Who is the rarest of all?

The contents of Fort Wil­liam throws up orig­i­nally la­belled Cork Re­gency mir­ror, Des O’Sul­li­van re­ports

Irish Examiner - Property & Interiors - - ANTIQUES AND FINE ART -

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.

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