James Bond away with the fairies: what’s coming up for sale in the auction rooms

First edition Ian Fleming books in Cork; WB Yeats’s Irish Fairy and Folk Tales in Galway

With the advent of autumn, two rare book catalogues have just been launched for winter fireside reading.

Some of the highlights from De Búrca Rare Books of Blackrock include a first edition of WB Yeats's The Winding Stair and Other Poems (€1,675), along with a very rare inscribed photograph of Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde (€19,500). See deburcararebooks.com.

In Galway, Healy Rare Books has a strong emphasis on local history and Irish literature, to include some scarce works by James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and the wonderfully illustrated Irish Fairy and Folk Tales by WB Yeats, €550. To order the catalogue see healyrarebooks.com

Next weekend, at what the Annual Dublin Book Fair 2019 is calling its booksellers' Brexit bash due to the uncertainty across the pond, over 20 sellers from the UK and Ireland will host a fair at Freemasons' Hall on Molesworth Street, to include Maggs Bros of London, Fosters of Chiswick and William Cowan of Oban. See dublincityofliterature.ie


At the Lynes & Lynes sale in Carrigtwohill, Co Cork, on October 5th, James Bond fans can purchase a collection of seven first-edition Ian Fleming books, complete with dust jackets, for €100-€150, and Virginia Woolf's Kew Gardens, listed at €350-€450.

The sale also includes some interesting and well-priced pieces of furniture, including a Victorian circular library table, which originally came from the Royal College of Surgeons (€100-€200) as did the large rectangular library table with a green leather top, measuring 10ft by just under 4ft (€400-€600)

Signal cannons

Rarer items include a French kingswood marquetry table, (€1,000-€1,500) and, should you need a pair of cast-iron signal cannons, lot 288 is just the ticket at €800-€1,200.

Modern pieces are a Gigi swivel leather chair with a Gerard van den Berg label, which is seeking €800-€1,200. See lynesandlynes.com

The Palace Collection sale by Victor Mee Auctions on September 30th includes items from Oak Park House in Letterkenny, the former Irish home of social activist and suffragette Norah Lyle-Smyth, in addition to contents from the Bishop's Palace in Kilmore, Co Cavan, where the auction this Monday will take place.

Of interest is a Killarney wood flip-top table (€2,000-€4,000) originally owned by Maj Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther, treasurer to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for almost 40 years. He suffered two strokes while in her service, perhaps somewhat fuelled by her legendary overspending. The queen mother instructed him to retire to Scotland, which he did for the last four years of his life, until he died just two months after her in 2002. See victormeeauctions.ie


Finally, for those with a penchant for watercolours, the Water Colour Society of Ireland will host its 165th annual exhibition from Monday September 30th until Saturday October 12th at the Gallery at Farmleigh in Phoenix Park.

This year’s show, which is its largest exhibition to date, with more than 300 works on display, will offer a broad choice of traditional and contemporary watercolour art, in the realms of landscapes as well as botanical, architectural and figurative work.

The society, established in 1870, has had such noted members as Evie Hone, Jack B Yeats, Sarah Purser, Mainie Jellett, Walter Osborne and Sir William Burton in the past, so it may well be the place to pick up pieces to start a collection. Prices for the majority of works range from €350-€850. See watercoloursocietyofireland.ie