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The chalice of Ardagh. The chalice height 15 cm 5.9 in, the most important liturgical object found in 1868 near Ardagh, County Limerick, in Ireland, is made of silver, bronze and gold, with glass and rock crystal insets. It is part of one of the richest groups of ancient Christian objects found in Ireland: a silver chalice, a chalice in bronze and four decorative pins. Best travel destinations in US The treasure hoard must have been the property of a rich monastery. Only partially decorated, on the main body it shows friezes, braids and geometrical and zoomorphic traceries; in the lower part, in contrast, rings of applied filigree and a rock crystal located in the center. Under the horizontal line of golden filigree on the cup the names of the apostles stick out in relief on a clear background in a strip incised with points. The writing is in the elegant characters of the Lindisfarne Gospels. On that basis, the Ardagh chalice is dated around 700, a little after the Lindisfarne Gospels and before the Book of Kells.

8. The Derrynavlan group. The group, found in 1980 at Derrynavlan, County Tipperary, a monastic settlement founded by St. Ruadhan of Lorrha in the 6th c., which flourished in the 8th and 9th c., is another of the richest groups of precious Christian objects found in Ireland. It consists of a silver chalice, a silver paten, a circular support for the paten, a gilded bronze strainer and a bronze cup. The silver chalice height 18 cm 7.1 in, diameter 17 cm 6.7 in, very similar to the chalice of Ardagh but with differing proportions, is made up of three principal elements: a bowl with a simple projecting edge, a decorated stem and a high base or foot. Like the Ardagh chalice, it is decorated with a strip of filigreed panels just under the edge, separated by seven mountings of amber drops; on the handles, large shields decorated with amber and filigree; on the stem, golden decorations combined with filigreed panels; on the side under the base, geometrical and zoomorphic motifs. Different filigree techniques were used, datable to the early decades of the 800s. All the objects coming from Derrynavlan can be associated with liturgical service like that of the mass recorded in the Missal of Stowe in the 8th c. see Celtic liturgy.

9. The treasure of the island of St. Ninian. The group, found in 1958 on the island of St. Ninian, Shetland Islands, includes twenty-eight pieces in decorated silver and a porpoise jaw closed in a larchwood box. The group, in provenance from a Pictish environment, was set aside toward the end of the 8th c., even if certain pieces could have been in use for some time. Stylistically the group’s character suggests the asymbolic art of the Picts, and comparisons lead to a date subsequent to the Lindisfarne Gospels, perhaps toward the middle of the 8th c. It is debated whether this group should be attributed to a Celtic church or not. In any case, it represents the profane section of a rich hoard, whose most ancient object, a silver cup designed for hanging, cannot be earlier than 700, while the most recent date no later than the last quarter of the 8th c. This collection must date back therefore to ca. 775.

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