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[Press-Release] National Museum of Ireland: Acquisition of rare Charles II Irish silver

The National Museum of Ireland (NMI) today (15.05.18) announced the purchase of a rare Charles II Irish silver six part dressing service with the mark of John Segar, Dublin, dated 1685, through Christie’s auction house, New York on 20th April 2018. 


PRESS-RELEASE – ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND // PREAS RÁITEAS THAR CEANN ARD-MHÚSAEM NA hÉIREANN

 

[15.05.2018]

 

The National Museum of Ireland (NMI) today (15.05.18) announced the purchase of a rare Charles II Irish silver six part dressing service with the mark of John Segar, Dublin, dated 1685, through Christie’s auction house, New York on 20th April 2018.

 

The collection originated from Mullingar, perhaps from the Handcock family of Moydrum Castle. It was stored at the La Touche Bank, Dublin just prior to the 1798 Rebellion, where it was safeguarded for approximately 100 years until the La Touche Bank was taken over by the Bank of Ireland circa 1870. This explains its exceptional condition. The collection left Ireland circa 1920-30 with the family from Mullingar after their home was burnt during the Irish Civil War (1922-23). There, it was sold through Carrington and Co., Regent St., London, where it was acquired by Richard Cushing Paine Sr. (1893-1966), Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1930. The collection was inherited by his son-in-law Dr John Constable (1927-2016), Massachusetts and thence by descent.

 

This acquisition complements two candlesticks and a mirror by John Segar, Dublin, which were acquired by the museum in 1962. The mirror and two candlesticks are decorated with Chinoiserie scenes, reeded borders, exotic birds and foliage as are the objects acquired at Christie’s  and it is highly probable that all were originally part of the same set.

 

The objects that have been added to the collection of the National Museum of Ireland consist of an octagonal casket, a rectangular pincushion, a pair of octagonal boxes, a clothes brush and a hairbrush.

 

Popular during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, they were often given by a husband to his wife as a marriage gift or to mark some special occasion such as the birth of a child. While we do not know for whom this set was made, such lavish silver toilet sets could only have been afforded by the wealthiest families.

 

Raghnall Ó Floinn, Director, National Museum of Ireland, said “Irish Stuart silver is exceedingly rare and dressing table sets are rarer still. To be able to acquire and unite parts of the same set which have become separated over the centuries is exceptional and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to acquire these fine pieces to add to the collection.“

The newly-acquired pieces will be examined and conserved before being exhibited in the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks alongside the mirror and candlesticks in the coming months.

 

 

FOR MORE PRESS INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr Audrey Whitty, Keeper, Art & Industrial Division, National Museum of Ireland

T: 01 6486466 | E: awhitty@museum.ie

 

Dr Jennifer Goff, Curator, Art & industrial Division, National Museum of Ireland

T: 01 6486463 | E: jgoff@museum.ie

 

Alexane Torterat, Marketing Department, National Museum of Ireland

T: 01 6486427 | M: 087 4110798 | E: atorterat@museum.ie

 

 

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