1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic to be auctioned for €140,000

An original 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic is to be sold by Fonsie Mealy Auctions in County Kilkenny with a €140,000 - €180,000 estimate.

1916 Proclamation of The Irish Republic to be auctioned at Fonsie Mealy.
Image: Fonsie Mealy Auctions

The single page broadsheet, measuring 20 inches by 20 inches, is considered the corner-stone document of Irish Freedom from English rule.

The Proclamation was composed by Patrick Pearse, one of the leaders of the Easter Rising, and printed on Easter Sunday, in April 1916, at Liberty Hall in Dublin, under the protection of the Irish Citizen Army.

It's believed that 1,000 copes were printed by Christopher Brady, but that only 50 are known to exist today, 25 of which are in Museums.

Once printed, and signed by the seven signatories of Patrick Pearse, Thomas J. Clarke, Seán Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, Eamonn Ceannt, James Connolly and Joseph Plunkett, the proclamation was then read aloud by Pearse from the steps of the General Post Office on Sackville Street, Dublin.

The majority of the Proclamations were destroyed during the 6 days of the Rising, when thousands of British troops were deployed which led to street fighting and the loss 485 lives.

The seven signatories were executed by the British for having considered to have committed treason.

The paper used during the printing was of poor quality and all known examples suffer from smudging and problems from a lack of printing type, however this example is considered to be a very clean example, albeit slightly frayed at the left hand side.

The provenance states that the auction vendor purchased the Proclamation from an unnamed Dublin book dealer.

The 1916 Proclamation is considered the most important document in Irish History and only 10 copies have appeared at auction in the last 20 years, with prices varying from just €90,000 to  €390,000 for a copy sold in December 2004;

So at €140,000 - €180,000 this can be considered somewhat of a bargain.


About your Author:

Adrian Roose has over 30 years’ experience covering all aspects of the rare stamp & memorabilia industry during which he has sold over £50m of unique items, helping build collections for Royalty, household name celebrities and 1,000s of collectors around the world.

Adrian was previously a Director at Stanley Gibbons, a Board Member of Stampex, and Executive Director of Paul Fraser Collectibles, PFC Auctions and JustCollecting, prior to founding The Memorabilia Club.

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