A fascinating item from Millstreet’s history has appeared on eBay this week, courtesy of a high quality antique dealer in England – Pushkin Antiques. It’s a ceremonial trowel presented to Miss Madeline McCarthy O’Leary by Cannon Griffin, on the occasion of laying the foundation stone at the Male School in 1893.
The school in question was located across from the Catholic Presbtry on the Clara Road.
The trowel is 925 standard silver purity. Due to it’s historic value and being made from silver, it’s retailing at £1,955 so it is way outside of the budget of Millstreet Museum.
Page 16 of “Notes of the History of Millstreet” talks about schools in Millstreet, but makes no mention of a new school at the end of the 19th century.
The Item can be seen on eBay if you follow this link:
It has this description: Antique 19th Century extremely rare and collectable Irish Provincial Solid Silver foundation stone Trowel, which can be used as cake slice. The piece is of great historical relevance because of the memorial inscription: “Presented by Canon Griffin to Miss Madeline McCarthy O’Leary on the occasion of her laying the foundation stone of the male school in Millstreet 1893”. The McCarthy O’Leary is an important Cork family, please follow this link. The piece is one off, and because was made on commission for a special oaccasion is not Hallmarked but is 925 standard silver purity. It dates to year 1893, is stamped with the Maker’s mark “O’Crowdey Cork Silver” and the unofficial mark of the company, which is the Cork’s city coat of arms. one of the most important Cork manifacturer and silversmith, who produced the “Lane Testimonial”, espergne of 200 ounces of Silver, please follow this link for more information.
Condition: In Excelent Condition – No damage.
Size: Height: 30cm, Width: 7 x 5cm, Weight: 150g
Madeline Felecia MacCarthy O’Leary was 23 at the time of this presentation. Here is her family line: