And a Little Bit More Dromore


After yesterday’s post about Dromore Castle, County Limerick it transpires that tomorrow in London Sotheby’s will be selling a chair the original of which was designed by Godwin for the library of the house. The ‘Eagle’ Chair is more Egyptian than Gothic in inspiration and indicates how eclectic were Dromore’s interiors. Like all the other furnishings, it was manufactured by William Watt’s Art Furniture Company and some pieces including this one featured in the company’s 1877 catalogue.
It is unknown how many ‘Eagle’ chairs were subsequently produced: a version in oak with variant stretcher and reupholstered in brown leather was sold at Christie’s, London in May 1995 for £18,400. This one carries a pre-sale estimate of £8,000-£12,000.
For more information on the lot, see:

5 comments on “And a Little Bit More Dromore

  1. John Lough says:

    Great coverage of Dromore Limerick. Loved the pictures. I understand that Godwin went on to design for Liberty with textiles and furniture too. He also advised students in England not to build in Ireland because damp caused him so much trouble. I will try to find the details of another house he built in Ireland for which the owner brought him to court as it leaked so badly! The case was settled out of court.

    • Thank you for getting in touch. Godwin’s other Irish commission was Glenbeigh Towers, County Kerry, which as you note ended badly. And yes, he did go on to work for Liberty where he was director of the costume department.

  2. Frank Keohane says:

    What an absolutely fantastic (i think this is the right word in this case) chair. Godwin’s furniture designs for Dromore were astonishing but I didnt thing they included anything like this. If the provenance is correct it would be wonderful to see it return to Ireland in some form or another.

    • Thank you for your comment: I think fantastic, or fantastical, is the right description. It is impossible to know, on the basis of the Sotheby’s entry, whether this chair was originally made for Dromore or for another property (using the Dromore design). This was also the case for the lot sold by Christie’s almost twenty years ago, evidently the provenance of these pieces is uncertain.

      • Frank Keohane says:


        Last night I checked the V&A RIBA online drawings collection which incldues 36 drawings for Dromore and what do you know but there is a drawing for the Eagle Chair in one of them. So it sees Christies have their facts correct. The collection of drawings is remarkable, particularly the details for furniture, fabrics and wall decoration. Well worth a look.

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