The Killarney Affect

An Irish marquetry davenport brings in much pre-auction interest

18/06/2024     Latest News

A Killarney Davenport comes to Stamford Auction Rooms
A large Victorian Irish arbutus wood Killarney marquetry davenport attributed to Arthur Jones of Dublin is to be sold in our auction on the 29th June. This incredible and rare piece of furniture has some wonderful attributes, to include the serpentine front inlaid with the Irish harp flanked by a stag and eagle, above a sloping fall inlaid with Glena Cottage enclosing six short drawers, above a drawer opening to reveal a fitted interior with writing slope and inkwell. The arched panelled doors inlaid with oval panels of Glena Cottage and Muckross Castle enclosing five drawers each inlaid with ovals of various scenes; flanked by a pair of turned columns, the sides inlaid with oval panels of a hound and harp amongst ruins and a hunter with his hounds and a stag. All these scenes are typical of this type of furniture and are in fact similar to Tunbridgeware manufacturers, such as James Egan and Jeremiah O'Connor.
Arbutus is one of the main timbers used in Killarney marquetry, versatile in the effect created by the use of its veneers with the root, trunk and branches, other specimen woods used include holly, sycamore, laburnum, maple and yew wood. The scenes included on this piece are of local tourist spots were based on engravings in guidebooks and topographical works of the area and the animals and plants applied were those seen whilst touring the local countryside

Not surprisingly, potential buyers have expressed interest from around the world, and of course Ireland. We would very much like for the piece to make its way back to its homeland, but of course that's down to how deep the bidders pockets are!

We have seen other examples of Irish Killarney davenports sell very well, with some impressive hammer prices, for example, one was offered in Christie's London Highly Important English Furniture Eastern Rugs and Carpets, lot 135, 29 March 1984, Lot 135. A Killarney davenport in the manner of Jeremiah O'Connor was sold Bonhams, London 12 February 2002, Lot 95 for £7,800, so we have high hopes for the one we have going under the hammer, particularly with the piece having been in the local vendors family for over 40 years.

To view the full catalogue and the Killarney Davenport, see our upcoming auctions page, or you are welcome to come to our viewing on Friday 28th June.


If you have something similar you wish to sell, please contact us for a free, no obligation valuation, or advice when buying at auction.

Newsletter Signup