Wooden Jaguar drives auction-goers en Seine
An almost life-size wooden replica of the classic E-Type Jaguar used by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at their wedding reception sold for €4,000 as decor from the iconic Café en Seine went under the hammer.
Quirkier still, a set of 1940s petrol pumps converted into a cocktail cabinet sold for €7,500, and a pair of 12ft birds fetched €4,500.
The contents from one of Dublin's most iconic Celtic Tiger venues are being auctioned during a two-day sale at the Heritage Hotel in Killenard.
The sale, which continues today, features 3,000 items, including many of the spectacular mirrors, bronze statues and giant urns from its highly decorative Paris 1900s-style interiors.
The Harry and Meghan-style Jaguar is two-thirds life size and comes complete with the sculpted front grill, detailed multi-spoke wheels and a working wooden steering wheel on a rolling chassis.
"Anything decorative or a bit quirky is attracting big money," said Niall Mullen, who last year held the biggest auction in the history of the state - the disposal of the contents of the Central Bank.
"The car is true in every detail - it's an amazing folly and a stunning copy of the real thing," he said.
A full-grown stuffed grizzly bear made €2,000, an original Elvery's enamel sign from the late 19th century fetched €1,000 while a painting by Belfast artist Brian Ballard sold for €5,500.
Mr Mullen added: "Café en Seine's bronzes have been making well above their guide price, while the petrol pumps are a very unusual sculptural piece, and won 'The Late Late Show's' antiques restoration competition this year."
The auction is in partnership with Victor Mee auctioneers and includes other items from Mercantile Group venues.
Today's sale includes many of the large statues and bronzes from Café en Seine such as Coming Through the Rye (estimated value €4,000-€5,000) by American sculptor Frederic Remington, whose Bronco Buster statue resides in the White House Oval Office.
"Everything must go and there is no reserve," said Mr Mullen. "We take absentee and online bids and we are happily welcoming lots of eager bidders."
The auction catalogue is available to view at victormeeauctions.ie