An 1895-dated ‘live’ shell found in suitcase is for auction at Marshalltown Cottage, Castledermott, Co Kildare, on Saturday.
“It looked like a vibrator with the primer still intact!" auctioneer Sean Eacrett declared.
The shell, dated 1894, was removed last week for ballistic inspection by eleven gardai with help from the army bomb disposal unit.
Mr Eacrett discovered the live shell last week and noticing the primer and head were still intact, he called the gardai. The shell was found in four suitcases of historical memorabilia which were originally bought over 35 years ago in a jumble sale, and they have remained in the attic of Marshalltown Cottage until last week. The entire contents of the cottage go under the hammer at Sean Eacrett Auction in Ballybrittas on Saturday 27th April at 10 am.
The shell is dated 1894 and is approx eight inches in length. It might be decommissioned and returned in time to be sold at the auction.
Also in the cases were original type set of 'The Nation` War issue 18, relating to the Mountjoy murders of Rory O’Connor, former Meath TD, Liam Mellows, Joe McKelvey and Richard Barrett, along with a signed copy of the third and final draft of the constitution and Sinn Fein Rebellion handbook.
There is also an original 1922 typist letter detailing the murder of Erskine Childers.
Later items in the cases include a poster mocking Fianna Fail entitled 'Devvy’s Circus' World War II reconnaissance photographs and a letter written by POW John Barnwell to his brother Edward while on his journey home from a prisoner of war camp in Japan; an original edition of The General Evening Post dated 1781, and The Currior dated from the early 1800s.
The auction also includes two 1985 20p coins and a letter signed by Winston Churchill.
The eclectic historical mix goes under the hammer on Saturday at Sean Eacrett Auctions in Ballybrittas County Laois at 10am.