Saturday 16 December 2017

Portrait of Barack Obama's Irish ancestors and Jonathan Swift silver forks up for auction

Portrait of Barack Obama's Irish ancestors and Jonathan Swift silver forks up for auction
Portrait of Barack Obama's Irish ancestors and Jonathan Swift silver forks up for auction
Jonathan Swift

Sam Griffin

A collection of silver forks owned by author Jonathan Swift and a portrait of one of US President Barack Obama’s earliest known Irish ancestors are set to go under the hammer.

The items belong to the Morres/DeMontmorency family and are among 700 lots to be sold at auction by Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers.

Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift
Irish-born author Jonathan Swift

Included among the items is a portrait of Bishop Kearney which belonged to Jane Avril de Montmorency who was one of President Obama’s last direct Irish relations before her death last year. Bishop Kearney is also a distant relative of Mr Obama’s.

Another item certain to draw interest is a collection of six early George II period steel two-prong forks.

“What’s significant about these is that they belonged to Jonathan Swift, the famous writer, so to have something of personal property relating to him is very scarce, very rare and highly collectable,” explained auctioneer George Fonsie.

“Swift was one of the first major literary figures in a literature sense to market himself as a literary figure and make himself known on the world stage. The forks are of steely provenance and include the Swift family crest,” he added.

Other items include a late 19th Century Native American Indian quilled hide Poncho War Shirt and two uniforms from Geoffrey Fitzhenry de Montmorency from his time as Governeor to the Punjab India in the early 20th Century.

Viewing at Fonsie Mealy’s auction rooms takes place at The Old Cinema, Chatsworth Street, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny on February 22 – 24 and the auction will take place at the same location on  February 25.

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