Who is the rarest of all?
The contents of Fort William throws up originally labelled Cork Regency mirror, Des O’Sullivan reports
Athe preference his work has experienced which he reassures his friends will not be found inferior to any he has hitherto manufactured. His services included the making of chimney, pier and circular glasses in burnished gold, gilt borderings for rooms, ornaments for window curtains, harps japanned, mahogany gilt paintings cleaned and paintings sold on commission. In original condition and measuring 37” x 52” the mirror is estimated at € 5,000€ 7,000.
The auction of 750 lots from Fort N ORIGINALLY labelled Cork Regency mirror — reputed to be the only labelled piece of Cork furniture known — will come under the hammer at Fonsie Mealy’s sale of the contents of Fort William on the Cork Waterford border at Lismore House Hotel on Apr 23. Recorded Irish furniture is very rare and this mirror is unique.
No labelled piece of Cork furniture appears in any of the books on Irish furniture. Furniture specialists do not know of another piece. Auctioneer Fonsie Mealy, who has long experience in the trade, has not come across an original Cork label before.
Two centuries ago furniture manufacturers regularly advertised in the local press but records of what they produced are largely lost.
This rectangular regency mirror carries a label which says it was made by JW Ellis, Looking Glass and Picture Frame Manufactory at 16 Cooke St, Cork, nearly opposite the Chamber of Commerce Hotel. In the language of the time Mr Ellis gratefully acknowledges William, the house once owned by the Duke of Westminster and to which racehorse Arkle was eventually retired, includes an Irish donkey cart with original upholstery by McSweeney’s of Pope’s Quay, Cork (€400-€600), a rare pair of Dutch tile pictures of King William of Orange and his queen (€2,000-€3,000) and a Cork longcase clock by William Hackett (€2,000-€3,000) among a large selection of furniture and collectibles. The auction includes fly fishing rods and two River Blackwater fishing boats.
The rectangular regency mirror carries a label which says it was made by JW Ellis, 16 Cooke St, Cork.