The complete contents of an 18th-century Letterkenny mansion will be sold at a special country house auction this September.

Oak Park House (pictured above), overlooking Lough Swilly, was the former residence of suffragette Norah Lyle-Smyth.

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The house is steeped in a rich history thanks to its custodians and location, and now the entire contents of Oak Park will hit the auction block on 30th September. The lots are expected to be of ‘substantial’ value.

The auction will be the most unique sale yet for Cavan’s Victor Mee Auctions. A collection of exquisite furniture, decorative art, ceramics and garden pieces from Oak Park will be combined with outstanding pieces from the former See House or ‘Bishop’s Palace’ in Kilmore Co. Cavan, where the auction will take place. More than 1,000 lots will be included in the sale.

30th September The Palace Collection Sale hosted Victor Mee Auctions at ‘The Bishop’s Palace’, County Cavan, visit www.victormeeauctions.ie

With Oak Park House and ‘The Bishop’s Palace’ dating back to the 1800s and during this time homing a very diverse range of people from suffragettes to Irish bishops, the range of furniture that will be displayed in The Palace Collection Sale will be second to none, with many pieces of Royal standard and reflecting the Georgian era.

From Oak Park House, an exceptional 19th century Donegal Carpet by Morton Sundour decorated with the shields of the four Provinces of Ireland, oak leaves and medallions, is sure to be a firm favourite amongst Irish bidders.

30th September The Palace Collection Sale hosted Victor Mee Auctions at ‘The Bishop’s Palace’, County Cavan, visit www.victormeeauctions.ie

Lot 163: Georgian mahogany server raised on barley twist legs and lion paw feet from Oak Park House. www.victormeeauctions.ie

Given the royal seal of approval is a rare Irish 19th century Killarney wood flip-top table originally from the collection of Major Sir Ralph Hugo Anstruther, Treasurer Emeritus to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. 

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Commenting on the Killarney lot, auctioneer Victor Mee said, “This table may not be the finest example of Killarney woodwork but what it lacks in intricacy it more than makes up for in providence. Pieces from private collections like this rarely hit the market and we expect significant interest in it.” 

A rare William IV mahogany wine table, believed to be an original from the Georgian era, will also be sold from Oak Park House, along with a diverse range of art, literature, lighting and traditional home heating pieces

LOT 791: Exceptional quality rosewood centre table raised on tulip column platform base and hairy paw feet from Oak Park House. 30th September The Palace Collection Sale hosted Victor Mee Auctions at ‘The Bishop’s Palace’, County Cavan, visit www.victormeeauctions.ie

Oak Park House was the scene of the defeat of Irish Chieftain Shane O’Neill by Hugh O’Donnell. In more recent times, the house was the Irish home of photographer, social activist and suffragette Norah Lyle-Smyth.

Smyth spent much of her early life in England focusing on her studies and village life at the request of her father, however after his death In 1912 Smyth joined the Pioneer Players feminist Theatre Company and the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), which led her to join the East London Federation Suffragettes, run by prominent suffragette activist Sylvia Pankhurst. A loyal supporter of Pankhurst, Smyth spent many years moving within the same circles and became a close friend of Pankhurst until her death.

The vast contents of The Palace Collection Sale are believed to include pieces which belonged to Norah Lyle-Smyth dating back to the early 20th century’s suffragette movement and will be on offer to bidders at The See House.

30th September The Palace Collection Sale hosted Victor Mee Auctions at ‘The Bishop’s Palace’, County Cavan, visit www.victormeeauctions.ie

The Palace Collections Sale will also showcase a superb range of garden pieces taken from both Oak Park House and The See House.

Commenting on the rich history linked to the sale Victor Mee said, “We are very excited about The Palace Collection Sale on Monday 30th September at ‘The Bishop’s Palace’. Having the opportunity to host the auction directly from The See House where many of the contents have been in place for some years makes the sale even more special and will give bidders a brilliant feel for how the furniture, art and garden pieces will look in their homes as well as painting a richer picture about the history and context of these pieces.”

Mee continued: “These country homes, unless owned by the State or the National Trust, are rarely open to the public, let alone the contents be sent to public auction! This is an extremely rare opportunity for private collectors to own pieces of history and this sale promises to be one not to be missed!”


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