James Joyce Ulysses watch could be set for $11,000 Adam's Ireland auction

A rare piece of memorabilia from one of James Joyce's most revered works is coming to auction in Ireland in December.

A gold pocket watch worn by a real-life character in the 1922 novel Ulysses is expected to achieve around €8,000 (£6,800) when it comes to auction at Adam's auctioneers in Dublin on December 5, according to the Irish Times newspaper.

The watch has been put up for auction by a relative of John O'Connell, the caretaker of Glasnevin Cemetery, who is mentioned in the work.

A Ulysses first edition
A cemetery caretaker's watch is unlikely to match the price of Ulysses first editions

The watch itself is given its own description in the book: "The caretaker hung his thumbs in the loops of his gold watch chain and spoke in a discreet tone to their vacant smiles."

Managing director of Adam's, James O'Halloran, told the newspaper: "It is a rare treat to handle an object we can trace back to an actual character in one of literature's truly great and seminal works.

The watch provided "a feeling of tangible connection with that historic day in the life of Leopold Bloom [the novel's protagonist]".

Ulysses, which is a notoriously difficult book for the casual reader to make headway with, has long been a popular hunting ground for literature collectors.

In 2009, an unsigned Ulysses 1922 first edition sold for £275,000, while one of only two Joyce-signed first editions made $460,000 (£285,000) at Christie's in 2002.

Increasing numbers of high-net worth individuals are considering investment-grade watches as part of their portfolios.

We have a Longines stainless steel quartz Olympic series watch currently in stock.


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