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Neolithic Mace

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Bronze Age Gold


Welcome to's section on Arts and Crafts. 


 In this section we will be looking at the Arts and Crafts of the Celtic and Pre-Celtic peoples of Ireland. The Celts were well known for their Jewelry, weaponry, & pottery. Their Jewelry tells of a highly advanced culture with plenty of leisure time to create such works of craftsmanship and not the primitive culture that history tends to portray. 


The peoples of the Bronze Age are pre-Celtic and they created the gold lunulae and gorgets so admired by us today.  All gold and bronze artifacts can be seen in the National Museum of Ireland.


 There are also many artifacts which for various reasons are not on display in the main galleries, 'Victorian' prudery prevented the small sculptures known as 'Sheela-na-Gigs' from being shown until very recently.


The 'Sheela-na-Gigs' that they own are kept in the vaults they can be viewed by appointment, although now they have one of these artifacts on display in their main galleries.

  Mesolithic & Neolithic


Bronze Age Artifacts


    Iron Age Artifacts



Illuminated Manuscripts

  Medieval Arts



Modern Celtic Art

  Modern Irish Art

 Modern Crafts

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The 'Sheela-na-gigs' are controversial as they depict images of males and females displaying their genitals. Also very little is known of their origins, most writers say they date from the 'eleventh century A.D'. and were an Irish version of the carvings of exhibitionist figures on the churches in Europe.

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Lintel from Rath Blathmaic Church, Co. Clare

They were inserted into the Romanesque Churches.  Some were inserted into later churches but were hidden from view or inserted upside-down as in the Rath Blathmaic Church.

A good site to reference for the Sheela-na-gigs is which has a full listing of all of them.

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Detail -note: carving is upside-down

Note-  This part of the site is being added to all the time call back often for NEW sections.


Last Updated - January 19, 2024

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