MORNING ROOM. NO BOOKING REQUIRED, FACE MASKS MUST BE WORN IN THE HOUSE. It was a battle of Britain hero - Tim Vigors who first introduced the tradition of horse breeding at Tullamaine. The decorated RAF pilot had something of a checkered wartime experience having been shot down and imprisoned in Burma, presumed dead, before returning the hero to his family home in Tullamaine.
In fact, when he went missing after being shot down his dog Snipe came back to Tullamaine. The dog went and dug a hole at the top of the rockery and legend has it lay down and died.
On returning from the war, Tim went into McCarthys pub in Fethard on a pony and trap. Seeing the crowd waiting outside, Vigors was nervous that his RAF legacy may not be all that welcome in rural Tipperary, however the crowd were in fact there to welcome him, and they hoisted Tim onto their shoulders and paraded him as a homecoming hero.
After all that drama, Vigors entered the world of horse breeding and was in fact one of the original founders of the Coolmore Stud which has since then, under the subsequent ownership of O’Brien, Sangster and Magnier become the world’s leading breeding yard.
Tullamaine Castle is also referred to in some of the Mitford books, as Pamela Mitford lived there when she was married to Derek Jackson the amateur jockey and physicist. Pamela was responsible for the supervision of the selling of Tullamaine in the 1950s. In contrast to her high society and notorious sisters, Pamela adored the simple country life at Tullamaine.
Tullamaine Castle is an outstanding stud for the last forty years, with Bob Lanigan breeding equine stars such as Delilah, Bin Ajwad, Hot Tin Roof, the multiple stakes winner, along with Polenator and the The Minirva Rose who won the double at Doncaster Group 2 on successive days, a particular career highlight for Lanigan.
James Bond actor Pearse Brosnan has stabled his horses at Tullamaine and has been a frequent visitor over the years. Tullamaine has given Brosnan an equine license to thrill if you will.
The home of the Tipperary Hunt, the legacy is evident in a most unusual outdoor art feature at Tullamaine Castle.
A life size sculpture of a pack of fox hounds in wire is featured running across the lawn.
Specially sculpted by Rupert Till, it is so unusual that visiting dogs think from a distance that ‘the pack’ is real.
The sculpture is based on the Tipperary hunt which had its home at Tullamaine.
Lot 774. Estimate €8000-12000
Tullamaine Castle features five main reception rooms, and a main hall with a dramatic staircase sweeping up.
One of the highlights of the auction is Lot 38, a grandfather clock by a Dutch maker Anthonij Van Oostrom of Amsterdam.
Described by Sean Eacrett as ‘very important’, the striking walnut and marquetry inlay longcase clock is by Anthonij van Oostrom of Amsterdam. The eighteenth-century clock features a highly carved and fret arch top and dome top and is estimated to fetch €4000 - 6000. Circa 1740 - 60. H250 x D30 xW45cm approx.)
The dining room of Tullamaine features a large collection of art, including a large oil on canvas in a good gilt frame of The Bailey Lighthouse off Howth by Stephen Catterson Smith. Daniel Egan framing label and other label verso states 'Bought at the sale of the late Canon Harris 1914'. 71 x 112cm approx. Lot 137. Estimate €1000 - 1500.
The artist Peter Curling is well known in Tullamaine where there are three large watercolours of the Tipperary Hunt on the walls, along with the oil of Pat Eddery. Lot 16. Estimate €500 - 800.
Peter Curling watercolours. Est between €2500 - 5000
There is a collection of signed prints by nineteenth century British equine and military artist Lionel Edwards. Including the highlight; ‘Watercolour of Irish Hospital Sweepstakes Morning Exercise May 1966’. Lot 403. Estimate €400-600.
The dining room also featured a large collection of Snaffles prints, seen in lots 113 to 130. Estimates ranging from €200 - 600 each.
Snaffles, otherwise known as nineteenth century British artist Charles Johnson Payne was famous for his humorous depictions of equine scenes from horse racing to polo. Clearly Tullamaine stud is the perfect showroom for these prints.
There are two oils attributed to nineteenth century artist JF Herring including lots 59, 66 and 221
Attributed to JF Herring are the pair of oils on canvas of horses in a paddock.
(Signed lower left.)30 x 56cm approx. Lot 66. Estimate €1200 - 1800.
In the hall are a set of four large hunting plates of four 19th Century Engravings after paintings also by J F Herring. (1815-1907) of Fox Hunting Scenes 'The Kill, The Run, The Meet and The Field'. Engraved by J Harris. 80 x 132cm approx.) Lot 59. Estimate €500-800.
The hall also features mahogany side cabinets profusely mounted with ormolu mounts. The cabinets are on turned supports and with green marble tops. 148 x D52 x H102cm approx. Lot 58. Estimate €3000 - 5000.
On the walls of the hall are a remarkable set of four glass Ormolu Wall Lights. Featuring swagged rope backs supporting a bunch of glass flowers in the style of a drooping giant Lilly. They are truly beautiful measuring over a meter and a half in height. (H166 x 54cm approx.)
They are originally from Dunbrody House and prior to that brought from the Donegal family from the UK to Waterford and then to Tullamaine. The Westbury Hotel had similar lamps. Lot 60. Estimate €2500 - 4000.
The dining room boasts a magnificent georgian mahogany Irish Side/Serving Table with shell motif carved centre on conical ball and claw supports. 163 x 75 x H79cm approx.) Lot 132. Estimate €3000 - €5000.
The brass chandelier in the well of the stairs is a six-branch brass oversized chandelier profusely decorated with floral decoration. Again, it is very large with a diameter of 130 cms and a drop of 125cm. Lot 240. Estimate €5000 - 8000.