Page last updated at 07:45 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

1916 Irish Rising flag fails to sell at New York auction

1916 Irish flag
The tricolour failed to reach its reserve price of $500,000

An Irish tricolour believed to have flown from the General Post Office in Dublin during the 1916 Rising has failed to make its reserve price at auction.

The flag was up for sale at Bloomsbury Auctions, New York. It was expected to fetch up to $700,000, but did not make the reserve price of $500,000.

A spokeswoman for the auctions said there had been no bids in the room.

She could not confirm if there had been any telephone bids for the flag.

It was part of an auction of Irish items including pictures, manuscripts, silver and books.

The auction house said the flag was accompanied by a note from Dr George St George, (who owned the flag until 1922) reading 'Captured by British Troops at GPO Dublin, April 1916 and given to Dr George St George by an old War veteran, Sergt Davis'.

It added: "Any contemporary pennants, favours or armbands with the tricolour design are extraordinarily scarce with only a few surviving examples of any held in museum collections.

"The fact that this flag is the only recorded full sized tricolour of the 1916 Rising in existence, and therefore of the utmost rarity and importance, and further, documented that it was captured from the headquarters of the short-lived Irish Republic founded by Pádraig Pearse and his comrades, makes it a unique icon of immeasurable significance in the history of the Irish Revolution."

Hundreds of items connected to the 1916 Rising have sold for large sums of money in recent years.

In April 2007, a rare copy of the 1916 Proclamation made 240,000 euro at auction in Dublin.

The 1916 Rising saw Irish rebels attempt to seize Dublin from British forces.

British troops put down the rebellion and many of its ringleaders were captured and executed.



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