Book with links to President Obama’s relatives to go to auction in Dublin

President Barack Obama

A book written in Latin that once belonged to Barack Obama’s Irish ancestor is to go on sale in Dublin for a thousand dollars.

The Irish Times reports that the 17th century publication will be auctioned next month after it expectedly came to light.

The paper reports that the rare copy of a 17th-century treatise on art history – written in Latin – was owned by Michael Kearney, President Obama’s six times great-granduncle.

Kearney’s bookplate is pasted into the leather-bound volume of De Pictura Veterum, written by German-born scholar Franciscus Junius.

The report says that Harvard law graduate Obama might struggle with the text however as its formidable full title is: De Pictura Veterum libri tres, Tot in locis emendati, Tam multis accessionibus aucti, ut plane novi possint videri: accedit Catalogus, Adhhuc ineditus, Architectorum, Mechanicorum, sed praecipue Pictorum, Statuarium, caelatorum, Tornatorum, aliorumque Artificium, Operum quae fecerunt, secundum seriem litterarum digestus.

An English translation under the title, The Painting of the Ancients, was eventually published but collectors of antiquarian books, as opposed to readers, still seek out the Latin original.

The report adds: “The discovery of Kearney’s book is the latest ‘evidence’ to emerge of Mr Obama’s tenuous genealogical links to Ireland.”

President Obama famously visited the Offaly village of Moneygall last year from where his maternal great-great-great grandfather Falmouth Kearney, a shoemaker’s son, emigrated to New York in 1850.