Ninth Definitive Series Phase II
On January 25, 2018 An Post released Phase II of the Ninth Definitive Series, ‘A History of Ireland in 100 Objects, a selection’.
The objects featured on Phase II don't just have stories they tell stories. What they said to their contemporaries may be different from what they say to us. Many of the objects can be seen at the National Museum of Ireland.
These objects include a wooden fish trap from the Mesolithic era, found preserved in a bog in Co. Meath. The St. Patrick’s Confessio (460–90) is the oldest surviving example of prose writing in Ireland. The objects were defined as ‘a single, man-made entity (does not include Buildings) and are generally freely accessible in public institutions or spaces.’
The Loughnashade Trumpet dates from the first century BC and is an outstanding piece of Celtic art. The small keshcarrigan Bowl of the early first century AD was found in a tributary of the river Shannon and features a superb handle, cast in the shape of a bird’s head with a long curving neck. Often regarded as the greatest work of Irish visual art, the Book of kells is one of Ireland's greatest cultural treasures and the world's most famous medieval manuscript. The 9th century book is a richly decorated copy of the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ.
The Petrie ‘crown’ dating to the second century AD consists of part of a bronze band with a pair of highly decorated discs and a single surviving conical horn attached to the back of one of these. This arrangement was then sewn on to a backing of leather or textile to form an elaborate horned head-dress. The Springmount Wax Tablets of c. 600 AD were found in a bog in County Antrim in 1913 and represent the earliest example of Irish handwriting.
Found in Bettystown, County Meath, the eighth-century ‘Tara’ Brooch is made of cast and gilt silver and is elaborately decorated on both faces. A silver chain made of plaited wire is attached to the brooch. The eighth-century Ardagh Chalice, originally found at Reerasta, Ardagh, County Limerick with other objects, is one of the finest liturgical vessels of the early Christian world. Its beauty lies in the contrast between the plain sheen of the polished silver and the finesse and complexity of the ornamentation. The Ardagh Chalice and the ‘Tara’ Brooch represent high points in early medieval Irish craftsmanship.
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