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Elmers sent to gaol! Auctioneer’s hammer set to fall on Hospice’s elephant sculpture!

22 September 2022

Have you ‘herd’ the news? There will be an amazing chance for you to purchase your very own Elmer elephant sculpture at the Elmer Auction in early October!

These one-of-a-kind sculptures have been on display throughout the summer on the streets of the city as well as a special farewell event at Antrim Castle Gardens. Tens of thousands of people have taken part in Elmer’s Big Belfast Trail over the ten weeks of the summer and there has already been much interest in the sale of the elephants.

The 35 uniquely decorated elephant sculptures are set to fall under the hammer at Wilsons Auctions, in aid of Northern Ireland Hospice. Many of the large elephant sculptures pay tribute to the history, spirit, and cultural life of Belfast city, from the linen industry to C.S. Lewis, Titanic, and even a Game of Thrones design.

The iconic auction is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and takes place at Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast on Wednesday 5th October from 6pm. The pre-registered guests will enjoy sparkling wine and canapes before the bidding commences at 7pm sharp. With limited capacity, the event will be for ticket holders only and tickets cost £15 per person.

For those who can’t attend on the night, live online bidding will be available, via Wilsons Auctions, the official auction partner for the event. Set up as a virtual auction experience, bids can be placed from anywhere in the world.

On the night, the charity also plans to have a few extra surprises including a specially created unique miniature ‘Elmer’ designed and hand-painted by top local artist Terry Bradley.

Heather Weir, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Hospice, said: “Following the enormously popular success of Elmer’s Big Belfast Trail, now we want each of our beautiful Elmer sculptures to go to a good home. Even more importantly, we also want our beloved Elmers' to raise the maximum amount of funding for Northern Ireland Hospice.

“We are so delighted and grateful for the support of Wilsons Auctions and the Crumlin Road Gaol; this evening would not have been possible without their generosity. So, get your bidding paddles at the ready – you won’t want to miss this chance to get your own Elmer!’’

“It is more important than ever that Hospice receives the funding it needs, so we are asking that only serious bidders secure tickets for the live auction. The money raised from the auction will continue making a difference when it matters the most for children and adult patients and their families.”

Tori Dixon, Marketing Manager of Wilsons Auctions, commented: “We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with this popular NI charity. The elephants are quite the centrepiece! It’s been a brilliant campaign for everyone involved and I hope we can finish it on a high with the auction.”

Eoin McCaughey, Event Manager at Crumlin Road Gaol, added: “Crumlin Road Gaol is delighted to host this unique auction and help raise vital funds for Northern Ireland Hospice. The Elmer sculptures have created a great buzz in our city and it’s fantastic to bring them to an iconic Belfast landmark. Northern Ireland Hospice provides specialist care to over 4,000 of our local residents each year and Crumlin Road Gaol is extremely proud to support a charity that is so close to everyone’s heart.”

Previous auctions for Elmer and Wild in Art trails in other countries have seen individual sculptures reach between £3,000 and £25,000 at auction.

If you want to give an Elmer a permanent home, please visit: https://www.elmerbelfast.co.uk/event/elmer-auction/ to register your interest. The auction catalogue is available to view at www.wilsonsauctions.com.

Northern Ireland Hospice organised the feelgood Big Belfast Trail in partnership with Wild in Art and Andersen Press, as part of its celebrations to mark 21 Years of Care at Children’s Hospice, Horizon House.