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Morris Minor and Venus de Milo replica among major April sales

The 1960s car features this week, along with silverware, family portraits and carved plaster statues

Seasoned auctioneers love nothing more than house content auctions with lineage, as during their on-site valuations, they discover the predilections and personalities of past generations by viewing what families have accumulated over decades and sometimes centuries.

The estate of the late Roma Peare of Kinsale, Co Cork, and originally from the Tipperary-based Knox family, will be auctioned by Lynes & Lynes on Saturday, April 20th. Denis Lynes says it has lots of interesting items, including Georgian furniture, paintings, engraving, children’s books and antique toys. He is particularly excited about the collection of solid silver tea sets and cutlery.

“The silver section is very good and these items are always snapped up,” he says. One item of interest is a silver teapot, which has an estimate of €200-€300.

Lynes also expects that some Tipperary museums might be interested in portraits of the previous members of the Knox family, who owned Brittas Castle, a 19th-century “archaeological” castle near Thurles, and later Parkville, near Clonmel.


Map collectors may also be keen on a large 18th-century framed map of the city of Cork and its suburbs by John Rocque, which has an estimate of €400-€600. The French-born British surveyor was best known for his 1746 Map of London, which was then the most detailed map of that city. Rocque spent six years in Dublin in the mid 18th century, during which time he produced maps of Dublin, Armagh, Kilkenny and Cork. Engravings of Youghal and Cork by the Irish doctor and local historian Charles Smith are also for sale.

But perhaps the most exciting item in this auction of almost 500 lots is a Morris Minor car that was bought new by the Peare family in 1961. The car, which has an estimate of €2,500-€3,500, has not been driven in 15 years, so will need a bit of tender restoration from its new owner.

Lynes advises potential purchasers to come to the viewings to get a true sense of the items for sale. “There is a lot of old stuff in all different kinds of condition so it’s very important to view it,” he says.

You might associate large stuffed dead animals with the Natural History Museum, or an old castellated hunting lodge deep in the Wicklow mountains, but Victor Mee Auctions in Cloverhill, Belturbet, Co Cavan, has a few rare taxidermy pieces for sale in its Decorative Interiors online auction on Wednesday-Thursday, April 24th-25th.

“Owners of period properties or hotel owners are potential buyers,” says Brian Mee. The pieces in question are a full-sized taxidermy brown bear with an estimate of €4,000-€8,000, a life-size taxidermy gazelle (€1,000-€2,000), and the head and shoulders of an Eland (African antelope) bull (€1,000-€2,000). The auction, which has about 950 lots in total, also includes a life sized cast of an Irish elk.

Mee is keeping quiet about the exact providence of some carved plaster statues and urns – only saying that they are from a period home in the midlands – which will also be on sale in the forthcoming Decorative Interiors auction.

The 19th-century French parian ware – porcelain imitating white marble from the Greek island of Paros statue of Venus – has the highest estimate (€1,500-€3,000). The plaster model of Sphinx, the mythical creature with the head of a human, the body of a lion and the wings of an eagle, has an estimate of €600-€1,200, while a plaster model of the Venus de Milo has an estimate of €400-€800. The original ancient Greek marble statue, which was unearthed without its arms on the Greek island of Milos in 1820, has since become one of the most celebrated pieces of art in western culture. It was acquired by the Marquis de Rivière, the French ambassador to Greece at that time. He then presented it to King Lous XVIII, who donated it to the Louvre in 1821, where it remains to this day.

On a more prosaic note, the French copper bath (estimate €600-€1,200), may be of interest to gardeners as a planter.

Meanwhile in New York, Sotheby’s has a number of items of Irish interest at its upcoming Classic Design: Furniture, Silver & Ceramics sale, which will take place on April 16th.

Lots include an assembled Irish silver old English pattern flatware service, from around 1735, which has an estimate of $3,000-$5,000, and an Irish George II side table from the 19th century (estimate $5,000-$8,000).;;

What did it sell for?

Evie Hone

The Descent of the Holy Spirit: a sketch for the East Window in Tara Church, Co Meath

Estimate €3,000-€5,000

Sale price €5,500

Auction house Adam’s

Mainie Jellett

Abstract Composition (Blue)

Estimate €3,500-€5,000

Sale price €8,500

Auction house de Veres

Antique diamond bangle

Estimate €6,000-€8,000

Sale price €5,900

Auction house O’Reillys