SOLD Hammer price: €5400, Estimate: €2000-3000
An extremely large and impressive profusely carved 19th Century oak Overmantel / Fireplace, the large cornice with coat of arms and swags of fruit, over an arched mirror, flanked with fruit carved sides and two grotesque masks, over a deep shelf, and frieze carved with centre mask, swags of leaves and two lion masks, and with fruit carved pedestals, 325cms (10’8″) high x 193cms (6’4″) wide. (1)
Additional Information: The Fireplace coat of arms are EUSTACE impaling DUCKETT, with the motto of the Eustace family overhead, SOLI DEO GLORIA (Glory be to God alone).
The seat of this branch of the Eustaces was Castlemore, and also Hardymount (inherited through the heiress of the Hardys in 1743), both nr Tullow, Co Carlow. Doubtless a healthy rent-roll arose from the 2,087 acres comprising these two estates.
In 1856, Hardy Eustace (JP, High Sheriff Co Carlow 1862) married Anne, 2nd dau of John Dawson Duckett, of Duckett’s Grove, and it is this alliance that the armorial commemorates. Their eldest son later assumed and name and arms of DUCKETT with his own, in accordance with the Will of his uncle, Mr Duckett of Duckett’s Grove, Co Carlow.
It seems clear that the piece came from Castlemore (as Hardymount was used as the dower-house), and may be dated to ca 1860. The armorial would benefit from cleaning: the saltire in the Eustace arms should be ‘gold’ in colour, that in the Duckett’s white, on its black background.
See James O’Toole, THE CARLOW GENTRY (1993) for an excellent account of EUSTACE of Castlemore, with photographs of Hardy Eustace, and his houses. Castlemore, alas, is a ruin.