Vintage Irish ads sale: From Aer Lingus-flying turkeys to Santa’s Tayto

Wide range of historical Irish advertising material from single collector at Sheppard’s

A quirky poster promoting air transport for turkeys being sent as presents to Britain is among advertising ephemera in a two-day sale next month.

The “Send your gift turkey by air” poster is included in Sheppard’s sale on Thursday and Friday, June 10th and 11th. The Vintage Advertising and Printed Ephemera sale comprises a wide range of historical Irish advertising material from a single collector over a 40-year period.

Lot 135 (€300-€500), an ad for Aer Lingus, dates from 1962 when the annual Christmas airlift of Irish turkeys to Britain was a week-long affair, and a special “turkey depot” operated from Cathal Brugha Street to facilitate their movement.

While tobacco and alcohol have a strong presence in the sale, with names such as Players, Wills, Guinness and Jameson, other brands such as Tayto and Jacobs – of which there are 17 lots – are also featured. One of the top lots is 668, a framed Persse’s Galway Irish Whisky poster. At one time the distillery was the only one west of the river Shannon and had a 10,000 gallon a week output (€5,000-€8,000).


On Wednesday, June 2nd, Victor Mitchell will hold an online sale of more than 600 lots of the contents of Annesgrove House in Cork and some contents from the Royal Hibernian Hotel in Dublin, which claimed to be the oldest hotel in the country, dating from 1751 until it closed in 1983. Annesgrove House was home to the late Colm Kenneally, owner of Cruises Hotel in Limerick for more than 30 years until it closed its doors in 1991. Annesgrove itself was where Michael Collins was initially brought after being shot in nearby Béal na Bláth. Included in the sale are some good silver items, Chinese vases, four Waterford Crystal chandeliers and souvenirs from Cruises Hotel itself.

Lady Beatrice Glenavy

Adam’s of Blackrock timed online sale, which will take place tomorrow, Sunday and Monday, May 30th-31st, of 250 lots, includes some interesting pieces for collectors of Irish art and history.

Lot 43 (€1,000-€1,500) is a painting of Madonna and Child by Irish artist Lady Beatrice Glenavy, or Beatrice Elvery as she was known prior to her marriage to Charles Campbell, 2nd baron Glenavy. She was a student of William Orpen and later became his model. Orpen once described her as having "many gifts, much temperament and great ability" and she and Orpen remained friends until his death in 1931. She was one of only three students to ever win the Taylor Scholarship three years in succession, and she produced stained glass for St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin and St Canice's Cathedral in Kilkenny, along with 20 other churches. In a twist of fate, Adam's of St Stephen's Green has a similar version of this painting in its sale on June 2nd (lot 71, €1,500-€2,000).

For history buffs, lot 161 includes two cassette tapes of a depiction of the State funeral Mass of 18-year-old Republican soldier Kevin Barry on October 15th, 2001, 80 years after his execution in 1920 (€150-€250).