AUCTION OF 'ST.
CATHOLIC HERALD REPORTER REMBRANDTS painting of St. Bartholomew and an important collection of English and German coins are two sales of exceptional Catholic interest which will take place in the near future. The Rembrandt is to be auctioned by Sotheby's on June 27, and the coins, left to St. Joseph's College, Up Holland, by its architect, Mr. James O'Byrne, are to be auctioned by Christie's in three stages, starting on May 14.
Fifteen thousand coins are included in Mr. O'Byrnes collection and they are expected to fetch over f50,000, which will be used to finance improvements to the College. The first lot, which will comprise old English, Scottish and Irish coins, many in near-mint condition, includes a sovereign of Mary, whose short reign lasted from 1553 to 1554.
Mr. Richard Faulkner, Christie's coins and medals expert, who was educated at Ampieforth, told me that the hulk of the collection consisted of talers and other coins from the German states. "In this respect," he said, "it is the most important collection to be offered to the public since the Reimann collection at the end of the last century." Mr. O'llyme, who designed the original seminary buildings, left a considerable fortune towards the completion of the work when he died in 1897, and it was eventually completed in 1930. He also left to the College many fine museum pieces, manuscripts and books, which are still preserved there. There is a bas-relief of his head
in the entrance hall, with the
fitting inscription Benefactor Maximus.
Major Kincaid Lennox, of Downtown Castle, Shropshire, is the owner of the Rembrandt, whieh is one of the most important paintings by this master in private hands. Painted in 1661, and measuring 34 inches by 291 inches, it shows St. Bartholomew half length, full face, with short dark hair and a moustache.
He holds a short knife in his left hand and his grey doublet is open in front, revealing a white shirt underneath. A buff cloak covers his shoulders.
Christies have already sold, for £4,674, prints and drawings by Old Masters which were also left to St, Joseph's by Mr. O'Byrne.