Gerry Adams Spitting Image puppet Photo by: Google Images

Gerry Adams puppet creates bigger buzz than Titanic telegram at Irish auction


Gerry Adams Spitting Image puppet Photo by: Google Images

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has outdone the Titanic at a high profile auction – at least his Spitting Image has.

The puppet created by the British TV series Spitting Image in the 80s to lampoon the Republican politician has been bought by a famous Dublin pub.

But two items of Titanic memorabilia disappointed with their sale prices at separate auctions over the weekend, with one auctioneer claiming ‘Titanic fatigue’ has set in.

Auctioneer Ian Whyte has told the Irish Independent that the Adams puppet attracted huge interest from Northern Ireland, Britain and even America.
Eventually the owners of the famous Johnny Fox pub in the Dublin mountains paid over $2,000 for the latex puppet which starred in the satirical UK TV series from 1984 to 1996.

“We had bids from Northern Ireland, Britain and America. They made the Gerry Adams puppet do some very peculiar things on ‘Spitting Image’ so I’m glad it’s all over for him,” joked auctioneer Whyte.

“It did reach a third higher than its guide price which reflects the interest in the doll.”

An Ian Paisley doll from the same series previously sold to a mystery bidder at Bonhams auction house in London for $1800 in December 2010.

The McMahon family who own the Johnnie Fox’s pub also bought a  Nelson Mandela Spitting Image puppet for $2,500 and a snake-like former northern secretary Peter Mandelson for $900.

“We get a lot of international tourists visiting Johnnie Fox’s, and we think they will enjoy seeing all three puppets,” said owner Wayne McMahon.

Titanic fatigue was blamed for the withdrawal at $25,000 of Lot 172, a historic telegram sent to the ‘Belfast Telegraph’ by the Press Association on April 15, 1912, just three hours after the ship had sunk, which resulted in them being one of the first newspapers to report the tragedy.

However a US buyer is said to be negotiating a private sale for the telegram, which had a guide price of between $26,000 and $39,000, according to the Independent.

The paper also reports that a ticket stub for the launch of the Titanic 100 years ago in Belfast was sold at a separate auction in Dublin for $1,300, just a quarter of its guide price.


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