'Little Nell' to star at Mealy's


A LARGE Victorian painting, The Grandfather at the Grave of Little Nell – with an estimate of €5,000-€7,000 – is one of the highlights in next week’s Spring Fine and Decorative Art Sale at Mealy’s auctioneers.

The watercolour by artist Herbert Thomas Dicksee (inadvertently spelt “Dixie” in the catalogue) pays homage to the central characters in the novel The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens.

Over 1,300 lots – including the contents of late broadcaster Cathal O’Shannon’s Dublin 4 home – will go under the hammer in the two-day auction on Tuesday and Wednesday including jewellery, silver, porcelain, glassware, decorative arts, oriental art, period furniture, paintings, carpets, clocks, taxidermy, whiskey and wine. Viewing starts at 1pm today in the Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny saleroom.

A selection of porcelain includes a large collection of early Belleek, while the silver lots include items bearing the crest of the Naper family of Loughcrew house, Co Meath.

An exceptionally large Donegal carpet – commissioned for an Irish company boardroom and measuring a whopping 14m by 5m is estimated at €15,000-€25,000.

An 18th-century trumeau mirror (a frame containing both a mirror and a painting) – originally from Clobeman Hall, Co Wexford and later Westport House, Co Mayo – is attracting interest. The estimate is €20,000-€30,000. Unsuccessful bidders may find solace in a bottle of Knappogue Castle whiskey “distilled 1951 in Tullamore by B Daly Co and bottled 1987”, estimated at a more affordable €600-€800.