Paintings of Maynooth Castle to be sold at London auction with price tag of €140k

Rare paintings with links to Kildare

Niamh O'Donoghue


Niamh O'Donoghue


Paintings of Maynooth Castle to be sold at London auction with price tag of €140k

A painting of views of Maynooth Castle

Two paintings of Maynooth Castle by 18th century Irish artist William Ashford are to go under the hammer at a London auction on July 4 with an estimated price tag of €140,000.

The pair are been offered for sale in Bonhams’ Old Master Paintings sale in New Bond Street. The paintings of views of the Duke of Leinster’s former seat are part of a collection of important works being sold by the current Duke of Leinster. 

Another painting up for sale is a scene featuring James, 20th Earl of Kildare and his Wife by Arthur Devis. The work, conceived in 1753, shows the future 1st Duke of Leinster and his wife seated in the grounds of Carton – a garden said to have become the model on which all Irish gardens were later styled. His wife, Emily, holds in her hand designs for a new bridge. The work is valued at €92,000 to €140,000. 

A portrait of James, 20th Earl of Kildare and his wife by Arthur Devis in the grounds of Carton 

Two portraits of the Duchesses of Leinster respectively by Sir Joshua Reynolds (estimate €69,000 to €92,000) and Hugh Douglas Hamilton (estimate €46,000 to €69,000) are also due to go under the hammer.

Painted in the Anglo-Irish Romantic tradition, they were commissioned by William FitzGerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster.

“Ashford, in a remarkably short space of time, had advanced from being a slightly pedestrian flower painter in the manner of Monnoyer, to becoming one of the most accomplished and sought-after view painters in Ireland, culminating in his election as the first President of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1823, the year before his death,” said the auctioneers.

“Depicting the ruins of the former FitzGerald family seat, the ‘Views of Maynooth Castle’ are signed 'W. Ashford' and dated 1779 and 1780. In the Carton inventory of 1885 they were listed as hanging in the passage by the principle staircase of the residence. The important paintings are fresh to market with an estimate of €92,000 - 140,000, and will be on view at New Bond Street, London from 30 June to the morning of the sale day on 4 July.”

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