Guinness heirlooms fetch over €2.5m at auction


A selection of Guinness family heirlooms have been sold at auction for over €2.5 million.

The items from the Luggala estate of Guinness heir Garech Browne in Co Wicklow were sold in nearly 400 lots this afternoon.

Among the items which sold were a Louis Le Brocquy watercolour of James Joyce which fetched €65,000. However, another Le Brocquy painting and a rare clock made for the speaker of the House of Commons in the old Irish Parliament were withdrawn from bidding at €320,000 and €420,000 respectively to be sold privately.

The unsold Le Brocquy his portrait of Francis Bacon, Heads and Hands Study from Velazquez, Bacon.

Around 300 people attended and George Mealy of Mealy's auctioneers said the value of the items sold exceeded expectation.

"Many lots exceeded their estimates by two or three times. Fine period furniture, quality pictures and early Irish silver were in particular demand, as the following prices reveal," he said.

Sale highlights include an Anglo-Indian cabinet on stand which sold for €200,000; an 18th century mahogany side table which fetched €180,000 and an 18th century porcelain display cabinet which sold for €90,000. A set of four Joseph Tudor early 18th century topographical views of Dublin described by Mealy's as "highly important" sold for €100,000.

Mr Browne has spent his life saving Irish artefacts from going abroad and played an important role in securing the studio of his friend, Francis Bacon, for the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery.

Many of the items auctioned belonged to his mother Oonagh, Lady Oranmore and Browne, and were recovered in 1996 from the old family home in Co Dublin, Woodtown.