Acting as The Military
With Original Pen & Ink Sketches & Photographs, c. 1861
Irish Theatrical Scrap Album: Garrison Amateur Theatricals. A scrap Album containing 9 orig. printed Play Bills for Garrison Theatre, Portobello Gardens, Dublin, together with 7 orig. portrait photos of actors, & 4 orig. pen & ink drawings, together with numerous newscuttings related, in a folio album, recent full cloth, mor. label. Unusual & Scarce. (1)More details ›
Second Coming of The Theatre Royal Dublin
Ephemera: Theatre Royal, Dublin. Souvenir Programme of the Gala Opening of the Theatre Royal, Dublin on September 23rd 1935, 4to D. (Ormond Printing) 1935. Sole Edn., 34pp. with illus., adverts etc., orig. pict. ptd. wrappers. Good & Scarce. (1)
* The Second Grand Opening of The Theatre Royal. The first Theatre was built on the same site but was burned down in 1880. It was replaced by The Leinster Hall built in 1886, and subsequently the Theatre Royal Hippodrome, demolished in 1934.
The new or Second Theatre Royal was opened to great fanfare on September 23rd, 1935, by Sean Lemass, supported by Dublin’s great Lord Mayor, the Rt. Hon. Alfie Byrne, T.D., with Count John Mc Cormack as guest.
The Theatre Royal with its 3850 seats was the biggest Theatre in Ireland, and one of the largest in Europe.
However after only 27 years, and having hosted most of Ireland’s greatest stars & personalities, and some of the world’s greatest entertainers, the Theatre Royal closed its doors for the last time in July 1962. (1)More details ›
Signed by Friel & Others
Friel (Brian) Making History, lge booklet, Derry 1988, Programme for the first production of Friels Play about Hugh O’Neill, signed by Friel, Stephen Rea, Peter Gowan & others, illus throughout, cover design by Basil Blackshaw, ptd. wrappers. Good clean copy. (1)
* The “Field Day” was jointly founded by both Brian Friel and Stephen Rea.More details ›
Rare Collection of Poetry Booklets
Kinsella (Thos.) Butcher’s Dozen, A Lesson for the Octave of Widgery. D. (Dolmen) 1972. Peppercanister No. 1, wrappers; also the very rare, ‘Kinsella’s Oversight,’ A Reply to ‘The Butcher’s Dozen,’ published by British & Irish Communist Organisation. Sm. 4to Belfast c. 1972, pictorial wrappers; Mahon (D.) Ecclesiastes, Phoenix Pamphlet Parts, No. 9; also A Kensington Notebook, Lim. Edn. 377 (500), Anvil Press Poetry; and Echo, Gallery Press 2012, Lim. Edn. (100); Longley (M.) Horseshoe, Blackstaff Press Belfast 2006, Lim. Edn. 252 (400), illus.; Montague (J.) Sun Hymn, Signed, 1983. All orig. ptd. wrappers. A good collection, as a lot. (7)More details ›
Interesting File of Letters
O’Nolan Brian (Flann O’Brien) An interesting collection of letters from him or relating to his work, including:
An original manuscript note signed ‘Brian O’Nolan’, undated, to an Editor (of the Irish Times, presumably), apologising for ‘another lapse in the supply of material’ because ‘I have been pulled into hospital again.’
An original typescript letter signed ‘Brian’ (O’Nolan), 7 December 1964, to ‘Maeve’ [Sister M. Petronilla], at a convent in Portstewart, one page, neatly typed, sending her a copy of the new [Dolmen] edition of [his novel in Irish]An Beal Bocht, etc. ‘That leg of mine is all right so far as the broken bone is concerned but I’m still having trouble with the muscles, and tire easily when walking. I’ll be happy to say goodbye to 1964, for it was a rotten year for me ..’, with related envelope.
Hilton Edwards. An original signed typescript letter to Brian O’Nolan, 7 Nov. 1959, 1pp, enquiring about television use of his sketch ‘Thirst’, with a carbon copy of a reply from O’Nolan, 22 November, with O’Nolan’s ms. correction; a second TLS from Edwards to O’Nolan, 20 February 1962, about his script ‘The Man with Four Legs,’ and the difficulties in producing it for television;
A carbon copy of a reply from O’Nolan to ‘Dear Denis’, expressing his unhappiness about a performance of his (unnamed) play, 1pp, with a manuscript correction by O’Nolan;
A TLS from Peter Barry TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Micheal O Nuallain (brother of Brian), 19 April 1984, on official paper, about O Nuallain’s suggestions for President Reagan’s visit, expressing interest in his proposal to give the President a facsimile of the American Declaration of Independence as printed by [Ulsterman] John Dunlap;
and a collection of various letters and copy replies,mostly to do with copyright enquires to Evelyn O’Nolan about the use of her late husband’s work, & including one letter from Mervyn Wall to ‘Flann’s brother Michael.
As a collection, w.a.f. (1)More details ›
O’KELLY, Seumas (playwright) [1875-1918]. Lustre. A Tragedy in One Act. Original typescript, top copy, 34 pp, unpublished, not listed in Hogan’s Dict. of Irish Lit.
The main characters are Caith Donnellan, an old widow, and her boorish son Jimmy, a private in the Connacht Rangers, home on leave, who wants money to go drinking. The Rector’s wife offers to buy a collection of lustre jugs given to Caith by her deceased husband. Caith says she will never sell; Jimmy tries to steal the jugs. There is a struggle, the lustre is broken, and Cauth falls dead.
Seumas O’Kelly, born in Loughrea, Co. Galway, was a prolific writer and made his living by journalism. He died of a heart attack in November 1918, after a scuffle when British forces raided the offices of Arthur Griffith’s paper ‘Nationality’, where O’Kelly was acting editor. (1)More details ›
Letters from Ireland’s First President to his Cousin
HYDE, Dr. Douglas, President of Ireland 1937-45.
A very good collection of more than 20 autograph letters signed (mostly with initial ‘D’ or ‘Doug’) to his cousin and friend Aileen Crofton, from various addresses, six on Áras an Uachtaráin headed paper (two on mourning paper – his wife died in 1939), some with related envelopes, mostly undated, except for the letters on Presidential paper which are mostly dated 1939/40.
We have not investigated this correspondence in detail. It appears to be domestic and non-political, mostly concerning family news, gifts received (e.g. a handsome pair of socks), his and her health, various relations and their comings and goings, with occasional touches of Hyde’s humour. It was evidently a close friendship, and Hyde several times reproaches her for having passed through Dublin without coming to see him. The latest dated letter is March 12 ’40.
Hyde was probably the last resolutely non-political President of Ireland. He was elected President without opposition in 1937, and held office until his term expired in 1945. He died in 1949.
With a few other letters to Ms. Crofton, and a few photographs.
As a collection, w.a.f. (1)More details ›
Signed by W.B. & Jack B. Yeats
The Yeats Family: Yeats (W.B.) ed. The Oxford Book of Modern Verse 1892 – 1935, Oxford 1936. Second Edn. Inscribed on front loose blank, ‘To Sheila Franks on her twenty-first birthday June 2nd, 1937 from W.B. Yeats.’ orig. blue cloth; also a note inscribed ‘This Old Stone on a field’ from Jack B. Yeats to wish Sheila La Touche Franks on the occasion of her marriage to Robert Ganly long life and happiness and every good thought and good wish to them both,” loosely inserted. As m/ss, w.a.f. (2)More details ›
Rare Complete File
Periodical: Yeats (W.B.) & others, To-Morrow, Vol. I No. 1 – Vol. I No. 2, together 2 Nos. [All Published] Folio Aug. & Sept. 1924. In a later folder. v. good.
* Contributors included W.B. Yeats, Lennox Robinson, Joseph Campbell, etc. Rare. (1)More details ›
[Yeats (William Butler)] A rare Programme for W.B. Yeats Memorial Service held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, 6th February, 1939, 4pps (single folded sheet), Rare.
* Unusually the Memorial Service did not contain any poetry or verse by Yeats. (1)More details ›
A Painter’s Life
O’SULLIVAN, SEÁN RHA [1906-64]. An important collection of autograph signed letters to his friend and patron Tomas Ó Muircheartaigh, the distinguished photographer, about seventy letters and notes, in English and Irish, with two telegrams from Philadelphia and a note from O’Sullivan’s wife Rene.
A splendid collection which enables us to track O’Sullivan’s creative activities over a period of some 15 years, 1945-60, with letters from Paris, London, Manchester, various stately homes in England and Northern Ireland, and several from Philadelphia, as well as Neary’s public house in Dublin, his studio in Stephen’s Green, and his home in Blackrock, a few with related envelopes. One letter (Sept. 1954) comes from St. Patrick’s Hospital, where the painter was possibly undergoing a ‘cure’.
In June 1945 O’Sullivan has to put off a trip to Kerry because his current sitter has the ‘flu; in July ’46 he is in Manchester to paint the Lord Mayor’s portrait. ‘Is uathbhásach an áit í seo. Tá an biadh – a bhfuil ann di – go huathbhásach & tá gach rud eile gann dá réir.’ [‘This is an awful place. The food is awful, the little there is, and everything else is correspondingly scarce.’] In August he apologises profusely for missing an appointment, and says he has been ‘ar an bhagon’ [on the wagon] since then. ‘Tá a lán oibre agam faoi láthair agus tá me ag obair go tréan’ [‘I have a lot of work on hands at present and am working hard’]; in September he is to go to Glin, where Madame Fitzgerald has asked him for a portrait and a ‘conversation piece’ with the family. On 8 September he is in Banbridge, Co. Down, ‘in the blackest part of the black north and I am so affected by the atmosphere that I have temporarily lost what knowledge of Gaelic I possessed. I have heard Orange drums for the first time, and yesterday my hostess had to ‘unveil’ some new Orange banners, I wanted to go along but they thought I had better not.’ On 12 September he reports that the lady of the house and her husband and friends were very pleased with his portrait and sketches, ‘ní fuláir mar sin go bhfuil an obair go dona’ [therefore it must be poor work]. ‘Tá na daoine annso ana-lághach & ní fhéadfaidís a bheith níos muinntearaí liom, acht mar sin féin ní de’n saghas céanna iad.’ [‘The people here are very pleasant, and could not be friendlier, but all the same they are of a different sort.’]
In December 1947 he writes from Wiltshire, c/o The Marquess of Bath, where the pictures are going well; but in February ’48 his wife Rene writes to acknowledge a loan of £10, ‘which shall be returned as soon as possible’. In July he is back in Wiltshire, and in August at Mrs. Pilkington’s, Stretton House, Lancashire, wife of a major glassmaker. He is painting their two young daughters, aged 4 and 8, a difficult task, everyone is delighted with the results – except himself. He is tired of the English, they are very civilised, but entirely lacking in humour or any sense of ‘ragairneacht’ [enjoyment] — and so on.
In January 1956, writing from Philadelphia, he says his exhibition has been a great success. ‘Deirtear liom ná fuil aoinne sa tír chun mé a shárú chun dreach-shamhail a dhéanamh, & dheineas peictiúirí do dhaoine gur péinteáladh iad leis na daoine ba mhó ainm sa tír.’ [I am told there is nobody in this country who can match me for a likeness, though I have drawn people who have been painted by some of the biggest names here.] He says he has made a lot of money, but spent it again, mostly, as he fell off the wagon. To tell the truth, he says, he hates this place. ‘Tá níos mó géire inntleachta & grinn ag an dream is boichte in Éirinn ná ag an dream is saidhbhre annso’ [‘The poorest people in Ireland have more wit and humour than the richest here’]. All he wants now, he says, is to make some good money, and keep it if possible, and return home to Ireland. In a continuation in English, he tells O Muircheartaigh that his marriage is over and his home has gone. ‘I gave it to Rene – who sold it and has gone to England. I told her I could never live with her again – the last few months before I left Ireland were enough to prove that to me.’
These are splendid and at times moving letters, showing the painter’s humour and honesty, his keen observation and awareness, and they amount almost to a diary of his work and life over an extended period of some 15 years.
Tomás Ó Muircheartaigh, a civil servant from the well-known Kerry family, was a distinguished photographer and a patron of the arts. He commissioned O’Sullivan to draw portraits of writers in Irish like Tomás Ó Criomhthain, ‘Peig’ and Máirtín Ó Cadhain, and was evidently a close and loyal friend of the (sometimes erratic) painter.
As a collection, w.a.f. (1)More details ›
Dolmen Press: Stanihurst (R.) Aqua Vitae, 16mo D. (Dolmen Press) 1956. Illus. by Bridget Swinton. Orig. cloth backed boards, Early Dolmen Publication. Rare. (1)More details ›
With fine Illustrations by Austin Molloy
Three Candles: Clann Lir, by M. Coleman & illustrated by Austin Molloy. 4to D. (Three Candles Press) n.d. [c. 1920]. Frontis, initials, decoration & plts. thro-out, [16pp], orig. pictorial coloured wrappers, v. good. Scarce. (1)More details ›
To a Favourite Niece from a doting Uncle
BODKIN, Thomas. A delightful illustrated manuscript letter to his young niece, Norah Robinson, undated [but 1919], 2 pp (single sheet), on his embossed notepaper (Wilton Terrace, Dublin), with a drawing of two elephants coloured purple and yellow, which he says ‘went strolling gaily down the street past my office’. On the other side is a drawing of an owl, a pussy-cat, a donkey, a cock and a dog all leaning over his garden wall. ‘When I was done dinner the other night I went out into the garden. It wasn’t dark yet. This is what I saw on the wall. Did you ever see such a thing in all your born life ..’ – signed ‘Your loving old Uncle Tom’.
With the original envelope (worn), with a drawing showing a postman struggling to carry a pile of parcels addressed to ‘Miss Robinson, Newberry Hall, Carbury, Co. Kildare’, with two (British) postage stamps, postmarked May 19.
Tom Bodkin [1887-1961], a close friend of Jack Yeats, practised as a barrister until 1916, when he became Secretary to the Commissioners for Charitable Donations. He was Director of the National Gallery of Ireland 1927-35, and later professor of fine arts in Birmingham, and first Director of the Barber Institute there. His Report on the Arts in Ireland (1951) led to the establishment of the Arts Council. On this evidence, he could have made a good living as an author of books for children. (1)More details ›
Kernoff (Harry) Artist, A Calendar for 1968, mounted on a printed card depicting a signed Kernoff Woodcut entitled “Boon – Companions,” showing Kernoff, Byrne (Dary) & Murphy (Martins) enjoying a beverage, approx. 12″ x 9 1/2″. (1)More details ›
Kernoff (Harry) Artist, A Calendar from 1974 mounted on a printed card, depicting a signed Kernoff woodcut entitled “The Brazen Head, Dublin 1939,” approx. 14 1/2″ x 9″. (1)
* This was to be the last of the Kernoff Calendars, Harry died on Christmas Day, 1974.More details ›
Kernoff (Harry) Woodcuts, a collection of fourteen ptd. Cards of James Connolly & The Citizen Army, Leprechaun, The International Bar, Caravans, The Unknown Prisoner, Nelsons Pillar, & others, some signed, as a collection. (14)More details ›
Cuala Press: Yeats (W.B.) The Wren Boys, broadside, D. 1979, illus. by Jack B. Yeats, framed; The Rose Tree, broadside, D. 1977, illus. by Harry Kernoff, framed; Yeats (J.B.) The Pirate, an attractive hand coloured print, mounted & framed. As a lot. (3)More details ›
Cuala Press: Roberts (Hilda) artist, a group of four hand coloured Prints depicting “Four Courts, Dublin,” “Custom House,” “O’Connell Street,” & “College Green,” each framed. (4)More details ›
Cuala Press: Verschoyle (Kathleen) Artist – “Saint Bridgit,” poem by W.M. Letts, coloured broadside, framed. (1)More details ›