The Ardagh Chalice

The Ardagh Chalice is made of silver and
dates from around the 8th century. It is
basically a hemispherical cup inspired by
Byzantine design.It has two handles, held
on by rivets that are disguised by studs. It
is decorated with panels of gold filigree,
gilt bronze and milifiori studs .The glass
studs have all been individually cast.
Probably a metal frame was made
first and then the areas of red enamel
poured in. Molten blue glass was
lastly applied making the studs solid.
The bands of filigree run in a band
round the top, leaving large areas of
plain silver which give great contrast.
The Apostles names are lightly inscribed
below this band, with the exception of
It was discovered in the 1860s
by a boy digging for potatoes!
It is now housed in the National Museum, Dublin.

Back to An Irish Patchwork