Studies in Medieval Irish Metalwork


24 x 17 cm
436 pp. 269 illus.
Publication: Nov 2001
ISBN 1 899828 29 X
ISBN-13 978 1 899828 29 6


Book Description

Early-medieval Irish fine metalwork is generally agreed to be one of the high points of achievement in European decorative arts. In the corpus of finds from the 7th to the 10th centuries are many masterpieces of the goldsmith’s art some are personal ornaments, many are objects made for the service of the Church. The corpus of metalwork has been greatly expanded in recent years by new finds and by re-examination of older discoveries and major international exhibitions have won a new understanding of the significance of this material. A series of papers by Michael Ryan recording many new finds and analysing their significance are republished in this volume.

Dr. Ryan, formerly Keeper of Irish Antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland, is Director of the Chester Beatty Library and Honorary Professor in the Department of Art History, Trinity College, Dublin.


  • Introduction
  • Silver in pre-Viking Ireland: some Archaeological Comments
  • The Roscrea Brooch
  • An Early Christian Hoard from Derrynaflan, Co. Tipperary
  • ‘The Chalice’, ‘The Significance of the Hoard’ and (with R. O Floinn) ‘The Paten and Stand’
  • Early Irish Chalices
  • The Derrynaflan and other Irish Eucharistic Chalices: some Speculations
  • A Suggested Origin for the Figure Representations on the Derrynaflan Paten
  • The Horn Reliquary of Tongres-Tongeren: A 12th century Irish Object
  • A Hoard of Early Medieval Door-furniture from Donore, Moynalty, Co. Meath
  • Some Aspects of Sequence and Style in Metalwork of the 8th and 9th centuries
  • Fine Metalworking and Early Irish Monasteries
  • Church Metalwork in the 8th and 9th centuries A.D
  • The Formal Relationships of Insular Early Medieval Eucharistic Chalices
  • Links between Anglo-Saxon and Irish Early Medieval Art: some Evidence of Metalwork
  • The Sutton Hoo Ship-burial and Ireland: some Celtic Perspectives
  • Decorated Metalwork in the Museo dell’Abbazia, Bobbio, Italy
  • The Menagerie of the Derrynaflan Chalice
  • Ten Years of Early Irish Metalwork
  • The Book of Kells and Metalwork
  • The Menagerie of the Derrynaflan Paten
  • The Decoration of the Donore Discs
  • Early Christian Metalwork: New Evidence from Ireland
  • The Derrynaflan Hoard and Early Irish Art
  • The Irish Shrine of Abbadia San Salvatore, Monte Amiata, Italy
  • Additional Notes
  • Index

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