Whyte's announces highlights from the Eclectic Collector Auction
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Whyte's announces highlights from the Eclectic Collector Auction
The sale includes historic artefacts, manuscripts, documents and printed ephemera, also maps, books, photographs, postcards, advertising signs and posters, jewellery and watches, militaria and weapons, coins, medals & banknotes, curios etc.

DUBLIN.- The eclectic array of collectibles in this popular series of auctions hosted by Whyte’s includes historic artefacts, manuscripts, documents and printed ephemera, also maps, books, photographs, postcards, advertising signs and posters, jewellery and watches, militaria and weapons, coins, medals & banknotes, curios etc.

Suppressor of the 1916 Rising memorabilia
Maxwell’s uniform headgear as Colonel and General of the Black Watch (42nd) Royal Highland Regiment, consisting a Black Watch General officer's feather bonnet of dyed Ostrich feathers, a General officer's full-dress cocked hat with feather plume, and a court bicorn hat with cut steel cockade. Each in fitted japanned metal case, the bonnet-case with brass plaque engraved “General Sir J. Maxwell”

Protected for a century in metal cases, the hats are, as was intended, hugely impressive. They speak of centuries of military tradition and self-confidence. They are also a reminder of the military might brought to bear against the Easter Rising.

General Sir John Grenfell Maxwell arrived in Dublin on 28 April 1916, four days after the declaration of the Irish Republic by Padraic Pearse. He had recently suppressed a revolt of the Senussi People in The Western Desert. His orders from Lord Kitchener, Minister for War, were to quell the Rising, impose martial law and pacify Ireland.

Having accepted the surrender of the rebels, General Maxwell was in sole charge of trials and sentences by "field general court martial", trial in camera without jury. He had 3,400 people arrested. Of these 183 were tried, 90 of whom were sentenced to death.

In a telling incident related to the Irish Bureau of Military History by Dr. J. C. Ridgway, Royal Army Medical Corps, he tells how, having treated James Connolly for his wounds he was handed a telegram that read:

“’Officer Commanding Dublin Castle. The execution of James Connolly is postponed – Asquith.’ It was said that when General Maxwell, the General Officer Commanding the troops, read the telegram from the Prime Minister, he at once declared he would resign if a reprieve was granted to any convicted political prisoner…..his wish was granted”

Fifteen leaders of the rising were shot between 3 and 12 May under Maxwell’s command.

General Maxwell’s uniform items are lot 96, estimate €2,000- €3,000

Kitty Kiernan’s vanity case
Catherine Brigid "Kitty" Kiernan came from a quite well-off commercial family from Granard, Co Longford. They owned and ran several businesses around Longford Town, the Greville Arms Hotel, a grocery shop, a hardware store, a timber business, an undertakers and a bar. The Kiernan children were expected to work hard in the businesses but in return they enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle, as this vanity case shows. It is a fine quality example with green watered silk interior and silver mounted cosmetics jars and accessories.

The contents include a pair of gloves, a headscarf and some notes as well as eight small black and white photographs of herself and her two boys. Kitty Kiernan is, of course, best remembered for being the fiancée of Michael Collins and the photographs include two copies of Kiernan sitting on the roadside at Beal ns mBlath the year after Collins’ death. They are inscribed in pencil on the back in her looping handwriting, “Roadside - Beal na mBlath – Co. Cork Aug 1923”. In 1925, she married Felix Cronin, Quartermaster General in the Irish Army. They had two sons, Felix Cronin and Michael Collins Cronin.

Kitty Kiernan’s vanity case is lot 117, estimate €3,000-€5,000.

1942 Merchant Marine Medal for a Dublin sailor lost at sea
Irish merchant seamen called it “The Long March”, the years of the Second World War when Ireland was effectively blockaded by German submarines. Vital import and export trade continued throughout the six years of the ‘Emergency’, carried in unarmed ships above the cold, menacing, northern seas, their only armour the neutrality declared by the word “Eire” painted on the ships’ sides and the tricolour at their sterns. Their ships were shelled, torpedoed and bombed to prevent Irish exports reaching Britain and because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. One in five Irish merchant seamen lost their lives performing this nationally vital task.

The Limerick Steamship Company’s vessel Kyleclare was torpedoed and sunk with all hands by the German submarine U-456 about 100 miles west of the mouth of the River Douro, Portugal on the 23rd of February 1943. The Commander of the U-456, Kapitan Leutnant Max Teichert, claimed in his report that he could not see the Kyleclare’s neutral markings as she was low in the water, listing to starboard and his periscope was awash. Just a few weeks later the U-456 was herself sunk in mid-Atlantic by a Canadian Navy escort vessel, there were no survivors.

The crew of the Kyleclare are commemorated, along with the many other Irish seamen who lost their lives during ‘The Long March’, on the ‘Seamen’s Memorial’ on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin. The bosun of the Kyleclare, Philip Hopkins a widower, aged 42, from Pigeon House Road, Dublin, was posthumously awarded this merchant Marine Medal with three bars for his service in the Emergency.

The medal is lot 141 in Whyte’s Eclectic Collector auction, estimate €1,000-€1,500.

Sir Winston Churchill’s cigar and a presentation copy of his work ‘The Second World War’
Sir Walter Newman Flower transformed the fortunes of the publishing house Cassell & Co. when he changed it from producing magazine and periodicals to publishing books. In the years before the war Flower had published many of Sir Winston Churchill’s articles, the principal means by which Churchill earned a living. During the war years, Churchill promised Flower that Cassell would be offered anything he later wrote about the war. The Times described the result, Churchill's The Second World War, as "perhaps the greatest coup of twentieth century publishing." Lot 145 in the Eclectic Collector auction are Flower’s presentation set of Churchill’s six volume work, in presentation binding, estimate €800-€1,200.

Churchill was the obvious choice to lay the foundation stone for Cassell’s new offices in 1956, not only was he one of their bestselling authors and a former leader of the free world but he was also an accomplished bricklayer who kept up his annual union dues throughout his life.

Sir Newman Flower hosted a luncheon in his honour on the occasion and Churchill presented him with a cigar at the event. Flower kept it and put it in a box with a signed, typewritten paper label. The cigar is a Don Joaquin Habana, which became Churchill’ favourite during the 1950s, although he complained that the picture of the maker on the labels reminded him of a Mafia Don. The cigar is lot 144, estimate €1,000€1,500.

Newman Flower found love a second time, late in life when, after a period of infirmity, he married his nurse Beatrice Downes from Co. Clare. She returned to Ireland to live following his death in 1964. These items have passed down through her family.

Irish Williamite War “Gun Money”
“Gun money” refers to coins issued by James II during the Williamite War in Ireland between 1689 and 1691. They were made from melted down cannon and other brass objects including church bells and were used to pay the Jacobite troops and suppliers and were designed to be redeemed for silver coins following a victory by James II, which didn’t happen. Lots 315 to 327 feature examples of these coins ranging in estimate from €80 to over €2,000.

African Tribal Art ends up with Limerick lady
Mary Malone is a spiritual healer from Adare Co. Limerick, who has travelled the world. When in Zimbabwe in the 1980s she was asked by Harold Kelsey, a Harare resident, to treat his stomach complaint. He experienced relief and Mary visited him regularly thereafter to continue the treatment. When visiting Kelsey, Mary often complimented him on the collection of tribal masks hanging in his house. Kelsey told her that his grandfather, Major Ian Kelsey had collected them while working as a surveyor in Central Africa in the early decades of the 20th century. When Harold died he bequeathed the collection to Mary.

The collection makes up 16 lots of Whyte’s Eclectic Collector auction on 5 May. The masks are from a range of Congolese tribes and are extraordinarily varied in design, materials and size. Lot numbers from 419 to 434, estimates, €300-€1,200.

Arkle X-Rays
Often referred to simply as ‘Himself’ by his adoring public, Arkle was a superstar racehorse. His career was packed full of records and superlatives as he left it to the lesser beings to take second and third. His career was cut short by an injury to a hoof, caused by banging it against the guard rail at Kempton Park while running the King George VI Chase; he finished in a rare second place. The great horse was retired from racing and his owner rode him for pleasure riding.

Hope lingered, however, that he might recover and return to the track, as a series of 20 x-rays taken over the course of 1967 reveals. They were taken under the supervision of Arkle’s vet James F Kavanagh MRCVS and include the initial diagnosis in January through to December that year. They are lot 511 in Whyte’s Eclectic Collector auction on 5 May, estimate €2,500-€3,000.

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