Many ancient brooches have been found in Ireland, but the Tara Brooch is the most impressive and best preserved. Found in 1850, this Celtic designed Tara Brooch dates back to A.D. 700, the Iron Age. If you are ever in Dublin take a visit to the National Museum of Ireland where this brooch is on view.
The ornate Tara Brooch is a decorative pseudo penannular brooch, it has a 7” long pin attached to a ring. Made of cast and gilt silver, the front of the brooch has fine gold filigree panels depicting animal and Celtic knot-work separated by studs of amber, glass and enamel. The decoration on the back of the brooch is cast. The Tara Brooch also has a silver chain of plaited wire attached by a swivel connection. This connection has two tiny glass human heads framed by animal heads.
This amazing brooch shows the high quality of the skills of the craftsman who made it. Brooches of this sort would have been custom made for each customer and the Tara Brooch would have been made specially for a wealthy person for decoration to show their status.
However, although the Tara Brooch is named after the Hill of Tara, which was the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, the brooch actually has no connection to the High Kings or the Hill of Tara, nor has it any pagan or Christian connection! A peasant woman found the Tara Brooch in a tin buried in the sand on a beach at Bettystown, in County Meath, on the east coast of Ireland 30 miles north of Dublin. Although it is possible that the brooch was found elsewhere but the women claimed to have found it on the beach as to avoid a possible claim by whoever may have owned the land it was found on. This brooch eventually made its way into the hands of Dublin jeweller George Waterhouse, who name it the 'Tara Brooch' in order to help with the marketing of his own Celtic style jewellery shop. Waterhouse also brought the Tara Brooch to various exhibitions such as the 1851 Great Exhibition in London and the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris.
The Tara Brooch is recognised world-wide as a symbol of Ireland and has been replicated many times as jewellers produce their own version of this famous brooch.
Tara Brooch at Totally Irish Gifts, as designed and handcrafted by Kevin Cunningham, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, made from alpaca silver with a black onyx semi precious stone, a lightweight brooch to wear on all cloths.
15% discount on the Tara Brooch for Wild Geese members - at checkout use code wgtara15
Customer Testimonial : "I received this Tara brooch as a gift, beautifully gift wrapped with a bow. Very light, I wear it on my wool and silk scarves, it gets a lot of compliments, being in the States it gets recognized as an Irish Celtic brooch."