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    One of the greatest treasures of the early Irish Church the Ardagh Chalice was discovered in the 19th century near Ardagh, Co. Limerick. The form recalls late Roman tableware, the method of construction is Irish with bowl and foot made of spun silver. The outer is decorated with applied gold, silver, glass, amber and enamel ornament. The underside of the foot is highly decorated and contains a polished rock crystal at the centre. It represents a high point in early medieval craftsmanship.

    A Victorian silver gilt replica of this high point in early medieval craftsmanshi comes up at Sotheby’s sale in London on March 18 of 44 Fitzwilliam Square, works from the estate of the late Patrick Kelly. The silver gilt replica two handled rose bowl by Frederick Elkington, London 1879 is inscribed: “Presented to Sir Thomas George Fermor-Hesketh Bart of Rufford. On His Marriage 23. December 1880. By The Tenants on His Lancashire Estates”. It is estimated at £3,000-5,000.

    The Ardagh Chalice replica at Sotheby’s

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