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Classifying Taste

  • Maggie M. Williams
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

As the story goes, in the summer of 1850, an elaborately decorated brooch was found along a beach somewhere outside of Dublin.1 It was a small, circular object, measuring less than nine centimeters in diameter. Its round frame was pierced through the center with a triangle-headed pin. Made of gilt silver, the brooch’s surfaces were covered with dazzling panels of golden granulation and filigree. Colorful enamel bosses and glistening gemstones marked the joints between fields of intricate spirals and animal interlace. It was truly a magnificent discovery. An aura of mystery surrounded the brooch’s appearance, and it was quickly dated to the early Middle Ages (see figure 2.1). The fabulous piece remained in a private collection for nearly twenty years, where it became the model for replicas that were marketed and sold to elite members of Irish and British society.2

Keywords

Rock Crystal Royal Irish Academy Decorative Motif Personal Adornment Irish Industry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    The item was the so-called Tara Brooch. Bibliography on the brooch includes: Ian Finlay, Celtic Art; an Introduction (London: Faber, 1973), pp. 121–25Google Scholar
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© Maggie M. Williams 2012

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  • Maggie M. Williams

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