Every once in a while something really exceptional turns up at auction and so it is at the Lynes & Lynes (Cork) Sale on Saturday 26th January. The item in question is a bookcase from the White Star Liner “RMS Celtic” which went on the rocks at the entrance to Cork Harbour on the 10th December 1928. The “RMS Celtic” was built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast and launched in April 1901. The liner had previously led something of a charmed life, surviving World War.I. despite striking a mine in 1917 (17 dead) and being torpedoed in March 1918 (6 dead) but her luck finally ran out on the 10th December, 1928 when she ran aground – this time there were no casualties with all passengers and crew being rescued, but the ship was deemed unsalvageable.
Harland and Wolff would also have made all the furniture including this bookcase at the time. Robert Welch was their official photographer who took the accompanying photograph of the first class library showing the bookcase in situ. The photograph is reproduced here by kind permission of the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum.
It is a large four door breakfront bookcase with decorative glazing bars on the upper section and inlaid with sea shells. The base has fine marquetry panels and is inset with a brass letter box for posting at sea.
Attempts to refloat the liner were unsuccessful and by March 1929 a lot of the cargo and valuable furnishings had been removed by special salvage vessels and sold. Interestingly, according to Lynes & Lynes, there are many pieces from this liner still to be found in Cork houses but this is the first substantial piece that has come on the market since 1929. The Auction Estimate for the bookcase is €10,000 – €15,000.
Further details available here: http://www.lynesandlynes.com/
Whyte’s sale of History, Literature & Collectables on Saturday 21st April has been adjudged a major success by the company with over 80% of lots sold for a total of €350,000.
The star item was Lot.12. Composite Atlas Orbis Novi et Antiqvi Delineatio (1657) – a collection of bound 16th Century maps. Manuscript title Orbis Novi et Antiqvi Delineatio, 1657, G.M.F. within an engraved title page. A total of 90 engraved maps (72 double page) by or after Mercator, Ortelius, Hondius, Janssonius and Quad, with fine examples of Ireland. Est.€10,000-12,000 sold for €9,500
Lot.235. 1916 (28th April – 2nd May). The Rising in Enniscorthy – a unique and important collection of documents including ceasefire order. Estimate: €5,000-7,000 sold for €7,000. Never has so much been paid for so little – in my opinion – but the surrender order is only the second one ever to appear at auction!
Other popular items to exceed their pre-sale estimates included crockery from the White Star Line and some very fine Guinness lithographic posters, one of which – Lot.548. Colour lithograph, framed,Guinness poster with artwork by Raymond Tooby. 32 x 22 inches. Printed by Mills & Rockleys, Ipswich (below). Est. €300-500 sold for an incredible €1,150!
* Some unsold items are still available, details here: http://www.whytes.ie/