Unseen Oscar Wilde Photograph Goes to Auction

Oscar Wilde (far right) at Ashford Castle 4th - 12th October 1878. Photo: James Adam & Sons Ltd. Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Oscar Wilde (right) at Ashford Castle 4th - 12th October 1878. Photo: James Adam and Sons Ltd. Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers

Oscar Wilde (right) at Ashford Castle 4th – 12th October 1878.
Photo: James Adam and Sons Ltd. Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers

A photo album which includes a rare early photograph of Oscar Wilde is going to auction later this month, the Guardian reports.

The picture was found in a red morocco photo album dating back to the 1870s. It belonged to Lady Ardilaun who was a member of the wealthy Irish Guinness family. The album includes several portraits and group photos in front of houses and countryside scenery. The album is estimated to sell for 5,000-8,000 ($6,000-10,000) at Adam’s Auctioneers at Slane Castle in County Meath, Ireland.

The highlight of the album is a previously unseen group photograph depicting a young Oscar Wilde dressed in tweed hunting attire on the steps of Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland dated to 1878. The 23 year-old Wilde was part of a hunting party. The photograph was taken shortly after he had completed his education at Oxford University. Wilde’s biographer Frank Harris wrote that he earned a first class degree at Oxford and his poem Ravenna was awarded the prestigious Newdigate Prize for English, an early indication of the young writer’s literary talent.

According to Adam’s Auctioneer Kieren O’Boyle, the photographs consigned by Ashford Castle and Lady Ardilaun have never been published. The auction takes place on October 12.


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