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Sunday 24 June 2018

One of Dublin's most iconic Celtic Tiger venues puts decor up for sale ahead of revamp

EVERYTHING MUST GO: The contents of Dublin’s Cafe en Seine
EVERYTHING MUST GO: The contents of Dublin’s Cafe en Seine
EVERYTHING MUST GO: The contents of Dublin’s Cafe en Seine
Jerome Reilly

Jerome Reilly

The contents of one of Dublin's most iconic Celtic Tiger venues, Cafe en Seine, are to be auctioned as the art nouveau-style entertainment spot gets a new look.

Developed by Liam O'Dwyer and inspired by the Paris of the early 1900s, Cafe en Seine's highly decorative interiors included spectacular mirrors and sculptural bronze statues, giant urns, beautiful upholstery and decorative art nouveau panelling and fireplaces.

The two-day sale at the Heritage Hotel, Killenard, on June 19-20, will include more than 100 bronze pieces and is described as the last great opportunity to own a piece of this memorable era. The auction, which will feature 3,000 items, also includes complete bars, sound systems and catering equipment.

This is the latest of the signature auctions from Niall Mullen who last year held the biggest auction in the history of the State - the 14-hour disposal of the contents of the Central Bank building on Dame Street.

"We know from the amazing success of our sale of the contents of Howl at the Moon and The Residence night spots recently, that this auction will attract a huge amount of interest," said Niall.

"Cafe en Seine was decorated with incredible creativity, using top quality items sourced from all over Europe and the US. It is a fantastic collection and everything is in great condition.

"Liam O'Dwyer developed Cafe en Seine, with its high ceilings and massive windows, using a flowing, organic art nouveau style. It was filled with the most amazing bronze statues, massive urns and striking upholstery.

"Almost everyone who has enjoyed a night out in Dublin in the past 20 years will have enjoyed their time in Cafe en Seine."

The auction will feature bronze pieces including a copy of Coming Through The Rye (estimated value €4,000-€5,000) by American sculptor Fredrick Remington whose Bronco Buster statue sits in the White House Oval Office.

"Ireland has no tradition of art nouveau so this collection is unusual as many of the pieces were specifically cast to make a statement," said Niall.

"The scale of the building lent itself to larger-than-life-size bronze statues - such as the ones holding the mezzanine aloft and decorating the bars, as well as beautiful statues celebrating the female form such as the art nouveau-inspired Le Basque (est value €4,000)."

The venue is now owned by the Mercantile Group who plan a refurbishment in excess of €3m in a more modernist art deco style.

"In what is a bittersweet time, we are feeling really excited as a team about the monumental refurbishment plans that lie ahead," said Mercantile Group general manager Shane Treacy.

"We believe the uniqueness of Cafe en Seine will be captured and enhanced further, bringing to Dublin a revived venue that is multifunctional in its purpose whilst retaining the authenticity and world-renowned charm that it is adored for."

The auction, being held in partnership with Victor Mee Auctioneers, will include other items from Mercantile Group venues, including memorabilia from Whelan's pub of Camden Street.

"Among the host of unusual pieces we have from other sources, are a 1960s' aluminium Airstream caravan, a stuffed grizzly bear and a full-sized bison, 35 vintage fairground horses and some lovely furniture from Dublin's Shelbourne hotel," said Niall.

Viewing for this Niall Mullen Signature Auction takes place at the Heritage Golf Resort, Killenard, from this Wednesday until June 18, from 10am to 6pm.

The auction catalogue is available to view at www.victormeeauctions.ie.

"Everything must go and there is no reserve. We take absentee and online bids and we are looking forward to welcoming lots of eager bidders," said Niall.

Sunday Independent

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