Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers

The Old Cinema,
Chatsworth Street,
Co. Killkenny,
R95 XV05,

PSRA Registration No: 001687

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Tel: +353 (0)56 4441229
Fax: +353 (0)56 4441627

Press Release  – The Chatsworth Fine Art Sale – July 2018

A unique look into the upstairs downstairs of yesteryear in the ‘Big House’.

Auction 10th & 11th July.

Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers will conduct a two day auction comprising 900 lots on 10th & 11th July, 2018 at The Chatsworth Auction Rooms, Chatsworth St., Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.

This highly important sale will include items formerly housed at Morristown Lattin, Naas Co. Kildare, Albert House, Co. Sligo, an Irish American (Boston) Collection, Spire Hall (home of the Odlums Family), and select contents from other Fine Estates & Collections (Family Portraits, paintings, furniture and objets d’art.

The beginning of the sale comprises ‘The Family Silver’ including a rare 18th Century Irish Penal Chalice which has come directly from the Mansfield family having been in their family possession since the 1700’s. Penal Laws were a series of laws imposed on Catholics in Ireland that excluded them from most public office, prohibited them from celebrating mass among others. (Lot 37 €700 – 1000). Irish Silver is featured strongly in the sale and an important example is a George III Freedom Box presented by the King to The Hon. Thomas Packenham for ‘Brave and Spirited Conduct upon all occasions particularly on the 1st June 1794’ (lot 43 €4500 – 6500).

Those who appreciate fine jewellery will not be disappointed by the selection offered at this auction. Some of the highlights include a 3 stone diamond ring including an intense yellow centre stone (2.93ct) set in platinum (lot 102 €20,000 – 30,000), and a delightful suite of 3 Victorian diamond studded star brooch pendants with over 10ct of natural white diamonds (lot 103 €5000 – 7000).

Some items of Irish-American interest which have recently been discovered in an Irish House include a 19th Century portrait of George Washington after Gilbert Stuart (€1000 – 1500), and a white marble portrait bust of George Washington (studio of Antoine Houdon 1741 – 1828) €3000 – 4000. From the same collection there is a  Clyde du Vernet Hunt (American 1861 – 1941) a painting depicting a slave girl milking a goat, giving an insight into the daily life on the plantations. (lot 798 €2000 – 3000).

Irish Furniture is well represented by a number of rare pieces from Irish craftsmen over the centuries. One such example is Lady Kildare’s Writing Desk a 19th Century mahogany ladies writing desk stamped “Carton – Lady Kildare – 634”, which came from Carton House, Co. Kildare (lot 451 €800 – 1200); and also a magnificent profusely carved mahogany side table in the 18th Century Irish style which features a central apron carved with a boars head amidst vine leaves, grapes and branches (lot 469 €3000 – 5000).

A Rare 19th Century High Sheriff of Ireland (Co. Kildare) Uniform is being sold directly from the Mansfield Family, formerly of Morristown Lattin, Naas, Co. Kildare and is a most unusual and interesting item from Irish History and with his strong provenance is sure to attract interest (lot 286 €400 – 600); also for auction are other uniform jackets (including Kildare militia).

There is an attractive sky blue 1963 Morris Minor Saloon Car for sale at an estimate of €2000 – 3000 (lot 335), and for those who miss out on that there is a Rare Kingsbury Motor “Blue Bird,” toy model car being sold from the Mansfield Family collection with an estimate of * Famously driven by Malcolm Campbell to break the land speed record. (lot 222 €180 – 220).

There is a large selection of Irish Art featured in the sale. An interesting and important lot by George William Russell (also known as A.E.) entitled ‘Saying Goodbye to the Day’ depicting two girls watching the sunset is an attractive picture with a steely provenance having been gifted from the artist to the O’Connor family and now is being offered for sale by direct descent (lot 407 €2000 – 3000). Other Irish artists featured in the sale are McKelvey, JB Yeats, Wilkes, and others.

Speaking about the auction, George Fonsie Mealy, Director of Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers said, “We bring to the market an eclectic and diverse collection of important items giving a tangible insight into the upstairs downstairs of yesteryear in the Big Country House”.

For more information or to request an interview please contact:

Brigid Coady,


Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers

+353 56 4441229



  • We have consistently achieved record prices for items consigned to us.

  • We have over 60 years experience in valuing and selling Fine Art & Rare Books.

  • We specialise in ‘on the premises’ Country House and Estate Sales, having conducted more than any other Irish firm.

  • Our results speak for themselves – generally achieving over 85% sold rate at each auction.

  • You will be dealing with experienced and professional personnel, many of our team have been with us for over 25 years.

  • We attract international customers by providing a global bidding platform, and by investing in advertising internationally, both in print and digitally.

  • We value our customers and pride ourselves with providing a professional service with a personal touch, and welcome the opportunity to have a discussion with you about consigning to us.