The Armada table from the 16th century, so named because it was made of elements of a shipwreck of the galleon, a part of the Spanish Armada that retreated after the defeat by the troops of Elizabeth I in 1588
The Armada table is, as is known, one of the best documented pieces of 16th-century furniture in Ireland and has an estimate of € 100,000 to 200,000.
It was sold to a telephone bidder at the Dublin-based Adam's decorative art auction in the Georgian stately home Townley Hall in Drogheda.
Start with a € 70,000 online bidding, offers went up in parts of €5000 and € 10,000, with early bidding on the internet, telephone and in the room.
At the same sale, an Irish George III mahogany break bookcase, which was part of the original furniture of the Ely House in Dublin, made a multiple estimated € 75,000 (est: € 15,000-20,000). The four-door bookcase, decorated with Gothic lancet glazing beams above the cupboard door cupboard, is 28 x 28 cm high and 346 cm wide. It was once owned by Dr Thornley Stoker, the brother of Bram, the maker of Dracula.
Bunratty Castle home
The Armada table was located in the castle of Dromoland for 300 years and lived in Bunratty Castle for the last time in County Clare and at 2.4 m length and 91 cm wide, had to be removed for auction with a crane.
The owner of the table, Lord Inchiquin of Dromoland Castle, said he sold the table for financial reasons.
Desmond Fitzgerald (1937-2011), the Knight of Glin and authoritative Irish furniture historian, once described the Armada table as "one of the most important and earliest pieces of Irish furniture".
The sale of the table caused controversy because it was a major attraction at Bunratty and there were calls to the Irish Art Minister to save the table for the nation.
The galleon, part of the Spanish Armada defeated by the troops of Elizabeth I in 1588, broke down, like many others, from the dangerous coastline of Doonbeg, Count Clare, when it tried to return to Spain.
Clare's sheriff from that time, Boethius Clancy, rescued parts of the ship and the decorative carvings and had them made into a large refectory.
The table is made from a variety of wood types, including oak and tropical hardwood, including South American manilkara or bullet wood. The table has a rectangular top that sits above a frieze, decorated with a dozen carved heads.
This section then rests on four carved heraldic lion angle supports and two central supports in the form of Hope and Charity, figures that were originally found on the stern of a galleon.
According to reports, about 27 Armada ships from the Irish coast have been demolished and ship parts are still being recovered to this day.
Elsewhere at the sale of Adam & # 39; s Country House Collections this morning, a mahogany side table in Gothic style, in the style of Thomas Chippendale, 182 cm long and 81 cm wide with leaf-shaped design, a top estimate of € 12,000 plus premium.
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