All Rights Reserved. It consisted of four brooches and a stemmed cup inside a highly elaborate chalice. Monasteries were a natural target for the Vikings, and having little means of protection, monks would regularly bury their most valuable items when a raid was imminent. The collection was taken over to the British Museum for restoration. The piece they first unearthed was a bronze basin, taking it out to discover the chalice, strainer and paten underneath. The stem section where the bowl meets the base is also covered in gold ornamental panels, and the handles too contain recesses which filigree panels have been set into and held in place with stitching. Unhappy with this given the obviously value of the hoard, they began legal proceedings lasting almost 7 years and brought a case all the way to the Supreme Court, in which they unsuccessfully sought £5 million in compensation for the discovery. Nicholas James & Mark Isham & Cv Publications. Then, I realised it was something very special. Therefore, hoards such as the one discovered in Derrynaflan were not uncommon. It was found in 1868, under a stone slab in a ringfort in Reerasta, near Ardagh, Co. © 2020 Claddagh Design. The Derrynaflan chalice is one of the most amazing historic items to view and the story (Below) of how it was discovered just as fascinating. Consisting of over 250 separate pieces, the Derrynaflan Paten measures 37 cm (14.6 in) across and is made of beaten silver trimmed with silver wire mesh. The silver chalice is comparable to the Ardagh… Derrynaflan is best known for its medieval metal work, including a two-handled chalice known as the Derrynaflan chalice, on display in the National Museum of Ireland. The Christian symbol of the cross can be seen on each of these studs. In 1987 CE, the National Monuments Amendment Act was passed, making it illegal for anyone to search for archaeological objects using detecting devices unless they held a license. The monastery might have been surrounded by marshy bogs but there were several tracks leading to and from the location and out into surrounding areas. What is rare about it however, is that it is one of the best and most beautiful examples of ecclesiastical art of the time. Historians estimate that the hoard was probably placed in the ground at some point during the 10th to 12th centuries, at a turbulent time in Ireland’s history when the country was being raided by Vikings and under stress from various dynastic battles. The discovery of the Derrynaflan Hoard went on to increase the popularity of metal detecting in Ireland, with enthusiasts inspecting random locations as well as recognised archaeological sites. Attached to the bowl are two handles either side, and both bowl and base have several panels of gold filigree as well as 54 amber studs. Since 1930 the ruins of the site had been protected under a preservation order by the National Monuments Act, making it illegal to interfere with or damage the site in any way. It and the Derrynaflan Chalice and the Tara Brooch are considered by the National Museum of Ireland as representing the high point of early medieval Irish craftsmanship. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. The chalice along with a paten, a liturgical strainer and basin were part of a hoard of treasure found by metal detectorist on land close to the monastery of… It is not known whether this is the definite reason that the Derrynaflan hoard was buried, but is the most likely. Web. It has become an annual site of pilgrimage and a dawn Mass is celebrated here on Easter Sunday every year. License. Although it is often overshadowed by its more well known sister, the Ardagh Chalice, it is nonetheless a stunning piece of metalwork with an equally intriguing history. The entire hoard is now on permanent display at the National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology in Dublin. It is much more secure than the Ardagh Chalice and constructed from better quality materials, showing the progress that had been made in the skills and techniques of the craftsmen. As the centuries went on, people’s skills became more and more refined, Christianity was introduced to the country, and as a result some exquisite religious objects such as chalices, book shrines, crosiers and the like came into existence. The chalice was discovered on a monastic site at Killeens bog in Derrynaflan, Co. Tipperary. Today, the site is free to visit and the ruins of a church and a single wall from another historic building can be seen. (The cup, with its wide foot, shallow basin, and elaborate decoration closely resembled the famous Ardagh Chalice discovered about fifty miles west of Derrynaflan in 1868). The Derrynaflan Chalice stands at 19.2 cm (7.6 in) high, with a diameter of 21 cm (8.3 in) and consists of a beaten silver bowl and base joined by a copper-alloy pin. An excavation discovered several missing parts of each object, and the Webbs were named as national heroes and given a £10,000 reward. Under the National Monuments Act of 1930 CE, a preservation order made it illegal for anyone to damage or interfere with the ruins of the site. Discovered on the island of Derrynaflan, in the townland of Lurgoe, Co. Tipperary in 1980 CE, the pieces are now on display at the National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology in Dublin. Detail of Derrynaflan Chaliceby Annie Gormlie (Copyright). The level of technical ability and artwork displayed on this paten is of the same quality as the Ardagh Chalice. Found buried in a potato field in Co. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. The act of hammering and spinning the silver bowl goes back to the creation of hanging bowls in Ireland, which dates back to the 6th century CE. Although the overall design and decoration is remarkably similar to the Ardagh Chalice (with the exception of the latter’s medallions on the front and back of the bowl), the differences in skill, materials and techniques makes it clear that they were not manufactured in the same place or by the same people. On the side, there are another 12 panels, holding inlaid red, blue, and yellow enamelled studs. This chalice is similar in style to the Ardagh Chalice, one of the most prized artefacts in Irish history. Derrynaflan is an island of pastureland surrounded by waterlogged bogs near the small town of Killenaule in county Tipperary. The chalice is a large, two-handled silver cup, decorated with gold, gilt bronze, brass, lead pewter and enamel, which has been assembled from 354 separate pieces; this complex construction is typical of early Christian Irish metalwork. Its name comes from the Irish Doire na bhFlann or ‘the wood of the two Flanns’, the two Flanns being co patrons of the area who later became saints. She's worked as a researcher at the 'National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology' and has three years experience writing as a content executive. The third piece is a more everyday item. Within the filigree panels, interlacing panes and depictions of beasts and beast heads are most common, including wingless griffons and dogs. Snook, Jenny. This Derrynaflan Chalice replica features embossed pewter construction along with a finished wooden base. The monastery at Derrynaflan monastic site was founded in the 6th century by Ruadhan of Lorrha. Monks were highly learned people and highly trained in various arts, and it was they who crafted these beautiful ornaments. This chalice is part of a hoard of altar vessels found in 1980 on a monastic site at Derrynaflan, Co. Tipperary. The hoard consists of a silver paten used to hold communion during church celebrations, a bronze strainer, and a silver chalice decorated with gold filigree. The panels are interspersed with 24 gold, polychrome glass and niello studs. The style of the Ardagh Chalice was most likely based on the design of common Byzantine and western chalices, showing that the inspiration behind medieval design often came from other countries. Communion would have been placed on this flat dish during Mass celebrations, and it is the only surviving early medieval large paten in Europe. Derrynaflan is a small island of dry land situated in a surrounding area of peat bogs, in the townland of Lurgoe, Co. Tipperary, northest of Cashel. This demonstrates the ties that Derrynaflan had with surrounding monasteries. The bowl and base would have been decorated separately before being attached and then finished. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. The Derrynaflan paten was assembled from over 300 separate components and is the only large scale paten to survive from early medieval Europe. The chalice is about six inches tall and can be viewed in the National Museum of Ireland. The handles and stem are the most elaborately decorated parts, featuring circular and diamond-shaped filigree panels, rather than the straight bands around the base and bowl. In 1994 CE, another National Monuments Amendment Act declared state ownership of archaeological objects and made it an offence to trade these objects or fail to report an archaeological discovery. The monastery is known to have been revived by the Franciscans, holding a small community there between 1676 and 1717 CE. The Derrynaflan Irish Chalice is a special-order item; please allow 4 weeks for delivery. 211-29, for an account of his career. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Deputy Jackie Cahill says the area could become a major attraction. 2020 has been a challenging year. As a result, a complete overhaul of treasure trove laws was implemented in Ireland, giving automatic ownership of all archaeological objects to the state and forbidding their concealment or trading. Limerick, with a second, plainer bronze chalice and four gilt silver brooches. Since the objects in the Derrynaflan hoard are highly decorated, they are likely to have been kept for occasional use only, i.e for the most important ceremonies of the year or for the most important abbots to use. I was struck by its beauty when I first saw it online but continued looking at other sites to see if I might find something I liked better, but nothing compared(...), I bought the Silver Celtic Knot Bangle as a birthday present for my little Sister living in Germany. 1973), pp. This wire is finely knitted together, with images of the same quality as those on the Ardagh Chalice. This suggests that it had not been made long before it was hidden underground. In 1989 CE, the Derrynaflan Chalice was included in an exhibition at the British Museum in London, named “The Work of Angels: Masterpieces of Celtic Metalwork, 6th-9th Centuries AD”. Overall, the workmanship on the paten suggests Viking as well as Celtic influence, which correlates with the suggestion that the plate was made at around the time of the first Viking raids. A band of gold filigree work lines the outside of the chalice bowl and the upper flat section of the base plate, each one interspersed with amber studs at equal distances. An excavation undertaken by staff of the National Museum recovered some missing components of the decorated objects, such as gold filigree panels, die-stamped mounts and rivets. This chalice dates from the early 9th century AD and was found in 1980 on a monastic site at Derrynaflan, Co. Tipperary This chalice is part of a … (RTE). In 1987 CE, the Supreme Court finally ruled that this hoard was the property of the state, and it was put on display at the National Museum. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. It is dated back to the 8th century CE. Ancient History Encyclopedia. These panels are pressed onto gold and silver foil, bordered by copper and silver wire. The handles consist of one large central circular panel with three smaller circles forming a triangle, with filigree panels in between. The Derrynaflan chalice is made up of multiple parts, the two main ones being the bowl and the base, which are attached by a hollow cast copper alloy pin that locks in place with a catch plate on the underside of the base. Ardagh Chalice The Ardagh Chalice was eclipsed for size and decoration by the Derrynaflan find, but it remains a supreme surviving achievement of Early Irish art. Dating from the 9th century CE, it resembles the Ardagh Chalice in shape and design. It could have been an old basin disintegrated but we decided to open it up and have a look to see if there was anything worthwhile… The goldwork, even then stood out remarkably well. The handles and stem are the most ornately decorated elements of the chalice, with circular and diamond panels in contrast with the simple band decoration and square shaped studs along the base and bowl. Christmas Shipping: Free Delivery Ireland and UK | For all other countries, we recommend choosing UPS Express at checkout, Handcrafted Irish Jewelry, Inspired by the Past, Sign up for our newsletter & receive 10% off your first order, Inspiration: Custom Irish Jewelry Designs. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. diameter, the ministerial chalice is a two-handed silver cup, embellished with gold, bronze, pewter, enamel, and brass fittings. Eventually he approached a noted archaeologist, who immediately alerted the National Museum. Knowing the rules of the act passed in 1930 CE, they decided to keep their discovery secret for a few weeks before contacting the National Museum. 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