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Tara Brooch

Dating back to around 700AD, the Tara Brooch is an elaborate and impressive Celtic Brooch that was first discovered in 1850 in Bettystown, County Meath, and which today can be found displayed in the national museum of Ireland in Dublin.

A classic example of Bronze Age craftsmanship, the Tara Brooch is composed mostly of silver and gilt and embellished with delicate interlacing patterns. In fact such is the detailing in the design that it was made into many different pieces before they were connected into place, and it has been said that that when it was discovered, all but one panel was missing.

Named after the Hill of Tara, which is traditionally seen as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, the Tara Brooch has actually no connection to either, but so the story goes that after it was sold by the then finders to a dealer and then on to the Dublin Jeweler and a reviver of Celtic Jewelry, George Waterhouse, it was he who renamed it the “Tara Brooch” to make it more charming and regal in the eyes of the public. The exact meaning and history of this Celtic jewelry ornament is still not fully understood. 

A popular piece of Celtic Jewelry that was worn by both men and women due to the practical purpose they fulfilled in fastening caps, cloaks and other clothing, today the Tara Brooch still remains as popular today and is one of Ireland’s most widely recognized Celtic Brooches.

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