Sheppard's Irish Auction House in Durrow, Co Laois starts the 2015 season with a three-day auction beginning next Tuesday, March 2nd.
The catalogue has been published in a new, more compact format and the website (sheppards.ie) has been revamped with the lots now grouped into categories, to enable more targeted browsing.
Viewing begins today and notable lots include Lot 962, an early 18th century walnut chest, from a house in Cork, and described as in "superb condition" (€14,000-€18,000); Lot 658, a 19th century, 58cm high, lidded porcelain urn, made in Vienna and painted with an image from Greek mythology (Die Hochzeit des Peleus und der Thetis/The marriage of Thetis and Peleus) €2,500-€3,500.
Among the silver is Lot 159, a table centrepiece, of a type known as a surtout de table, made in London in 1798 by William Pitts & Joseph Preedy, estimated at €8,000-€12,000. Lot 114 is a pair of 1930s American Art Deco sterling silver wine goblets – the stems in the shape of golfers – €300-€500).
A painting, Lot 879, signed M Joron, is probably the work of French artist Maurice Joron (1883-1937). The oil-on-canvas, titled Cardinal and Cats is estimated at €2,500-€3,500 and may have been inspired by France's Cardinal Richelieu who was chief minister to Louis XIII. Richelieu famously loved cats and reputedly had 14 (including a black Angora named Lucifer) at the time of his death in 1642.
A selection of 18th century mahogany, brass-bound containers (for storing plates, turf or wine) will interest country-house owners and among the best example is Lot 794, an unusually large “Irish brass-bound peat barrel” estimated at €4,000-€6,000.