A TABLE constructed using timber from the wreck of a Spanish Armada ship that washed ashore on the west coast of Ireland in 1588 has sold at auction for over €430,000.
The historic furniture, which carried an estimate of €100,000-€200,000, sold to a telephone bidder at an Adams Auction sale in Drogheda, Co. Louth on Tuesday afternoon.
Starting with a €70,000 bid online, offers went up by €5,000 and €10,000 at a time and sold at a basic rate of €360,000.
Once the 20% buyer's commission and VAT are included, the final cost for the successful bidder amounts to more than €430,000.
Piece of history
The 'Armada Table', as it is known, was once described as "one of the most important and earliest pieces of Irish furniture" by the late Knight of Glin and authoritative Irish historian, Desmond Fitzgerald.
After around 27 Spanish Armada vessels sank off the west of Ireland in 1588, timber ship parts and decorative carvings were recovered and repurposed by locals.
The three-metre table was made from the remains of one of two galleons that washed ashore off Doonbeg, Co. Clare for the High Sheriff of Clare, Boethius Clancy, at Dromoland Castle - where it has remained for over 300 years.
Its most recent owner, Lord Inchiquin of Dromoland Castle, said he was selling the table for financial reasons.
The sale has attracted controversy as it was a key attraction at Bunratty and there were calls on Ireland’s Minister for the Arts to step in and save the piece for the country.
However, Adam's has now confirmed that the table will stay in Ireland.
The table is made from a variety of timbers, including oak and tropical hardwoods such as South American manilkara or bullet wood.
It features a rectangular top that sits above a frieze decorated with a dozen original carved heads - decorations which would have been visible on stern of the galleon after the Armada's defeat by Elizabeth I’s forces 430 years ago.