Friday 28 October 2016

Iron Age stone head, Maud Gonne's harp and Jackie's dress to be auctioned


Jackie Kennedy
Jackie Kennedy
Stone head up for auction at Whytes - to go with Alan O'Keeffe story

An Iron Age stone carving that may be more than 2,000 years old will be auctioned in Dublin this weekend.

It will be among a range of historical items to go under the hammer, including a harp given by poet WB Yeats to Maud Gonne and a maternity dress worn by Jackie Kennedy.

The Irish stone head, which could have been carved as long ago as 500 BC, will be the first item up for bidding at the auction showrooms of Whyte's of Molesworth Street in Dublin on Saturday next.

The granite head has a guide price of between €3,000 to €5,000.

"It was examined by an archaeologist who said it could date from the Iron Age in Ireland," said Stuart Purcell, head of collectibles at Whyte's.

The head was in the possession of three generations of a family living in a 300-year-old house in Claregalway, he said.

The Iron Head

A rosewood harp given by WB Yeats to his muse Maud Gonne, has a guide price of €10,000 to €15,000.

Yeats' unrequited love for Maud Gonne inspired much of his greatest poetry.

While they were never lovers, they were friends and collaborators.

Yeats would give recitals of his poems accompanied by Maude Gonne playing on a harp given to her by him.

The harp was later given by Maud Gonne MacBride to her friend Sile MacCurtain, daughter of Lord Mayor of Cork Tomas MacCurtain who was killed by security forces during the War of Independence.

Ms McCurtain received the harp as she established a school for harpists in Cork.

A maternity dress worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, the US First Lady married to John F Kennedy, will be auctioned with a guide price of €3,500 to €4,000.

"It's a cream silk dress which she wore while pregnant with their son John," said Mr Purcell.

"It was given to Maud Shaw, a former nanny, who used to work for them.

"In 1965, two years after President Kennedy was assassinated, Jackie visited Maud in London and gave her a number of gifts, including this dress," he said.

The dress, along with the harp, are on display in the window of Whyte's in Molesworth Street.

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