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Seamus Heaney mementos up for auction in Dublin

By David Young

A signed first edition of Seamus Heaney's first book of poetry is up for auction in Dublin next week - and is expected to sell for a price of up to €1,500 (£1,082).

Death of a Naturalist - published in 1966 - will be up for sale as part of a collection of Heaney books and other items set to go under the hammer at the prestigious Dublin auction house Adams.

There are more than 150 Heaney-related items in the auction, spanning books, letters and Christmas cards written - and in many cases signed - by the Co Londonderry-born Nobel Laureate, who died in 2013.

Heaney's first collection of poems - a pamphlet of 11 published for the 1965 Queen's University Festival - is in the catalogue with a guide price of between €600 and €800.

The extensive collection, which will be auctioned in Dublin on Monday, comes from the library of collector Tim Vignoles, and features not only works by Seamus Heaney, but also a wealth of rare items from WB Yeats, Jack B Yeats, Samuel Beckett, Sebastian Barry, John Montague, and many more of Ireland's finest writers and artists.

Not everything is expected to reach the high price of a signed first edition.

A 2008 Christmas card, privately printed and signed by Heaney, featuring a four-line poem beginning "Derry I Cherish Ever" appears in the catalogue with a figure of €150 to €250 - and there are many more items in that price range.

At those prices, there may be a few lucky book lovers in line for a very special literary Christmas present.

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