RJK Antiques was first established in Kilmacthomas, County Waterford in 1949 by the late Patrick Keighery. In 1968 Patrick bought a large stone-front building on William Street in Waterford city and set up a retail furniture and antiques business there. For a while, he ran the shops in both locations but eventually closed the Kilmacthomas outlet to concentrate on the booming city-centre business. Patrick Keighery was a big believer in practical “on the go” experience and Rody served his apprenticeship under Patrick’s supervision. He accompanied him on many trips to London and also did various antique- and valuation-related courses. He took over the business in the city and started selling by auction in the 1980s.
While the antiques shop has been operating successfully for more than 60 years, it is the auctioneering side to the business that has helped the family prosper. As the business progressed, the Keighery reputation spread. What began as a sideline in the 1980s became a fully fledged operation in 1992, when the Keigherys bought a 5,000 sq ft premises adjoining the antiques store, where auctions are regularly held.
This building is one of the largest purpose-built auction rooms in the country, and is possibly the only auction house in Ireland that can also reach by boat as it’s located on the river bank! In addition to the bi-annual contemporary art sale, Keigherys usually hold between ten and twelve auctions a year, most of which focus on antique and general items, but also hold a number of specialised auctions featuring pub and restaurant memorabilia and jewellery. The Keigherys specialise in house clearances and sell anything from 9- bar gates to vintage motor cars. The auctions have quite a big following locally, as do the country house auctions, complete with a marquee and rostrum on location. Bids are received from worldwide locations, including New Zealand, Australia, the US, China and Vietnam, and, of course, locally. Items like Waterford Crystal are always in strong demand among overseas bidders.
In 2001, Rody and his wife Anne were doing a house clearance and discovered some exceptional jewellery. They took it to London to have it assessed and valued. It later sold at auction in Waterford for over €100,000 – even more than the experts in London had thought it was worth. The lady who had owned the house was deceased and had no family. She left her estate to an animal welfare charity which got a pleasant surprise. It is thought that she had lived in England for many years and had been a seamstress, and her husband a chauffeur, for the queen. So, you never known what will turn up – or where!
RJ Keighery Antiques is open to the public 6 days a week.
Our opening hours: Monday – Friday: 9am – 1pm / 2pm – 5pm Saturday: 10..30am – 1pm / 2pm – 4.30pm