The Irish Times

Treat for collectors of rare books

Three auctions offer huge selection for collectors and special Christmas gifts

- Michael Parsons

Three auctions in Dublin this week offer a wonderful selection of rare books and maps of interest to both collectors and anyone seeking a unique gift.

On Monday (December 14th), Adam’s in St Stephen’s Green will auction “The Tim Vignoles Collection of Irish Books” at 11.30am. Highlights include numerous signed first and special editions of books by Séamus Heaney including Bog Poems, illustrate­d by the artist Barrie Cooke, number 15 of a limited edition of 150, published by the Rainbow Press in May 1975, and estimated at €2,500-€3,500.

A copy of The Táin, translated by Thomas Kinsella from the Irish Táin Bo Cuailnge, with 131 brush drawings by Louis Le Brocquy, number 35 of a limited edition of 50, published by the Dolmen Press in 1969 is €4,000-€6,000.

On Tuesday (December 15th) Fonsie Mealy Auctioneer­s will hold its winter “Rare Books, Manuscript­s & Watercolou­rs” sale at the Clyde Court Hotel in Lansdowne Road starting at 10.30am. The top lot is a signed first-edition copy, published in 1854, of An Investigat­ion into the Laws of Thought by George Boole, the first professor of mathematic­s at University College Cork. The auctioneer­s said: “Today, nearly everyone who uses a computer is familiar with Boolean logic but the book that launched the theory is extremely rare.” It is estimated at €5,000-€7,000.

An archive of letters written by Tipperary-born Brendan Bracken, mostly to his mother, and before he became a household name in Britain as Winston Churchill’s minister for informatio­n during the second World War is estimated at €1,750-€2,500.

Bloodstock

A rarity of special appeal to anyone interested in Irish bloodstock is Lot 498, a poster, described as “a unique record of a famous early Irish stud, with its unique bloodlines”, advertisin­g a sale by Tattersall’s in November 1832 of “The Entire Stud of the late Sir Nicholas Loftus, Bard., decd, Consisting of Brood Mares, Young Stock, Hunters, etc. both Thorough-Bred and Half-Bred, of the Best Irish Blood” at Mount Loftus, Goresbridg­e, Co Kilkenny (¤500-¤700).

Also on Tuesday (December 15th), at noon, Adam’s will auction the “Richard S J Clarke Collection of Cartograph­y”. Adam’s describes Prof RS J Clarke as a “a highly respected medic who in his spare time has dedicated himself to studying and collecting antique sea charts and maps of Ireland”. Now retired, Clarke, born in 1929 and a collector since the 1950s, was a doctor at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

Adam’s said the sea charts, as well as being practical tools for mariners, are “remarkably beautiful even for non map collectors in their rendering of the Irish coastline”, while the antique Irish maps include “many rare and important examples by all of the most famous cartograph­ers” . Prices for the 500 lots range from ¤80-¤5,000 but the average estimate is ¤150-¤250.

Viewing for all three auctions is underway and online bidding is available.

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 ??  ?? A map of Ireland from the Richard S J Clarke collection of cartograph­y, for auction at Adam’s. Above: Winston Churchill with Tipperary-born Brendan Bracken, whose archive of letters is for auction at Fonsie Mealy Auctioneer­s
A map of Ireland from the Richard S J Clarke collection of cartograph­y, for auction at Adam’s. Above: Winston Churchill with Tipperary-born Brendan Bracken, whose archive of letters is for auction at Fonsie Mealy Auctioneer­s
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