A RARE autograph book with signatures from Irish Republican prisoners nearly a century ago has fetched nearly €2,000 at an auction in Limerick.
Limerick Auction Rooms on the Ballysimon Road held three specialist auctions last week, including collectibles, toys, memorabilia, a military auction, and an auction of coins and banknotes.
The autograph book was the most expensive item to sell out of some 800 lots, after bids peaked at €1,950.
The book was sold by a Limerick person who bought it at auction two years ago before its full historical value was realised. It contains 56 signed pages.
“It’s a very unique piece of history and something we probably won’t see again,” said auctioneer Daran Parish.
He revealed that the autograph book, which was a feature amongst Republican prisoners during the 1920s, is now on its way to the United States, after it was bought by an American of Irish descent through an online bid. The book belonged to Tom Hales, a high ranking Republican from Cork, and contains rhymes and political aspirations from young men from across the country, but predominantly from Limerick and Cork.
Other rare items which sold included a 9ft WWII Nazi flag, for €290, below its guide price of between €400 to €500. “The interest in items relating to Nazi history, and the IRA, is huge,” he said.
Dozens of items relating to The Beatles were up for auction with mixed results, including 19 LPs from The Beatles.
Other items which sold included wire cutters used by the British Army during World War One, which fetched €150.
A rare collection of 15ct gold medals awarded to Australian Herbert Victor Callender, fetched the second highest amount at auction, receiving €930.
Another “rare” find was a Raleigh Chopper bicycle, in “almost mint condition”, which went for €450 under the hammer.
A signature from Eamon De Valera during his visit to Limerick and the opening of the new church in Copsewood College in Pallaskenry, Co Limerick, around May 1939, made €70 at auction. The auction room is now accepting lots for their next auction in March, which will include a mixture of antiques, art, silver, jewellery and collectibles.