Belfast Telegraph

Collins's hair to go under hammer

Huge interest is mounting over the sale this week of a lock of hair belonging to revolutionary leader Michael Collins, auctioneers have said.

Rare footage of the Corkman heading on the Anglo Irish Treaty delegation in 1921 is also among thousands of lots going under the hammer at a special historical sale.

But Adam's, on St Stephen's Green, Dublin, says much of the attention from potential buyers so far is on the lock of hair - a keepsake once belonging to his older sister Kitty.

The memento, snipped from his head as he lay in state, is in an envelope with the inscription: "Hair of head of Michael Collins when laid in State in the City Hall August 1922."

Kieran O'Boyle, of Adam's, said: "It's getting a lot of attention. It's a very personal and poignant item."

The hair lock, gifted to a friend of the Collins family in the 1950s, is expected to fetch between 3,000 to 5,000 euro. Also at Wednesday's sale, entitled 800 Years - Irish Political, Military and Literary History, is rare 35mm film reel of the treaty delegation going to negotiations in London in 1921.

The minute-long footage, by Pathe Gazette, opens with a prolonged shot of the Irish delegates coming from the boat train.

Arthur Griffith is identified as foreign minister, while Collins is described as "the elusive Mr Collins". Adam's says a short clip of Collins speaking with force from a platform may be the only existing "live" footage of the leader.

It is also expected to reach between 3,000 and 5,000 euro. "Collins is the most popular figure among collectors," said Mr O'Boyle, "so people passionate about their history will be interested in these items - there are dedicated Collins collectors."

A very rare copy of the 1916 Proclamation printed in Liberty Hall on Easter Sunday 1916 will also go under the hammer, valued at between 60,000 and 80,000 euro. Previews continue at Adam's salesrooms on Monday and Tuesday.

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