The Celtic Shield collection is inspired by the Ardagh Chalice. The chalice was discovered in September 1868, by two men digging for potatoes near the village of Adare in County Limerick.
The Ardagh Chalice is the finest example of Eighth century metalwork ever to be discovered. According to the book Treasures of Early Irish Art (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: 1977):
“A wide range of materials have been used to create a work of perfection. The silver bowl, provided with handles for lifting, is linked by a gilded collar to a conical silver foot, made more stable by a broad horizontal flange on the chalice, where decoration is used, it is sumptuous. Ultimate LaTene scrolls, plain interlace, plaits and frets abound. The techniques employed are engraving, casting, filigree, cloison and enamelling. Below the horizontal band of gold filigree on the bowl the names of the Apostles in shining metal standout in sea of stippling.”
The Ardagh Chalice is housed at the National Museum of Ireland. The gold filigree band that encircles the chalice is the heart of the design behind this collection.