So I was galloping down from Westown yet again today (having done so in the lead up to yesterdays porpoise incident… but that’s another story)because my wrist is sprained and driving hurts. I was meeting my brother for coffee at T-Bay Surf Centre but as I hurried down Newtown Hill I noticed the sign for the viewing ahead of the auction tomorrow in Seaville House on Newtown Hill. I decided my brother would probably give me five minutes and so I swerved off my route and ducked in through the arched doorway in the brick wall.
Seaville House is Georgian, and, like many on Newtown Hill, set behind high walls. It is on a mature garden of nearly 5 acres. It has been sold and the entire contents are being auctioned off and the family moving to another house in the town.
The family of a reader, Kathleen Nutt, has had a connection with Seaville that goes back generations and Kathleen has written to me with some of it’s history. It was originally the home of the Penrose’s, Penrose Crystal being the original Waterford Crystal, and Lodges Lane, which runs behind Seaville was originally called Penrose Lane. After Beatrice Penrose (1905-1965) died (1905-1965) Bart Kennedy O’Brien lived there and after him Major Shipley and his wife lived there. Kathleen says she has happy memories of that time. She remembers that Mrs Shipley would always want to take their Communion and Confirmation photographs. Thanks Kathleen for sharing that information with us.
I wanted to go in because it was something a bit different to do I suppose and I like expanding the boundaries of my physical territory in the universe, if that makes sense? I like ‘old stuff’ too though I am no connoisseur and I have bugger all money right now anyway. The draw for me is more the history of use that hangs around old objects and old buildings not to mention how pleasureable it is to see things that have been made individually or by hand or that have a uniqueness that is given to them by their long history in the world.
It was €3 to buy a catalogue to go into the house. Immediately I felt I was in someones home, which I hadn’t expected, a fact heightened by the fact that there was a match playing on the telly in the corner of the living room.
The house and furnishings are posh (by my standards) but it was also lived it, comfortable looking, a little crumbly around the edges. Aside from there being a lot number on every single thing in the place I could have being calling to visit a friend.
I didn’t stay long. I looked at a few items but the place was pretty busy and it was hard to look at anything for long. Looking at the catalogue afterwards I saw that it included bread bins, wooden cradles, pots and pans, a carpet beater, hedge trimmers, body boards, cutlery, paintings, books, a phrenology bust, croquet pins, a butter churn, a step-ladder, an ironing board, various pots and pans, twine, candles, trophies, water troughs, garden seats, walking sticks, saddles and bridles, terrariums, Delft, a chain saw, 13 skittles, a fire basket, records, suitcases, a crucifix, mirrors, watches, royal memorabilia, a shooting stick, clocks, planters, a panama hat, a silk scarf, a writing box, a lazy Susan, Waterford Glass, board games and a cornucopia of other items. I heard later from a friend who has his eye on some items(I won’t tell you what)that Keigherys has also brought a lot in from their auction rooms in Waterford City.
I didn’t go upstairs. I tell myself it was because I felt weird about poking around someones bedrooms but I guess it was because it was more that I was in a rush and I, like the crowds of others were involved in a little voyeurism.
As I was taking photographs I somehow felt I shouldn’t be but the owners must have organised to have the auction there and in the end my ‘visual head’ got the better of me.
Still, I imagine it’s a bit odd for them and they will be glad when its over. I hope it is a success. The auction is tomorrow at 11am. Views the lots online at http://www.cityauctionrooms.com/
Sorry for the bad photographs, I still havent sorted out my camera issues yet. These are from my ©StupidPhone