Eye-popping: Irish poet WB Yeats' glasses sell for staggering amount at auction
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Eye-popping: Irish poet WB Yeats' glasses sell for staggering amount at auction

A PAIR of glasses belonging to legendary Irish poet WB Yeats have sold for a staggering €10,000 at auction.

The winning bid was 20 times the guide price for the pair of spectacles once owned by the Nobel Prize winner.

The glasses were estimated at €500–€600 at the auction, held at Fonsie Mealy’s Chatsworth Salerooms in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny on Tuesday.

The late 19th century gilt-framed glasses bore a few minor scratches, but that wasn’t enough to deter the eye of the winning bidder.

The pince-nez style spectacles are supported without earpieces by pinching the bridge of the nose. The name comes from the French ‘pincer’ meaning ‘to pinch’ and ‘nez’ meaning ‘nose’.

They were popular with the poet, who was depicted wearing a pair on a 2015 coin issued by the Central Bank to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his birth.

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The auction – The Yeats Family Collection: The Final Chapter – included an array of remarkable personal artefacts from the Yeats family, the last such tranche of items to ever go to auction.

A harp belong to the family, estimated at €1,500–€2,000, struck the right note with bidders, selling for €11,000.

Meanwhile a self-portrait of patriarch John Butler Yeats, estimated at €700–€1,000, sold for a tidy €6,500.