-front mahogany chest (£700-£900) and an early 19th century mahogany secretaire cabinet (£2,000-£3,000).

From Mount Congreve in Waterford comes a number of attractive pieces, such as a pair of Regency bronze and gilt candelabra (£1,600-£2,200), a Louis XV kingwood and tulip table dating from circa 1760, and stamped by J.P. Dupont (£5,000-£7,000), a George 111 settee (also £5,000-£7,000) and a pair of carved giltwood and gesso torcheres in the William and Mary style (£1,500-£2,000).

Residue items from Ballynatray, Co Cork, include a William IV Irish mahogany side table by Williams & Gibton (£14,000-£18,000) and a large Irish sarcophagus shaped wine cooler, also by Williams & Gibton (£5,000-£8,000). Another wine cooler, from the George IV period and by Williams & Gibton, is also included in this sale; bearing the arms of the Smith family of Annesbrook, Co Meath, it carries an estimate of £7,000-£9,000.

Other fine items of furniture include: a George III period mahogany sideboard, probably Irish (£2,000-£3,000); a large continental display cabinet, probably Dutch (£4,000-£6,000); a George III period mahogany side or serving table (£4,000-£6,000); a mahogany George III period dining table (£5,000-£7,000); and a 19th century oak library table (£2,000-£3,000).

The Mealy auction also contains a substantial selection of silver, such as a silver and silver gilt Irish chalice, probably from Galway and mid-17th century with a detachable bowl (estimate £5,000-£7,000); a set of four George III circular silver entree dishes, covers and liners by Paul Storr of London, circa 1807 (£9,000-£14,000); and a canteen of Victorian silver table flatware (£1,800-£3,000).

Nor have pictures been neglected, with a pair of river landscapes by Vernet expected to sell for £4,000-£6,000.