Victor Mee’s recent two-day sale at Cloverhill saw serious prices achieved for some highly collectable items of Irish railwayana. Posters, signalling equipment, cast iron items, rare carpets and even the letters from the door to the Gents toilet at Ballybay station were knocked down to eager bidders. Some of the more interesting lots below.
The full results for the sale are here but I’m not sure how long they will remain available.
Some extraordinary prices at Whyte’s ‘Eclectic Collector’ sale last Saturday (14th May, 2016), but it was an unlikely candidate that stole the show: a well worn ten pound note from 1939 with an estimate of €1,200-1,500 was eventually knocked down for an incredible €10,500!
Above: Lot.306. a Currency Commission Consolidated Banknote ‘Ploughman’ Provincial Bank of Ireland Ten Pound note – sold for €10,500 against its pre-sale estimate of €1,200-1,500.
Left: Lot.50. Six Great Northern Railway excursion tickets to the Hill of Howth – used in the outward direction only on April 24, 1916 (the 1st day of the Rising) – the return trains to the city all being cancelled; sold for €420 against a pre-sale estimate of €250-300. Right: Lot.49. a Midland Great Western Railway 3rd class race day special ticket to Fairyhouse sold for €380 against a pre-sale estimate of €300-500. This is probably the highest price ever paid for an Irish railway ticket – I’m open to correction.
Anyway, for those interested the full results, including unsold lots still available, may be found here:
I’m off to scour my attic!
As usual Whyte’s have surpassed themselves in putting together this sale and the 815 Lots cover a truly eclectic range of material including…a large and very varied selection of film posters – James Bond (Goldfinger, Moonraker, Never Say Never Again), Alfred Hitchcock (Rear Window), Ben Hur and The Bridge on the River Kwai…..are on offer; guide prices are affordable with many in the €100 – €300 region….
Philographers will have a field day largely due to the efforts of a Skibbereen schoolboy who began collecting autographs of the Good & the Great back in the 1950s. Resting uneasily (?) side by side are the autographs of the Dalai Lama, the Duke & Duchess of Windsor (below), S.S. Colonel Otto Skorzeny (the man who led the successful mission to rescue Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1943), General Franco, Earl Mountbatten of Burma and a host of other famous Generals, Political Leaders, Movie Stars….
Sports medals, signed jerseys, autographs, match programmes – including the highly sought after one from the Ireland v Germany game at Dalymount Park on 17th October 1936 (below).
Coins – including a hoard of James.II. 1690 ‘Gun Money’ found on a Co.Tipperary farm (!) in 1936 (below); a large variety of interesting Irish banknotes.
Medal collectors will also find much of interest including Lot.578. ‘A Wexford sailor’s Arctic & Crimea’ medals, (below) as well as various War of Independence medals etc.etc.
A large collection of military memorabilia from both World Wars, and earlier, including a large number of German Nazi medals, daggers etc. – as featured on RTE’s Liveline programme – are sure to attract plenty of bids.
The Nazis may have had a poisonous ideology but they had all the best when it came to uniforms, medals and other regalia – not my cup of tea but very collectable.
THE ECLECTIC COLLECTOR SALE
At The Freemasons Hall, 17 Molesworth Street, Dublin.2.
Viewing at Whyte’s Salerooms
Wednesday 17th Sept. from 10.00am – 5.00pm
Thursday 18th Sept. from 10.00am – 5.00pm
Friday 19th Sept. from 10.00am – 5.00pm
Once again Whyte’s have pulled out all the stops to put together a superlative collection of Irish history and there’s something to suit the collector of every political persuasion. Amongst the almost 750 Lots are very important items relating to the 1913 “Lockout”, militaria, advertising posters, sporting memorabilia, coins, banknotes, books etc.
Lot.253. A copy of the Dublin Metropolitan Police Proclamation banning the assembly of workers on Sackville Street in August 1913, in pristine condition, is surely one of the highlights of the sale. I expect that it will well exceed its pre-sale estimate of €1,000-1,500. For more information check out the YouTube video below.
For full details of the sale/viewing times etc. go to the Auctions Page here: https://collectireland.wordpress.com/auctions-2/
There’s something for everybody as the cliché goes but this time it’s true – the whole spectrum of collecting is covered in Whyte’s Sale on the 26th January. Period travel posters including one of the rarest Irish railway posters to come on the market in years (see below); enough militaria to equip a small army, including that most British of WW.II. weapons, the Bren light machine gun which carries a low estimate of €500-600; a selection of rare Ulster Unionist political posters – very topical at the moment – as well as plenty of Republican ephemera. The sale also includes some good sporting memorabilia, coins, banknotes and rare books. 655 Lots in total. The catalogue itself is sure to become a collectors’ item and is available from Whyte’s price €10. http://www.whytes.ie/
Lot.336. A British Army Bren machine gun of WWII vintage. Est.€500-600
Two superb posters: Lot.243 1940s Ulster Unionist Council “Ulster Is Ours” James Craig Election Poster. Est.€300-500 and Lot. 498 Midland Great Western Railway poster circa 1900 which carries a very modest estimate of €400-600.
Whyte’s Fine Art & Collectibles Auctioneers & Valuers
38 Molesworth Street, Dublin .2.
Tel: (01) 676 2888 Fax: (01) 676 2880
Viewing – at Whyte’s salerooms
Wednesday 23rd Jan. from 10.00am – 5.30pm
Thursday 24th Jan. from 10.00am – 5.30pm
Friday 25th Jan. from 10.00am – 5.30pm
Day of sale from 9.00am – 12.30pm
*Auction takes place at The Freemasons Hall, 17 Molesworth Street at 1.00pm
FRY MODEL RAILWAY
Most of you will not be aware that the Fry Model Railway, owned by Dublin Tourism and housed in a purpose built building in Malahide Castle grounds has been given notice by Fingal County Council, the owners of the premises.
The reason for the eviction is not clear.
Again, many of you will have visited the Fry Model Railway at some time, and would be aware of the significance of this working layout, and associated static displays. It is the only working layout on the island to represent the history of our railways over the past 170 years or so, with the main line representing Belfast – Dublin – Cork, and including the narrow gauge and such delights as the mail boat sailing from Dun Laoghaire, and the Guinness barges on the River Liffey.
The layout, as far as we can ascertain, is to be put into storage, following its dismantling. The deadline for this is the end of February. No further details are available, and the future of both public and enthusiast viewing is uncertain.
An alternative location should be found, if possible, and we are appealing to ALL of you to come up with suggestions, north, south, east or west, in order that this magnificent collection should be kept available for public viewing. One suggestion is that it be re-erected in the grounds of Collins Barracks Museum in Dublin, which would have the advantage that it would be on a Luas route, close to Heuston/Kingsbridge station and on numerous bus lines. This is an area which should be explored further. It must be remembered though, that the layout is effectively a living organism, and requires maintenance on a regular basis, and the possibility of a continuous upgrading, as it has had over the last 20 years or so. Money will be required on an ongoing basis to maintain it; hence, it cannot be free entrance, wherever it may end up.
Timing is somewhat fortuitous, as the politicians in the South will now be more amenable to pressure, with an upcoming election, so I appeal to all of you to exercise whatever influence you have to ensure that the Fry Model Railway has a future in the public eye.
There will be one more opportunity to see the layout in action before its demise in its current form, and when we find out when that is to be we will notify the community of modellers and railfans on the Island. We would be keen to see a large turnout for that event to ensure that the authorities see that there is a huge interest in this collection.
There is also a requirement for a more formal support group for the Fry Model Railway, and a Friends of the Fry Model Railway is now in the process of formation. You are invited to give it your support.
I also appeal to you to ensure the widest possible circulation of this e-mail by whatever means possible among the model and prototype railway community.
Chairman Model Railway Society of Ireland
Interim Convenor, Friends of the Fry Model Railway
Back on June 14th I reported on the high prices being achieved by Irish Railway Letter Stamps and in the last few days what has to be some of the rarest survivors of the genre have appeared on the USA eBay site here: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/IRELAND-3d-Cavan-Leitrim-Railway-Co-Complete-sheet-/270618038135?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f02178f77#ht_1037wt_905
There are two different lots – each a full sheet – with the ‘Buy it Now‘ price being a breathtaking $600.00 per sheet. However, if you collect these rare birds you should have a look as there can’t be very many full sheets of any Irish Railway Company’s stamps in existence. Shame we don’t have a National Railway Museum!
Headhunters Barber Shop & Railway Museum
5 Darling Street, Enniskillen, Co.Fermanagh, BT74 7DP.
Located in the town centre, ten minutes walk from Enniskillen Bus Station.
Contact: Tel. (048) 6632 7488 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facilities: Museum, toilet facilities and traditional barber shop.
Opening Hours: Open all year round, Tuesday-Saturday 9.00am – 5.30pm. Closed Bank Holidays.
A trip to Headhunters Barber Shop & Railway Museum is like taking a remarkable journey into the past bringing the golden age of the railway vividly to life. Although the railway network within Fermanagh closed in 1957 visitors can recall the memories, emotional appeal and excitement associated with the nostalgic era of steam travel. Admission to the museum is free and is certainly a unique way of learning about Fermanagh’s railway heritage. Established in 2002, with the help of former railway employees and enthusiasts this exhibition lovingly recreates working environments such as the General Manager’s Office, Station Booking Office and Railway Signal Box. This is complemented by a remarkable collection of railway memorabilia including uniforms, signalling instruments, signs, lamps, tableware, timetables, tickets and photographs from the three railway companies which operated throughout Co. Fermanagh and the border counties – The Great Northern Railway (Ireland), The Sligo, Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway and The Clogher Valley Railway. Whether you are a railway enthusiast, former railway employee or just a child brought up on ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’, why not combine your visit with a unique opportunity to have your hair professionally styled in the most nostalgic surroundings. It certainly is a Barbers Shop with a ‘rail’ difference!
Other Local Attractions: Within ten minutes walking distance are Enniskillen Castle Museums, The Buttermarket Craft Centre, Forthill Park & Coles Monument and the MV Kestrel Waterbus to Devenish Island. Other local attractions include Marble Arch Caves, Belleek Pottery, Castle Archdale Country Park, Sheelin Irish Lace Museum and National Trust properties at Florence Court, Castlecoole and Crom.
Further information here: http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/
Headhunters Museum is a tribute to the collecting passion of Selwyn Johnston and professionalism with which he has approached the daunting task of building up such a niche collection from railways that disappeared from the local landscape more than half a century ago. If you’re in the North West be sure to drop in for a short back and sides.
Last year I posted on this subject (Nov.25th) and mentioned that this previously Cinderella area of stamp collecting was seeing a big increase in interest and recent sales on eBay have been quite remarkable. The block of Cavan & Leitrim Railway stamps, pictured above, sold on eBay a few days ago for an incredible £123.00. Not bad considering that they could have been had for 25% of that only a couple of years ago!
In the days when the Post Office held a complete monopoly of the mails it was possible for the private individual or business to also send post by rail, by affixing the normal postage stamp plus a railway company stamp and presenting it the station for carriage on the next available service. This maintained the Post Office’s monopoly while producing a useful source of income for the railway companies. This system operated in the UK and Ireland from 1891 to 1947 and led to wide variety of stamps being issued by the various independent railway companies.
These stamps are of interest to the specialist stamp collector as well to the railwayana collector but despite their rarity they remain a Cinderella item and, as such, can still be bought quite cheaply. The unused block featured here were issued by the West Clare Railway Company in the 1890s and were purchased on eBay in 2004 for the paltry sum of €10. A very cheap way to begin a collection of genuine memorabilia from this long gone railway made famous by Percy French’s song “Are you right there Michael?”
Given the prices achieved by far more common Irish postage stamps there is only one way that these curiosities are going – so the message is get in there now! Apart from eBay the stamps occasionally turn up at the various Antiques & Collectors Fairs around the country.
I wrote the above piece five years ago and in the intervening period the price of railway letter stamps has spiralled upwards. In recent months similar blocks of unused stamps have been selling on eBay for €80/90! Too rich for me at that price.