Irish rugby and U2 memorabilia to go on view at Whyte’s

‘Oldest Irish international rugby jersey in the world’ to be sold at auction

 

A fascinating mix of sport and entertainment memorabilia will go on view at Whyte’s on Molesworth Street, Dublin, from Friday, December 11th, ahead of an auction in the adjacent Freemasons’ Hall on Monday week (December 14th) at 5.30pm.

Some of the lots will appeal to serious collectors; others would make the perfect – if costly – Christmas gift for fans of rugby, soccer or GAA. Reputedly the oldest Irish international rugby jersey in the world – worn by William (Billy) Grant Byron in 1899 when Ireland won the Triple Crown – is estimated at €25,000-€35,000.

Whyte’s said “the market for rugby memorabilia is very hot at the moment” and that a 1904 New Zealand jersey had sold recently for £180,000.

Among numerous lots of interest to soccer fans is a football signed by various members of the Manchester United team (known as the “Busby Babes”) who subsequently perished in the 1958 Munich air disaster. The estimate is €6,000-€8,000.

A gold medal, mounted on a 9 carat gold pin-back to make a brooch, inscribed “All Ireland F’ball C’ship. 1912. Won by Louth” is estimated at €2,000-€3,000. Whyte’s said “Louth did not win another All-Ireland until 1957 and have not won one since”.

Lot 502 is described as “Spiderman’s first appearance in his own comic”. The copy of Marvel’s most popular character in the first issue of his own comic, published in 1963, is said to be the “most sought after ‘number 1’ issue in all of Marvel Comics” and has been sealed in a perspex “slab”. It is estimated at (€6,000-€8,000).

Whyte’s said Lot 602 “could be” the first autographs signed by all four members of U2. They were collected by a school friend at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, in Dublin, from Paul Hewson (Bono); Dave Evans (The Edge); Adam Clayton; and Larry Mullen and the page was also inscribed “We will remember you when were [sic] famous”. The estimate is €2,000-€3,000.

Lot 455, described as “Marilyn Monroe’s gift to a flat-mate” – is a powder compact engraved with the inscription: “Elaine - Remember - Love - Norma Jean”. The estimate is (€2,000-€3,000). Norma Jeane Mortenson later changed her name to Marilyn Monroe and became a Hollywood star. She shared a flat with Elaine Barrie before either became famous and gave her this gift as a token of their friendship.

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