Palace 3

Under the hammer, not the crozier

The Kilmore Bishop's Palace in County Cavan

By Irish Echo Staff

Cavan-based Victor Mee Auctions is this week hosting a second interiors sale at the "Bishop’s Palace" in County Cavan.

After its huge success last year, the Victor Mee Auctions team will return to Kilmore’s Bishop’s Palace to host a second interiors sale. The Palace Collection sale will be hosted online on Wednesday October 28 and Thursday the 29th at 2 p.m. Irish time and will once again see a range of exquisitely rare interiors pieces go under the hammer, said a release.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

For this week, Irish time is four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time in the U.S.

Said the release: Last year’s sale included lots from the Bishop’s Palace itself, whereas the upcoming Palace Collection sale will see bidders offered the chance to take home "opulent and incredibly impressive decorative interiors, garden, arts and literature lots" that have been sourced by Victor Mee and his son Bryan.

"The Bishop’s Palace is located 5.6 kilometers south west of Cavan Town and was built between 1835 and 1837 in the Grecian Revival style. The house has been untouched and has become the ideal location, steeped in history and grandeur for Victor Mee Auctions’ iconic, high-brow interiors sales."

Commenting on the sale, Auctioneer Victor Mee said: “We are extremely excited to present The Palace Collection sale for the second time, after its great success last year. The Bishop’s Palace is grand, luxurious and regal, and is the perfect backdrop for the array of historical interiors pieces that Bryan and I have carefully selected for the sale. As a team, we have dedicated many hours to hand-picking the lots, ensuring the pieces are unique and highly sought after. We are very much looking forward to seeing how each lot performs on the auction block during the two-day sale.”

A stand-out piece, Lot 642 in the The Palace Collection sale, is a 17th century Northern Italian coffer on a stand. This piece, according to the release, is "exceptionally special" due to its historic origins and its provenance with the D’Ardia Caracciolo family. Don Ferdinando D’Ardia Caracciolo hailed from Italy and was known as the Second Prince of Cursi.

Coming from a long line of the aristocrats, the Caracciolo family of Naples, Don Ferdinando moved to Ireland after marrying Mary Augusta Purcell-Fitzgerald.

Once in Ireland the "royal" couple took up residence in "The Island," Waterford, now known as Waterford Castle.

Other items in the auction will include several furniture and literature pieces, combined in to one lot, lot 705, descended through the family of poet and playwright and pillar of the Irish Literary Revival, John Millington Synge.

The first of two 18th century furniture pieces includes an octagonal wine cooler with brass banding and internal label connecting it to Lissadell, County Sligo - the home of the Gore Booth family.

The second coffer to make an appearance within the sale is an "exquisite Irish mahogany coffer," owned by the Synge family, who lived for many years within Glanmore Castle, County Wicklow.

Also hailing from the same family estate, and included in lot 705, is a collection of books by Synge retrieved directly from the Synge family home.

The Aran Islands by John M. Synge, published in 1907, is a collection of four journal entries regarding the landscape and the people of the Aran Islands. In addition, this collection of literature is accompanied by drawings by Jack B. Yeats, brother of W.B Yeats.

Synge, stated the release, was a dear friend of W.B. Yeats, who very much encouraged Synge's essays on the Aran Islands and Synge's play "The Playboy of the Western World."

Another literature offering within lot 705 is "Plays" by Synge which contains works published in Dublin in 1924.

"This literary masterpiece is bound in blue cloth with a white spine and untrimmed paper. The John M. Synge collection is highly significant not just because of its age and relevance in Irish literary history, but because each book has come from the Synge family themselves. The full Synge collection is estimated to sell at auction for close to €4,000," said the pre-sale release.

More information on The Palace Collection sale at