I was really pleased to be asked by the National Museum of Ireland, a number of years ago, to collaborate with them on a project to create Jewellery inspired by a selection of artifacts.
The Museum has been a special place for me since childhood. I particularly like the gold Bronze and Iron Age personal ornaments that belonged to our ancestors, now on display there. The quality of these works clearly reflects a wealthy sophisticated society. The fact, too, that significant pieces were found close to where my family is from in Co. Clare has added to their interest and intrigue for me.
Complimenting this richness, is the later powerful aesthetic seen in the silver personal ornament made by Viking silversmiths in Dublin-(850AD–1150AD) a reflection on their particular society and culture.
The design journey to clarify my responses to the chosen artifacts was instructive and enlightening.This jewellery is now on sale through the National Museum retail outlets and includes:
This collection is inspired by the Iron Age Gold Ribbon Torc found in Antrim (NMI, R. 2606, and Archaeology).
This sophisticated piece was created from gold formed by a system described today as anticlastic raising- whereby technique dictates form and function.
The skilled command of material and elegant proportion in the piece has bequeathed us a superb design and a fine example of the goldsmith’s skill.
The Ribbon Torc collection is available in 18ct yellow gold and Sterling Silver.
The early Bronze Age fine gold Sun discs, decorated with a variety of ridges, chevrons and dots inspired this sterling silver collection of pendants, brooch, ring and cuff links. (NMI, 1872:34, 35 Archaeology)
A fragment of one of the delicately decorated gold Lunalae from the early Bronze Age 1800–2000 BC is the source for this pendant, brooch and earrings. .
Bronze Dress Fastener
The La Tene period, 400-100BC, was a time of great richness of expression in Irish Art. My brooch is a reflection of the carved Bronze Dress Fastener of the period. (NMI, W.492 Archaeology)
Bronze Dress Fastener 600AD (NMI, W.492 Archaeology)
CopyrightNataional Museum of Ireland
A thriving jewellery trade and industry existed in Viking Dublin (850AD–1150AD). The robust style of the work exploits the softness and colour of silver to good effect.
My Thistle brooch is based on the iconic Penannular Thistle Brooch (NMI, 1874:103, Archaeology) and the Flower and Beaded pieces based on similarly decorated Viking penannular brooches.
The expandable bangle and ring relates to a Viking expandable bangle artefact of similar effect in the collection.
A DUBLINER’S COLLECTION OF ASIAN ART
THE ALBERT BENDER COLLECTION
The National Museum: Decorative Art and History, Dublin
Donation – Early 1930's,
Fan Painting, Birds, Edo Period (1600-1868). Paper Painting – Japan. (DB: 1932.43)
Fan Painting, Chrysanthemums, Edo Period Paper Painting – Japan. (DB: 1932.44)
BENDER COLLECTION HISTORY
This collection was donated in the early 1930s by Albert Bender, a wealthy Dublin born collector, resident in San Francisco.
The collection includes; a rare set of Thangkas of the Arhats, textiles from the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911 AD), Japanese Ukiyo-e and a Daoist priest’s robe from 17th/18th century China.
In 2007 I was commissioned by the Museum to create Jewellery reflective of the collection. My designs were inspired by the imagery and decorative qualities of these paper Fans. The Chrysanthemum is highly regarded in Japan, and symbolises the month of September.