Warship binoculars from WW2 worth a look

A rare pair of binoculars captured from a Japanese warship at the tail end of World War II is among the star attractions going under the hammer at auction in Kells.

The relic from the most destructive war in history is guiding at €5,000-€7,000 at the Niall Mullen Summer Interiors & Historical Sale in Eureka House in Kells.

The June 16 sale, in partnership with Victor Mee Auctions, also features a 2.3m high decorative chair designed for a cathedral in the mid-west – and a century-old Steinway and Sons grand piano which ended up in Carlow.

The set of binoculars, mounted on a wooden and steel tripod, is expected to generate huge interest among military history buffs and comes with a letter confirming its origin as “enemy equipment” gifted to a Major John J Driscoll on November 16, 1945.

“They are working perfectly and all the eyepieces are intact. We believe the original owner was an Irish man serving in the British Army during World War II.

A 99-year-old Steinway piano, O-model. New York-built and fitted in Hamburg, this piece was created to have space for an additional pianola mechanism within the instrument and features an original stencil painting on the finish. Serviced and tuned throughout its life. Guide at €2,000-€4,000. The Niall Mullen Summer Interiors & Historical Sale on June 16 will be streamed online at victormeeauctions.ie. Picture Conor McCabe Photography Photographer: Conor McCabe

“Apart from the historical importance, they are very cool and people will want them because of their history, or just because of the military interest,” says antiques dealer Mullen.

From military to musical history, a 99-year-old Steinway piano guides at €2,000-€4,000.

The New York-built O-model instrument, dating from 1922, ended up in a home in Co Carlow and is, according to Mullen, in “glorious condition” and fully playable.

Whoever buys it may well consider playing it seated on a spectacular, 2.3m Gothic high chair, specially made by Dublin-based Strahan and Co for a cathedral in Ireland’s mid-west.

It dates from 1860 and guides at €2,000-€4,000.

Fifty items from the recently-refurbished Café en Seine also make it into the sale, predominantly because the operators want to create more space as customers are set to return when indoor hospitality re-opens.

Lots from the Dublin hotspot include custom-made leather upholstered chairs which could suit commercial or residential spaces and brass lights 2.3m in height.

“We have 600 lots from the 17th century right up to 2015, including vintage cameras, vintage radios, lots of good silver, all top of the range in its time,” says Mullen.

“Rugs from the Rug Company London will attract interest again.”

Gothic high chair, 2.3 metres tall, specially made in 1860 by Dublin-based Strahan and Co for a cathedral in Ireland’s mid-west. Guide price €2,000 - €4,000. The Niall Mullen Summer Interiors & Historical Sale on June 16 will be streamed online at victormeeauctions.ie. Picture Conor McCabe Photography Photographer: Conor McCabe

They will sit alongside lots of period oak and Irish Georgian furniture, some pieces dating back to the 17th century, mahogany from the 18th century and more exotic timbers fashioned into tables, stools and benches.

A 4.7m fibreglass and plywood boat from the Glassan area of Athlone, Co Westmeath, which accommodates four passengers, is also included in the sale, guiding at €6,000-€8000.

Mullen hopes the changing dynamic of auctions is repeated as previous sales saw lots snapped up online by buyers in the UK, Canada, North America, Europe and Australia.

The June 16 auction will be streamed online at victormeeauctions.ie but as restrictions ease, physical viewings are welcome - by appointment only - from Saturday, June 12.

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