Hold your horses at the contents of Rocklow Estate in Tipperary

Posted On: 11 Jul 2023 by Sean Eacrett

Hold your horses at the contents of Rocklow Estate in Tipperary

Hold your horses at the contents of Rocklow Estate in Tipperary

Contents of the Rocklow Estate, an 18th-century manor house on 100 acres of woodland and prime farmland will be auctioned by Sean Eacrett at the Horse and Jockey Hotel in Thurles on June 6th in a live online sale.

The three-bay, three-storey-over-basement house, with a whopping 1,000 sq m (10,763 sq ft) of floor space sold recently through Colliers International. The house was launched for sale in April 2022, seeking €3 million.

Rocklow first appeared on an Irish Land Survey map in 1778, when it was occupied by the Lowe family, and later was home to the Barton family of the winemaking fame. It subsequently belonged to the Massey family, after the marriage of Beatrice Louise Barton to Hugh Eyre Francis Massey.

Highlights of the sale include a large private collection of mid-century, handmade Waterford Glass – an appropriate connection given the house is linked to some world-famous French vineyards. Along with Léoville-Barton and Langoa-Barton, more than 10 chateaux vineyards in Bordeaux today bear an Irish name. 

The collection of glassware belonged to a close relation of the Ronan family, who was a chairman of Waterford Crystal. The family purchased the house in the 1960s, and Dorothy and Thomas Ronan subsequently restored Rocklow.

Some of the pieces in this particular collection are a selection of vases, each of which were given to the chairman at Christmas following his retirement. Each vase – most of which are marked as number 1 of a limited edition of 250 – depicts a different historical figure.


Of importance are a superb pair of 19th-century oval Irish ‘Silver’ mirrors. Presumed to be Waterford, they have repeating blue and white panel decoration and are expected to fetch between €2,000 and €4,000. Also included are four Waterford Crystal chandeliers dating from 1950 to 1970. Priced at €1,000-€2,000, they are in need of some repair and come with three boxes of parts.

As Thomas was a keen huntsman and joint master of the Tipperary fox hounds, there is, as you would expect from a residence linked with all things equine, a number of lots associated with horses. A 160-piece Copeland dinner set by Spode, from the hunting series, is listed at €500-€600. Serving 12, it is a match for lot 251, which has over 80 pieces from the Copeland Spode ‘Gone Away’ hunting scenes, priced at €200-€400.

Artwork of horses include a number of prints by Peter Curling (from €60 to €200) and a large oil on board by Marshall C. Hudson of Persian Union (€700-€1,000). She was the first broodmare purchased by Thomas Ronan, and went on to produce successful winners, most notably Golden Horus who won the Gimcrack Stakes and was the first stallion to stand at Coolmore Stud. Coupled with numerous bronzes, including doorstops and sculptural pieces, there is also a fine pair of early oriental ginger jars with cream ground and hand-painted decoration of horses and ponies (€400-€600). seaneacrettauctions.ie