Furniture a feature of 1,500-lot Mealy's auction


Mealy's opens its autumn season of sales next week with a very substantial two-day event featuring almost 1,500 lots from a variety of properties. Many of the most interesting and important items are furniture, such as lot 1174, a mahogany sideboard from the Dublin workshops of James Hicks.

With three frieze drawers raised on two pedestals, each with a cupboard door and oval moulding, the sideboard carries an estimate of £4,000-£5,000. Two lots later is another piece which is certain to prove popular with bidders: a French lady's kingwood and parquetry work table with a serpentine-shaped gilt brass-mounted top and oval porcelain panels on the front (£1,800-£2,500). Lot 1171 will appeal to the same tastes. It is a 19th-century Dutch walnut bombe-shaped chest or commode, again with a serpentine frontage and a crossbanded top above three burr walnut drawers (£1,500-£2,500).

The following lot is even more magnificent - a Japanned and decorated cabinet, its upper section with engraved brass mounts featuring flowers and birds. Raised on a very elaborate carved and gilded stand, the cabinet's interior holds a complex arrangement of drawers and cupboards, the surface of which are also decorated with more flowers and other ornamental features. This piece is expected to make £7,000-£10,000. All these lots are included in the second day of the sale.

On the first day, Tuesday, there are more than 200 lots of silver and silver plate. Some of these lots are Irish, such as numbers 607 and 608, an early 18th-century crested silver soup ladle (£250-£350) and a George III soup ladle (£300-£400) respectively. Lot 587, a set of 12 Irish Victorian crested fiddle-pattern silver teaspoons, probably by J. Smyth of Dublin and dating from 1871, carries a pre-sale estimate of £150-£250. Among the most curious of all the items over the two days is an Irish George III silver chalice or communion cup with silver gilt interior. Dating from 1790, its stem is detachable and can be unscrewed into three parts, while the whole chalice fits into a purpose-made metal case, which has a silver pattern (£800-£1,500). Non-Irish silver lots carry higher figures, such as the £5,000-£6,000 estimate for lot 544, a pair of Charles II crested silver candlesticks made in London circa 1679.

This Mealy's sale also includes a large number of pictures, among the most delightful being lot 1300, A Study of Terriers Ratting by William Osborne, the father of the better-known Walter Osborne (£1,500-£2,000). Again, the non-Irish paintings are likely to fetch larger sums, not least lots 1302 and 1303. The former is a pair of canvases by David de Coninck, showing a variety of animals and game with landscape backgrounds (£25,000-£35,000). Lot 1303, on the other hand, is a panoramic view of Windsor Castle attributed to the 17th-century Dutch artist Hendrik Danckerts, who settled in England shortly before the Restoration and was patronised by both Charles II and his successor James II (£12,000-£18,000).

The Mealy's sale takes place in the company's own rooms at Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny on Tuesday and Wednesday, starting at 10.30 a.m. on each day.