Howth Castle Library Sale Fetches €750,000

24 Sep 2021 | 09.04 am

Howth Castle Library Sale Fetches €750,000

Gaisford-St Lawrence family sell after 800 years

24 Sep 2021 | 09.04 am

The sale of the library of Howth Castle has raised €750,000, a figure that auctioneers Fonsie Mealy said “vastly exceeded expectations”.

The library auction followed the sale of the rest of the contents of Howth Castle earlier this month, which sold for more than €2.1m. The library and other contents were accumulated during the residence of the Gaisford-St Lawrence family on the estate, which spanned 800 years.

George Mealy said: “This sale closes the 800-year era of the Gaisford-St Lawrences’ residence at Howth Castle. There was a huge amount of international interest and also a lot of interest from local bidders.

‘’This is the most important literary sale to happen in my lifetime. Not only were there exceptionally rare and valuable items, there are also items of immense importance to Irish and British history that would be of interest to dozens of academic institutions.’’

The highest priced piece in the sale was a complete original copy of Ippolito Rossellini’s ‘History of Egypt’, including three volumes of illustrated plates, which sold for €74,000.

One of the headline items in the sale was the archive of letters from recently beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman, which sold for €28,000.

A significant archive of correspondence addressed to Thomas Gaisford, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, including letters from five former British prime ministers, sold for €20,000.

There are full details of the auction and the results of bidding here.

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