Consumer Public Relations
January 28, 2019

One of Ireland’s leading auction houses, family owned and run Victor Mee Auctions, has announced its first two-day sale of the year which will showcase a spectacular array of collectibles, advertising pieces, and rare pub memorabilia, taking place on Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st January 2019 at the County Cavan auction house. The sale will be of particular interest to collectors of musical artefacts as it will include the complete contents – over 700 lots – of the iconic ‘Cottage Collection’ private museum, formerly open to the public in Ardattin Village, Co. Carlow. Including rare radios, gramophones and domestic trinkets representing decades of collecting by Jimmy Quinlan and his late wife Frankie, the sale is drawing interest from audiophiles and collectors from across Ireland and around the world.

Reared in the gate lodge of Ballymoe where his father was caretaker, Jimmy Quinlan’s fascination with domestic gadgetry and his ability to restore and repair is just one element of what makes this collection so special. His urge to collect and fascination with restoration began at a young age when Jimmy built his own radio out of old parts during his school years. As he grew older, Jimmy and his wife Frankie spent much of their time travelling in their 1973 vintage camper, touring all over Ireland and England and amassing many collectible and antique items on their travels.

As his collection grew, Jimmy began restoring to pristine condition the majority of the items he rehomed – many either run down or abandoned when he acquired them. The collection began as a hobby, but as it grew it took over their family home, with Jimmy stowing trinkets in all spare spaces and on all surfaces.

Realising the need to find a new designated home for their growing collection, Jimmy and Frankie purchased a derelict cottage across the road from their home in 1992 to house their domestic artefacts dating back as far as the 1700s. In 1994 Jimmy and Frankie opened the property up to the general public as ‘The Cottage Collection,’ and the unique museum soon built a name for itself among both local and international visitors.


Key items scheduled to hit the auction block from ‘The Cottage Collection’ include three WWII German radios, a 1930s Raymond Leowy Radio in the form of a New World colonial globe, a rare telephone by Dictograph telephones Ltd London and two 1930s Bakelite Ekco circular radios. Domestic artefacts expected to be of interest to bidders include a rare 19th century coffee grinder, the Ronning electrical footwear dryer and a braille type writer.

Reflecting on the popularity of his collection in the run up to this month’s sale Jimmy said, “Many tourists have taken delight in stepping back in time and revelling in the vast collection of forgotten household items housed within The Cottage Collection, with guests coming from all over the world – even as far as Australia and America,” said Jimmy. “The collection has brought me a lot of happiness for many years and it has been great to see it grow in to the vast collection it is today, however it is now time to let these pieces go to new homes and join other rare collections across the world.” Jimmy concluded.

Unique pieces of Irish retail history

In addition to the outstanding items from Jimmy Quinlan’s rare radio museum, additional items and collections up for auction in Victor Mee’s sale include a rare chemist shop counter from an old shop in Co. Armagh with sixty drawers, as well as contents and fittings from a 19th century haberdashery shop, which was also formerly located in County Armagh. A unique collection of original show cards advertising various tobaccos and confectioneries will also hit the auction block, alongside collectibles from iconic brands including Rowntree’s, Cadbury’s, McVite’s and Jacob’s.

Discussing the importance of these iconic brands and pieces included in the sale, auctioneer Victor Mee said, “It is important that this image of historic Ireland remains in the collective memory, and pieces including these stunning shop fittings and familiar family brands would have been daily parts of Irish life in the 19th century. We are delighted to be trusted to find new homes for these pieces to ensure that this piece of history is preserved and not forgotten.”

Whiskey and pub memorabilia remain at the forefront of Victor Mee line-up

Irish Whiskey and rare pub memorabilia have become an area of expertise for the family run auction house, and a prominent theme in many of their monthly sales. January’s sale offers no exception, with two private collections of 19th to early 20th century rare pub memorabilia included in Victor Mee’s two-day sale this month.

Star lots within these collections include a Large Mitchell’s Tam O’Shanter Tobacco advertising mirror standing 8ft high by 3ft wide and an extremely rare Crowbar Tobacco pictorial advertising sign. Bidders interested in pub memorabilia will also have the opportunity to bid on a rare selection of Irish whiskey including an early 20th century free state bottle of John Jameson whiskey soured from a private collector who is downsizing their collection, which is estimated to bring in between €3,000 to €6,000.

“Irish whiskey is an area which is becoming increasingly popular for Victor Mee Auctions,” added auctioneer Victor Mee. “We are regularly surprised by the rare and unique bottles presented to us for sale by individual collectors, and even more excited by our continuously-growing base of global bidders who have snatched up historic bottles of Irish whiskey from as far as the United States, continental Europe, and even Hong Kong!”

Commenting on the upcoming sale as a whole, Victor Mee said, “This is an exceptional sale not to be missed and an indicator of what’s to be expected from our growing auction house in 2019.

“We will be showcasing a wide range of antique and collectible items ranging from antique household items of museum quality to exceptional examples of rare Irish whiskey, advertising and pub memorabilia, and automotive pieces, and hope to attract a diverse base of bidders from across the world who will travel to Cavan and tune-in online to bid for these highly-anticipated pieces.

“Even if you’re not in the position to purchase any of the items going to auction, this sale is a fantastic opportunity to view and share with the younger generation times gone past, especially through the Cottage Collection pieces which we have been given the privilege by the Quinlan family of selling.”

For more information on the upcoming 30th& 31st January sale of collectibles, advertising and rare pub memorabilia at Victor Mee Auctions visit