Global and local buyers alike turn out in droves for Victor Mee sale
Highlighting their rise to the top of their field, the team at County Cavan’s Victor Mee Auctions have recently celebrated their most successful pub and Irish whiskey memorabilia sales. Including a significant collection of rare Irish pub memorabilia put forward by Donegal publican John Sweeney, among other items, the inventory had a pre-sale estimated value of up to €80,000 and over two hundred bidders turned out at Victor Mee Auctions and logged in to bid online and registered to bid in the room and on the telephone for these head-turning pieces.
Of the vast and varied collection, one of the most impressive sales of the evening included Lot 465, a rare original Mitchell’s Cruiskeen Lawn Old Irish whiskey advertising mirror, which was valued at €4,000 – 6,000 and sold for a staggering €11,500. “We are delighted with the result of this iconic sale and are even more proud of the fact that the winning bidder is from Ireland, meaning that this important surviving piece of Irish whiskey heritage will remain in its new home in a pub in Ireland,” said Victor Mee. “This was by far one of the most exciting pieces of whiskey memorabilia which have passed through our auction house, and the enthusiastic bidding which took place on the night highlighted just how unique and sought after it was by global collectors.”
In addition to the success of the Cruiskeen Lawn mirror, a stunning Cowan’s Old Irish Whiskey, Belfast mirror performed incredibly well, selling for €4,600 to a Dublin-based bidder.
A number of rare bottles of iconic Irish whiskeys also took their place on the auction block at the sale, with a rare 1890’s bottle of Mitchell’s Cruiskeen Lawn Old Irish whiskey, predicted to sell from €4,000, went to the winning bidder for €6,000. A pre-1919 John Jameson & Son Dublin whiskey, bottled by Belfast’s Lyle & Kinahan, also sold for €1,100 while a rare early 20th century bottle of 10-year old John Jameson & Son whiskey was snatched up for €900, a staggering €300 more than its highest estimate. A rare 1890’s bottle from the recently-revived Dunville’s Old Irish Whiskey brand in its original wrapper also sold for €1,500.
This collection of rare Irish whiskey bottles indicates an increased interest in collecting – and drinking – vintage whiskeys from some of Ireland’s historic whiskey brands. “We have been receiving an increasing number of rare bottles of Irish whiskey for our auctions as our reputation grows as specialists in Irish whiskey and pub memorabilia,” added Victor Mee. “This sale’s inventory of rare bottles received bidders from across the world, from America to Australia. Some of the bidders are highly educated and discerning whiskey collectors, while others bid on our collectable whiskeys to drink.”
While whiskey mirrors and collectable bottles are typically more popular items in the collections up for sale at Victor Mee’s auctions, this sale also saw two surprising pieces gain considerable attention from bidders. Of special interest in this sale were two glass whiskey dispensers used for holding and dispensing whiskey in 19th century pubs. Lot 489, an original Specially Selected Very Old Irish Whiskey glass whiskey dispenser far surpassed pre-sale estimate of €600, selling for €8,000 to a central London pub, while Lot 537, an Old Irish Whiskey Comber cut glass whiskey dispenser brought in €2,500, significantly more than its €750 estimate.
The Victor Mee team has been holding specialist sales in the area of pub memorabilia and Irish whiskey collectables for over five years and realise the value of the World Wide Web to an auction house situated in rural Cavan, we are only the press of a button away from anywhere in the world. Auctioneer and owner, Victor Mee said, “I have always had a keen eye for advertising signs and pub memorabilia. In the 1990’s there was a similar boom in pub memorabilia when publicans were re vamping their pubs in the old style. Once again prestigious pubs are being decorated with good quality mirrors and advertising which the discerning customer appreciates – as people like to visit an old-world pub and relax in the atmosphere which their grandparents and great grandparents would have experienced. The publician who has his pub decorated in this style is also a collector in his own right and knows the value of his collection.” For more information on upcoming whiskey and pub memorabilia sales at Victor Mee Auctions visit www.victormeeauctions.ie.