Thursday 27 April 2017

Shakespeare, Heaney and Behan treasures go under the hammer

James Howell, from James Howell rare books, examines a pop-up book before the Fonsie Mealy annual rare book auction which takes place in the Gresham Hotel. Photo: Frank McGrath
James Howell, from James Howell rare books, examines a pop-up book before the Fonsie Mealy annual rare book auction which takes place in the Gresham Hotel. Photo: Frank McGrath

Daniel Grey

A treasure trove containing rare children's books, a signed Seamus Heaney manuscript, Brendan Behan's handwritten ballads, maps and works of art are to go under the hammer.

The Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers annual Christmas sale will take place today in the Gresham Hotel.

Barbara McCormack from Maynooth pictured with some of the original files and documents from 32 Batt in the Congo. Photo: Frank McGrath
Barbara McCormack from Maynooth pictured with some of the original files and documents from 32 Batt in the Congo. Photo: Frank McGrath

The sale contains some 800 lots including a signed holograph of the poem 'The Wishing Chair' by poet Seamus Heaney which is expected to fetch between €1,000 and €1,500.

An original volume from Jonathan Swift's Library which is signed 'Jon: Swift,' in ink is another sought after item and is estimated to sell for €10,000 to €15,000.

First edition copies of children's books includeMark Twain's 'Tom Sawyer Abroad' (1894), and AA Milne's 'The House at Pooh Corner' (1928).

The 'Works of Shakespeare', which came in eight volumes and was first printed in Dublin, is another valuable lot and predicted to fetch up to €10,000.

Leah Benson and Katy Milligan pictured browsing some of the rare books. Photo: Frank McGrath
Leah Benson and Katy Milligan pictured browsing some of the rare books. Photo: Frank McGrath

Unpublished children's book 'Growly-Wowly' by Irish novelist Edith Somerville is another coveted item up for grabs.

A selection of photographs by one of the earliest pioneers of photography in Ireland, Sir Joscelyn (JJ) Coghill, is also up for sale for about €600 o €800.

A collection of handwritten and typescript ballads, composed by Brendan Behan is priced at between €3,000 and €4,000.

Irish Independent

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