The oldest bottle of Irish whisky ever offered at auction will be one of the many highlights of the upcoming History & Literature sale at Whyte’s in Dublin.
Dating from 1916, the whisky on offer at Whyte’s originated from the Dublin Whiskey Distillery Company, which was built in 1873 and by the 1880s was producing over 500,000 gallons of whiskey a year.
However, business was hit hard by a number of world-altering events such as World War I, Irish Independence, the Civil War and American Prohibition, and the distillery ceased operating full-time in 1926. It then continued to produce whisky irregularly until 1945, concluding with the last bottling of a whiskey distilled in 1942.
Having spent 53 years in bond, one of the casks was sold by the distillery in 1963 and bottled by P & F McGlade, a company established by one of Belfast’s most established publican families. Today just four bottles from the 1916 batch are known to survive, and the bottle offered at Whyte’s is expected to sell for €15,000-€25,000 ($16,540-$27,580).
Leading the auction is a highly rare and significant copy of The Proclamation of the Irish Republic, the original document which proclaimed Ireland’s independence from the United Kingdom during the Easter Rising of 1916.
Published by the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army acting as ‘The Provisional Government of the Republic of Ireland’, less than 30 examples are believed to have survived and many are owned by museums and institutions. This original copy of the most important document in Irish history will now be offered with an estimate of €150,000-€250,000 ($165,500-$275,825).
Further notable highlights will include the 1916 Rising Service Medal posthumously awarded to Tom Clarke, ‘Father of The Rising’, estimated at €80,000-€120,000; the 1916 Rising Medal awarded to revolutionary Joseph Plunkett, valued at €70,000-€100,000; and a highly rare collection of photographic memorial posters featuring the 15 leaders of the Easter Rising, estimated at €5,000-€7,000 ($5,510-$7,720).
The Whyte’s History & Literature sale takes place on March 13.