Collectors spend €1.4m

Unpublished Oscar Wilde photo snapped up for €7,000 at Adam’s art auction in Slane

At Adam's two-day Country House Collections, which concluded at Slane Castle in Co Meath on Monday, bidders spent €1.4 million and 67 per cent of the 850 lots were sold.

Lady Ardilaun's Victorian photograph album, containing a previously unpublished photograph of Oscar Wilde on the steps of Ashford Castle, sold for €7,000 (€5,000-€8,000), while a silver-embellished mahogany casket, presented by the Royal Dublin Society to Lord Ardilaun in 1914, made €10,000 (€6,000-€10,000).

Three lots claimed joint top price of €25,000: a 19th-century painting entitled Yachts Racing Past the Irish Light Vessel off Dublin Bay by Samuel Walters (€25,000-€35,000); a pair of early Victorian English library globes by Newton & Son, London (€15,000-€25,000); and a marble bust of Benjamin Lee Guinness by sculptor John Henry Foley (€20,000- €30,000). Managing director of Adam's, James O'Halloran, said "amongst the very large selection of furniture on offer, some great prices were achieved, proving a lie to the widely held belief that 'brown furniture' is hard to sell". As an example, he cited how an "Irish Georgian mahogany serpentine front side table made €15,000 against an estimate of €8,000".

An Irish provincial silver bowl, made by Joseph Johns of Limerick, which had been estimated at €2,000-€3,000, sold for €17,000.


A Regency period barometer made by John Russell of Falkirk in Scotland made €21,000 (€10,000-€15,000). An Irish carved wood teapoy (a table with a container for storing tea), made for the 1851 Great Exhibition by Arthur Jones and Co of Dublin, sold for €14,000 (€15,000-€25,000), despite featuring a decapitated figure of Queen Victoria.

A set of 12 Royal Doulton hand-painted fish plates – each one with a different depiction of fish, by T Wilson – made €2,300 (€1,500-€2,000).

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