Saturday 24 March 2018

€50,000 and Rising. . . Fenian flag goes under the hammer

The Fenian flag commissioned in 1867
The Fenian flag commissioned in 1867
One of a collection of 82 original photographs of the 1916-23 period
The 1898 banner of the United Irish League, Keash County Sligo

Louise Hogan

A RARE Fenian Rising flag brandished at meetings during the Land League campaign is expected to fetch up to €50,000 when it goes under the hammer later this month.

The upcoming anniversary of the 1916 Rising is continuing to stir interest in historic rarities from that time, according to Whyte's auctioneers in Dublin.

But the frequency with which long-forgotten items were emerging was becoming "less and less" all the time, Ian Whyte, managing director of the auction house on Molesworth Street, said.

"There would still be stuff discovered. During the Black and Tan period, during the War of Independence, a lot of stuff was hidden away," he explained ahead of the auction of 570 lots on Saturday, November 13.

But in the case of the 1867 Fenian Rising flag -- commissioned by Willie Condon, who was a leading Fenian from Mitchelstown, Co Cork -- it has been stored away for many years.

The flag appeared at many demonstrations from the 1860s through the Land League campaigns of the 1880s. Mr Condon's family placed it in an old flour sack during the Black and Tan raids.

Mr Whyte said he could locate no other similar flag in private hands but a number could be seen in institutions.

Other items which go on display at the auction house next week include a collection of more than 80 original newspaper photographs dating from 1916 to 1923, which are expected to achieve as much as €10,000.


There has been a surge in interest in collecting banknotes recently, Mr Whyte added. The introduction of the euro has made modern-day banknotes "very boring" to collect. And the smiling face of Lady Hazel Lavery on an old, red '20 quid' from 1949 is expected to fetch €300.

A Viking penny dating from the time of the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 is also expected to attract interest from around the globe.

Meanwhile, de Veres Art Auctions is hoping to unearth some treasures as it plans to open its doors to people for a free valuation of their art on Sunday, November 7 at their Kildare Street offices in Dublin.

Recently, a family was delighted after a painting by Irish artist Paul Henry fetched €73,000 at auction. The family only discovered the item was a rarity after the BBC's 'Antiques Roadshow' visited their town in the UK.

Irish Independent

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