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Jack Butler Yeats painting sells at auction for three-times its estimate

A recently discovered painting by the internationally renowned artist Jack Butler Yeats which lay hidden in a bank vault for 52 years sold for more than triple its guide price today.

'White Jug' depicts a colourful garden scene through a window with a chair back and jug in the foreground. It is framed with a label from his private trunk and was sold for €18,000.

A letter of provenance was provided by descendants of Yeats.

The lot was guiding at €5,000 and was bought by a man in the room.

The auction by Co Kilkenny-based Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers took place at the Talbot Hotel, in Stillorgan, Dublin.

The wedding belongings of Jack and Cottie Butler Yeats.

Wedding and anniversary memorabilia marking 50 years of love between Jack Butler Yeats and his wife Cottie was sold by the executors of their estate for €4,000.

The auction brochure described the lot as a “wonderful collection including a pair of white satin lady’s dress shoes with silk bows, pigskin lined and by family tradition worn by Cottie White for her wedding to Jack Yeats in 1894.”

A gold pocket watch of Yeats sold for its asking price of €1,000.

Jack Butler Yeats’ pocket watch

George Mealy, of Fonsie Mealy auctioneers said it was “an iconic wonderful collection which was sold for quite a conservative price.

“The collection gave a different yet tangible element to the Yeats’ family history and final chapter. The trunk lay in a Bank of Ireland vault until 2017 and the Yeats executors knew nothing about it until it was mentioned to them.”

The belongings were inherited by WB Yeats’ daughter Anne, who died in 2001. The battered trunk containing the memorabilia and artworks was sold for €620.

Jack Butler Yeats’ trunk

A pair of tiny ink and watercolour drawings set in oval lapel mounts set in gold sold for €3,200 which had an estimate of €800.

Other notable lots in the Rare Books & Literature Sale included an “extremely rare” Seamus Heaney, title, “Toome” limited to 15 copies, which was guiding at up to €2,000 but was sold for €11,000 after frantic bidding.

The book of poems by the late writer is illustrated by Jane Proctor of the National College of Art and Design. The work includes nine poems, illustrated with nine full-page coloured screen prints and/or lithographs by Ms Proctor.

Mr Mealy added: “A truly magnificent book, probably the rarest major Heaney title, and certainly one of the finest”.

A first edition of James Joyce’s, “Ulysses” also exceeded its guide price of €6,000 which belonged to the family of scientist Kevin Caroll, selling for €12,000.

A rare collection of Flann O’Brien letters sold for €8,000 - €5,000 more than estimated.

A lot which included the rare signature of Irish female revolutionary and muse of William Butler Yeats’, Maude Gonne, sold for €1,400.