An original manuscript from Finnegan’s Wake was the top lot at Fonsie Mealy’s rare books, literature, manuscripts and sporting collectibles sale in Dublin on May 30. The opening of the Anna Livia Plurabelle section, 16 pages written in James Joyce’s hand, sold for a hammer price of 27,000 against an estimate of 7,500-10,000. A 1915 All Ireland hurling final medal won by Laois made 11,000 at hammer over an estimate of 7,000-10,000. The Ned Ryan GAA medal collection made 6,500 but the Louth GAA medal collection awarded to Johnny Brennan with dates from 1905 to 1915 failed to find a buyer.
An archive of five folders of texts and documents by Brian O’Nolan (Flann O’Brien) sold for 10,000 over a top estimate of 8,000 and the author’s secretaire bookcase, which featured on the front page of the catalogue, sold for 3,400. A rare first edition of At Swim Two Birds made 6,200 and a set of signed copies by Seamus Heaney made 5,600.
A total of 75% of lots were sold on the hammer and the auction realised 380,000.
(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for May 25, 2017)