Remembrance of Lost Time

Carton - Fire buckets

The sad tale of what befell the Dukes of Leinster in the last century, the loss of the family estates and the scattering of their inheritance, has been told so often that it does not need to be repeated here. Heads of the FitzGerald family and once princely figures in Ireland, the Leinsters no longer have any presence here, and their main seat Carton, County Kildare has metamorphosed into just another golf resort and spa.
Over recent decades various FitzGerald heirlooms have come on the market, and next week more items will be sold by English auctioneers Cheffins of Cambridge. Some of the lots are significant: a series of family portraits executed in pastel by Hugh Douglas Hamilton; a set of George II mahogany and parcel gilt dining chairs; even Lord Edward FitzGerald’s ring, bequeathed on his deathbed to a favourite sister. Yet somehow the more poignant items are the commonplace ones such as the set of eight George III leather fire buckets shown above. Each painted with the ducal monogram and coronet, they would once have been kept at Carton but now, following the rest of the house’s original contents, are set to join a general dispersal. One ought not to become too sentimental about such matters, but still it is regrettable that these functional yet handsome mementoes of quotidian life in an Irish country house should be lost.
For more information on the Cheffins sale, see:

2 comments on “Remembrance of Lost Time

  1. Caroline Kernan says:

    I think ‘one’ has every right to be sentimental about such objects.

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