The most famous collar of the
"gorget" type was found in Glenisheen, Co. Clare in 1932.
It dates to the 8th century B.C. and is a semi-circular shape with two
elaborate disc shapes at either end. It was found in a rock crevice
in the Burren area of Co. Clare and it is remarkably well preserved, it is
c.31 cm in maximum diameter.
There is some amazingly intricate
repoussť work on this piece. Repoussť was a technique used by
craftworkers in Europe which was adopted at this time by the native
craftworkers to good effect. The designs themselves are native in
origin being similar to the designs on earlier lunulae
and round based pots.
Some archaeologists believe this gives evidence that there were many
foreign influences and invasions at this time because of the non-native
techniques that were adopted by the native craftworkers in Ireland.
The Gorteenreagh Collar was discovered
in 1948 and is dated to c. 800 - 600 bc. along with two lock-rings,
two bracelets, and a fibula or dress
fastener. The Gorteenreagh Collar is much simpler in design than
the Glenisheen, although the terminals are of the same design,
unfortunately as can be seen from the photo, it did not survive the
ravages of time and is a little dented. (not bad though after 2600 years!)
Another good example comes from
Ardcrony, Co. Tipperary, and can be viewed in the National Museum of
Ireland in Kildare Street, Dublin.
The Gorgets are unique to Ireland and
are a pre-Celtic design. The metalworkers of this time had great
mastery and skill some of which has not been surpassed even today.