As I type, the Yeats Family Collection is being sold in Sothebys in London.
I was happy to be one of the signatories to Adrian Paterson’s letter to our Arts Minister, requesting that the State do something to keep the collection – or some of it – in the country. Poetry Ireland was going over to London to bid for Yeats’s writing chair and desk. They’ve sold for much more than the estimates – so I’m not sure that they will be coming back to Ireland.
What is interesting is that the Olivia Shakespear letters failed to sell. Will any of the Irish cultural institutions now step in and buy them, supported by the State … or by someone of a philanthropic nature?
Just as well I’m broke and can’t attend auctions. I love ’em. I could do serious damage.
As it is, I got a bit carried away and leapt into action – even as the auction began. I rang Sothebys, got instructions, and emailed an absentee bid for a little silver box (photo above). It was a gift to WB from his wife, George. Guiding £100-120, it sold for £3000.
Now, about those Persian tiles that failed to sell …