Irish Sterling Silver Feis Medal Dublin 1962

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  • Item Category: Coins & Currency
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: May 31, 2009
  • Channel: Auction House

Irish Sterling Silver Feis Medal Dublin 1962

Feis Ceoil Medal - with profile of Fr. Theobald Mathew and surrounded with Celtic design

Dublin 1962
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Fr Theobald Mathew 1790 - 1856
Apostle of Temperance. Born in Thomastown Castle in Cashel. Ordained a Capuchin monk in 1840, he was sent to Cork and opened a Free School for poor children, and formed a society of steady young men to help relieve the widespread wretchedness and poverty. On 10th April 1838 he signed a pledge of total abstinence with historic words " it goes in the name of the Lord". His success was remarkable; within six years his disciples included nearly half of the adult population, the revenue from duties on spirits fell from £1.4 to £0.8 and t was an extraordinary reduction in crime.

We cannot emphasise enough how important these wee silver gems of Irish history are. They are all hall marked (see below) and often stamped by provincial Irish silversmiths long since gone, and are tfore firmly authenticated. They often show high skills of hand engraving, for example Celtic interlacing, shamrocks, round towers, wolfhounds, harps and other uniquely Irish symbols.


UNIQUE and RARE 47 Year Old Irish Sterling Silver Medal


Late in the 15th century the Dublin Guild of Goldsmiths was mentioned for the first time, although it probably existed prior to that date. The earliest record of a maker's mark and a town mark, occurred in the year 1605. Most provincial towns had gold and silver smiths from early times. They produced both church and domestic plate of superb design and workmanship.

Medals, medallions and medalletes have been used for many centuries elsew in the world to commemorate notable events and personalities, but, possibly because of our history Ireland was late in this field and it was not until late in the 18th century that medals were produced in Ireland .

Most medals were dye-struck, a space being left for an engraved inscription, but some of the finer specimens were totally hand engraved.

William Stephen Mossop (1751-1805) a Dublin born self taught man, in the last quarter of that century started to strike fine medals for a variety of purposes. Mossop's portrait medals were reputed to be very good likenesses of their subjects.

Other well known Irish medalists of the 19th century were William Woodhouse, John Jones, Parkes, Wyons.

Ireland can be justly proud of its agricultural and farming society medals. Pre-eminent among these organisations was the Dublin Society, which, founded in 1731 'for improving husbandry, manufactures and other useful arts and sciences', issued its first medals in 1763.

The occasions for which the medals were issued were extremely varied and related to almost every facet of Irish life and extended at times to matters abroad. The subjects covered included numerous aspects of the professions, sciences, farming, horticulture, beekeeping, horse breeding, manufacturing, religion, politics, elections, soldiering, universities and on and on and on. A medal was struck even on the death of the reknowned greyhound Master McGrath!!

Nearer our own times we have medals issued in 1966 to celebrate the Jubliee of the 1916 Rising with a portrait of Padraic Pearse.

Irish medals have fantastic imagery, from the Irish dancer, the tug-o'-war, the hurler, the boxer, the snooker player, the cricket player, the harp, shamrock, Celtic interlacing - all hand engraved in silver and sometimes with enamel inserts. They often show a combination of classical and folksy design unique to Ireland .

Irish sterling silver medals are scarce and tfore would be a good investment for a discerning collector.

The harp uncrowned , stamped by the Du...