Treasures from Kennys Bookshop and 40 pieces of silver

Roscrea sale offers lots from several large houses and Galway bookseller’s warehouse

With auction season getting into full swing after the summer lull, some interesting items are featured in the Autumn Antiques and Collectors Sale at the Victor Mitchell sale in Roscrea on Wednesday, September 4th.

First up is a very large Donegal carpet, which was handmade for Curragh Grange House, the Richard Orpen-designed, Queen Anne-style pile in Newbridge, and former home of the late Joe McGrath, owner of Irish Sweepstakes.

Measuring a whopping 41sq m – which is larger than the minimum standard size of new apartments – it will suit a room of stately proportions.

Donegal Carpets made flooring that was so well regarded that it graced the floors of the White House, Buckingham Palace, Dublin Castle, Áras an Uachtaráin and Kilkenny Castle. The estimate for the piece, which is pale cream with mauve scrolling throughout, is €2,500-€3,500.


Also from Curragh Grange House are a pair of console tables (€600-€800) and some paintings.

The sale lists 100 lots from Irish literary institution, Kennys Bookshop in Galway, the family-run business which became the Irish supplier to the US Library of Congress.

Kennys has cleared out a warehouse in Galway, and featured in clearance lots are prints, paintings and a very old map by Murdoch Mackenzie.

Sea charts

Scottish-born Mackenzie (1712-1797) contributed more enduringly to British theoretical and practical hydrography than any other individual, and after his survey of the Orkney Islands, was engaged by British Admiralty to survey the west coast of Britain and the entire coast of Ireland which culminated in a 22-year task. He produced the first triangulated sea chart in the world, and invented the station pointer, a maritime tool that preceded the sextant and chronometer.

The original sea chart, dating from 1777, depicts Slyne Head to Achill Island (€200-€300). Mackenzie also first mapped the correct location of Black Rock off Belmullet. A feature sadly well known for the 2017 helicopter tragedy, and seemingly omitted from digital map records, perhaps due to its westerly position.

Tim Robinson, the Connemara-based writer, illustrator and cartographer, also features in the sale. His Arainn map, produced 250 years after Mackenzie charted the west coast of Ireland, is listed as part of the lots from Kennys (€20-€30).

Another clearance, this time from a house in Limerick – destined for a new kitchen – unearthed a box of ephemera that had not been opened in 30 years.

Inside the box was a small Italian stained glass circular window pane depicting a figure of winged Putti, surrounded by blue and gold panels in a metal frame measuring 65cm (€150-€250).

Another curiosity is the novelty sherry decanter and glass stand, which hides discretely under the silver-plated skirt of a demure looking woman (€100-€150) and an old pull-along toy in the form of a little brass elephant (€100-€150).

The remainder of the lots include 40 pieces of silver, an unusual jade handled mirror, along with period furniture, fittings and paintings. See