Wednesday 21 March 2018

Jackie Kennedy's maternity dress and Maud Gonne's harp to be auctioned off in Dublin

Jackie O
Jackie O
Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994) with her children Caroline and John at Shannon Airport, at the start of a family holiday in Ireland, 15th June 1967. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Jackie, Caroline and John Kennedy

Alan O'Keeffe

A harp given by poet WB Yeats to Maud Gonne and a maternity dress worn by Jackie Kennedy are among a number of historical items to be auctioned off in Dublin this weekend.

An Iron Age stone carving that may be more than 2,000 years old is also among the range of historical items to go under the hammer.

Jackie Kennedy
Jackie Kennedy
Jackie Kennedy
Jackie Kennedy

The Irish stone head, which could have been carved as long ago as 500 BC, will be the first item up for bidding at the auction showrooms of Whyte's of Molesworth Street in Dublin on Saturday next.

The granite head has a guide price of between €3,000 to €5,000.

"It was examined by an archaeologist who said it could date from the Iron Age in Ireland," said Stuart Purcell, head of collectibles at Whyte's.

Read more here: Lost and found: unseen photos of JFK wedding up for auction 

The head was in the possession of three generations of a family living in a 300-year-old house in Claregalway, he said.

A rosewood harp given by WB Yeats to his muse Maud Gonne, has a guide price of €10,000 to €15,000.

Maud Gonne, a primary inspiration for the tormented WB Yeats.
Maud Gonne, a primary inspiration for the tormented WB Yeats.
Maud Gonne, a revolutionary and feminist who fought for Home Rule
Maud Gonne, WB Yeats's lifelong muse.

Yeats' unrequited love for Maud Gonne inspired much of his greatest poetry.

While they were never lovers, they were friends and collaborators.

Yeats would give recitals of his poems accompanied by Maude Gonne playing on a harp given to her by him.

The harp was later given by Maud Gonne MacBride to her friend Sile MacCurtain, daughter of Lord Mayor of Cork Tomas MacCurtain who was killed by security forces during the War of Independence.

Ms McCurtain received the harp as she established a school for harpists in Cork.

A maternity dress worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, the US First Lady married to John F Kennedy, will be auctioned with a guide price of €3,500 to €4,000.

"It's a cream silk dress which she wore while pregnant with their son John," said Mr Purcell.

"It was given to Maud Shaw, a former nanny, who used to work for them.

"In 1965, two years after President Kennedy was assassinated, Jackie visited Maud in London and gave her a number of gifts, including this dress," he said.

The dress, along with the harp, are on display in the window of Whyte's in Molesworth Street.


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