€300,000 sale of David Cahill’s collection headlines busy week for antiques circuit

Oscars-style necklace, tapestry, banknotes and Meissen porcelain will also be on offer

It will be a busy week ahead on the antique circuit, commencing from Sunday, April 24th, with the Hibernian Antique Fair at Ballygarry Estate Hotel in Tralee, Co Kerry. Now in its 35th year, the Kerry fair will host a good selection of antiques, art and vintage pieces from all around the country.

Meanwhile, three sales will take place this coming Tuesday, April 26th. Highlights from the John Weldon of Temple Bar sale include a super emerald and diamond necklace, which the auction house describes as a "red-carpet Oscars piece" (€12,000-€15,000), and 3 carat diamond stud earrings (€10,000-€12,500). Also up for auction is a selection of coins and banknotes, with 55 lots from one such collection amassed over two decades.

"We don't often see coins of this vintage and quality so the interest should be strong," says Weldon of the pieces that date from 440 BC to the 1950s. A rare 1802 Tullamore 13 pence token from the Charleville Estate is listed at €100-€200, while a lovely Greek Attica coin from 440 BC – rarely found in such good condition – is listed at €400-€800.

One to watch could be the Currency Commission Ploughman consolidated banknote of one pound for Ulster Bank. It is listed at €200-€300, but could achieve higher, as Ploughman banknotes issued by Northern Ireland banks are rarer than those issued by southern banks. The sale also has a selection of papal coins which could also attract interest due to their rarity; few such coins survive as they were melted for silver in the past.

Period pieces

Now in its third year, the Adam's of St Stephen's Green Library Collection sale on Tuesday offers a range of interesting period furniture, art, books and collectables. Highlights of the live online sale include a Louis XIV Beauvais tapestry from the series Les Oiseaux de la Ménagerie. Dating from circa 1680-1720, the piece is expected to achieve €15,000-€20,000. A large Meissen porcelain monkey orchestra with 21 musicians is listed at €8,000-€12,000, while a Regency boulle marquetry commode in the manner of Nicholas Sageot is seeking €10,000-€15,000.

On Tuesday evening, Damien Matthews will hold a live online sale of 619 lots from various clearances and pawnbrokers' unredeemed pledges. Top lots include an Edwardian yellow gold and platinum diamond solitaire with a 2.03 carat centre stone (Lot 38, €15,000-€25,000), and from 1910 a 3.14 carat solitaire (Lot 358, €16,000-€24,000). With the price of gold currently standing at €1,825 per ounce, there could be interest in a selection of gold full sovereigns from the early 1900s priced at €400-€700 apiece.

Hegarty's of Bandon's live online sale on Wednesday, April 27th, is a curated selection of predominantly Irish art, from the traditional to the contemporary. The 120 lots include works by Norman Teeling, Marie Carroll, Colin Flack, Stella Steyn and Markey Robinson.

Personal collection

Finally, de Vere's will hold The David Cahill Collection sale, also on Wednesday. Cahill, who died in November, was a well-known dealer and collector.

"There's not a normal piece in it," says dealer Niall Mullen, who cleared out and collated the contents of Cahill's home.

“Despite being a one-bedroom apartment it [Cahill’s home] took two weeks to go through. You just don’t see the likes of it any more, and I don’t think there has been a sale like it in a long time.”

Cahill, who spent many years in Cambodia establishing schools, returned to Ireland and began trading. He assisted the Irish Antique Dealers Association (IADA) with vetting at its RDS fair.

“He was a frequent visitor to Oldcastle, Co Meath, and would browse my father Michael’s monthly auction. He was a fascinating antique dealer, with a diverse knowledge base,” recalls Mullen.

His collection of Anglo-Indian and Biedermeier furnishings, Asian ceramics and Persian rugs mirrors his eclectic life, and the sale includes many desirable pieces from the past 200 years. Regency chairs, Italian micromosaics and inappropriate postcards will be offered, along with sailing flags, in the sale which has an estimated value of €300,000.

The 400 lots, all from his Lennox Street home, include souvenirs from his travels, with many items from Italy of pietra dura marble and micromosaic, notably a pill box featuring doves drinking from a vessel by Roccheggiani of Rome, also containing two miniature panels of the Colosseum.

About 250 postcards – some of which were stuffed behind wardrobes – offer a fascinating if somewhat voyeuristic view into handwritten notes between relatives and friends in the late 19th century. Splashed with sarcasm from a time that predated political correctness, the postcards are being sold as one collection (€400-€500). A green leather Regency chair is listed at €2,000-€3,000; a three-quarter-length oil portrait from Adare Manor is listed at €2,000-€3,000, while a James Hicks Irish satinwood, rosewood and sycamore/yew cabinet is expected to fetch €2,000-€4,000.

jwa.ie, adams.ie, matthewsauctionrooms.com, hegartyantiques.com and deveres.ie

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