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    An image of the mid-15th century cross; copyright National Museum of Ireland. (Click on image to enlarge).

    A newly acquired mid-15th century copper alloy cross from Co. Waterford has just gone on view at the National Museum of Ireland, Kildare St., Dublin. The cross was donated by the Madden family on behalf of their late mother, Mrs. Bridget Madden (née Kelly) of Ferrybank, Waterford. Possibly from Caorbally, near Dunmore East, the cross was in in the possession of Mrs Madden’s family for several generations. Its exact provenance is unknown.
    This is one of about a dozen later medieval period altar crosses known from Ireland. Such crosses were made in England in the 15th and 16th centuries and are found throughout western Europe. Relatively simple in design the front is decorated in a foliate pattern and the four evangelists are represented on the cross terminals and base. There is also an undecorated space on the front where a crucifixion figure would originally have been mounted. There is an ‘IHC’ monogram on the back of each terminal and on the base representing the Greek version of the first three letters of the name of Christ. It is mounted on a separate lobed pedestal, likely to be of a date later than the 15th century.

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