Merriman Tavern: 226 lots trace the history of the venue and are a springboard for many traditional bands and singers.
Original panorama of the closing ceremony of the Eucharistic Assembly in Dublin, June 1932, 100-200 euros, Sean Eckert.
An early Merriman Tavern vintage poster by De Danann, Wolfe Tones and Bothy, Sean Eacrett for €80-120
From what started as a mill, grain store and later secondary school to one of Ireland’s most famous Irish music venues in business for 50 years, Merriman Tavern in Scarriff, Co Clare finally closed its doors in 2015.Owner Aidan O’Byrne.
It was the first place Eddie, Finbar, Paul and George played together as The Furey Brothers, and the late Brendan Grace played regularly with his band The Gingermen as a teenager.It had previously hosted Éamon de Valera, who gave his first speech to the people of East Clare in what would become the bedroom of Aiden and Sile O’Beirne.
Now, Sean Eacrett will be auctioning items from the O’Beirne family’s pub and home on April 23 at his auction room in Ballybrittas.It will offer a slice of Irish music history and fun ephemera, including everything from traditional Irish sugan chairs, political and musical posters to shiny disco balls.
The 226 lots trace the history of the venue and are a springboard for many traditional bands and singers.”It was such a big part of our childhood that we used to watch shows through the space of the rafters,” Arlene Harris recalls of her former home.”We used to go for a ride with Brendan Grace, who had a very high-tech van in the late 1970s. He had a pretend phone and TV, and we thought we were the bees’ knees.”
As a child, Harris painted for Enya in the company of Chief, Crannard and novelist Enda O’Brien, who had a TV show in a bar.In a Christy Moore guestbook on the singer’s official website, he said: “Aidan and Sile put on the best gig in the country, the lockdown is legendary”, while “the gig used to be on a Saturday night, but the cool-off time is usually It will run until “Monday Morning,” at the venue where he played the first of many shows with Planxty.
The venue is named after the bard Brian Merriman, who created Cúirt An Mheán Oíche (Midnight Court).Beginning in the late 1700s, this 1,000-line poem is widely regarded as the greatest work of comic poetry in the history of Irish poetry.Lot 242 is a large oil painting by Sile O’Beirne that occupies an entire wall of the bar and depicts scenes from the works of the bard (€400-600).O’Beirne’s other works include a huge and haunting image of Biddy Early, an 18th-century Co Clare herbalist who was dragged before the Ennis court under the Witchcraft Act of 1586, but later due to lack of evidence and was released (lot 254, € 200-400).
As well as a plethora of posters announcing the show, the sale offers a snapshot of Irish history.Lot 27 is an extraordinary wide-angle photograph (€100-200) of the closing ceremony of the Eucharistic Assembly in 1932, while Lot 33, 34 and 35 relate to the 1981 hunger strike in Northern Ireland.
“The place was packed with rafters because my parents were such collectors and loved auctions, and while it was heartbreaking to take it apart, it had to be done,” Harris said of the extraordinary selection on offer.
A violin “living upstairs behind the sofa for Saturday nights after the show” is priced between 800 and 1,200 euros.The catalog indicates that it dates back to the 19th century or earlier, and attributes the instrument to luthier Joseph Guarnerius, whose family has a whole page dedicated to them on the Smithsonian Institution website.
“Merriman is currently being acquired by Clare Co Council and I really hope that at least part of it will contribute to the music,” Harris said.
Auctioneer Victor Mee is holding an online Decorated Interiors auction this Tuesday and Wednesday.There are 1,200 lots in the sale, including classic seats ranging from the aviator club chair (lot 124, €1,800-2,800 and 371, €2,000-4,000) to the rare 19th century Thonet prie-dieu bentwood chair (lot 789) , 800-1,400 euros).
Now that spring has officially started, many greenfinger lovers have been focusing on their gardens, and the catalog lists 93 pieces of garden furniture.Lot 983, a complete stone pavilion with a metal roof, is priced between €3,000 and €5,000, if you want, while lot 93 is a pair of terracotta pots (€300-900) that are themselves sculptures.There are also some bronze stag statues and an interesting fiberglass and mesh horse head model by Martin Doyle (lot 927, €400-600).
In Bandon, Hegarty Antiques will host an online auction on April 19 with over 200 lots.Quality mahogany glazed cabinets are priced between €800 and €1,000, and late 19th century Irish oak hall tables are sure to spark interest.Listed for 300 to 500 euros, with engraved shell detail and spooled legs, imprinted with the HP Kearney seal.
Take5: Reinsjofjell’s ski hut, Dubai and Bodrum apartments or Navarrenx and Ardee’s cut stone houses
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