Asian lots top Sheppard’s bill again

Chinese Qing period vases sell for €60,000 – 50 times the top estimate

The major Dublin auction houses may have shut up shop for an extended summer break but salerooms around the State are still buzzing. At Sheppard's in Durrow, Co Laois, 78 per cent of the 1,500 lots sold in a two-day auction that ended on Wednesday evening.

A taxidermy tiger skin and head, along with a photograph of the man who shot it in India in 1911 – Cork-born and Trinity College Dublin-educated missionary bishop Eyre Chatterton – sold for €4,200, which was four times the estimate (see video link and pic).

Among items consigned from Glenmalire House, Co Laois, a Minton majolica ewer and stand, believed to have originally been in Castletown House, Co Kildare, made €5,500 (€1,500-€2,500) and a George III silver kettle, stand and lamp made by John Carter, London 1773, sold for €3,000 (€1,500-€2,500).

As often at Sheppard’s, antique Chinese porcelain items were among the top sellers. Lot 1105, a pair of “Chinese Qing period gu-shaped polychrome vases” – sold for €60,000 – 50 times the top estimate (€800-€1,200).

The vases had, apparently, once been in the collection of Sir William Hutcheson Poë , a colonel in the royal marines, and later an Irish Free State senator, who lived at Heywood House, Co Laois, and died in 1934.

Lot 1090, a Chinese Qing period famille verte vase made €42,000 (€1,000-€1,500); lot 1095, a pair of Chinese Qing period famille verte jardinières, made €28,000 (€1,500-€2,500), and lot 1100, a Chinese Qing period peach decorated bottle vase, made €26,000 (€1,500-€2,500).

Lot 671 – a 19th-century oval copper fish pan and cover stamped Shelbourne Hotel, and Fletcher and Phillipson, Dublin, estimated at €800-€1,200 – failed to sell. A painting titled Canal Walk by artist Betty Manning, a former Fine Gael councillor and mayor of Kilkenny, sold for €400 in her auction debut.

At Woodward's auctioneers in Cork on Wednesday evening, there were numerous bids for a set of medals awarded to Cork priest Fr (later Archdeacon) Tom Duggan who had served as a chaplain in the British army during both World Wars.

The medals, including a Military Cross he received during the second World War when, aged 50, he displayed “exemplary gallantry against the enemy” during the evacuation of Dunkirk, sold for €8,000 (€5,000-€10,000).

The set also included an OBE (Order of the British Empire) awarded to Fr Duggan after the war. Afterwards auctioneer Tom Woodward said the medals would be “staying in Cork”, but he did not name the buyer.