A trophy marking the British ‘victory’ in the Easter Rising is to go under the hammer this week and is expected to sell for up to €1200.
It was purchased by a Japanese woman at a London flea-market in the late 1980s. Now, many years later its historical significance has been recognised.
The trophy is in the form of a gong made from an artillery shell from the Rising. It is suspended on a frame made from wood and brass.
The owner, who was a student in London when she bought it, said it caught her eye because “it was reminiscent of a Shinto Temple Bell”, which are found in Buddhist temples in Japan.
Years later the woman got married to an Irishman, and he noticed the inscriptions on the gong and their relevance to the Easter Rising.
There are references to His Majesty’s Yacht HELGA, which was the auxiliary patrol boat that travelled up the River Liffey and shelled the Irish rebels in Boland’s Mills and then the General Post Office.
The copper dome reads: “G. P. O. MCMXV1 – BLACKADERS BOYS – THE CALL TO ARMS – RICHMOND BKS”
A simple look back at the details of the Rising reveal a clear reference to the shelling of the General Post Office in 1916. Major General Blackader was a senior officer in the British Army during the Easter Rising and Richmond Barracks was one of the main British Army bases in Dublin.
Stuart Purcell, head of collectibles at Whyte’s auctioneers, told the Irish Times: “This is unique. I am not aware of another object created as a trophy to celebrate a British victory in 1916.”
The trophy is believed to have been made either by the British soldiers themselves, or for them as a memento of their ‘victory’.
It has now surfaced and will be auctioned on 17th October by Whyte’s in Dublin.