Tara Brooch


The Irish tradition of metalworking goes back to 3000 years to the Bronze Age. The Tara brooch is considered to be one of the finest examples of ancient Irish metalworking craftsmanship. It is a “ring brooch” dating back tothe later 7th or early 8th century. Despite its name, it does not have any historical attachment to Tara. Rather, it was found in 1850 in Bettystown in County Meath and later acquired by a jeweler who named it the “Tara Brooch”. It is exquisitely made in silver and gilt. The seven-inch long brooch was embellished with Celtic knotwork on both front and back. The Tara Brooch was not meant to be a brooch to hold clothing but to be decorative. Brooches contained neither Christian or Pagan religious motifs and were made for wealthy patrons who wanted a personal expression of status. Each brooch was made unique and individualized for each patron. The brooch is now on permanent display in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.