Guitar signed by the Rolling Stones expected to sell for about €3,000

Jewels from Van Cleef and Arpels and a Fabergé brooch also feature

Curiosities such as a guitar signed by the Rolling Stones and a taxidermy display will take centre stage at an upcoming Sheppard’s of Durrow sale.

The Co Laois auction house will hold its annual Legacy of the Big House sale in a live online auction taking place over a three-day period from September 23rd to 25th.

With signatures from Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Woods and Keith Richards, the guitar, enclosed in a shadow box, is estimated to achieve €3,000-€5,000.

Another curio with a similar estimate is the taxidermy display of exotic birds by Henry Ward, London.


Ten watercolours by Percy French feature, with estimates ranging from €4,000 to €25,000 for lot 252, which is inscribed with “where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea” verso. One of the top lots in the sale is a platinum five-stone diamond ring with 3.8 carats of diamonds (lot 61, €20,000-€25,000). A Chinese Guangxu imperial yellow glazed bowl, 13cm in diameter, with dragon incised decoration on the inside and white Siberian cranes on the exterior, is expected to fetch between €10,000 and €15,000.

There’s a great selection of clocks, with a Regency mahogany cased regulator clock (lot 64, €8,000-€12,000) leading the timepiece section, which also includes a French empire model (lot 151) with a similar estimate. In the same section, a brass ship’s compass (lot 824) is listed at €300-€500. Lighting is well represented, covering everything from a Mappin and Webb plated oil lamp (lot 119, €1,500-€2,500); a 19th century hanging oil lamp (lot 155, €800-€1,200); and 19th century Indo-Persian lamps (lot 278, €500-€800). More contemporary pieces are two Eileen Gray table lamps made for Jumo, one in black and chrome (lot 642, €400-€600) and a second (lot 702, €250-€350).

Pearl necklace

John Weldon is now 22 years in the business, having become a fully licensed auctioneer in September 2001. He says he has seen a shift from traditional attendance in the saleroom to buying online, which has propelled the business into new and international markets. Highlights of Weldon’s sale on September 26th include a Van Cleef and Arpels three-row pearl necklace. With four carats of diamonds, the piece, which Weldon suggests is from the 1980s, it is estimated at €5,500-€7,500.

An important brooch

On Tuesday, October 3rd, Damien Matthews in Kells, Co Meath, will conduct a live online sale of more than 490 lots from executor instructions, unredeemed pawnbrokers’ pledges and clearances from private clients. Of interest is lot 488, an important Fabergé brooch set with Russian sapphire and diamonds, which is signed verso, and listed at €6,000-€9,000.

Brooches have been out of favour since the “Dynasty” years, but have been making a serious comeback of late. Seen on both men and women at the Grammys and Golden Globes, they have even been used as subtle inferences, such as when US diplomat Madeline Albright wore a giant bug pin after Russians were caught eavesdropping on the State Department, and an arrow-like brooch when she negotiated the Antiballistic Missile Treaty., and

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables