The Tara Brooch is a treasure of Irish Celtic culture. Considered to be the most beautiful Irish brooch ever found on the island, it is admired every day in its display case in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.
The Tara Brooch is said to have been made in the 7th century A.D. and discovered in 1850 by a peasant woman on the beach of Bettystown in Meath County. This is why, contrary to what one might think, this brooch has no link with Tara, the ancient kingdom of the kings of Ireland.
This peasant girl would then have sold the brooch to a merchant, who would have later sold it to a Dublin jeweller who presents it in his shop window under the name “Tara’s Brooch” to make it more attractive. At that time, the fashion was the Celtic Revival and the jewels were all of Celtic inspiration: so much so that the discovery was a sensation!
Experts agree on the great value of the brooch, and the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin bought it in 1870 to exhibit it among its collection. It is still there today, and attracts thousands of visitors who come to admire it every day!
Technically speaking, Tara’s brooch is an exceptional testimony to the goldsmithing practices of the Celtic period. It is made of many precious materials such as vermeil, gold, amber, silver, copper and glass. Magnificent semi-precious stones have also been added as inlays.
The spindle is made of Celtic interlacing, geometric shapes and particularly fine convolutions. The considerable work carried out on the object makes it the most remarkable brooch in all of Ireland!
You will be able to admire it at the National Museum of Ireland. Admission being free, you will find it in the wing dedicated to the Celtic collection of the museum. It is exhibited separately, in a showcase all by itself.