Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Beginning at the beginning, chronologically that is, the late Bronze Age spirally twisted gold penannular rings; there were two of them here, estimated at IR3000-4000 and IR£2500-3000 respectively. The better of the two, which was said to have been found in Co. Clare, fell to a Belfast collector at IR£4600 (£3830). The status of this piece is interesting in that it was legally outside Ireland when sold in the Drabble sale at Glendining’s in London in 1939. The Irish are very strict about the export of items considered to be Irish, and certainly so concerning prehistoric gold artefacts.

The medieval conflicts in Ireland were represented by an Edward I silver halfpenny minted at Cork in about 1295. It sold for IR£1900 (£1580). In the same vein a groat of the would-be usurper Lambert Simnell pretending to Edward VI (May-June 1487), a rare item indeed, made IR£1800 (£1500).

In 1916, trouble reared its head once more. A group of two medals of the 1916 rising and the 1919-21 War of Independence made IR£1900 (£1580) and are destined for a collector in New Jersey.

Not strictly within the remit of this column is the Bank of Ireland flintlock musket issued to the bank’s own militia. It made IR£4000 (£3330) and was bought by a “Dublin corporate buyer”.