The first specialist pub memorabilia sale of the year held by Co Cavan auction house Victor Mee (19% buyer’s premium) showed no drying up of demand in a lively market niche.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Terence Ryle
The most popular at the Cloverhill rooms on January 29 proved to be a fine selection of the large and decorative pub mirrors produced from late Victorian times until the First World War.
Top-seller was an example for Shamrock Whiskey produced by Kirker Greer & Co at Belfast’s Connswater Distillery until 1928. Three years ago a 19th century Shamrock Whiskey mirror took €2400 in these rooms but this one, dated c.1910, was both scarcer and more decorative. In addition to the gilded lettering is a central shamrock-form panel depicting the brand’s comely maiden in traditional Irish dress.
The 2ft 9in high x 2ft 3in wide (88 x 70cm) mirror was pitched at a punchy €5000-7000 but this proved an accurate assessment when it sold at €6400 (£5420). As with most of the material, it went back into the pub trade.
Whiskey or whisky
Other popular early-20th century mirrors were a 3ft 4in x 4ft (99cm x 1.23m) 20th century Paddy Old Irish Whiskey at €2500 (£2110) and Mitchell’s Irish Whisky – oddly spelt the Scottish way – at €1700 (£1440).
Recalling the days of smoke-filled pubs when a pint and a pipe or cigarette went together like bacon and eggs was an extremely rare 5 x 3ft (1.52 x 91cm) mirror urging gazers to Smoke Gallaher’s Gold Plate Cigarettes and Two Flakes Tobacco. Estimated at €3500-6500, it sold at €5400 (£4570).