Wednesday 24 January 2018

Rare items included in auction

Lots came from Glendalough House and the Bray head Hotel

The conversation chair from the Bray Head Hotel
The conversation chair from the Bray Head Hotel
Bookcases believed to be from Glendalough House

Mary Fogarty

An unusual chair and bookcases from two iconic north Wicklow buildings are among a number of items going under the hammer at an auction in Bray next week.

The William IV conversation seat comes from the picturesque Bray Head Hotel and has an estimate of €400 to €600 in the Mullen's Laurel Park auction on Monday, September 11.

The listed Victorian building, which was built in 1880 and was sold recently, was owned for the past 55 years by Ireland's earliest hotel chain holders, Patrick and Nancy Regan and their daughter.

The parcel gilt and deep buttoned conversation seat, which would be an ideal restoration project, sat in the hotel foyer for many years watching many famous faces pass through the doors as films such as 'My Left Foot' and 'The Commitments' were shot there.

In 1965, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were frequent visitors while Burton was filming 'The Spy Who Came in From the Cold' at Ardmore. The conversation seat, which is also known as a 'courting bench' or 'tete-a-tete', was originally two parallel seats facing in opposite directions, convenient for kissing and intimate but demure 'conversation' as the name implies.

Also in the September 11 auction are bookcases reputed to be from Glendalough House, former home of Irish Nationalist Robert Erskine Childers. The house was subject to extensive renovation in the late 19th century, with a new wing added in 1880.

Recent interior shots of the reading room show examples of the bookcases, which have an estimate of €800-€1,200.

The interiors auction includes 700 lots of antique and contemporary pieces, including a 1988 Honda Hawk GT motorbike.

Viewing for the auction will take place from tomorrow (Thursday, September 7) until Sunday, September 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on the morning of the sale from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

For more information go to

The auction house is located on the Bray Road from Shankill, sharing an entrance with Woodbrook Golf Club.

Bray People

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