Tuesday 16 January 2018

Antique dealer Jill Cox's estate valued at €5.8m after auction

JAMES GIBBONS

The late Jill Cox, one of the best-known antique dealers in the country, who passed away last October, has left an estate valued at €5,836,08.

Jill operated from the successful Beaufield Mews in south Dublin, and last Wednesday more than 800 items from her collection were auctioned in Adam's of St Stephen's Green.

The pieces were drawn together from Beaufield Mews and Jill's home, Walton, in Sandycove. Meanwhile, the restaurant at the Beaufield Mews continues to operate under the direction of Jill's daughter, Julie Cox.

Jill's parents, solicitor Eddie (Valentine) Kirwan and his wife 'Go-Go' (Doreen) bought the derelict Beaufield House in Stillorgan and its coach house to convert into flats in the Thirties.

James Comyn, one of the handful of Irish lawyers who achieved senior judicial status in Britain, was born in Beaufield House. It was also one of the 'safe houses' used by Eamon de Valera in the Civil War.

Go-Go bought too much furniture for the flats and instead sold it in the converted coach house. She also began serving tea and biscuits to customers.

The restaurant element came later in 1950 and worked in tandem with the by then well-established antique shop.

Jill had been involved in the business since childhood when she would accompany Go-Go to auctions. Go-Go was a familiar sight around Stillorgan in her open-top Morris Minor with her latest auction purchase on the back seat.

Jill inherited the restaurant when her father died -- but it was the antiques side which interested her most. Jill's husband, the late Brian Cox, was also involved in the business.

Last Wednesday, Adam's directors James O'Halloran and Stuart Cole took turns on the rostrum during the marathon auction.

Mr O'Halloran told the Sunday Independent: "Jill was a very well-regarded and astute dealer who is perhaps best known as a specialist in Irish glass. This, however, only tells part of the story as she was equally enthusiastic about Irish silver, Staffordshire pottery figures, Irish furniture and Irish paintings and prints."

Prize lots at the auction included a fine Victorian Killarney-work Library Table. It carried an estimate of €3,000-€5,000 and made €8,500. An Irish George IV yew wood cellarette carried an estimate of €1,000-€1,500 and made €3,000.

There was a large selection of Staffordshire pottery figures which included such highly collectable characters as Lord Edward Fitzgerald which made €320, Henry Joy McCracken €440, Theobald Wolfe Tone €420 and the Duke of Wellington €340.

The evening session was devoted to Irish paintings. A little known but accomplished artist called Ena Douglas was the first lot in this session. The work carried an estimate of €1,000-€1,500 and made €6,600. Daniel O'Neill's The Decision made €26,000.

Sunday Independent

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