Discovering Ireland’s hidden historical treasures

Discovering Ireland’s hidden historical treasures View Gallery
Stuart Cole of Adam’s holds an Irish silver presentation salver to Captain Donnan of Paddle Steamer Thames Picture: Fergal Phillips

When Adam’s decided to present historical documents and letters as part of an art rather than a book sale, a huge new area of interest for collectors was sparked

Stuart Cole, mastermind of Adam’s history sales, is filling me in on their fascinating backstory.

“In 2004, we’d sold a copy of the Proclamation for €390,000, which remains the record price for a Proclamation, and in 2005 we sold Pearse’s surrender letter for €700,000,” he said. “This attracted worldwide attention and generated a huge amount of interest in Irish historical documents.”

Until then, such documents had been mainly sold in book sales, reaching a relatively limited...

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