Contents of landmark Irish hotels sell for €200,000 at auction

Largest price paid for single item was €5,200 for John Morris painting of Shelbourne Hotel

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The contents of some of Ireland’s most iconic five-star hotels are going under the hammer following pandemic-fuelled clearouts. 

While Covid-19 wreaked havoc with the hospitality industry, it also provided the space and time for refurbishment.  

The result is a massive treasure trove of furniture, artwork and collectibles from Dublin’s Four Seasons, (now Intercontinental) Westin and Trinity City Hotels, Glenlo Abbey in Galway and Powerscourt Resort and Spa in Wicklow. 

Memorabilia from the famous Buck Whaley’s nightclub and Larry Murphy’s pub in the capital is also up for grabs. 

A two-day online auction of over 1,100 lots in Dublin’s Prussia Street on January 17 and 18, is expected to generate in excess of €200,000. 

A decorative gilt settee from Glenlo Abbey, Co Galway, (€800), one of almost 1,200 lots up for online auction at the ‘Five Star Interiors Sale’ on January 17 and 18, with physical viewing four days in advance. The sale is expected to generate in excess of €200,000. Full details at

“All of these hotels and bars were refurbished during Covid, when their doors were shut and the contents moved to storage,” said antiques dealer Niall Mullen, who is organising the auction with Kieran Murray. 

“Already, it promises to be one of the most interesting auctions of the year.  

“Taking on a hotel auction is tricky, but when they all come together like this, they work.” 

A desk, originally from Harrods department store, complete with 40 drawers, guides at €2,000-€4,000 and comes from Dublin’s oldest shop, Reads Cutlers, now House of Read on Dublin’s Parliament Street. 

Side cabinets, lamps and lockers from the former Four Seasons Hotel in Ballsbridge – favourite haunt of American rocker Bruce Springsteen – also feature. 

A bust of Frank Sinatra, a Graham Knuttel oil painting (€5,000-€7,000) and a lifesize, bronze sculpture of a hunting hare, all privately consigned, are also set to attract interest. 

Original pub mirrors, posters and bar stools from the former Buck Whaley’s club and Larry Murphy’s on Lower Baggot Street, could lead former customers on a trip down memory lane. 

And it is showtime – possibly once more – for the original, wooden ticket office from the Ambassador cinema on O’Connell Street. 

“This certainly won’t happen again, it is purely a product of Covid and the unprecedented effect it had on the hospitality industry,” said Mullen, who previously co-ordinated the sale of the contents of Dublin’s Morrison and Berkeley Court hotels. 

The public can physically view the lots at 67 Prussia Street, Dublin, from this Friday (Jan13) to Monday, with the online auction beginning at 2pm on January 17 and 18. Full catalogue at: 

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