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Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
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Ireland, Ireland
DoneWed, Apr 12, 2006 9:30 AM GMT

Independence

To mark the 90th year commemorations of 1916 Adam's and Mealy's have joined forces to present an important sale of documents and memorabilia from over 200 years of the struggle for Irish Independence. This unique sale will include many rare and newly discovered important historical items. Comprising previously unseen documents of the utmost historical importance charting Ireland’s struggle for independence, Adam’s and Mealy’s ‘Independence Sale’ will be the most comprehensive and significant auction of Irish history yet to take place. Scheduled during Easter week (12th April) to coincide with the 90th anniversary celebrations of the 1916 Easter Rising, it includes a number of significant lots of historical, political and national value and most notably includes the original words and music to Ireland’s National Anthem, estimated to fetch €800,000 – €1.2million. Handwritten by Peadar Kearney in 1907 on two pieces of paper, the Soldier’s Song (Amhrán na Bhfiann) was popularised by Irish revolutionaries during the Easter Rising and formally adopted as Ireland’s National Anthem in 1926. Commenting on the significance of the Independence Sale, Stuart Cole, Director of James Adam & Sons, said, “This sale is unique in every respect. No sale of such national importance has ever been held before, and we imagine it won’t be matched for a long time after. “Many of the items consigned for auction are one-offs. Previously unseen and entirely irreplaceable, they derive from important Irish families directly involved in the Easter Rising and the battle for Irish independence. Fonsie Mealy, Director, Mealy’s Auctioneers, Castlecomer, added, “The Irish national anthem is a wonderful sale highlight and we are honoured to have been chosen to auction it. Of supreme national importance, it will naturally be of interest to many Irish collectors and we would hope to see it stay in the country. However, having already been offered to the State on different occasions, we are concerned that it could leave Ireland because of huge international interest.” “Although Mealy’s and Adam’s are both specialists in Irish history and militaria, it is difficult to place estimates on some of the lots, due to their uniqueness and the level of interest they may incur. A case in point is the recently sold handwritten letter by Padraig Pearse asking volunteers to surrender, which fetched ten times its estimate at Adam’s, making €700,000 on the night,” Fonsie Mealy concluded. The National Anthem will be auctioned alongside items that together track the history of the Irish revolution - from the spark of 1798 right through to the British Government’s telegram announcing the declaration of the Irish Free State. Of the 400 lots catalogued for sale, other important items include: An archive of papers from the 1880-1916 period, written by and relating to Thomas Clarke, the first signatory of the Proclamation, including his final letter, before execution, to his wife Kathleen Clarke The first communication that Ireland was to become a free state - a telegram from the Duke of Devonshire, informing the Irish Secretary of State, WT Cosgrave that the King has just agreed to give Ireland independence Tricolour believed to have flown over the GPO during the 1916 Easter Rising Irish revolutionary, Thomas Francis Meagher’s last letter written before deportation to Tasmania Collections of Padraig Pearse letters and poetry, including an autographed unpublished manuscript appealing for funds and explaining plans for St. Enda’s – also signed by Thomas McDonagh Original architect’s watercolour drawings showing the elevations of the GPO building An original Proclamation dating to the 1916 Easter Rising Michael Collins’ typewriter and an essay he wrote on Ancient and Modern Warfare aged 14