The Grandest of Farewells

The Grandest of Farewells

Gerard Derry’s Retirement Auction by Victor Mee Auctions marks the end of an era for one of the most renowned figures in the business and comprises 845 lots of decorative and eclectic interior and garden pieces.

Retirements are a big deal. They mark a life’s work. In the case of this sale, they also mark a life’s passion.
Gerard Derry entered the antiques trade around the same time as our very own Victor Mee, the two striking a rapport over the years and creating a solid friendship and business relationship. Victor recalls a thriving social scene in the 1970s and 80s with dealers connecting and working together. Antiques flourished. Camaraderie flourished.
And it is this vintage camaraderie that has led us all to Victor Mee Auctions proudly hosting the retirement sale of the renowned Gerard Derry of Derry’s Ltd, Armagh.

Derry’s Ltd was founded in 1979 supplying and manufacturing bespoke contract furniture for the hospitality and leisure industry. Gerard’s work has, time and time again, led him to sourcing pieces of quirk, rarity and utter magnificence for his high-end clients.
Having learned the ropes from his father, who was also a successful dealer, Gerard grew up around antiques. He knows them. He knows their worth. He knows their ambience. Bringing this know-how into his business is part of what has made Gerard Derry one of the most eminent furniture and antiques dealers in Ireland, celebrated for his flair and knack for mingling the old with the new.

Medical mannequin
Lot 499 - Rare plaster medical mannequin with torso features
Statue of Herod's daughter
Lot 431 - Hand carved sandstone statue of Herod's daughter at the bull rushes
Merry-Go-Round horse
Lot 244 - Merry-Go-Round horse

Given that his life’s work involves moulding spaces with opulence, peculiarity and distinctiveness it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that this end of an era garden and decorative interiors sale boasts 845 lots of just that.
Expect exquisite. Expect eccentric. Expect extravagance and conversation starters.

Which brings us to (just some) of our sale highlights…

19th C. hand operated carousel boats
Lot 458 - Extremely rare late 19th. C. hand operated Fairground carousel in working order
19th C. hand operated carousel canopy
19th C. hand operated carousel horses

Ah the carousel… Quirky? Absolutely. Retro? Without a doubt. But the real lure, we think, is that this carousel radiates a little bit of otherworldliness. It’s dreamlike. A bit Mary Poppins.
Complete with twelve hand-painted wooden horses and two hand-painted metal swing boats, it dates to the 1940s and spent its fairground life in the hands of the Farrell Family of Buncrana, Donegal.
This carousel is magnificent. We’re expecting it to go for between €10,000-€20,000 but wouldn’t be surprised to see it go for more, given the rarity of such a piece of enchantment.

The gist of the Bonsai tree is that it is meticulously cared for and crafted to be a miniature version of its giant, aged deciduous brethren. Bonsai trees require time and attention. Left alone, they run wild and free.
It is their need for love that makes the bonsai tree so rare and highly sought after.
This is what a loved Bonsai looks like. This tree has lived through generations and it is an honour to bring one of such quality and maturity to auction. We’ve put an estimate of €1750-€3500 on this one.

Metal model of a giraffe
Lot 170 - Metal model of a giraffe

One of the more kitsch items up for grabs in this sale is this giraffe. He stands no less than 360cm high and he boldly demands your attention.
This striking piece is illustrative of the kind of flair that Gerard Derry has become known for. It is bespoke and grand and just a bit fancy.
We’ve estimated it at €250-€450 and we think it’s a bargain at that!

Pair of leather upholstered club chairs
Lot 498 - Pair of stylish 1940's leather upholstered club chairs of square form

Lot 498 is another fine example of the calibre of products sourced by Gerard Derry over the years. This pair of 1940s club chairs oozes a James Bond type of sophistication that we haven’t seen with this much sincerity in quite some time.
The rich brown leather is beaten with age and eras of stories. The backs are invitingly imposing, cleanly cut and classy. These chairs will take centre stage in any space.
If these club chairs go below our top estimate of €800 it’s a steal!

Leather chesterfield office chair
Lot 696 - Exceptional quality hand died leather deep buttoned Chesterfield swivel office chair on mahogany base and brass casters

Let’s be honest, home offices have never been more popular or, indeed, more necessary. With so many working from home in modern times, there has been a huge surge in demand for high-quality, durable and beautiful office furniture.
This chair, in classic green, is mounted on a mahogany swivel base with striking brass casters and simply screams elegance. There’s something very traditional and very refined about a Chesterfield chair. We’ve put an estimate on this of €500-€800 on this one.

We’d love to get poetic about all the lots coming up in this sale. It seems almost inadequate to choose just five highlights when in actuality there are 840 more that are just as quirky, just as tasteful and just as stunning as the few we’ve listed here. You can find them all by viewing the catalogue on our website now.

Gerard Derry’s Retirement Auction by Victor Mee Auctions takes place on Saturday May 23rd from 2pm and Sunday May 24th from 2pm LIVE ONLINE.
Part two of the auction comprising of architectural items, pub fittings and collectibles will take place on June 6th and 7th. Catalogue coming your way soon!

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