Monday 27 July 2020

Copy of Irish Proclamation sold at auction for €190,000

At an auction in Dublin on Saturday, an original print of the Irish Proclamation was sold for €190,000 to an unidentified telephone bidder. Whyte’s Auctioneers had offered a guide price of €100,000 to €150,000, and described the document as “an original example of the historic document published by the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army” in April 1916".

Lot 135 of Whyte's Eclectic Collector Auction
It features a pencil inscription reading: "This Proclamation …. I took off “Marks” Jewellers shop Henry Street (opposite General Post Office) on Tuesday evening April 25th, 1916, [signed] J. Brady)", which the Whyte's catalogue described as giving "a contemporaneous provenance to the document”.

The secret printing of the Proclamation in Liberty Hall, which overlooks Dublin's Customs House and the River Liffey and was then the HQ of the Irish Citizen Army, was overseen by James Connolly. A print run of 1,000 copies was planned, but in the event, there was not sufficient metal type available. Fewer than 500 copies were printed.

No more than fifty have survived, and most of these are held by museums and other institutions. Up to a couple of dozen are thought to be in private hands.

Other lots at Saturday's auction included the Wolfe Tone Archive; the Thomas Ashe Archive; the 1798 and 1916 Proclamations; 1916 Rising medals, uniforms and weapons; collectibles from the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’; and an Irish porringer from the Cromwellian Commonwealth period.

You'll find more details of items offered at the sale by watching the video below.